Why Are My Cannabis Leaves Tacoing Up?

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Why Are My Cannabis Leaves Tacoing? (AKA-Canoeing)

Tacoing, Canoeing, or just curly, wrinkly cannabis leaves is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with ASAP. Because if you ignore your cannabis leaves tacoing, you will at best have stunted plant growth, and at worst your plants will die.

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    Tacoing, also called canoeing, occurs when both sides of a cannabis leaf bend upwards, or curl, toward the middle like a taco or canoe. Also, depending upon the problem sometimes the leaves are noticeably discolored. It is a warning sign that something is wrong. This problem is caused by various issues, such as the growing environment being too hot, too cold, nutrient problems, under watering/overwatering, and other issues.

    Nutrient Lockout-A nutrient deficiency is often the primary reason for curling cannabis leaves. More than likely more fertilizer will fix this problem. However, a nutrient lockout, which occurs when your plants cannot properly absorb the nutrients needed to be healthy, may also be a reason for the deficiency.

    Indoor Gardening-Ganja Shark is primarily geared toward the small-time, hobbyist, indoor grower. Therefore, the majority of these solutions are geared toward growing plants indoors and not outdoor growers. If you do grow outdoors though the tips concerning plant nutrients and the overall guide for identifying the reasons for leaf tacoing should be helpful

    Reasons For Curling Leaves

    There are numerous reasons why pot leaves curl upward. Some of the most common are listed below:

    • Overwatering or Underwatering-
    • Temperature- Either too hot or too cold.
    • Calcium and Magnesium Nutrient Deficiency
    • Grow Light Set Up Wrong
    • RH Incorrect

    Each of these will be examined below.


    The temperature (too hot or too cold) and overall environmental conditions of your grow area is the main reason for tacoing.

    Heat Stress

    Heat stress for a cannabis plant is indicated by the sides of the leaf curling and the edges having a sickly, brown look. Heat stress combined with incorrect RH is especially dangerous to plants and needs to be dealt with ASAP.


    First, find out the exact reason for this happening. So, when you see this happen you need to first take the temperature of your grow room and if it is above 68 degrees Fahrenheit during vegetative and above 78 degrees for flowering plants, then your grow room is too hot. If this is the problem cool the grow area off via an extra fan or adjust the air conditioning.

    When the room is at the correct temperature and you are having these issues, you need to look for the following:

    • Are Your Plants Too Close? Your plants are likely to overheat when they are too close together. So, move your plants if this is the case.
    • Uneven Light Distribution– Are you grow light rays evenly spread out over your plants? Or, is one plant getting too much light? If so, (you should have had one, to begin with) install a grow room light reflector.

    Light Burn

    Light burn can be signaled by the leaves turning yellow. However, it is heat-related as it is caused by the grow lights burning the leaves  Light burn can damage A plant’s leaves even if the grow area or room temperature is correct. To correct this you need to make sure that the grow light is an appropriate distance, based upon the growth stage, from the plant.

    Grow Area Too Cold

    Along with leaf discoloration, temperatures in the grow room below 68 degrees Fahrenheit can also cause cannabis leaves to turn upward.


    Regularly check and see if your indoor grow area is at the correct temperature. If it is not you may want to consider purchasing more grow lights.

    A Calcium and Magnesium Deficiency

    Calcium and Magnesium deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency, which causes tacoing weed leaves. Calcium is responsible for helping sugars and nitrogen with the flowering stage. This deficiency is most likely caused by the soil or water Ph being too low,(Or too acidic), which results in either the soil or water becoing too acidic to properly absorb these two essential plant nutrients.

    Calcium Deficiency

    Visible signals of a calcium deficiency appear in the following order:

    1. Lower leaves (AKA-Fan Leaf) are distorted and curled.
    2. Brown and Yellow-colored spots surrounded by brown borders will eventually start appearing.

    If left unchecked, too little calcium results in the root tips dying.

    Magnesium Deficiency

    Magnesium nutrient is found in every central atom in chlorophyll and is essential for all healthy plants. Magnesium is also responsible for getting energy from either the sun or grow light and using it to help produce carbs and sugars. (This is essential for flower or bud production.)

    A magnesium deficiency signal tends to not show up until after three to six weeks after it starts. So, preventing this from happening is essential. The main visible signals of this are the following:

    1. Viens on the older leaves will be yellow and rust-colored spots will gradually appear and then the spots will then start showing up through the entire plant.
    2. In the later stages, the leaves will start to curl, die and eventually fall off.


    First of all, check your soil Ph and water levels to see if they are between 6.0 and 6.5 and if they are not, fix that problem first. If you do not have abnormal soil or water PH or if you have fixed the issue and you are still having problems you should then apply a calcium and magnesium fertilizer to your garden.Your Problem will be fixed when the cannabis leaves are vibrant, green, color, and the leaves are straight with no wrinkles.

    Sensi Cal Mag
    Almost any cal mag fertilizer will do

    Grow Lights

    LED Grow Light
    LED Grow LIght-King LED

    Malfunctioning or user error is also related to overheating, underheating, or a light burn occurring, which can cause curled up leaves.


    You can fix this problem by following the best practices (Depends upon the type of grow lights you are using) by using the recommended number of lights needed for your grow area. Also, make sure that your plant is not in danger of outgrowing your tent. So, be sure to select a seed, that fits your grow tent.

    Low-Stress Training (“LST”)-Low-Stress Training can be a way for you to grow a plant that is taller than your grow area. However, beginner growers should keep it simple at first and purchase seeds that will easily fit in your grow tent, attic, or wherever you are planning to grow.

    Low Relative Humidity Levels

    The incorrect humidity levels are a major cause of curling leaves. Incorrect, RH can also cause other deadly plant diseases like root rot. Incorrect RH combined with nutrient deficiency is also especially deadly.


     Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Room

    So, be sure that you regularly check your grow area with a hygrometer to see if the humidity is at the correct levels and if not purchase a dehumidifier for your grow area, or at the very least by some desiccant packets.

    ROOT ROT-Cannabis root rot, depending upon how many plants your operation, is something that you definitely want to avoid.

    In order to fix a plant affected with this disease you must do the following:

    1. Dig Up The Plants-
    2. Cut-Cut off the rotten root just below the healthy root area.
    3. Replant

    Tip- To prevent further infection of other healthy plants, Be sure to sterilize the scissors that you used for pruning the affected plant roots.

    Over Watering

    Your leaves, when over watered will curl down, be tight, rigid, and have a clawlike appearance. Overwatering also washes away beneficial plant microbes, and damaging fungi and algae are more likely to appear. The end result of overwatering is the fungal disease root rot.


    First of all, prevent it by following the recommended watering schedule for the particular cannabis strain you’re growing, and grow your plants in quick-draining soil and with the pot having water draining holes. If the plant is already overwatered, stop watering until the plant soil is dry, at least an inch deep, around your entire plant.

    Under Watering

    Underwatering plants are signaled by droopy, and limp leaves, and results in a drastically reduced crop.


    To fix underwatering just water your plants more. Most of the time, your plants should back to normal within 30 minutes after getting good watering.

    Final Thoughts

    Leaf tacoing is just one of the many problems that can occur when growing cannabis. The good news is that a leaf curl can be easily solved through simply sound, common sense, growing methods. And, if you are an indoor gardener most of these problems are entirely fixable. For example, you can add a portable air conditioner if your grow area is too hot. So, with proper preventative measures taken, and regular observation curly leaves should not a major issue.


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