Leaf Septoria on Cannabis – Detection and Prevention Strategies
When you start the journey of cannabis cultivation, whether it is for medicinal or recreational purposes, it requires great care to ensure that your harvest is successful. One common challenge that many growers face is a fungal infection known as Leaf Septoria, which can impact the overall health and yield of your cannabis plants.
In this article we explore the causes of Leaf Septoria on cannabis plants along with helping you to identify the symptoms and the most effective prevention and treatment strategies in order to ensure that your cannabis plants remain in good health.
What is Leaf Septoria?
Leaf Septoria is a fungal disease that mainly affects plants belonging to the Solanaceae family – cannabis being one of them. This fungus targets the leaves of the cannabis plant and causes dark spots with light centres to appear.
The spots gradually get larger until they eventually merge together, leading to the whole leaf turning a yellow/brown colour. If Leaf Septoria on cannabis is left untreated the plant will not be able to properly photosynthesise, which will impact both the cannabis plants growth and its yield.
Causes of Leaf Septoria on Cannabis
- Humidity and Moisture: Leaf Septoria absolutely thrives in wet, humid environments. When there is a mixture of poor ventilation and high humidity along with overwatering, this can create the ideal environment for Leaf Septoria.
- Contaminated Soil: Pathogens within the soil can introduce Leaf Septoria to your cannabis plants and so using contaminated soil or failing to sterilise reused soil can increase the risk of infection to your marijuana plants.
- Overcrowding Plants: When you have too many plants in one space this can limit air circulation which creates the environment needed for Leaf Septoria to thrive. Proper spacing between your plants will help to reduce the risk of poor air circulation.
- Infected Plants: If you introduce contaminated plant materials such as contaminated seeds to your crop, this can result in the entire crop being targeted by the fungus.
Leaf Septoria Symptoms
The early detection of the symptoms of Leaf Septoria is important for effective intervention and will help to save your crop if a plant, or plants, become contaminated. Symptoms can include:
- Small Spots: small, dark spots with light centres will appear on the leaves of your cannabis plant.
- Enlargement of Spots: the small spots gradually enlarge and will eventually merge, forming larger, irregular shaped spots.
- Leaf Yellowing: the infected leaves start to turn yellow, initially turning yellow around the spots and eventually spreading across the whole leaf.
- Leaf Necrosis: finally, the enlargement and yellowing of the fungus on the cannabis leaves leads to necrosis. This is where the leaves become brown and dry. They eventually die due to being unable to effectively photosynthesise.
Leaf Septoria on Cannabis Prevention
- Good Ventilation: Ensure that there is adequate air circulation within your cannabis growing space. This can include using fans to reduce the humidity levels.
- Good Watering Practices: Avoid overwatering your plants to limit the amount of excess moisture.
- Spacing: Ensure that you space your plants properly to allow for good air circulation within your growing area.
- Sterilised Soil: Use only sterilised soil to eliminate contamination from pathogens within the soil. You can look up soil sterilisation methods in order to do this effectively.
- Removal of Infected Plants: Remove any infected cannabis plants to prevent the fungus from spreading to other healthy plants.
Leaf Septoria Treatment
There are a number of strategies you can deploy to treat Leaf Septoria in Cannabis. Here are a few of the most common strategies:
- Fungicides: you can apply fungicides, specifically formulated for cannabis cultivation, to your marijuana plants to help control Leaf Septoria. It’s advisable to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use the fungicides effectively.
- Neem Oil: applying neem oil to the infected cannabis plant’s leaves is a more natural approach to preventing Leaf Septoria. Neem oil is a natural pesticide with antifungal properties.
- Copper-Based Fungicides: copper based fungicides can also be used to effectively treat Leaf Septoria but they should be used sparingly and with caution as excess copper can actually have a harmful effect on your cannabis plants.
- Pruning: a quick and easy way to prevent the spread of the fungal infection is to remove and safely dispose of affected leaves.
- Beneficial Microorganisms: microorganisms such as Bacillus subtilis can act as a biological control against the fungus.
What have we learnt about Leaf Septoria on Cannabis
Leaf Septoria is clearly a significant threat to cannabis cultivation and steps should be taken immediately if the fungal disease is detected on any of your crops. With a proactive approach and taking time to adequately care for your plants, you can effectively prevent and manage Leaf Septoria if it does arise.
By understanding the causes of Leaf Septoria, knowing what symptoms to look out for, and implementing preventative measures quickly if the fungus does arise, you can protect your cannabis plants and ensure that your crops remain healthy, ready for a successful yield come harvest time!