Pythium, otherwise known as root rot, is something which plagues cannabis gardens like you wouldn’t believe. Because growers can’t initially see the roots of their plants, this tricky condition can be quite hard to catch. Here’s little guide as to just exactly what it is, and how to stop it:
Root rot is a fungus that can wreak havoc on grows if cultivators aren’t careful. Seeds in particular are susceptible to Pythium, although plants can be attacked at any phase. Preventative measures are advised due to the time and effort that root rot takes to fix, although there are ways to get rid of it should you find your plants infested.
Nasty Mildew Smell
It’s pretty hard to catch root rot in its tracks, seeing as plant roots are underground and growers, at least not any that I know, don’t have x-ray vision. However, if you are an active hydroponics grower then you should be able to see the root zone of your plants, and so you have a great advantage over outdoor growers and other non-hydro set ups. Brownish roots are a sure-fire sign of Pythium in plants, as well as a nasty mildew smell. Also, leaves can curl and often droop and sag – which, as you’ll probably know, is a symptom of a whole myriad of plant problems, which makes diagnosing your garden with root rot tricky business.
The best way to make sure your plants never have to go through root rot is to get off to a good start. Essentially, make sure you germinate your seeds properly. During the vegetative stage, specifically when the time comes to transplant, plants are at high risk of stress if the grower isn’t paying attention, so getting your grow perfectly balanced is an effective way to combat this fungal attack.
Pythium thrives in an overwatered plant environment, and so you should only be feeding your plant when it gives you indicators that it needs to be – always ensure you have an effective wet-dry cycle. Hydroponics growers need to make sure that the water in their supply has lots of oxygen, perhaps by purchasing a decent air pump to keep their water bubbly and at room temperature.
This particular breed of fungal attack can be treated, although the process is an expensive one. Specialist treatments are available, although the ones that work are out of most people’s price range. Therefore, the best options you have are to prevent it from happening in the first place, or discard what you’ve grown so far and start again – or, as I’ve said, fork out a tasty sum.