So you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis garden? Congratulations! But you’ll want to keep in mind just how much work it is to maintain a garden.
This is because marijuana plants are fickle and require certain conditions to thrive in. Without those conditions, you may find that your garden underperforms or, in the case of pests, is decimated.
We’re breaking down the common pest types of pests to keep in mind and how to keep them away when taking care of your garden. If you’re curious about how to start on the right foot, check out this guide here.
Unfortunately, aphids are common in just about any garden, regardless of what you’re growing. They’re stubborn, a bit odd-looking, and downright annoying. When it comes to aphids, specifically root aphids that often target weed plants, you’ll want to keep these guys away.
How to Spot Aphids:
Root aphids like to hang around the root of your plants and can vary in neutral colors. Some adults may have wings while younger variations may not which can make it a bit difficult to tell the difference between these and other pests.
Ideally, you’ll be able to catch an aphid problem before any negative effects take over your plants, but sometimes you may not spot it until after. In this case, look for stunted growth and hardened or yellowed roots.
How to Keep Aphids Away:
You can purchase a chemical treatment that can be sprayed on the soil to keep aphids away or infect any currently on the plant.
Beyond this, you might also consider using natural alternatives such as essential or citrus oils to help ward off infestations.
Spider mites can be a pain and lead to horrible effects on the plant despite being one of the smallest pests. While the above aphids target the root of the plants, spider mites stick to the underside of leaves, where they will consume the plant.
How to Spot Mites:
These little spider mites like to stick to the bottom of leaves, and when they’ve taken over that plant, there will be little white dots on the leaves.
Additionally, spider mites, as the name suggests, have traits of a spider, one of which includes their ability to spin webs. The small webs can be an indicator of a spider mite infestation.
How to Keep Mites Away:
Spider mites will be happiest when they’re on a plant that is in a warm and dry environment.
Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your plants are in a humid and cooler environment so that spider mites don’t find the space habitable.
If you’re already suffering from an infestation, appropriate solutions will need to be examined based on your plants’ stage of life.
3. Fungus Gnats
Flying, and varying in dark colors, fungus gnats often look like other wandering insects, but they can be much more devastating.
From the time they are larvae, when they attack your plant’s root in the dirt, to the time they are fully developed and stick to the flowers, you’ll want to avoid these ones.
How to Spot Gnats:
Poor appearance in roots can be an indicator of these fungus gnats. You’ll always want to check your plant routinely for fully-developed gnats. They tend to stick to flowering parts of the plants.
How to Keep Gnats Away:
Avoid overwatering your plants or allowing them to grow excessive fungus, which is what these gnats are drawn to.
It’s also recommended that you add a finer layer to the top of your soil that helps prevent these gnats from laying larvae in the soil.
General Tips for Monitoring Marijuana Plants
In addition to the above common pest warning signs, it’s important to generally monitor your plants for health. Warning signs of a problem can include:
- Dead leaves
- Brittle, hard roots
- Spots (white or dark)
- Excessive fuzz
- Any additional changes or shifts
If you’re properly monitoring your plant for changes, you can address them earlier on, which may mean the difference between saving your plant or having to start over.
Also, be sure to continue regular uptake on your plants, which includes trimmings and other maintenance. If you’re looking to minimize waste and maximize reuse, check out this post on how to reuse trimmings from Veriheal.
Maintaining cannabis plants is a big undertaking when it comes to growing. In addition to making sure they have the perfect environment to thrive in, you’ll also need to keep watch to ensure that none of these common pests are threatening your plants’ well-being. Happy growing!