As a flowering plant, cannabis is highly susceptible to the infestation of pests. No matter what kind of variety, these pests eventually become a nuisance for any indoor gardener. Whether you wish to grow plants indoors, in a greenhouse or outdoor, these unwelcomed visitors inevitably find their way to your crops. Once they get in, they eat up your crops and affect their growth.
Although inert growing mediums and synthetic pesticides could help to control pest damages, indoor Cannabis growers know best that these remedies do not work in the long term. Not only does constant use of pesticides on Cannabis lead to environmental pollution, but it could also cause harm to growers who inhale them.
However, the good news is that there is a wide variety of solutions for indoor organic growers who wish to prevent and minimize the harmful effects of pests in their garden. Once you incorporate a few organic systems into your gardening schedule or install LED grow lights, you can control the population of pests as well as the damages they cause to cannabis plants.
What is IPM?
The acronym IPM stands for “Integrated Pest Management”, a multidisciplinary term horticulturist’s have used since the 1930s. It encompasses any pest control system or solution that ranges from biological to mechanical to help minimize, and eventually stop the damage output of pests on plants. Under non-organic IPM solutions, biologically engineered plants as well as genetically synthesized plants and modified insecticides are used. Both of these also work in incredible ways to minimize the effects of pests and completely eradicate their populations.
Sometimes, these methods of pest control are counterintuitive to the principles of organic farming, and growers turn to other options. However, here are three tips on how you can control organic pests from taking over your Cannabis plants through IPM.
1. Try Companion Planting
Companion planting is a great organic way to control the population of pests in your Cannabis garden. It is a method of pest control where the presence of different plants serves as a means to protect your garden from the potential effects of pests. When you plant other varieties around your cannabis, such as highly odiferous plants like basil, rosemary, sage, and lavender, this can build up a cover or defense layer against pests. Beetles, aphids, and thrips are examples of pests that move away from aromatic plants of this range. This approach effectively helps to reduce pest traffic and makes your grow space an undesirable one for pests.
2. Install Indoor LED Grow Lights
Smart growers would know that LED lights for indoor gardening come with an array of benefits for plants. One of these is pest control. Multiple research experiments show that when pests in Cannabis face blue LED light with wavelengths that range from 417-467 nm when they are in their pupae, eggs or larvae stage, they die. This happens because the blue light causes the immature cells or insects to produce ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), which leads to cellular death. In addition, this light spectrum boosts photosynthesis and leads to an increase in leaf surface area and overall biomass of the plants. This also makes the plants immune to mildew and mold attacks.
LED grow lights help to steer Cannabis growth and this means you do not need to invest in artificial chemicals, which sometimes attract pests. They help to eliminate the need to use pesticides and further keeps the grow space free from toxic substances.
3. Use Foliar Sprays to Decrease Pest Population
It is a fact that organic pests multiply in number at an incredible speed. Once you ignore them, they can take over your garden within a couple weeks. Often, gardeners give up and let them take over and damage their plants. Soon this goes beyond control and eradicating them becomes a problem. However, foliar spays work in the best ways to eliminate pest population in Cannabis plants, without causing any harmful effects.
Generally, there two ways to use organic IPM foliar sprays. First, you can use them to eradicate existing pest population, and second for pre-emptive measures. In the first stage, the idea behind the use of foliar sprays is to introduce a biological solution that stops their reproduction. Once you detect pests in your cannabis garden, it is best to use such biological sprays to control them.
The good thing about implementing these tips for your indoor cannabis is that you do not need to use chemical solutions and synthetic insecticides to eliminate pests. Keep in mind that these practices are not limited to just organic growers and others can incorporate them as well.
Whether you wish to prevent pest infestation or stop one, remember that LED Grow lights and the other options mentioned above are ideal to consider. If you wish to protect and extend the life of your cannabis garden, try these pest control tips.