Fungi and pests in cannabis
If you've ever had a vegetable garden you'll know that pests and insects can be a real headache and unfortunately cannabis is no exception. Today we bring you natural and homemade repellents to combat these pests, so that our plant remains strong and overcomes any complications and then enjoy a good harvest.
Some of the most common pests that usually attack our marijuana plants can be:
Red spider miteThey feed on the sap and are one of the worst pests because they reproduce very quickly. We can identify them as they leave small yellow spots on the leaves.
Black fly is another pest that can cause headaches in the growing process. While not a lethal pest, it steals energy from the plant and can lead to fungal infections. These insects lay their eggs under the first layer of substrate, so using a natural insect repellent can help repel them.
Thrips and aphids: Both are usually found on the underside of the leaf or lurking on the stem. They feed on the sap and leaves of the plant, weakening it and reducing its growth.
Caterpillars: one of the worst enemies, as they can devour the plant in a jiffy, but not only the leaves, they usually eat... the buds! The best strategy is to watch out for the eggs to prevent them from hatching. You can find them, yellow, small and half-transparent, on the back of the leaf. Another indication that you have caterpillars are black spots (feces) and bite marks on the leaves.
Natural repellents and insecticides
One might think that the marijuana plant is more resistant to pests and insects thanks to its leaves and buds loaded with resin, cannabinoids and terpenes, which gives rise to the strong smell it produces, but the reality is that our cannabis plants also suffer from this during their growth.
There are several natural repellents and insecticides that we can use to keep insects and fungi at bay, but without filling our plant with chemicals.
One of the most famous natural repellents is Neem oil. This is a natural insect repellent that is especially effective against soft insects. It can prevent infestation of aphids, thrips, maullilybugs, spider mites and whiteflies. It is also useful in controlling the growth of fungus gnats. It is a great solution for controlling insect pests in the garden, and can be applied to young cannabis plants.
Unlike chemical sprays, it does not cause any harmful side effects to beneficial insects. However, it is important to note that it can only be applied to plants during the vegetation phase as it can affect trichome production during flowering.
Another option we have is to put together a foliar spray fertilizer. This can also be a good way to supplement the nutritional needs of your plants.
Foliar spraying, although not a substitute for healthy soil, can be beneficial to our plant if it is suffering from nutrient deficiencies.
There are several types of foliar spray options available and it will depend on what is affecting your plant. For example, a mixture of garlic, alcohol and water will combat various insects, while a mixture of water and horsetail (yes, as you read) will protect your plant from various types of harmful fungi.
Highly aromatic essential oils can also be used to deter pests. These oils are safe for use around cannabis plants and are highly effective when applied in controlled amounts. Similarly, cannabis plants absorb nutrients through their leaves, making them more resistant to pest attack.
Diatomaceous earth, best friend of our crop.
Diatomaceous earth is another natural repellent that can be sprayed on the ground. It comes from the fossilized remains of tiny marine organisms called diatoms. It is harmless to mammals, but sharpened at the microscopic level it is a natural lethal weapon. It is a safe and effective way to control and prevent pest infestation.
Diatomaceous earth is useful against most types of infestations that can affect your cannabis crop; and unlike chemical insecticides, insects do not develop resistance to the effects of diatomaceous earth, so it does not lose effectiveness over time.
But not everything is solved with neem oil or diatomaceous earth. Something that is totally imperial if we have a cannabis crop is to check it constantly. Our best advice is to dedicate about 5 or 10 minutes a day to go and check the plant, look at it carefully to check for fungus or remove any insects we see.
If you want to know more about how to take care of your crop, don't hesitate to come to Hollyweed BCNOur club members and partners will be happy to share information with you.