Identifying Bud Rot and How To Avoid It

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As a person who has taken to growing his/her own cannabis plants, you have surely come to terms with accepting the challenge of coming up with your own weed buds. In addition to the time and effort that you place into cultivating cannabis plants, growers will have to exert a great deal of patience and discipline in order to achieve the ultimate goal of producing potent marijuana nugs! Taking all of this into account, it would definitely be devastating to find out that your precious babies have been infiltrated by something that we know as bud rot.

As Public Enemy No. 1 for most growers, bud rot can bring heartbreaking infections and contaminations to your cannabis crops. You may be feeling all good and excited about tending to your plants only to find some of them completely rendered useless due to this annoying plague. But what exactly is bud rot? How does it affect the growth of your weed buds?

What is Bud Rot?

Bud rot, which is also known as botrytis or gray mold, is a kind of fungal infection that primarily focuses on the buds of your cannabis plants. It is a type of mold that tends to do its damage from the inside out, which means that it will start eating away in the very core and center of your prized jewels. 

The effects of bud rot are extremely damaging to your cannabis plants and may leave you with an empty supply of weed! To make things worse, bud rot does not choose a time and place to attach itself onto your plants. From the time your seeds germinate up until they are put in storage for future use, there is still a risk of bud rot.

Because these fungal molds start devouring the insides of your weed buds, the essential nutrients, and minerals that your plants use for growing and are sucked out by the bud rot. Additionally, the presence of bud rot stops the plant from absorbing any nutrients that growers give them, which can lead to them dying.

Fortunately for us growers, there are ways on how to identify and prevent any developing bud rot before they contaminate your weed crops! Because it is a type of mold that you virtually can’t get rid of once it gets in too deep, you are gonna have to watch out for its earliest signs and symptoms! 

Signs and Symptoms of Bud Rot

The first symptoms of bud rot can be observed in the main stem of your cannabis plants, particularly at the base. You might notice the lower portion of your weed plants (including the roots) to look very damp and fragile. When you touch it, it may feel soft and sloppy, indicating that bud rot may start spreading soon! 

After a while, if it is left unchecked and ignored to spread, you will notice the branches and leaves of your plants start to develop black spots. Additionally, the leaves will start wilting and turning yellow despite giving them the needed amounts of nutrients and water! Like we said, bud rot starts on the inside of your plant which means that it could have made its way through the cracks and openings of your plants. 


Looking into the plant, you might notice the core appearing mushy and wet. This indicates that bud rot has fully contaminated the said plant, which has already rendered it useless. Of course, the main target of bud rot are the buds but you won’t want to see what comes next!

If you break open the buds that are contaminated with bud rot, you will see some cloudy, web-like substances inside. Additionally, the core of your buds will feel gooey and mushy with a black or brown mold forming at the center. 

The only place else to look are your other plants. Check to see if the bud rot was able to contaminate your other plants. Remember, the pores of this mold can easily be carried over to the rest of your garden by wind, rain, animals, or any other agent.  

What Causes Bud Rot?

Like all types of molds and fungus out there, bud rot is mainly caused by the poor management of the environment and growing conditions in your gardening spaces. Bud rot will typically thrive in areas with excessive moisture levels, excessively wet soils, and poor air flow and oxygen circulation

Marijuana buds, especially the bigger and more compact ones, tend to build up a significant amount of moisture during the whole cultivation process. As such, they are more prone to the development of bud rot, especially since they are big enough to house the molds and provide it with the nutrients and elements that it needs to thrive. 

Whether you choose to grow in an indoor or outdoor setup, it is always crucial to make sure that you have the lighting and air circulation under control. Maintaining these two in their optimal measurements can significantly reduce the chances of bud rot creeping into your plants. 

Lastly, any debris and stray leaves will undoubtedly invite bud rot into your gardens. Not only will these give it an opportunity to house itself in your crops, the bacteria that comes with dead parts of the cannabis plant can cause the development of this sneaky sucker.

How to Prevent Bud Rot

Growers should not worry because bud rot cannot develop unless they are exposed to the climates in which they can thrive in. This means that as long as you are constantly aware of your cannabis garden’s condition and cleanliness, there will be no way for bud rot to contaminate your gardens!

As we have said, the main cause of bud rot is your garden’s growing conditions. These are the things that you will have to do in order to keep them away:

Make sure that your cannabis plants aren’t tightly congested and overcrowded with one another. This limits the amount of air flow and light exposure in your gardens, which will lead to the buildup of stagnant air and moist interiors. Make sure to keep your plants at a safe distance from one another especially in an outdoor garden

Controlling the humidity with lights and dehumidifiers is essential in keeping away the bud rot. The heat from the light can dry up any excess moisture in your leaves or soils. Installing a dehumidifier in your garden will then maintain just the right level of water vapor in the air to keep your plants fresh and breathing. 

Lastly, you will want a constant flow of air inside and out of your plants! This will keep the plants from retaining ang stagnant air around them. Additionally, this fresh air will keep the plants robust and active as the constant moving of plants will make sure that no botrytis pores latch themselves onto your cannabis crops. 

How to Treat Existing Bud Rot

Now, do not feel bad if bud rot does make its way into one (or many) of your plants. It should be stated that bud rot is rather common and most, if not all growers will actually experience having it at last one in their cultivation experiences!

Once bud rot takes a hold of your plants, then there really isn’t much you can do to save them. Because the buds will be unfit for consumption and the plant itself will be damaged beyond repair, the only thing left for you to do is to quickly discard the infected plant! Throw it away and make sure that none of your other plants contracted the contamination.

Bud rot should not be taken lightly! Because marijuana seeds cost a hefty price, you wouldn’t want any of them going to waste all because of improper maintenance of your gardens. We advise all you beginner growers to take the necessary steps in preventing the development of this pest. Doing so now before it is too late will definitely save you the trouble of throwing away an otherwise perfectly good batch of marijuana plants!

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