We know how much time and effort you put into your home grow, how disastrous diseases and pest infestation can be and how quickly this can ruin the progress achieved so far. To prevent this from happening, we have put together this useful short guide to help you detect plant pathologies and prevent eventual attacks by pests. Don’t miss a thing!
The Two Most Common Marihuana Pests
As most crops, cannabis is also exposed to great threats that can be identified and controlled. Next, we will explain what are the most common pests and diseases in cannabis and what treatment options are recommended to follow.
The red spider mite appears especially when moisture levels are low. Try your best to keep the spider mite and your grow space well away, or you may have to say goodbye to your beloved weed plants otherwise. These arachnids can be truly devastating since they love to suck the sap out of leaves. Normally, they are found on the underside of leaves, which is the most accessible and perfect porous and dark surface for to them to hide and live.
White, red or yellow spots are an indication that these insects may be around. They are only a few millimeters in size, so we recommend using a magnifying glass to be able to locate them. Also, in severe cases of infestation, you can find cobweb on the flowers.
The best treatment is to clean the affected leaves with a mixture of alcohol and water (1 part of alcohol for 9 of water) using a spray bottle. Besides, you can find different product options in the market that help getting rid of this pest, such as potassium soap, ecotenone, or neem oil.
The whitefly, as in the case of the spider mite, feeds from the sap of the leaves, although they are less lethal. You can easily detect them by shaking the plant and check for these tiny flies to scatter. Another indication is the yellowing on the leaf or the presence of white powder on the back of leaves.
Did you know there are some pest-repellent plants that can be highly effective to keep whitefly off your crop? Basil is a good example. Another method is to use fly trap strips or spray the plant with potassium soap. This type of soap works by softening the exoskeleton of insects, which weakens and kills them. You should use it in intervals of 5 or 6 days until they are eliminated, combined with the application of neem oil or other antiseptic products.
Lastly, remember to keep your growing space clean and well ventilated to significantly reduce the appearance and impact of these types of pests. Temperature should always be kept around 25°C and relative humidity level between 50% and 60%.
The Two Most Common Marijuana Diseases
Gray mold (botrytis)
Fungal diseases commonly affects marijuana plants. Botrytis or gray molds are just two examples. The infection consists of a necrosis that can develop in any part of the plant. Stems, foliage, roots or buds may present a dry consistency and gray-brown color, as if lifeless. The good part is that they are easy to spot, yet they spread quickly. You must react as quickly as possible or your crop will be likely to disappear in a few days otherwise.
To prevent an infection outbreak, it is essential to keep humidity levels controlled. If your plants have already been affected by this disease, the first step is to cut your losses by removing all infected parts and cutting a few extra inches for safety. Dispose all plant residues, wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect the scissors that you have used.
Powdery mildew fungi, unlike most fungal pathogens, tend to grow on the surface of the leaves, making it difficult to remove. This pest is made up of two living microorganisms: a bacterium and a fungus that have a symbiotic relationship and are unable to survive without the other.
First signs appear as vesicular spots on the upper side of the leaves, with white powder forming patches as an easily identifiable characteristic.
Conditions for development of powdery mildew are a combination of high relative humidity (70-90%) and low temperatures (20°C-22°C). Despite the presence of spores, the disease will be unlikely to develop without these environmental conditions. For indoor crops, we recommend maintaining adequate ventilation and good air purifiers. Also, you need to avoid entering the growing area with clothes used outside. For outdoor crops, it is recommended to use extreme care during fall, especially in high humidity areas, since during this season the use of biological biostimulants can enhance plant natural defenses and reduce pest damage.