How to spot, treat and prevent bud rot?
Jun 10, 2016
Categories : Cannabis cultivation
Bud rot or “Botrytis cinerea” is just as disastrous as it sounds. The idea of your beloved buds rotting from the inside out is enough to send shivers down the spine of weed smokers across the land. It can spread quickly and quietly like a silent assassin with the potential to cripple an entire crop. Now before we start boarding up our doors and placing our precious cannabis plants in quarantine, there are some simple ways to spot and prevent the dreaded rot. To make things even better, even if the spores that spread bud rot do get into your growing area, with the right conditions they will never germinate, rendering them useless, see, not all bad news!
Let us start with the first step, how to identify bud rot. Being able to spot the signs early and taking the necessary action can make all the difference between losing a few plants and the entire grow, a thought that makes us all shudder.
How to Identify Bud Rot
A keen eye is a skill all weed growers should be well versed in, so looking for changes in your plants will already be part of your everyday process for the grow stages. Usually only visible in certain areas of your cannabis plants, like the bigger or more dense buds, although sometimes it can cause dry patches all over the plant. It will look like areas of the plant that are completely drying up, buds, pistils, and leaves rather than a specific part of the plant.
Dead spots on your plants are usually enough to send alarm bells ringing but other signs are a fluffy white mould appearing on the outside of the buds. This represents the first stage in bud rot and if caught quickly can be treated. It does not take long for this white fluff to germinate though and as such can be difficult to catch if plants are not checked regularly. When faced with advanced bud rot, the buds will easily separate, crumbling in your hands so you can see inside. The bud itself will be dark on the inside or a gray/brown colour with a dusty nature when broken apart. This “dust” is the fungus spores that spread the bud rot.
How to Treat Bud Rot
Now it is not all fire and brimstone, as you'll be pleased to know that once bud rot has started the only cure is not complete destruction of your grow. The trick is to remove the affected buds as quickly as possible without coming into contact with any other parts of the plant. The fungus spores are easily carried in the wind or rain so depending on your growing area this can be easier said then done. Any and all signs of the Botrytis fungus should be immediately discarded. Any buds that have started to develop the white fluff or darkened dry patches should be cut off from the affected plants. If the patches are spread across the plant and/or the leaves then its best to remove the entire plant. One lost cannabis plant is better than no weed at all!
How to Prevent Bud Rot
The step you've probably all been waiting on, there are in fact ways to completely prevent bud rot from developing. The same techniques for preventing it can also be used to halt bud rot in its tracks if you are unfortunate enough to have developed it in your grow.
1) Air Circulation. Ensure there is always plenty of moving through and around the buds and leaves, Depending on your growing area this can be a difficult task, especially if your grow area is outdoors.
2) Don't let your plants get cold. Temperatures warmer than 68°F or 20°C help prevent those fungus spores from germinating and taking hold.
3) Don't let your cannabis plants become wet. Allowing buds to sit in damp or overly humid conditions for too long is giving the fungus its ideal breeding ground. All fungus thrives on wet environments so this step is key.
4) Be ruthless. If you suspect any of your buds of being afflicted, its best to cut your losses. Carefully removing them without coming into contact with any other parts of the same plant or any other plants full stop will help. It is always better to lose a few plants and give yourself a chance to think about your growing environment. What steps could you have taken to prevent it, so the next attempt is bursting with the best buds for the best weed.