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Once we harvest our plants we can’t yet relax, for they could develop botrytis during the drying process. That’s why we recommend to carefully check the humidity level inside the drying room and never let it raise above 50-60%. Proper air circulation inside it is also advisable. Many growers use small grow tents with the corresponding fan and carbon filter; in this way, they enable proper air circulation while filtering the intense smell of the plants.
Bud with symptoms of botrytis
Unless temperature and especially humidity and air renovation conditions are really poor, it is rare to find botrytis on indoor plants. If we do find it, it will be probably caused by excessive environmental humidity and/or poor air circulation inside the grow room. This can be easily fixed by using the appropriate air extractor fans for the lighting systems and the volume of our grow room.
Botrytis on indoor marijuana plants
Botrytis can reproduce sexually or asexually, feeding on tissues of the host plant. There are 22 species and a hybrid among the Botryotinia genus; the one that interest us, called Botrytis cinerea, is actually used in vineyards to produce noble wines of excellent quality, since this fungus increases sugar levels on grape and highly improves the organoleptic features of the wines produced from it. Let’s see now how to identify, prevent and treat an infection of Botrytis.
Thus, our best option to avoid these situations is always using a preventive against caterpillars during summer (dor example, with Bacillus Thuringiensis) and until our plants end the pre-flowering stage. It is important to remember that this is a preventive action (directly against caterpillars and indirectly against botrytis) so we must use the product even if we don’t see any caterpillar on our plants (BT is especially efficient against larvae, not to eradicate adults).
Another possible source of infection are caterpillars, a true classic in many gardens during autumn. Apart from the damages caused by their eating action (twisted leaves, drilled buds, etc) they literally drill our buds, so that rains or dew fill the orifices left by the caterpillars and enable the development of botrytis. The typical symptoms of an infection of botrytis are bud rot, which acquires a brown/grey colour and completely changes its texture, which becomes cottony and brittle. A typical early symptom are whitered bud leaves: if we remove the bud, we’ll probably see botrytis between the main stem and the flower. In this case, we should remove all infected buds and immediately treat the plant with some fungicide product, provided that we’re still on time (we don’t recommend any treatment if plants are about to be harvested).
Some growers cover their plants when autumn rains begin using greenhouse plastic and a simple structure so plants don’t get wet due to rains or dew. We can find different preventive products on the market for this fungus, either organic or chemical. We recommend using an organic preventive during the beginning of the flowering stage, especially if the plants are located on a humid/rainy area. The drying process of our outdoor harvest can bring the same problems than we can find in indoor grows, so keeping a moderate humidity level in the drying room is essential.
Bud rot (botrytis or grey mold) is a fungus that affects many different plant species. In the case of cannabis plants, bud rot prefers to infest the stems inside the colas themselves. That makes botrytis hard to detect in the early stages of infestation. Once it gets a foothold, though, it will spread fast, eating its way through the whole bud and threatening other plants nearby. Bud rot produces airborne spores that can lay waste to entire tents or garden patches in no time.
Once a bud gets hit by mold, it becomes unfit for consumption. Smoking weed with bud rot is dangerous: you really don’t want fungus in your lungs. If the bud rot hasn’t spread far yet, you can remove infested buds and leave the rest of the plant intact. If you detect multiple moldy buds, it’s probably best to get drastic and remove the whole plant, root and branch. The sooner you act, the better.
What Is Bud Rot?
Grapefruit Superstar is a super-sativa and know to be resistant against top rot!
One of the ways to improve humidity and ventilation conditions is defoliation, or cutting away excess foliage. Dense canopies impede air circulation and increase humidity. Keep your plants pruned to make bud rot conditions less inviting. Supercropping can be a useful technique here, increasing the space between branches and buds.
By contrast, Cannabis indica is more adapted to the dry mountain air of its central Asian origins. Buds on indica-dominant strains tend to be more compact than their sativa counterparts. Grown in damp climates, they have less natural protection against mold like bud rot. Still, as mentioned, most of today’s strains combine sativa and indica traits in their genetic makeup. That brings out the best of both worlds, with increased fungal resistance as an added benefit.