Mildeeeww, it's disgusting, isn't it! It's that unmistakable smell and look that brings you back to the time you forgot to clean out your lunchbox on friday, only to open it on monday morning with a new species growing on your old food.
Not only can it attack your lunchbox, but your marijuana plants as well! White Powdery Mildew, a.k.a. White Mold or Oidium is a parasitic fungus (meaning it latches on to other organisms and takes nutrients from them). This mildew is from the erysiphales family and attacks the above-ground parts of the plant. But I know none of you care about that blah blah, you just want to know how to get rid of it!
Unfortunately these mildew spores get around quite easily being carried around through air ventilation systems, the wind, your pets, even you! The spores stay idle until the environmental factors are perfect for it to start growing.
Once they lay down on their host leaf they will grow rootlets. Warm temperatures and high humidity levels are ideal for the spores to latch on to your plant and start leaching on it. Overcrowding of your cannabis plants can also encourage this mildew to develop.When leaves of one plant is touching another plant's leaves then it is highly likeable to spread fast and easily. This makes it just that much more difficult to get rid of it. Young plants are higher at risk as it attacks them first.
Indoor and outdoor plants are both at risk of being affected by White Mold. It's easily diagnosed.The first signs of it, before the powder begins to form, are small bumps that can be found on the top side of the infected leaves. After it develops on the leaves it moves inward toward the stems and then to your marijuana buds. Infected buds will smell damp. It will completely destroy the resin on your bud and make it completely useless and unable to smoke.Trust me, you don't want to inhale these fungus spores! In the second phase your marijuana leaves will turn yellow and end up drying out. You need to catch and stop Powdery Mildew before it really starts to slow down photosynthesis in your plant causing it to ruin your harvest.
Luckily for all of us, it's not only easily preventable, but also treatable. Of course I would advise you to take the necessary measures and prevent it from ever affecting your plants instead of having to treat it. When you first start off your plants or transplant them to their final location, give them plenty of room to grow and mature. Don't let the plants grow to touch each other. You already decrease your chances of dealing with this mildew just by doing that alone.
It's also important to water your plants at a time that they will be getting at least 5 hours of light afterwards. UVC lightening is great to use if you're growing indoors; it will prevent the mildew spores from going after your prized plants.
Trimming off your fan leaves that don't get much direct sunlight may prevent mildew from attacking your plant, because it takes away an optimal spot for it to land and start growing rootlets. The added bonus in doing this is that it allows your plant to put for more energy towards its other leaves and growing bud rather than upkeeping leaves that don't get sunlight.
If you catch it on time, you can get rid of Powdery Mildew. All you really need are some things you probably already have at home! You will need 2 or 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar that has 5% acetic acid and a gallon of water. Mix it together and spray it on your plants. You can even do this before you actually have a mildew problem as a way to prevent it. Take care not to use too much vinegar as it can burn plants. If your mildew problem has progressed quite far then using an apple cider vinegar concentration of higher than 5% may be needed.
A mixture of milk and water is another easy way to fight against Powdery Mildew. Weekly spray your plants (when they are going to have light for a few hours) with the mixture of 1 part milk to 9 parts water. The reason why this strange concoction works for mildew is that milk's protein reacts to sun and light and creates an antiseptic. You can increase the ratio of milk to water, but don't go overboard as it can have adverse side effects.
If you're dealing with infected plants, and you're disposing of leaves or other affected trimmings, be sure to get rid of it in closed plastic bags as the spores can easily escape and manage to find its way to other plants.
Although Powdery Mildew may seem like a big and disgusting problem at first, it's cheap and easy to fix. Just keep an eye on your plants and make sure to catch it before it spreads!
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