As a cannabis cultivator, it’s essential to maintain high-quality standards for your harvest. One of the biggest concerns is powdery mildew, a fungal infection that can drastically reduce your crop’s quality and value. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how to recognize powdery mildew on your plants and provide tips for harvesting, drying, and curing your cannabis to ensure the best quality buds. By following our advice, you can avoid the negative effects of powdery mildew and enjoy a bountiful harvest of potent and flavorful cannabis.
Powdery mildew is a common problem for cannabis cultivators, and it can easily spread to other plants if not dealt with promptly. Symptoms of powdery mildew include white powdery patches on leaves and buds, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth. It’s crucial to catch powdery mildew early and take immediate action to prevent it from spreading.
Where does Powdery Mildew on Cannabis Plants Start
Powdery mildew on cannabis plants is a common fungal disease caused by the pathogen Podosphaera xanthii. This white, powdery substance typically appears on the leaves, stems, and buds of the cannabis plant, and can quickly spread throughout the entire crop if left untreated.
The spores of powdery mildew are spread through the air, and they can also be carried from one plant to another on clothing, tools, or animals. In addition, high humidity and temperatures between 60-80°F provide ideal conditions for the spores to germinate and spread.
Powdery mildew initially appears as small, white spots on the upper surface of the leaves. As the disease progresses, the spots grow and spread, creating a white, powdery coating that covers the entire plant. The leaves can also become distorted, curled, and yellowed, and the plant may stop growing altogether.
If left untreated, powdery mildew can cause significant damage to the cannabis plant, reducing the yield and potency of the crop. It can also compromise the quality and safety of the harvested buds, making them unsuitable for consumption.
To prevent powdery mildew on cannabis plants, growers should ensure good air circulation and maintain proper humidity levels in their grow space. Growers can also use cannabis pruning techniques to improve the airflow around their flowering buds. They should also regularly inspect their plants for signs of disease and promptly remove any infected plant material to prevent the spread of spores.
Can Powdery Mildew Attack Cannabis Seeds?
However, powdery mildew spores can remain on the surface of cannabis seeds, which could potentially lead to the development of powdery mildew in the resulting plants. It’s important to note that powdery mildew is not a seed-borne disease, meaning that it does not infect the seed itself or become an internal part of the plant. This is unlike Damping off which can infect the seeds and the soils, killing cannabis seedlings.
How to Harvest a Crop with Powdery Mildew without Compromising Quality
When it comes to harvesting cannabis with powdery mildew, the first step is to identify the infected plants and remove them from the grow area. It’s also important to inspect surrounding plants for any signs of the disease and take necessary precautions to prevent further spread. If you’re unsure whether a plant is infected, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
Once you’ve removed any infected plants, it’s time to start the harvest process. To ensure the best quality buds, it’s important to harvest at the right time. Look for signs of maturity such as swollen calyxes and a change in color from white to amber. When harvesting, use clean, sharp scissors to cut each branch off at the stem. Be careful not to damage the buds in the process.
After harvesting, it’s time to dry and cure the buds. Proper drying and curing are essential for maintaining the potency and flavor of your cannabis. Hang the branches upside down in a cool, dry place with good airflow, such as a closet or tent. Once the buds are dry, place them in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for several weeks, opening the container periodically to release any built-up moisture.
Cannabis with Powdery Mildew FAQ’s
Q: What is powdery mildew, and how does it affect cannabis plants during harvest?
A: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can infect cannabis plants during the growing season, and if left untreated, it can spread to the buds and impact the quality of the harvest. Powdery mildew appears as a white or grayish powder on the leaves and stems of the plant and can cause yellowing of the leaves and stunted growth. If infected buds are harvested and processed, the powdery mildew can lead to mold growth and affect the potency and flavor of the final product.
Q: How can I prevent powdery mildew from infecting my cannabis plants?
A: Preventing cannabis with powdery mildew starts with maintaining a clean and healthy growing environment. Make sure the grow room or outdoor area is well-ventilated, and air circulation is adequate. Avoid overcrowding plants and ensure they have enough space to grow without touching each other. Regularly inspect plants for signs of disease, and if you spot any infected plants, remove them immediately from the growing area.
Q: Can I harvest cannabis plants infected with powdery mildew?
A: It is not recommended to harvest cannabis plants infected with powdery mildew. Infected buds can contain mold, which can impact the quality of the final product and even be harmful to consume. If you discover powdery mildew on your plants, it’s best to remove infected plants and discard them immediately. If you feel you must harvest buds with powdery mildew please read our guide below on how to wash and clean the buds of mildew.
Q: When is the best time to harvest cannabis plants?
A: The best time to harvest cannabis plants is when the buds have reached their peak potency and flavor. Look for signs of maturity, such as swollen calyxes and a change in color from white to amber. Typically, the ideal time to harvest is when about 50-70% of the trichomes have turned cloudy, with some amber and clear ones remaining.
Q: How should I dry and cure my harvested cannabis buds?
A: Proper drying and curing are essential for maintaining the quality of your cannabis buds. After harvesting, hang the branches upside down in a cool, dry place with good airflow to dry the buds. Once the buds are dry, place them in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Open the container periodically to release any built-up moisture and promote proper curing.
How to Harvest Cannabis with Powdery Mildew
If harvested cannabis buds have been infected with powdery mildew, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions to prevent further spread and ensure the buds are safe for consumption. Here are the steps you can take to wash harvested cannabis buds infected with powdery mildew:
- Fill a large container with lukewarm water and add a small amount of food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can help kill any remaining spores and prevent further spread of the powdery mildew.
- Carefully submerge the harvested buds in the water and gently agitate them for several minutes. Make sure the buds are fully submerged in the water, and don’t handle them too roughly to avoid damaging the trichomes.
- After several minutes, remove the buds from the water and shake off any excess liquid. Place the buds on a clean, dry surface and allow them to air dry completely. Be sure to handle the buds as little as possible during this process.
- Once the buds are dry, inspect them carefully for any remaining signs of powdery mildew. If you still see white powdery patches on the buds, repeat the washing process until the buds are completely clean.
It’s important to note that washing cannabis buds can affect their potency and flavor, so it’s best to avoid washing them unless absolutely necessary. If possible, it’s better to discard infected buds and focus on preventing powdery mildew from spreading to other plants in the future.
Is smoking Cannabis with Powdery Mildew safe for humans?
Smoking cannabis with powdery mildew is not recommended as it can pose potential health risks to humans. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can spread throughout the plant, including the buds, if left untreated. When cannabis buds with powdery mildew are smoked, the spores from the mold can be inhaled into the lungs and cause respiratory problems, especially for individuals with compromised immune systems.
Furthermore, powdery mildew can also produce mycotoxins, which are harmful substances that can be found in moldy cannabis. These toxins can cause adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, and respiratory issues. While some individuals may not experience any adverse effects from smoking cannabis with powdery mildew, it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming moldy cannabis.
To ensure safe consumption, it’s recommended to properly inspect cannabis plants and buds for signs of powdery mildew and discard any infected parts. Additionally, storing cannabis in a cool, dry place with proper airflow can prevent mold growth and ensure a safe and enjoyable cannabis experience.
In conclusion, harvesting cannabis with powdery mildew requires careful attention and proactive measures to prevent further spread. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this post, you can ensure the best possible harvest of potent and flavorful cannabis buds. Remember to always inspect your plants regularly for signs of powdery mildew and take immediate action to prevent it from spreading.