Because spider mites have a set of eight legs, they are actually small spiders instead of small insects like people may think. These mites are known to frequent marijuana plants especially. A spider mite infestation can ultimately ruin an entire crop if left unattended. These small insects usually attach themselves to the undersides of the leaves and draw the plant’s nutrients. This decreases the particular leaf’s chlorophyll and nutrient production from photosynthesis. As a result, the leaf will wilt and die. The same pattern can also be repeated on precious clusters of bud. The mites leave behind small white or brown dots on the leaves and lay small white eggs underneath them. Webbing is often found covering the areas where the mites frequent as well.
Getting rid of spider mites can be accomplished using a few different methods. As a Cannabis Breeder, I’ve always used a soft techniques by using a soap and water mixture vs a chemical methods. Natural soap and water mixtures are ideal for use on plants, as the mild soap does not harm the plant and dries quickly. The soap clogs the holes the spiders use to breathe through, thereby eliminating the pests.
In order to get started, you will need a few items, including a mild non anti-bacterial soap, a spray bottle and water. Water from the tap is fine, although you may use distilled water or pH balanced water if preferable. Fill the spray bottle with water to the fill line and add two to three drops of soap into the bottle. Shake the bottle until bubbles form in its insides. Apply the solution to the underside of the marijuana leaves as well as on the top layer of soil if the mites are present there as well. This process may need to be repeated more than once to eliminate all of the mites. Within 20 minutes of applying the soap mixture to the plant, you should clean the soap off to avoid stunting your Marijuana Strains growth.
If the soap method does not work to remove spider mites from the leaves on your marijuana plant, you can try a variation of the soap mixture that involves adding part vinegar, part lemon juice and Epsom salts. The high acidity of the mixture aids in killing the mites, while the Epsom salts help with drying the pests out. If the natural methods of using mild soap, lemon juice and Epsom salts prove ineffective, you may need to switch to commercial chemical products to get the job done, or even consider using predatory mites.
Whichever methods you choose to get rid of spider mites when growing medical cannabis, one is sure to decrease the spider mite population dramatically, if not remove it entirely. Once the spider mites have been removed from your medicinal cannabis plant, it will regain its strength and vigor.