Fusarium – The Invisible Killer
Fusarium on Cannabis
Fusarium is a fungus claiming its home in the soil, where it wreaks havoc on root systems. The US government has declared a ‘war on drugs’ with regard to Fusarium and its devastating effect on cannabis and coca crops in an effort to eradicate the plants from contributing to the illegal drug culture. That ought to give you a pretty good idea of its propensity to annihilation!
In cannabis, Fusarium can cause Fusarium wilt or Fusarium root rot, depending on the species. Hydroponic grow rooms are not in any real danger of Fusarium damage due to the lack of soil used in cultivation. Fusarium is most prevalent in warm tropical climates.
Fusarium is a genus of fungi abundantly present in soils and normally poses no threat to plants other than those ingested or consumed by humans, meaning edible or inhalable crops. This is where the danger enters into the world of cannabis growers; an entire crop can be wiped out. Learn more about Fusarium and other diseases and download my free marijuana plant care e-Book on this link
Fusarium can remain dormant in soil for years and is nearly impossible to detect. Fusarium cells are spread via running water and farm equipment or other garden tools. They come to life when they detect a host plant. Marijuana happens to be a plant that can trigger the onslaught of years of repressed energy.
Fusarium damage is first evidenced by its affect on leaves and stems in the form of small dark spots on the leaves closest to the soil. They rapidly turn yellow-brown, leaf tips curl upward and the wilting damage is set in motion. Leaves will decline but not drop. Stems collapse. This is called Fusarium wilt and is a signal that the blight Fusarium causes has already begun.
Fusarium root rot turns the roots reddish in color. You won’t know the damage is being done until you see the red color creeping up the stem. It will swell and may split open, inviting other damaging insects and disease. The plant then begins to wilt, collapses and the devastating fungus continues its dastardly deed further up the stalk.
Fusarium clogs the plants’ xylem vessels, debilitating its ability to receive water and nutrients. This causes the inevitable total decline of the plant. Infected debris should be removed immediately and destroyed. If allowed to decompose in the soil or added to the compost pile, you have just facilitated total annihilation of future crops.
By now you are aware of the devastation the Fusarium fungus causes to your cannabis plants. As formidable as it is, is prevention and control possible? The answer is yes and no. Don’t you just hate that? No matter, we must tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to this selective killer.
Growing marijuana outdoors is hit or miss given the nature of this very patient but aggressive killer. If your crop has been missed, throw a party! However, it you’ve been hit, you have four choices: 1) start a new crop in a completely different location; 2) create a grow room indoors; 3) grow your weed in containers where you can control the soil, or 4) find a different means of making a living. More tips in my free marijuana grow guide.
The contaminated grow site can still be utilized for any non-food bearing plants, so all is not lost. However, any seeds produced in the infected site will spread the disease wherever you plant them; trash everything coming out of an infected site.
It is good practice to rotate your crops even if you don’t experience damage from the Fusarium fungus. Just because it didn’t hit this time around doesn’t mean it won’t attack in the future. By the soil becoming accustomed to cannabis, you’re laying a breeding ground for infiltration and annihilation.
That’s the bad news. Now for the good news (yes there is always good news!).
If you live in a region with clay soil, you have an advantage. Clay soils contain natural fungus suppressing properties due to a higher pH level. By the same token, loamy soils often harbor microbes that suppress Fusarium when a variety of healthy plants are interspersed with Mary Jane.
Additionally, and this can’t be stressed enough, properly aged compost incorporated into the planting site contains microbes and other critters that attack and/or restrict the growth of harmful fungi. Sterilize all gardening tools after each use to avoid spreading spores, pests and any other detriments to a healthy marijuana (any) crop.
If you order marijuana seeds from my webshop and you get problems with pests or diseases, I’m here to help you. There are guides about plant care where all pests/diseases are discussed and you can contact me by mail. Please like or share this article.
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