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Mold On Cannabis Plants: All You Need To Know

Mold happens on cannabis in warm and humid growing spaces, it can develop on a plant’s leaves, buds or roots.
15 June 2020
13 min read
Mold On Cannabis Plants: All You Need To Know

Contents:

Mold can happen from in the vegetative stage, flowering stage and even during the drying and curing of buds. It makes them unsafe to smoke, slowly starts killing your plant and can easily infect other plants in the grow room.

1. Mold On Cannabis

It is possible to get mold at any stage of the growing cycle, even in the drying and curing process. This is because fungi need a specific condition to develop.

Mold is a fungus that can affect cannabis plants when they’re kept in a humid and warm condition. It can be treated with fungicides or other homemade remedies, and can be prevented by controlling the environment but because it rots the leaves, roots or buds it can be untreatable or very hard to treat.

Also, mold produces spores (and there’s a good amount of spores in the air anywhere you go). Mold spores can stick on your clothes and can be brought into your growing room. They need only humidity and a slightly warmer condition to start developing.

We recommend keeping a clean growing environment, even if you never got mold or fungi, it is a great way to prevent it. 

2. Botrytis

Botrytis (also known as bud rot or grey mold) is a type of fungus that affects plants in general. In cannabis, it develops inside the buds and it slowly starts to grow outwards, making it difficult to spot in the early stages.

 

Botrytis on Cannabis plant.
 

Bud rot is easier to get when growing outdoors but can affect indoor growers if the temperature and humidity are not controlled.

It can also happen when drying and when curing. If the buds haven’t dried properly they can still hold water, increasing the humidity in the curing jar and ultimately developing mold.

Identification

If you can’t see signs of mold but you notice the leaves drying or if you think the buds are not growing properly it can be a fungus starting to develop in your buds. 

 

It’s really hard to detect bud rot in the early stages because the fungus starts infecting your plant from the inside out.
 

If you spot any of these symptoms, you should try to take a look inside the buds.

The inside of the buds should be the same color as the outside, if you see brown or grey spots, it will most likely be bud rot.

Prevention

This kind of fungus develops in humid and warm places, to avoid this, it’s crucial to have a good growing space. This means you need to provide good airflow, adjust the humidity level for each growth stage, avoid aggressive temperature changes, and keep your growing space clean.

 

Optimal conditions to prevent bud rot.
 

For your drying room, in order to prevent a bud rot, it is recommended to have a relative humidity of 60% and a temperature of around 20-25C.

This can be achieved not only by controlling the environment but also by pruning or performing LST techniques to keep the branches spaced. By having these elements on point, you can guarantee a healthy plant all throughout the growing cycle.

Treatment

If your buds are heavily affected you can still treat them, although you should know that this is a way of allowing the plant to finish the growing cycle and it will not get rid of bud rot. The general recommendation is to dispose of the moldy plant to avoid contaminating the other plants in your grow room.

If you still want to save the infected plant, you should start by decreasing the humidity level and temperature, this will cause the mold to grow slowly. After doing this, you’ll need to spray the affected buds with a mold spray.

If you see the mold continue to grow, your buds will get mushy and completely gray. At this point, you should remove the buds and if it’s really bad you should consider removing it from the growing space or disposing of it.

Note: Have in mind that the affected buds can be toxic and should not be smoked!

3. Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a kind of fungus that develops on top of the leaves at first. It may look like trichomes to the new growers but it will continue to spread all over your plant.

This fungus is a white powder that can completely cover your plant, especially the leaves, not allowing your plant to perform photosynthesis and ultimately dying it from the lack of energy.

Just like bud rot, powdery mildew produces spores that can easily spread indoors and outdoors and needs very specific conditions to develop.   

Identification

When powdery mildew first starts growing, it can be hard to spot it. You may see small bumps on the leaves, but because they are so subtle, you’ll most likely know you got powdery mildew when white powder starts appearing on your leaves.

 

Powdery Mildew on a Cannabis plant.
 

The white powder will start covering the leaves until they’re unable to absorbs light, if it gets to this point, the leaves will wrinkle up, start yellowing, brown and die.

Powdery mildew starts growing slowly but it can completely take over your plant real fast, so if you fail to spot it before, be sure to take action as soon as you see the leaves starting to be covered by a white powder.

Prevention

As said above, fungi grow in very specific conditions, so the best way to prevent it is to maintain a good growing environment. This combined with minimal pruning or LST techniques will effectively prevent it.

Growers who foliar feed should be especially careful, leaving drops of water on top of the leaves can easily cause powdery mildew.

Treatment

Powdery mildew can be a little bit easier to treat. First of all, you should adjust the temperature and humidity in your growing space, and remove affected plants from it. You should also check the other plants, as spores can easily spread to all the plants around.

If your plant’s condition is too grave, you should start by removing the affected leaves and buds, and spray with any fungicide of your choice.

Remember, anything you spray on your plant will affect the smell, flavor, and quality of the buds, so you should opt for organic products or even try making your own at home.

Tip: Mix 35ml of apple cider vinegar to 1L of water or mix 400ml with 600ml of milk and spray your plant to treat powdery mildew. Have in mind these methods can fail sometimes and are usually recommended if the fungi infection is in its early stages.

4. Root Rot

Root rot is similar to bud rot, although it happens on the roots. This happens in soil when you get fungus gnats or when you overwater for a long time but it is more common in hydroponic setups.

Root rot is also hard to spot when growing in soil because the roots aren’t visible. Even experienced growers might notice it only when the plant can no longer be saved.

Identification

Root rot is easy to identify, as bud rot, you will see the roots start to turn brown and mushy. Have in mind that you will only see the roots if you completely remove your plant from the soil.

 

Growers usually check the roots in the last instance and in most cases, it is already too late.
 

When the roots start rotting, your plant will start showing (what looks like) symptoms of overwatering, deficiencies, curling of leaves, or other symptoms that may confuse you into thinking it is something else.

Prevention

To prevent this fungus, you should not only keep a good growing environment but also make sure to not overwater your plants, as this can attract bugs like fungus gnats and also drown your roots, causing root rot.

Treatment

Root rot is something that’s not treated in most cases because it will certainly affect your plants' growth, so when growing in soil most growers will dispose of the plant.

It is commonly agreed that a plant with severe root rot is not worth it because the roots will not recover to 100%.

If you still want to treat it you can clean the roots with a mix of 5-10ml of baking soda or 10ml of bleach with 1L of water.

8. In Conclusion

It is relatively hard to get a fungus to affect your plants if you are keeping them in a good environment. Maintaining a good environment may seem easy to most growers but can be extremely hard for new growers, especially in countries when it’s hard to find growing equipment.

If you’re tired of your plants getting mold, we recommend trying more resilient strain, like our Gorilla Cookies Auto.

Gorilla Cookies Auto
Gorilla Cookies Auto
Genes
Sativa / Indica
Genetics
Gorilla Cookies Auto
Flowering
10 weeks
Harvest
500-600gr/m2
Height
90-100cm
THC
Up to 27%
CBD
Very Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Buy seeds from 13,00 €
 

We also recommend checking your plants every day and start taking action as soon as you see even the smallest sign that something is wrong.

Have in mind that even if you can treat mold, it will affect the final yield and can affect flavor, smell, and effect, so the best thing is to prevent it.

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