Welcome to “Cannabis Growing Pest Control: Cannabis Cultivation 101” at PSM, where our commitment goes beyond providing the finest cannabis seeds. Empowering our customers with essential knowledge is our goal, ensuring they can grow robust and thriving cannabis plants.
In our previous Cannabis 101 blogs, we’ve explored cloning and germinating seeds. Now, we turn our attention to a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation – managing common cannabis pests. Join us as we delve into effective pest control strategies to safeguard your precious plants.
Let’s equip you with the skills to conquer pests and cultivate a successful cannabis garden.
The Need for Pest Management in Cannabis Cultivation
Just like in any cultivation, pests threaten the health of your cannabis plants. They can eat at your plant, compete for resources with your plant, or they can spread diseases to your plant.
There are three goals when it comes to pest management:
- Prevention – stopping pests from becoming a problem in the first place.
- Suppression – limiting the number of pests that already exist.
- Eradication – completely eliminating pest populations that get out of control.
Even indoor cultivators need to consider a pest management plan that works best for them. Just because your plants are inside, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe!
Types of Commons Pests
The most common types of pests that you will find on cannabis plants are insects, fungi, nematodes, bacteria, and viruses.
- Insects are the first pests to come to mind when thinking about what can hurt your plant. Insects eat plants, but they also secrete substances or lay eggs on the plants that can damage them as well. Because insects can also promote the growth of fungi and carry viruses, an actual bug itself may not be the first sign of an infestation.
- Checking both sides of your plant’s leaves for white spots, dark spots, fuzzy patches, or any other irregularities can tip you off that you may have a bug problem. Also, be aware of any larvae or eggs, as these are signs of an infestation.
- Fungi can rot and decompose your cannabis plants, causing them to die. They can appear on any part of the plant (from the leaves to the roots). Mold, a type of fungus, is more likely to attack during the flowering phase of your plant, so make sure to be extra aggressive with your pest control during this time.
- Mold is not safe for your plants and also not safe for humans; so if your plant has mold, you will need to discard it so no one accidentally comes in contact with it.
- Nematodes are microscopic parasitic worms that feed on the plant cells of cannabis plants. Because of their size, they are difficult to identify and control. Though nematodes can attack any part of the cannabis plant, five out of the six species of nematodes eat the roots.
You will be able to tell when nematodes have been feeding on your plants when the roots are yellowish, withered, or stunted, or you notice the plant is not producing as much as it usually does. The telltale signs that nematodes are the source of this damage are that there will be small sores or wounds on the roots, injured root tips, root rot, or excessive branching.
Natural Ways to Manage Pests in Your Home Cannabis Grow
Selecting natural ways to manage pests will benefit your plants, yourself, and the environment. Here are 5 natural methods that will be good for your home grow and bad for pests:
Neem oil can be used to kill adult pests and prevent eggs from growing when sprayed on leaves, and it can prevent pests from eating at the roots by soaking the roots in the oil. Instead of killing every bug in sight, including good bugs like ladybugs, butterflies, and bees, neem oil targets pests alone.
When neem oil is applied to cannabis plants from a young age, it can deter most pathogens, molds, and insects.
Homemade Foliar Sprays
You don’t have to buy fancy leaf sprays to keep your plants safe. Using homemade sprays during the vegetation phase (not the flowering phase!) will be a natural way to deter pests.
Here are some examples of foliar sprays that have easy recipes available online:
- Tomato and tobacco spray
- Garlic oil spray
- Essential oil spray
- Coriander tea spray
- Salt spray
- Hot pepper spray
Companion planting is the practice of planting complementary plants next to each other for mutual protection. For example, marigolds release a chemical into the soil that destroys bad nematodes and repels root aphids, and cilantro repels spider mites and aphids.
Additionally, some plants attract insects that are natural predators of pests, like sunflowers and foxglove.
Pheromone traps let out natural pheromones that pests follow in order to mate. The insects follow the pheromones and get stuck in the glue of the trap. It is important to note: pheromone traps are not used for the prevention of pests, but rather for the suppression of pest populations.
Introducing predators is a great way to control the population of pests in your home grow. It’s one of the most natural ways to get rid of pests – it’s the circle of life, after all! Once you have identified the type of pest you have, you can find the predator of that pest and watch them go to work for you.
Overall, managing pests is crucial for the success of your cannabis plants. And, as you can see from this blog, you can surely prevent or control pests using natural methods. If you still have questions about pest control or about our seeds, reach out to us! We are here to help your cannabis cultivation thrive.
Stay tuned to the PSM Blog Page for more pertinent information regarding our seeds, ongoing hemp/cannabis education, and independent grower resources to help you along! Please check out our FAQ page for more information on statewide shipping. All of our products are in accordance with the Hemp Farming Act Of 2018. Want more information on cannabis cultivation? Contact us here. Reach out to us for any questions, and let’s make your cannabis cultivation a success!
*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.*