We’ve got good news and bad news when it comes to effectively purging your cannabis garden of Pythium. The good news is Pythium can be treated and eradicated, the bad news is it’s going to cost and it’s always a high a price to pay to defeat an embedded enemy.
Detecting Pythium in the weed garden can be a real head-scratcher. Outdoor growers and indoor out of the bag soil cultivators are not immune to the blight of root fungus either. In fact, Pythium is even more difficult to readily identify in non-hydro grow ops.
Some can be costly but even a modest investment in some budget priced Mycorrhiza and/or liquid enzymes will pay dividends come harvest time.
Hydro growers would be wise to invest in a quality air pump to keep that water bubbly and at room temp, as Pythium prefers a lukewarm low oxygen bath to spore in. Ideally, a misty air gap between roots and the reservoir should be the objective to keep the root zone thriving and Pythium free.
Healthy root zone development can also be encouraged by supplementing your feeding regime with beneficial bacteria and fungi. These days the 21st-century cannabis cultivator is spoiled for choice when it comes to friendly fungi additives.
Battling a Pythium plague is a war of attrition and even if you eventually prevail the damage caused by Pythium is permanent so the grow will invariably be delayed to allow time for the cannabis plants to regain their vitality and marijuana yields are certain to be impacted negatively.
The scary truth about root rot is that it is 100% preventable. Pythium is best avoided altogether but should it happen to strike your root zone it can be treated and often cured.
During vegetative growth, especially when it’s time to transplant, regardless of the cultivation medium cannabis plants are at risk of shock and/or stress if the grower is not diligent. Getting your grow optimally balanced – from nutrients to environmental control, in so far as possible – is the best way to prevent fungus attack.
Leaves can curl, sometimes they drop and sag, all kinds of discolorations from near white to mottled brown spots and every shade of yellow can drive a ganja farmer round the bend with misdiagnosis.
Pythium is a fungus that loves to munch and pollute a cannabis plants root zone. Follow our advice and be prepared to combat root rot in your marijuana crop.
When the heat rises, the water in the hydroponic reservoir physically cannot “hold onto” as much dissolved oxygen, and the plant roots can more easily become starved for oxygen.
I have to admit, I’ve actually thrown a growing cannabis plant away because of root rot – it was several years ago during my first ever try with hydro. I thought I’d tried everything to kill the root rot pathogen, including SM-90 and Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), When the plant wasn’t recovering, I simply trashed it. Looking back now, I see that I could have easily saved that plant.
We lowered the level of the reservoir water by several inches to leave a misty air gap of several inches to feed oxygen directly to the roots, similar to an aeroponic setup. Because of the roiling water below, the air in the tub remains at nearly 100% humidity, with plenty of oxygen to help the roots fight off root rot.
Last, we drained the reservoir, then we mixed new nutrient water with a huge healthy dose of Aquashield (a source of beneficial root bacteria, which is a staple in our hydroponic grow room).
by Sirius Fourside
The real trick to getting rid of root rot is figuring out why it’s attacking your cannabis in the first place. Once you know the root cause, fix that first! After that, you can use root supplements to help your cannabis plant recover from root rot as fast as possible.
One of our plants was affected only slightly (her roots had slight patches of brown, but she didn’t really show any signs of stress above ground). However, the other plant in the tent was struck much worse. She had recently been transplanted into a bigger container, and we suspect that moving her to a new reservoir may have stressed her out slightly, leaving her less resistant to root rot than her sister who wasn’t moved at all.
Root rot is a condition that affects the roots of many plants including cannabis, most commonly in hydroponic setups when the plant is not getting enough oxygen to the roots.
- Reduce heat (high temperature is often a huge contributor to root rot)
- Deliver more oxygen to roots (root rot has difficulty surviving in high oxygen environments)
- Add “good” bacteria to out-compete root rot (certain bacteria is beneficial to your root health, and will help your plants overcome and be protected from root rot)
Learn how one grower was able to recover from root rot in just a few days.