As October approaches and millions of cannabis cultivators across the United States prepare to harvest their dank and sticky nug’s; other marijuana cultivators will be faced with a heartbreaking realization, that Bud rot and powdery mildew are all await them. While these petulant and rabid diseases can afflict pot plants at just about any stage, your precious secret garden’s susceptibility can be directly linked to unfavorable environmental conditions – such as an abundance of moisture, poor/indirect light, insufficient airflow/poor filtration and last but not least… a PH imbalance or incorrect nutrients.
While fungus aggressively grows when it finds the proper moisture content, temperature, acidic conditions and a dependable food source. There is a wide range of precaution a grower can take to protect your valuable pot plants from these horrible diseases.
Grey Mold: Grey mold (gm) spores are ever present gliding gently in the air – undetectable – and almost always in contact with the plants leaves, ready and willing to make a feast of their possible hosts. However they require a moist, acidic environment to thrive. The infected area first appears soggy and brown. Then the mold develops a silverish–grey fuzz covering billions of grape-like clusters of destructive and hungry mold spores.
As fall rapidly approaches – the cool wet evenings and early mornings are the most dangerous times for your tender cannabis plants, as the mild tempters and moist wet conditions are the most conducive for mold production.
Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew (pm) – generally caused by numerous fungi – is the bane of modern marijuana grower’s existence. To the untrained eye, powdery mildew can look like someone sprinkled Baking powder on the fan leaves. At first PM appears in an irregular circle, limited to just a small section of the sun leaf, but it quickly spreads onto the surrounding tissue, covering the entire leaf. Colonies soon develop in the surrounding vegetation and in other areas of the garden. Powdery mildew is most likely to attack young leaves, up to two or three weeks old.
Grey Mold & Powdery Mildew Fix: The best way to avoid grey mold and powdery mildew is to not give them a suitable home. Since mold and mildew primarily develops only in overly moist conditions, the first line of defense is controlling humidity — keeping the moisture levels under 50%. Grey mold is likely to be most severe within the thickest part of the canopy, where air circulation is poorest. Thick outdoor plants can be spread with twine or netting to improve airflow. Remove interior and weak branches to improve circulation. While inside, fans assist in mold prevention by removing pockets of high humidity air surrounding the leaves and flowers.
No brainer alert – don’t foliar feed your plants during the last 30 days of flowering, as moisture may become trapped inside the buds and expediting the acceleration of mold growth. Foliar feed early in the day, during the vegetative and early flowering only — so moisture on the leaves or buds will have a chance to dry before darkness. Watering the garden at the beginning of the light period or early in the day will give any excess moisture on the leaves an opportunity to evaporate.
Cut out and remove the affected portions of the plant or Bud, or remove the entire plant to reduce potential host sites. Destroy any infected material and sanitize any tools to prevent them from spreading infection. Moldy weed should be thrown out, although unaffected buds from the same plant may still be consumed. If the circumstances do not allow the environment to be controlled use preventative measures to such as applying Bacillus Subtills (name brand serenade) or other fungicides like Zero Tolerance.