Why do I keep getting powdery mildew in my home grow? That’s a smart valid question to ask if you’re growing cannabis at home and keep getting fungus on your plants.
If you’re frustrated with battling powdery mildew in your personal home grow, and wondering why you keep getting it, we assure you there are reasons. Let us help you get to the bottom of why you keep getting powdery mildew, and then point you in the right direction. But first, a question to the question asker.
Home growers, do you understand precisely how powdery mildew infiltrates and contaminates your cannabis plants, and your grow tent or grow room? If you don’t, you could be among those home growers who get hit with recurring powdery mildew infestations simply because you’re not aware of how it happens. A thorough understanding of how powdery mildew gets into your growing environment, how to best deal with it, and how it affects your plants and the environment (whether a tent or a room) will make you equipped to be successful at preventing powdery mildew problems.
How Does Powdery Mildew Get In?
As far as how powdery mildew comes into the growing environment, it isn’t too complicated. There are a few methods to consider. Powdery mildew spores are airborne and so small that you cannot see them dancing in the air. They can come in through the windows and doors of your home easily. Spores can also come in on people, shoes, hats, shirts, pets, as well as on cannabis clones or plants. Airborne powdery mildew spores fall on your plants and subsequent infections begin, although no symptoms will appear for a few days.
Pro tip: if the humidity of the growing environment is below 55° RH, it is most unlikely powdery mildew problems will arise. Powdery mildew won’t be able to thrive in an environment with low humidity. Keeping your growing environment humidity dialed in below 55% RH as a rule can’t be underestimated when preventing powdery mildew.
The very first indication you have a powdery mildew problem in your home grow is when you notice a white powdery substance forming on the leaves or stems of your cannabis plants. At this point, you have options in terms of how you’ll handle your powdery mildew problem. Some of these options though are better than others.
How to Handle Powdery Mildew
Typical responses include: turning off all fans, cutting and removing the leaves that are visibly infected, spraying with a contact spray killer, or spraying with a preventative spray, or a combination of these strategies. Additionally, next steps would then include sanitizing the grow room environment. If you have a lot of carpeting or wood in your growing environment, that’s bad news for you. It is better to remove carpet and use an anti-microbial sealant on the wood. Hydrogen peroxide or bleach + water are common cleaning solutions for inside tents, floors, walls, fans, etc.
Now let’s review some of the potential steps a home grower might take if they spot powdery mildew in their garden. First, look at the worst options.
If you have powdery mildew and you don’t turn your fans off, and then only used a powdery mildew preventative spray, the odds of recurring infestations are extremely high. Same goes for if you turned your fans off and used a preventative foliar spray. (Preventative sprays are different from contact-killing sprays.) By the way, if you live near lots of vegetation and see instances of powdery mildew in your yard or neighbors yard, or down the street for that matter, you will have yourself a challenge.
Let’s compare the above strategy with a better one. Consider this scenario —
If you have powdery mildew and you…
- Turn all the fans off
- Carefully remove all the leaves with PM
- Spray a contact-killing spray thoroughly to the stems and tops and bottoms of leaves
- After the contact-killing spray is thoroughly dry, apply a PM preventative spray thoroughly to stems and tops and bottoms of leaves
- Clean the environment rigorously from top to bottom.
Now the odds will be much more in your favor to be successful in preventing powdery mildew. With the above 5 steps, you’re likelier to avoid powdery mildew infestations. However, you may believe you followed the 5 steps, yet still get hit with and battle powdery mildew in your home grow. Why? It depends.
There’s actually many potential issues. One may believe they did an excellent job, when in fact they flubbed to some extent on a step or two. Or simply the obvious occurred: the grow tent in a bedroom with the windows open will easily allow for airborne powdery mildew spores to keep flowing in.
Here’s a few areas to think about if you’re getting recurring powdery mildew problems in your home grow.
- If you have a grow space that is always above 55% RH, your environment will be most conducive to PM, so your cannabis plants will be hospitable to powdery mildew infestations. Take that into consideration when you’re evaluating how you got powdery mildew or keep getting it.
- If you are using an air intake air filter, but don’t change the filter regularly, you could be blowing powdery mildew (and other contaminants) previously caught in the filter back into the grow space. When this happens, it’s usually a bad infestation.
- If you don’t clean your grow space as rigorously as necessary, powdery mildew could be an ongoing issue for you.
- If your grow space fans are particularly dirty, they could be attributing to the powdery mildew proliferation problem you’re having.
- Application-mishaps: if you forget to spray your plant’s stems and stalks, or don’t do your sprays thoroughly, or you don’t use the proper application amount, then powdery mildew infestations may occur.
- If you don’t have good eyesight to spot powdery mildew thoroughly, find someone to help you out. Or get better reading glasses or use a jeweler scope to do your inspections. You’d be surprised how many people simply just can’t see what others can easily see. Powdery mildew detection really requires good eyesight.
While the list could go on, it’s important to remember that even when you do your best, failure can still happen and teach us something. Every time you see powdery mildew, you have the opportunity to learn something about your growing environment or your growing practice. You can learn from the challenges you meet, and then make positive change, and become a better cannabis grower because of it.
Your Secret Weapon Against Powdery Mildew
Now that you’re informed about powdery mildew and cannabis, there’s one last grow tip to share about AiroClean420 and Airo Home / Hobby, makers of air sanitization/ purification technology.
Our air purifier in an indoor grow space is the first line of defense against airborne threats like powdery mildew. For the past several years, commercial cannabis farms have been using AiroClean420 to prevent and control powdery mildew. It has been proven effective and the company has since launched a smaller version called the Airo Home Hobby.
Both the AiroClean420 and Airo Home Hobby devices are extremely safe, energy-efficient, and provide long-term effective protection. The technology used is called PCO (photocatalytic oxidation) and has been used to purify air in food, wine, medicine, and even spacecraft.
Our device is not a filter that captures and traps contaminants in the air. It actually explodes contaminants instead of trapping them. PCO technology is unique because as air gets pulled into the device, contaminants on a subatomic level are destroyed and the only emitted bi-product is trace elements of water vapor. You can count on zero harmful emissions!
In layman terms, each AiroClean420 and Airo Home Hobby unit has a fan and a bio-conversion reactor bed that has a membrane catalyst. The bio-conversion reactor bed utilizes a proprietary light source (UV Light) to excite this catalyst. When this occurs, then hydroxyl radicals are formed on the surface of the catalyst. As the environment’s air gets pulled through the bio-conversion reactor bed, anything like powdery mildew of other bacteria and fungal diseases get totally eliminated, decimated and obliterated into trace elements of water vapor.
It’s not a silver bullet, but it might be the missing link in your home grow system, as Marc Eden, cannabis podcaster and home grower recently shared with us.
By integrating PCO air purification into your home grow, you can prevent powdery mildew like professionals do. There’s also a manufacturer warranty, and the Airo Home Hobby should last 8-10 years when you keep up with regular maintenance of the machine. Maintenance includes yearly bulb change and quarterly filter changes, and you will receive reminders from the company. The filters protect the inside catalyst, and the bulbs activate it.
Preventing powdery mildew problems with AiroClean420 and Airo Home Hobby is not only helpful, it saves you headaches and significant money over the long run. Get started with one today. Payment plans are available and free shipping is offered in the contiguous United States.
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