For many years, fungicides represented the best way to prevent plant diseases on cannabis and other agricultural crops. Over the past few decades, however, consumers and producers alike have grown wary of extensive fungicide use. Although an effective way to control powdery mildew on cannabis, widespread application of fungicides can have several adverse consequences. Instead, many growers are moving toward organic cannabis production that does not rely on chemical fungicides.
The Downside of Using Fungicides to Control Powdery Mildew
A fungicide is any compound that inhibits the growth of fungal spores or filaments. In practice, fungicides are typically strong chemicals that require careful handling. They are applied to plants showing some form of fungal contamination, although other growers may apply them prophylactically to prevent an outbreak of disease.
There are several downsides to use fungicides to control powdery mildew on cannabis. First, many medical marijuana users receive treatment for serious health conditions. Fungicides are potent chemicals that may have adverse side effects on human health. Unlike fruits and vegetables, consumers cannot wash their cannabis before using to cleanse it of fungicides. Thus, the extensive use of fungicides on growing plants represents a potential threat to human health. Although fungicides have been approved for agricultural use for many years, consumers are often wary of these chemicals.
Additionally, widespread application of fungicides may have downsides for the environment. Fungicidal chemicals may harm the broader environment, making them inappropriate for longer term use.
Control Powdery Mildew on Cannabis without Fungicides
There are several methods to control powdery mildew on cannabis without fungicides. The first is to find alternative sprays that can reduce powdery mildew growth on plants. Powdery mildew spores prefer a slightly acidic environment in which to grow. Thus, applying a basic (alkaline) solution to the plants can inhibit the growth of mildew. Begin by adding 3 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate) to a gallon of water. Spray plants with this alkaline spray to inhibit powdery mildew growth. Milk diluted with water is another popular alkaline solution to spray on plants.
To prevent powdery mildew spores from infecting your grow room in the first place, your best bet is to invest in an air purification system. Top of the line air purifiers trap powdery mildew spores that are circulating throughout the ambient environment. They destroy all spores that come into contact with a specialized reactor, keeping the air free of fungal spores and other pathogenic threats to cannabis plant health.