Cannabis, much like other plants, is susceptible to a variety of pests, diseases, and fungi, including whiteflies, mildew, and more. But none of them are as threatening as bud rot, a tough fungal infection that targets the precious buds of your plants and destroys them in a matter of days.
Luckily, there is plenty you can do to deal with bud rot if it strikes and prevent your plants from an attack in the future.
Bud rot is an infection that affects cannabis plants. As the name suggests, it is characterized by a harsh mold that builds up and destroys the buds of a flowering plant.
Bud rot can be tricky to spot and only starts producing clear visual cues once it is already well underway attacking your plants. The earliest signs of this infection are usually dry, yellow leaves with no clear cause that usually pop up from one day to another (especially after heavy rain).
Once it develops, the fungus tends to look white and hairy, like the regular fungus that you might find on old leftovers in your fridge. From there, bud rot usually starts to look dark brown, black, or even slightly purple. Eventually, buds can become completely covered in a thick, dark dust, and become soft and almost mushy to the touch.
Other buds may become dry and dark. If you break open an infected bud, you’ll usually find the fungus embedded deep inside the flower itself.
Bud rot is caused by a fungus known as Botrytis cinerea. The fungus usually strikes the inside of the buds first, then slowly starts working its way out. It can also affect other plants like grapes, strawberries, and peonies.
The fungus is usually spread from one plant to another via strong winds and rain which help transport the fungal spores. It then infects a new host via a wound (such as a a little cut caused in the stem from training or wind, as well as damage caused by caterpillars or similar bugs).
Once the fungus finds and successfully infects a new host, it thrives on tight, humid conditions.
Because bud rot affects the individual buds of the cannabis plant, it can potentially destroy a harvest by rendering the buds completely non smokeable. Luckily, there are some simple steps to dealing with the fungus when it strikes:
Just because fungal spores are spread onto your plants, that doesn’t mean that they will automatically develop bud rot. In fact, by making simple adjustments to the environment you’re growing in, you can easily cut back the fungus’ chances of developing and affecting your plants.
Bud rot can destroy entire harvests if not dealt with quickly and effectively. At the same time, it needs particularly humid, hot, and still conditions to germinate. Hence, as long as you keep a close eye on your plants and provide them with just the right amount of air circulation, heat, and humidity, you should be safe from this killer fungus.