Dru West: Bud rot or Botrytis is one of the nastiest diseases your plants can get. It is a fungus that attacks the plant and then spreads quickly through the buds, destroying everything in its path. The onset of bud rot is mainly caused by four factors:
1. High-humidity (>50%) in a low-temp room (<70 degrees)
2. Lack of sufficient air circulation
3. Dirty pruning scissors
4. Improper removal of fan leaves where small portions of their stems are left un-removed.
Bud rot only shows up indoors when the conditions are right to facilitate its growth. To prevent it from showing up, keep the temperature of your grow room above 70deg and the humidity below 50%. Be sure to water during the beginning of the light cycle and always mop up all standing water. This will help cut down on humidity during the dark hours when it is colder in the room.
The reason the bud rot always seems to attack the biggest colas is because the biggest colas are always the highest points of the plant. There is a constant flow of water and nutrients that originate in the plant’s roots and work their way up through the plant and out the tops (Colas). The nutrients are left behind for the plant to use and the water evaporates away. This process is called transpiration and it is how plants feed themselves. Sometimes though when the buds start to get really big and dense, the water doesn’t evaporate away like it is supposed to and just collects inside the bud. This is a giant invitation for bud rot. The only thing you can do to prevent this in addition to maintaining proper climate is to install proper circulation. Put as many wall-mounted oscillating fans as you can fit in your grow room and keep them blowing on the plants. Not only will this help prevent bud rot, it will also strengthen the plants and help prevent pests as well.
Make sure to keep your pruning scissors sanitized at all times. You wouldn’t want a surgeon to use the same tools he used on the last guy on you without cleaning them first right? Sanitize your garden tools in order to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Don’t just hack away at the plants either. If you have to remove a fan leaf or take a clone, be sure to finish the job properly. Never leave any part of what you are removing intact. Make your cuts as close to the main stalk or branch as possible and make sure it is a clean cut. Remember you are creating open wounds on the plant that are very susceptible to disease like Botrytis, so do it nicely. If done improperly, these wounds will not heal. Buds will eventually grow around these unhealed wounds and create an ideal place for bud rot to thrive and ruin all your hard work.
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