MEDICAL CANNABIS: CANNABIS PESTS

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Written by Jim Hole, Atlas Growers VP of Cultivation. 

 

Plants -like all organisms -grow with one goal in ‘mind’. They do their best to acquire as many resources as necessary to grow while passing their genes on to their offspring.

Pests that feed on plants are in lock-step with them. They have exactly the same goal.  So both plants and their pests have been in a constant battle to evolve mechanisms to beat the defences of each other.

Cannabis is no different than any other plant when it comes to pests. It does a good job at fighting-off some pests and a rather poor job at defending against others. Two of the worst pests of cannabis are spider mites and powdery mildew.

Spider mites are very tiny ‘arthropods’ that love cannabis and explode in population when temperatures rise and plants are soft and lush.

Powdery mildew, on the other hand, is a fungal disease that prefers high humidity and – like spider mites – soft, lush cannabis leaves.

Defeating these two pests involves several strategies: choosing varieties that are more resistant to pests, excellent environmental controls, and barriers to entry (indoor vs outdoor). As I always tell our cultivation team, the #1 method of pest control is to keep the pests out of our facilities in the first place.

The Atlas facilities operate under the stringent conditions of a scientific laboratory, unlike traditional greenhouse or outdoor production.

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation – the ‘three’ most important steps in pest free cannabis.

Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia.

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