When it comes to problems that can plague an indoor ganja garden, the list of predicaments is quite plentiful. But there’s one pesky difficulty that can pull the plug on your prospective harvest leaving you with pounds of useless produce, and that’s powdery mildew.
The pest that out pests the rest!
Are you seeing white, patchy spots on your plant’s fan leaves? Maybe something that looks as if your plant was dusted with a light coating of baking flour?
Then you, my fellow gardener of the ganja, could be experiencing the dreaded grimy pest that will put your nerves to the test.
Powdery mildew is one of the most widespread plant pests in existence. It’s capable of effecting a wide range of plant species including fruit trees, flowering plants and shrubs such as roses, as well as our beloved cannabis plants.
When detected at an early enough stage in its augmentation cycle, powdery mildew can be relegated as a minor but treatable annoyance.
But if it is overlooked and allowed to generate, it can turn months of nurturing and hard work into virtual devastation leaving you with plants that aren’t worthy of being thrown on the compost pile, let alone being enjoyed via your favorite implement of combustion.
What is that white crap on my plants?
Although those gardeners who take a large amount of precautionary measures are the least likely to have problems with this crop stopping pest, powdery mildew spreads so easily that even the most meticulously clean gardener can experience an intrusion by the wicked chalky nuisance.
Like I touched on earlier, powdery mildew is completely reversible if caught in time, but this frenzied fungus has the potential to proliferate at a pregnant pace, so be sure to be a gardener that’s on your guard.
Powdery mildew is a rapidly reproducing (both sexually & asexually) fungus that possesses the capacity to complete two tasks, destroy your plants and make more powdery mildew.
And although it may seem difficult to prevent and devastating to endure, it’s luckily easily detectable via the naked eye.
How can I identify it before it wrecks my garden?
If your plant’s leaves are lush and green as a healthy cannabis plant should be, then spotting the white, irregular spots that show up in the early stages of powdery mildew will be a straightforward undertaking.
The white patches of fungal growth that powdery mildew produces is simply observable due to the fact that it stands out against the cannabis plant’s green leaves that it affectionately contaminates.
It’s at this stage of the fungus’ life that you can take certain steps to reverse its proliferation process and take it down before it takes down your ladies.
But if you notice that your plants look like they’ve been rolled in baking flour, then it has reached the point of no return, and you must destroy the plant(s) and remove it(them) from your grow space to eliminate the chance of infecting any of the other ladies in your plot.
So, what’s the cause of this evil annoyance?
High humidity- Powdery mildew needs moisture to thrive, but not necessarily to survive. Grow rooms with high levels of moisture gives powdery mildew the environment it needs to flourish. Those living in areas prone to high humidity such as Florida would be wise to invest in a dehumidifier unit to help control the humidity and ward off powdery mildew.
Low air flow/Poor ventilation- Powdery mildew is an airborne spore that has a difficult time settling down on your plants if your grow space is equipped with a proper air flow/ventilation system. Good ventilation also helps with managing your grow space’s moisture levels.
Leaf to leaf contact- Fan leaves that are lying on top of one another will form moisture between them, thus leaving your plants more susceptible to the yield destroying fungus that is powdery mildew. This is why it’s important to prune your fan leaves, which is something we’ll cover in more detail in the near future.
If I catch it early enough, how can I kill it?
The answer is simple and one of my prided gardening secrets. But once I share it, all I ask it that you tell as many fellow gardeners as you can. Agreed?
And the undisclosed crop growing tip is…? [drum rolls in background] Alkaline water.
Yup. You read that correctly. It’s just that simple, folks.
If you spot those nasty white spots soon enough, break out the spray bottle, fill it with alkaline water that test at 9.5 pH, and merely mist your ladies each morning after your grow space lights turn on for the day until the fungus is no longer among us.
This application can be used for plants that are in the vegetative and flowering stages of their growth cycle.
If you have just one or two plants out of a large plot that’s been infected, it’s best to isolate those plants if possible while they undergo treatment. But if you don’t have the room to quarantine the contaminated ladies, make sure you spray all the girls in all your room(s) just to ensure they don’t cross infect each other.
Keep in mind that misting your girls with water that is alkaline is fine at any time and makes for an inexpensive way to keep powdery mildew at bay. (Dr. Seuss, is that you?)
Keep it clean in order to keep it green, my fellow growers of the good-good!