• Jennifer Betz

Missouri Marijuana Card Answers: How to Manage Pests on Your Cannabis Plants


How to manage pests on marijuana plants in Missouri

Catch pests early for the best chance of keeping your cannabis plants healthy throughout the growing season!


It’s super easy to get your medical marijuana card in Missouri—and once you have one, you can apply for an ID that allows you to grow your own medicine! This has inspired droves of patients to become master gardeners for Summer 2021, and Missouri Marijuana Card is here to help you find all the information you need in order to have a successful season.


The Department of Health and Senior Services allows you to grow six flowering plants, six non-flowering plants, and six clones at once—and this limit is doubled if you are simultaneously a patient and a caregiver. While this seems like an awful lot of weed, the amount of bud you will get from each plant will vary depending on growing conditions, and your skill and attentiveness as a gardener.


In this post, we will focus on one of the biggest harvest-killers known to man: Pests.


Pests Will Kill Your Cannabis Harvest Faster Than You Can Say “Rotten Tomato”

There are few things worse than spending hours of time and potentially hundreds of dollars on setting up to grow your own cannabis plants, only to watch pests eat away at your harvest before the first buds can even mature.


Regardless of whether you have a green thumb or not, one of the biggest challenges to having a bountiful marijuana harvest come Fall, is pests. There are dozens of different kinds of organisms that love to munch on the leaves, roots, and flowers of most garden plants, and they love cannabis too (who doesn’t?).


In addition to those adorable evil groundhogs, elusive deer, and even your pet cat, here is a list of some of the most common pests that will unabashedly suck the life out of your marijuana plants (this list will only vary slightly—if at all—when you choose to grow indoors):

  • Aphids

  • Barnacles / Scale Insects

  • Broad Mites

  • Bud Rot or Mold

  • Caterpillars & Inchworms

  • Crickets

  • Fungus Gnats

  • Grasshoppers

  • Leafhoppers

  • Leaf Miners

  • Leaf Septoria / Yellow Leaf Spot

  • Mealybugs

  • Planthoppers

  • Root Rot

  • Russet Mites

  • Slugs / Snails

  • Spider Mites

  • Thrips

  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)

  • Whiteflies / White fly

  • White Powdery Mold

The Challenge With Managing Pests on Marijuana Plants

Here’s the thing about managing pests on your marijuana plants: Cannabis is a bioaccumulator. This means that it is extremely efficient at soaking up everything in its environment. Heavy metals in the soil, and dangerous toxins in pesticides.


If you grow a vegetable garden, you probably already have a good grasp on which kinds of pesticides are safe for human consumption, but you need to be especially careful with what you use on cannabis plants. What goes on the plant will definitely end up in your system after consumption, and sometimes in a more concentrated form.


Preventing Pests is Best When it Comes to Cannabis

The best way to manage pests on your cannabis plants is to avoid them altogether if possible.


Start With Clean Soil

If you’re growing in containers, make sure the soil is clean. Putting soil in your microwave or oven will bring new meaning to “mud pie,” but it may be worth going as far as sterilizing your soil before planting to ensure no microbes are waiting to dig their little mandibles into your medicine.


Use Containers With Good Drainage

Besides using soil that is free of pests and fungus spores, make sure your containers drain well. You want water’s nutrients to moisten the soil and then pass through rather than keeping things moist at all times. This can be a hothouse for fungus, bacteria, and little bugs that thrive in a wet environment.


Make Sure Your Plants Can Breathe

Some tiny pests need still air in order to survive and reproduce. If they don’t have it, they won’t be a problem. But once they take hold, you may not be able to control them. Aphids, for example, reproduce up to 12 times a day.


Make sure there is ample space between your plants, and use a fan if you are growing inside*.


*Nix the fan if you have an active infestation. Instead separate the infested plant and go from there. Having a fan on in this situation can spread the infestation to healthier plants.


Keep Your Plants Watered—But Not Too Watered

Unhealthy plants are basically begging for bugs to come take hold of your precious buds. Dry plants encourage some types of infestation, moist plants encourage mold, fungus, and other little bugs.


The key is making sure you are watering your plants every day just enough to drain through the bottom and then dry out on the top before the next watering.


Don’t Expose Indoor Plants to Your Dirty Clothes and Hands

We know you may want to sleep next to your cannabis plants, eat with them, and share close personal conversations with them. You are valid and we support you. But just as you would in preparation for a first date, wash your hands and put on some clean clothes before you head into your grow space.


Even if you haven’t spent time traipsing the forest or playing in your outdoor garden, pests can hitch a ride without your knowledge. And we know how much you would hate to inadvertently infest the love of your life with white powdery mildew.


What to Do if You Spot an Infestation

Now comes the hard part. Once you have an infestation that’s bad enough to notice, it’s going to be a real challenge to gently get it under control.


One of the most basic things you can do to get started is bring the infestation under control by giving your plants a good spray-down with the hose, or taking them into the shower with you (don’t do this if it’s mold or fungus that you’ve spotted). This will knock any crawling pests off the leaves and stems.


Once you have sprayed your cannabis plants, you might consider using some of the following natural sprays for pest control. Keep in mind that most of these are only good before your plant starts budding. After the first buds appear, there isn’t much you can do without having whatever you use become a prominent part of your cannabis consumption experience.


Some of the most common marijuana-safe pesticides people use on marijuana plants include:

Managing a pest infestation can get quite nuanced, and it may require maintenance and monitoring multiple times daily depending on your strategy. If things don’t seem to improve within a couple of days, you may want to consider talking to an expert, or at least chatting up your buddy who always has those popping tomato plants every summer.


Before You Worry About Pests, You Need a Missouri Marijuana Card and Cultivation ID.

In order to get started legally growing your cannabis plants this summer, you need to get yourself a Missouri marijuana card and cultivation ID!


Give us a call at (877) 303-3117, or schedule an appointment with one of our marijuana doctors today! We can help you get started with everything you need to make 2021 your summer to feel great!

Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.





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