Diseases Affecting Marijuana - Identification And Control

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Pests aren't the only infiltrators of the cannabis growers best laid plants!  Diseases and fungus' can also attack your cannabis crop.  In fact, many pests facilitate and carry organisms that can wreak real havoc on your gardening efforts.

Disease carrying pests, as noted previously, can thwart your best efforts at varying stages of growth, depending on the carrier and the preferred area of your plants and its particularly vulnerable stage of life.  Some prey on the young and weak, others prefer a more formidable host.

Plant diseases fall into two categories:  fungal and bacterial.  When diseases hit, the entire plant is usually infected and can spread if not treated.  The most effective control is prevention, but as we all know, sometimes tender loving care can be blind-sided by sneak attacks. 

Fungal viruses are the result of high humidity, very wet growing conditions and/or an improper acidity level.  Light can also be a factor depending on your growing method.  Hydroponic systems lend themselves to the growth of fungus due to light reflecting off the water, creating ideal conditions for fungal invasion.

Fungal spores can be carried to indoor grown cannabis by air currents.  Maintaining a high level air filtration system will catch many spores before they can reach your plants.  Using an air filter with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is advised.  The higher the number, the more effective it will be in catching and trapping pathogens and microscopic fungus carrying insects.

A UVC (germicidal) bulb can also be placed in the air filtration system to further protect your indoor marijuana grow area.  Germicidal lamps give off a light that is harmful to micro-organisms.  It would behoove you to reinforce your air filtration with this mechanism when growing plants indoors.

Bacteria, on the other hand, are likely to attack where low levels of oxygen are present.   Unlike viruses, bacteria can survive in extreme temperatures and in the presence of chemicals.  It forms in the spaces between cells, producing toxins that damage the plant cells.  Bacteria are spread by rain, wind, birds and insects and can be carried in by humans and pets.  Non sterilized gardening tools can also be transporters.

Bacteria are very patient attackers.  They need an open wound in order to do their damage.  If spread to a healthy plant, they will lie dormant until a suitable host is found.  Prevention is the key in maintaining healthy cannabis. 

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