A controlled growth environment with plants that are not excessively stressed is essential for research and healthy yield production of cannabis. Insect pests, pathogens and molds can cause subtle changes in gene expression or plant metabolism that affect research and plant yields. Therefore, regular inspections for infestations, frequent cleaning of plant growth areas, proper disposal of dead or diseased plant material, and controlled access to the growth rooms will help to make research more reproducible and plant yields more healthy and reliable.
Powdery mildew, a fungal pathogen, and arthropod pests, including aphids, thrips, fungus gnats, and spider mites, are the most common problems. This protocol describes bio – protocols utilizing botanical insect and pathogen control by means of maintaining optimal growth conditions, promptly disposing of dead or diseased plant material, and the use of botanically derived biodegradable environmentally sound PreVasive’ products. Included are recommendations for environmental controls, controlled access in growing rooms and infestation event mitigation.
Successful cannabis agri-business require healthy plants that are free from pests and diseases. As plants are grown from seed or clone, have a short life cycle, and are often raised in grow rooms rather than greenhouses, it is possible to maintain an almost entirely pest-free growth environment. However, almost always; pests including insects, mites, and pathogens do sometimes find their way into growth facilities. Early recognition, treatment, and continuous monitoring are important to preventing a pest outbreak from getting out of control.
Many pests, including, aphids, thrips, spider mites, white flies and powdery mildew, can become pervasive in cannabis growing facilities. Consistent greenhouse practices used in the care of other plant species can be applied similarly well to preventing pest and pathogen infestations of cannabis growing operations. This protocol focuses on the monitoring and management of pests and pathogens that are frequently found on cannabis. It also includes a general description of plant symptoms, life cycles of the most common pests, and PreVasive’ treatment options.
Always use clean or new pots and trays. For potting soil, use bagged, commercial, peat-based soilless mixes. If pots or flats must be reused, they should be cleaned thoroughly with PreVasive’s BAC botanical antimicrobial cleaner solution rinsing with water afterward., then reapply BAC as a residual surface coating.
Dead Plant Material
Remove dead or dying plants in the growing areas. When plants are no longer needed, bag them tightly and remove them from the growth facility. Also, remove cells that do not have any sprouted seeds from plant flats. These cells will stay damper than ones with plants growing in them and can provide a breading environment for fungus gnats and diseases.