Cannabis plants originated in Asia, but due to their hardy nature, they grow well just about anywhere in the world. With marijuana legalization in more areas of the United States, a growing number of individuals are choosing to grow their own plants for convenience and to save money. However, just like any other type of gardening, pests can be a real problem. The following will help you keep pests away from your cannabis plants so they grow healthy and strong.
What Pests Can Do to Your Plants
Pests are a problem every farmer and gardener encounters to challenge the plants they’re trying to grow. When you allow pests to get to your cannabis plants, you can expect a weaker, poorer harvest. This can reduce your return on investment and negatively impact the output of your plants. Pests are the leading cause of cannabis shortages throughout the world.
Attract Beneficial Pests
Not all pests are bad for plants. In fact, some of them will kill off or deter the bad pests who can have a negative impact on your harvest. The key is attracting these pests to your growing environment. First, you must identify which harmful pests are likely to affect your plants. Some of these include diamondback moths, red flour beetles and tobacco whiteflies. You can then attract beneficial pests like parasitic wasps, ladybirds and ground beetles. Planting pollen and nectar-producing plants typically do the job.
Grow Companion Plants
Some plants are natural pest-repellents and make perfect companions for your cannabis plants. Any plant that produces a pungent smell will effectively drive pests out of your cannabis garden. Mint, basil, geraniums and marigolds are all excellent choices. If you’re dealing with larger animal pests, garlic, pepper and onion plants can keep them from attacking your cannabis plants.
Choose Pest-Resistant Seeds
It’s essential to pay attention to the type of cannabis seeds you purchase. Some are naturally pest repellent, giving you the opportunity to avoid the pest problems from the start. Be sure your buy your seeds from a trusted retailer and inquire whether the seeds are modified and which strains were used to modify them so you can make the most informed decision.
Surrounding your cannabis plants with physical barriers can be an effective method of keeping larger pests at bay. Fine netting, cardboard barriers and low fencing are all popular methods. If you choose fine netting, be sure you position it in a way that gives your plants plenty of room to grow. Cardboard collars are most effective when placed close to the stem and embedded an inch or two into the ground.
Use Proper Sanitization Procedures
Taking good care of your cannabis plants can help keep pests away from your plants. Regularly removing dead leaves, branches and stems will keep your plants healthy and thriving. Be sure you remove any of the parts you’ve trimmed to keep them from decaying around your plants. This is also an excellent time to add more fertilizer to the ground. Do your research on common cannabis gardening mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.
Use Organic Pesticides
While it’s always best to grow your cannabis without pesticides, if none of the above has worked to eliminate and deter pests, choosing an organic pesticide is a perfect last resort. These pesticides should only be used on a mature plant to protect the buds and flowers without worrying about its impact on your health, particularly since many people prefer to use the raw buds and flowers.