Bud rot is one of those terms that is echoed hauntingly throughout the cannabis industry, usually followed with a sigh or maybe a curse word.
It is a dealbreaker for a successful crop and often it develops after the growing cycle is complete and the drying/curing process begins.
Bud rot in cannabis plants can happen during the final stages of flower and into the end of the drying process. Drying your cannabis buds properly will prevent bud rot but cannot remedy the mold itself.
If you have bud rot it means that you have too much moisture and not enough airflow. There isn’t much you can do aside from cutting out the mold or tossing the flower.
What causes bud rot in your cannabis flowers?
Bud rot (Botrytis cinerea) is a form of mold that develops within the cannabis flowers, essentially turning the bud into unusable mush.
It likes to hide in damp, dark locations and is one of the leading causes of losing a crop.
If you’re struggling with bud rot, a general rule of thumb is that mold likes to proliferate during temperature and humidity spikes that are not controlled in a timely manner.
Some of the ideal conditions for mold include:
- Lack of airflow
- Moderate temperatures that fluctuate
- Too much humidity
It begins as a fungus and then once it has suppressed the plant’s immune system enough, it will turn the plant tissue necrotic. This is how bud rot works, by killing the plant cells to consume as food.
Once it has gained a foothold in your cannabis plants it will spread quickly throughout at which point it will be too late to do anything.
Symptoms of bud rot
If you see signs of white, furry fluff on or in your cannabis bud then you already have a problem forming.
Once it turns black and rots then there is nothing you can do as it’s gone too far. You are best to remove the cannabis plant from your garden in case the fungal spores decide to go airborne and infect the rest of your crop.
If you have bud rot developing on your flower while in the drying process then you need to isolate those nugs before the spores can transfer to other flowers.
Is there any cure for bud rot?
Unfortunately, once you have bud rot in your cannabis plant there is no way to remove it without damaging the bud or retiring the plant.
Most growers like to take preventive measures instead so that they never have to deal with it.
Some tips on how to prevent bud rot are:
- Don’t let your ambient temperature fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ensure your humidity is correct for the growing phase you’re in. Don’t let your humidity stay above 50% RH for long periods.
- Provide ample airflow and space for your plants to deter pests from landing
- If you have bud rot or any mold in your grow room, make sure to give it a thorough cleaning as spores can be left behind.
Don’t be discouraged by horror stories
It isn’t uncommon for novice growers to experience bud rot at least once in their growing careers.
As long as you understand how to balance the climate you will rarely (if at all) see any form of mold.