Ending the Bud Rot Blues

QUESTION: What causes bud rot and how can I get rid of it? It seems like the biggest colas are always the ones that are attacked?

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.

bud rot or bud mold is badThe 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.

Check out my book The Secrets of the West Coast Masters: Uncover the Ultimate Techniques for Growing Medical Marijuana to learn our secrets on how to yield over a pound per plant in as little as a 4’x4’ space.
–@Dru West

Have a question? Email us at stuffstonerslike [at] yahoo.com and we will be happy to answer it.

4 Responses to “Ending the Bud Rot Blues”

  1. Richard Vert

    Thank you ! I’ve been learning everything the hard way for the last 3 years. Finally I have the perfect White Widow grow nearing completion and want my bud rot tool box packed with knowledge. I had it destroy some plants last year and ain’t havin’ no more of it. Knowledge is power folks. Pass it on. Again, Thanks !

  2. desert dan

    I have bud rot ,but grow outside in the desert 105 degrees Never more humid than 50%. I have 4″ diameter buds and it seems the are too thick to get sun inside. The insides of buds are yellow and turn brown at harvest. I can’t figure this out. Has occurred several times. I think I need to top main stem, where problem occurs but this can lead to storm damage.

  3. Michele

    I also live in desert..no humidity and extremely hot. My plants are outside in the wind which provides plenty of air circulation. But my buds appear to have bud rot. Anything else or could be..pls help

  4. John

    I grow in the desert. I have had the same problem. Indica is extremely difficult to grow in the desert. I gave up and I grow sativa or Indica Sativa hybrid and have had fantastic results. I trade my very high quality outdoor sativa for indoor indica.

Leave a Reply