Fighting Root Rot and Algae in Cannabis Organically

Root Rot

Many master gardeners believe that top-shelf cannabis cultivation is more about what doesn’t happen to plants than what does. For example, grow rooms with tight, balanced environmental controls are best able to prevent the onset of disease and infestation—some of which can take down an entire cannabis garden in less than a week.

Root Rot

Healthy cannabis roots are bright white. Root rot—which can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasitic oomycetes—becomes apparent because it turns them to a dingy light brown. As the disease progresses, the roots become a darker shade of brown and are increasingly slimy, overall plant growth slows or halts, and leaves wilt. Severe root rot will turn even the main stem of a pot plant brown.

Root rot is caused by conditions in which roots exist in soggy soil and are deprived of oxygen, such as in stagnant water or environments in which the grow medium doesn’t drain and at least partially dry between waterings. The presence of fungus gnats in a garden is also bad because they can damage the fine hairs of the roots, which encourages rot.


Algae typically affects the roots of plants in hydroponic systems. Unfortunately, algae and cannabis roots thrive in the same nutrient-rich water solutions employed in hydroponic grows. Algae thrives on the roots of the plant. As it consumes nutrients from the water, it basically starves the plant by depriving its roots of food.

Embracing an Organic Solution

Root rot can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasitic oomycetes and turns roots a dingy brown. Algae kills plants by starving their roots. Organic solutions can keep both threats at bay.

Today savvy West Coast farmers producing some of the nation’s most impressive cannabis are turning to certified organic solutions like PathogenZERO. Formulated by a third-generation cannabis farmer from Northern California, this fully natural and non-toxic solution can be used to treat more than 150 diseases and infestations, including mites of all varieties.

Recent news from Steep Hill Labs that 85 percent of the San Francisco Bay Area “medical” cannabis evaluated by the company tested positive for fungicide myclobutanil (marketed by Dow AgroSciences as Eagle 20) has alarmed cultivators and patients alike. When heated (as during smoking), myclobutanil converts to highly poisonous hydrogen cyanide.

News of this type is driving conscientious cultivators from products like Eagle 20 to fully organic biodegradable solutions such as PathogenZERO. Non-toxic products of this type that contain only natural ingredients must be adopted en masse if legal cannabis gardeners and farmers wish to survive the government regulation that looms on the horizon.

About Gooey Rabinski 17 Articles
Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, instructional designer, and photographer who has been covering the cannabis culture since 2004. His work has appeared in High Times, Cannabis Culture, WoahStork, SKUNK, The Emerald Magazine, MERRY JANE, Weed World, Grow Magazine, Whaxy, Green Flower Media, and Cannabis Health Journal. Rabinski crafts compelling educational media that focuses on the science of the cannabis herb, patient advocacy, and eliminating the social stigma that has existed for more than a century in the United States. His photography is available on Instagram at gooey_rabinski and he Tweets from @GooeyRabinski.

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