Frustrations with Growing Cannabis Outdoors | Bud Rot and Grey Mold

frustrations of growing cannabis outdoors

For many, growing cannabis outdoors causes some frustrations. Growing cannabis outdoors can be done and thrives in certain climates, but causes concern over bud rot, mold, mildew and seeding from outdoor hemp crops. While growing indoors doesn’t eliminate these issues, it does decrease their chances of occurring. Learn more about the frustrations with growing cannabis outdoors and how a move inside could benefit your crops.

Frustrations of Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Bud Rot and Grey Mold

One of the biggest frustrations of growing cannabis outdoors comes in the form of bud rot. Bud rot or grey mold, which goes by the scientific name of Botrytis cinerea, is a necrotrophic fungus that can destroy your entire crop in a matter of days. Necrotrophic fungi like Botrytis cinerea infect the living cells of its host and then feed on the dead matter. Bud rot typically infects cannabis plants from the inside of thick buds a few weeks before harvest, which renders all of your hard work and crops useless.

When it comes to cultivating cannabis, conditions need to be perfect during both the growing and flowering phases. Growing indoors allows you to control variables, such as humidity and air circulation, more accurately than growing outdoors. Botrytis spores thrive in contaminated environments with humid air and poor circulation.

  • Infected buds appear to have grey, white or blue-green mold with hairs growing on the inside of the bud
  • In wet, humid conditions this turns the bud to slime
  • In dryer climates, the effects appear brown or rust colored and crumble when touched
  • Botrytis also affects leaves, stems and seedlings

Bud rot in outdoor cannabis crops often stems from soil drainage issues and high levels of moisture or rain. When growing cannabis outdoors, using too much soil prohibits proper drainage, which creates an environment where Botrytis spores thrive. Poor soil drainage doesn’t allow for the necessary ventilation during the flowering phase. When thick buds ripen outdoors in cool, damp weather, a bud rot outbreak can occur.

Preventing Bud Rot

Protecting your plants from moisture and improving airflow can go a long way when it comes to preventing bud rot while cultivating cannabis outdoors. Because growing outside in nature can be unpredictable, it may be beneficial to move operations inside, be it in a greenhouse or warehouse. In addition to moving inside, using an aeroponics-style grow tray system instead of soil could help prevent bud rot.

While growing indoors with a closed-loop system doesn’t guarantee bud safety, it does significantly decrease these types of issues. The water in closed-loop systems, such as the Grow Tray System from Whole Plant Technologies, limits humidity issues that promote molds and mildews. In an aeroponics-style system, like that from Whole Plant, bud rot isn’t as much of an issue as it is in soil mediums Deep water cultivation can also lead to increased bud rot issues compared to a close-looped aeroponic system.

Move Indoors

Moving indoors and growing with a closed-loop system allows you to monitor and control humidity and airflow conditions that often result in bud rot, mold and mildew. By using an indoor, grow medium-free system your outdoor growing frustrations may be eased. Learn more about how the Grow Tray System from Whole Plant Technologies can help.

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