There’s no greater disappointment than a beautiful crop ruined by powdery mildew right before blooming. Unfortunately, the nature of many grow rooms leaves these areas as a common target of mold, mildew and other diseases that quickly over run plants and render marijuana unusable.
Typically, the key to avoiding damage to your plants is prevention and preservation. However, proper care goes beyond simple ventilation and strong plants, you’ll need dedication and a solid plan to keep your plants healthy.
How to prevent common grow room diseases
Remove standing water – Standing water is a common cause of mold, mildew, and fungus. After watering your plants discard any remaining water and keep the area around your plants dry. Allowing water to condense on the sides is a huge temptation for mold.
Water your plants in a separate area – The easiest way to combat diseases is to remove potted plants to another room to water. Once removed you can clean the grow room, remove debris, and sanitize the area with hydrogen peroxide. Allow your plants to dry slightly before transferring them back into their grow room. This method eliminates any hopeful mold or mildew spores.
Sterilize everything – Your pots, the soil, your room, your tools, and even yourself. I’ve caught myself cleaning everything in sight, while neglecting to change my shoes from when I was outside. Any outside material tracked into your room may contain spores, eggs, or pests that can infect your plants.
Invest in preventive pest measures – A layer of diatomaceous earth over your soil will prevent any pests from laying their eggs in the soil. Sticky traps hanging around your room will catch flies and alert you to infestations. Keeping your grow area clean and sealed is the best defense against invading pests.
Even the best prevention can lead to an issue.
Treat diseased plants or infestations carefully to minimize damage.
Remove infected plants immediately – if its showing signs of disease it must be removed to keep the other plants healthy. Prune any sick, dying, or diseased parts from the plant and clean any tools you used. Only when the plant is healthy should it be returned to the room.
Use natural oils against pests – Spray plants with Neem oil to control pests and certain strands of mildew. It works best as a prevention tool but can also be used to cure small infestations.
Monitor your plants carefully – After an infestation or disease is spotted the treatment is just the first step. Remember to monitor your plant closely for signs of infestation or damage to your plant.
Disease or pest damage can happen to anyone at any time. A proper defense and a sharp eye are key to treating any issues quickly to minimize damage to the plant and ensure a full harvest.