Damping off occurs as a result of seeds, seedlings, or roots being attacked by fungi from the soil. When this happens, nutrients are no longer able to travel throughout the plant. Because your plant is malnourished, the stem becomes soft and weak. In time, this causes the plant’s death. Certain fungi, like Pythium and Rhizoctonia, commonly grow in soil that is moist and contains a large amount of nitrogen. Pythium causes spores while Rhizoctonia is an asexual parasitic pathogen that will cause disease in your plants.
How to identify damping off
This disease process usually begins beneath the soil line. Unfortunately, you may not realize something is wrong until after you see the disintegration in the stalk, and bottom leaves of your plant. The part of the stalk nearest the base will have a brown or yellow discoloration. You can also look for lesions between the nodes, which will become reddish-brown cankers. Over time, the whole stem will soften and turn brown. At that point of breakdown, your plant is at great risk of death.
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The seedlings are always attacked first before the more mature plants. You may first think it looks like your plant is being overwatered due to the withering, but the appearance of lesions towards the top half of the plant will tell you it’s actually fungi.
How to resolve the issue and restore health
The best thing you can do is to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place.
You do this by:
- Maintain balanced moisture levels. Wet soil can destroy marijuana plants so always check the topsoil to make sure you are not over-watering your plants.
- In areas with a lot of rainfall, make sure the soil drains properly, to avoid collecting a pool of water around the roots. Add vermiculite and perlite to your soil mix to create better airflow.
- Know where you seeds are from, and confirm that they are free of disease.
- Plant those seeds about one-fourth of an inch deep. Do this because moisture intensifies the further down you go.
- Spray the soil with an all-natural anti-fungal solution made of chamomile tea, copper and garlic oil.
- Sterilize your tools after each use.
Unfortunately, once seedlings show signs of damping off recovery is unlikely. Luckily, you can still save the mature plants. Remove the diseased parts of the plant. Then put diluted hydrogen peroxide on the wounds. If the cankers on the stems seem to be in very bad condition, spray them with clove oil, sesame oil, copper fungicide, or coriander oil.
Symptoms of damping off
– Disintegrating stalk
– Yellowish brown stem
– Red-brown cankers between nodes
– Stem browning and softening
– Plant falling over
– Lesions on upper portion of plant
Your plants will flourish if you take the time to create the right environment for them.
Provide them with the right balance of:
– And any other needed elements to ensure your plant is healthy and strong growth
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.