When it comes to growing cannabis, there can be certain issues when it comes to insect and fungal infestations, which are incredibly dangerous for your plants. When it comes to preventing any sort of infestation, it’s important to know how to detect and eliminate it.
Rust, for example, is a fungal illness that can appear in any cannabis plant during the spring and the rainier times of year. Rust is an illness produced by fungi and it’s highly infectious from plant to plant.
What is Rust?
Rust is an illness caused by Puccinia and Melampsora fungi. It tends to show up on leaves, although it can also attach stems and branches. It’s quite common in areas that are excessively humid and not well ventilated.
This infection is caused by spores called urediniospores, which travel with the wind and can stay active for at least 50 days, which makes it easy for them to spread. Rust generally attacks weak and stressed cannabis plants indoors, in greenhouses and outdoors. Plus, it can appear in all types of substrates.
How to Detect Rust
It’s important to detect a rust infection as soon as possible; once it’s started, it can cause serious damage. When your plant becomes infected, rust gets below the skin and spreads throughout the entire plant.
However, this infection is easy to identify due to the small brown and orange bumps it leaves on the bottom side of the leaves, and sometimes on the stems. The upper parts tend to have yellow stains and general colour loss. It can also be identified via the sticky substance it leaves behind on plants.
It tends to develop along the lower leaves of the plant, moving upwards as it spreads and causing infected leaves to fall off. This weakens your plants more and more, and it can even reach the stem which causes complete plant death. Rust is incredibly hard to get rid of once it starts, so we recommend preventing it as much as possible.
How to Prevent Rust
Rust is an incredibly dangerous pathogen for your cannabis plants, especially if detected during the flowering period. If you have an indoor grow, it’ll be much easier for you to maintain stable parameters in as far as temperature, humidity and ventilation.
Fortunately, there are various preventive products and growing practices you can take into account in order to avoid a rust infection:
- The most important thing to do is to keep your growing area clean, whether it’s indoors, outdoors or in a greenhouse. This also means changing your clothes before going to check your plants and washing your hands before touching them.
- In indoor grows, it’s incredibly important to have a well-ventilated area in order to avoid accumulations of hot air. You should also have fans designed to stimulate natural wind movement, and make sure to keep humidity levels down.
- In outdoor grows, keep your plants in a sunny area with plenty of space in between then to avoid extra humidity.
- As a preventive measure, we recommend using Ekisan by Trabe, a product made using horsetail, which is environmentally friendly but highly toxic for fungus like rust, as well as other common cannabis fungi.
- Use an aired substrate that drains well, which can also help to keep these insects at bay; they spread much easier in humid environments.
How to Get Rid of Rust
If you’ve managed to detect the presence of rust in your cannabis plants when it’s just starting to spread, you may be able to get rid of it using fungicides.
Copperprot by Prot-Eco is a leaf fertilizer that’s used to prevent and even cure rust infections, as well as other fungal infections such as alternaria, botrytis and more. It’s also used to correct copper deficiencies in cannabis.
If you find signs of rust during the growth stage, you can stop it using Lexor 25, a chemical fungicide that’s made using Difenoconazole, a chemical component that acts via contact and systemically against rust, oidium and alternaria. Do not due this product during the flowering period due to its long safety period and the amount of residue it can leave behind on your plants’ flowers.
If you don’t detect this infection on time and it goes too far, we recommend removing the infected plant from your growing area so that it doesn’t spread to the rest of your plants.
If you have any questions regarding rust or the fungus that causes it, get in touch with our team of professionals; we’ll help you out!