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Hello, cannabis growers! Today, I'd like to dive into the world of pests and microorganisms that could become potential threats to your cannabis plants. Being vigilant and prepared can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy and bountiful harvest. Let's jump right in!
1. Spider Mites:
Identification: Tiny, spiderlike creatures, often found on the undersides of leaves. They create fine webbing and leave tiny white or yellow speckles.
Management: Keep humidity levels high, as they detest this environment. Introduce predatory insects like ladybugs or predatory mites. Neem oil is also a popular organic treatment.
Identification: Small, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from plants. They can spread viruses.
Management: Release beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings. Insecticidal soaps or neem oil can also be effective.
Identification: Tiny white insects that fly around when the plant is disturbed.
Management: Sticky traps can be effective in catching them. Insecticidal soaps or neem oil can also deter them.
4. Fungus Gnats:
Identification: Small black flies around the soil.
Management: Allow the top layer of your soil to dry out between watering, as their larvae thrive in moist environments. Introduce beneficial nematodes or use sticky traps.
5. Powdery Mildew:
Identification: White powdery spots on leaves.
Management: Improve airflow, reduce humidity, and avoid watering from above. Use a mix of milk and water as a foliar spray, or consider organic fungicides.
6. Root Rot:
Identification: Brown, slimy roots; stunted growth.
Management: It's caused by fungi due to overwatering. Ensure proper drainage and consider repotting the plant in fresh soil. Beneficial microbes, like Mycorrhizal fungi, can also help.
7. Botrytis (Bud Rot):
Identification: Gray mould that starts on the inside of the bud and works its way out.
Management: Improve airflow, reduce humidity, and remove infected portions immediately.
8. Hemp Russet Mites:
Identification: Extremely tiny bugs causing leaf curling and discolouration.
Management: Predatory bugs like ladybugs can help. Sulphur-based treatments can also be effective.
Tips to Prevent Pests & Diseases:
1. Hygiene: Always ensure your grow area is clean. Regularly sanitise tools, pots, and surfaces.
2. Quarantine New Plants: Always quarantine new plants for at least a week to ensure they aren't carrying pests.
3. Regular Inspections: Always inspect your plants regularly. Early detection can prevent more significant issues.
4. Optimal Growing Conditions: Healthy plants can fend off pests and diseases better than stressed ones.
Not using or reducing the use of pesticides is undoubtedly the least risky choice for growers. Different states have certain restrictions on the pesticides/insecticides that can be used on cannabis, so we strongly recommend avoiding pest infestations or effectively controlling them in the early stages of the disease.