Growers: Know the Different Types of Disease with Growing Plants
Anyone who has any experience with cannabis knows that it is a highly resilient plant. Not only that, but scientists call it a "superweed" since it draws toxins out of the ground, leaving the earth it grows in cleaner. Unfortunately, for all its benefits, it's easy to forget that cannabis is a plant. And as a plant, cannabis is subject to the same frailties as any other. This includes diseases.
Between all the insects, animals, bacteria, and viruses, cannabis has more than its share of threats. Fortunately, growers have several things going for them too, including lots of information about how to fight these little scourges. A good source of information about these is available to learn more from i49. But this article will get the grower started with the four most notorious diseases that growers should look out for.
Fungi Golovinomyces (Powdery Mildew). This pesky little disease might be what you could call the "gang" of fungi. By this, we mean that anytime it shows up, you should be on your guard. This is because there are 88 different varieties of this little pest, but it's systemic, which means that it travels via the plant's vascular system, moving from leaf to roots in no time, leaving them useless.
The only good news about powdery mildew is that it's easy to spot, with white powdery residue on the leaves. The best way to treat powdery mildew is with prevention: lots of clean air and spacing between plants. And avoid overwatering.
Fungi Botrytis (Bud Rot aka Gray Mold). This is another nasty customer when it comes to tending cannabis, even though it attacks virtually any kind of plant. It's easy to spot since it is usually seen on the buds during the later stages of flowering. If not detected and dealt with quickly, this is another one that will invade an entire crop and leave it in waste.
The earliest signs of bud rot are the dry, cottony look of buds. Unfortunately, by the time signs show up, the plant is usually gone for good. Again, prevention is the best cure.
Fungi Fusarium (Fusarium Wilt aka Root Rot). This little pest is so effective at killing cannabis that the Drug Enforcement Agency once considered spraying illegal patches of the plant with the fungi to stop growth. Environmental activists quickly squashed this proposal because the fungi can mutate and kill other types of crops besides cannabis.
Root rot acts by invading the vascular system, cutting nutrients to the plant, and drying up leaves. Root rot spreads through the air, soil, and water. There is no known fix for root rot, which makes prevention that much more important.
Arachnid Tetranychus Urticae (Spider Mites). None of these little diseases is anything you want to spend your vacation with, but on a scale of one to 10, spider mites are approaching a 10. Spider mites are very effective at destroying whole cannabis crops, and for creating something that would be great for Halloween, this one is the ticket since it creates a shroud on the tops of buds.
Spider mites hate good air circulation, so stagnant air is not what you want. Besides that, proper crop management techniques are a great preventive measure. Best of all, there are several excellent products available to get rid of spider mites.
So, there you have them. Four of the nastiest customers any cannabis grower can play host to. Admittedly, none of these are easy to get rid of once you have them, but, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.