Whether you’re an organic gardener or simply in a rush, a homemade fungicide for plants can be a lifesaver. If you use the great outdoors as your grow room, it’s your task to anticipate and prevent the numerous potential plant health issues before they take place.
Rotting roots, stems and buds, powdery mildew, and that awful smell—fungal diseases take many forms, and none are pleasant. Why risk the crop development and smoke value when you can resolve this issue without ever leaving your home?
You can’t keep every chemical solution on the market in your stash. Spraying your young crop with heavy chemicals at the first sign of trouble is no good for their overall health. That’s where quick and easy DIY solutions can save the day.
Today, we’re zeroing in on one specific cultivation pitfall—fungi. We’ll discuss the importance of fungicide, share some nifty ingredients for homemade plant fungicide, and provide a step-by-step guide to making your own and proactively resolving the issue.
What is a homemade fungicide for plants?
Homemade fungicide for plants is your ally in the fight against fungal plant diseases. Let’s start by briefly explaining the signs you might be facing this concern.
Fungi spread through the water and air, making them a common occurrence in weed gardens worldwide. They’re especially prominent in outdoor cultivation operations, but you could come face to face with them even in indoor setups.
Unlike with nutrient deficiencies, overwatering, and pH imbalances, you’re not the one to blame for this problem. What you can do is strengthen your crop to reduce its susceptibility and tackle problems as they occur.
Fungal pathogens in cannabis come with the following indications:
- Leaf spots and discoloration
- Propensity to mold and mildew
- Browning of leaves and stems
- Wilting foliage
- Root rot
If left untreated, these symptoms can be the death of your marijuana crop. It’s always a better idea to react as soon as you notice an issue, and organic plant fungicide solutions are the way to go.
How do homemade fungicides work?
Homemade fungicides for plants have a double purpose. You can use them as preventative care, strengthening your cannabis plants, so they’re more capable of fighting infections themselves. If push comes to shove, they work to combat an issue already taking place.
Whatever the situation may be, a homemade antifungal spray for plants acts by interacting with fungal spores on your cannabis plants.
They could create a vegetative environment unconducive to fungal development. Alternatively, the action kills the spores already on your cannabis before they cause any issues.
The application works best in the ‘dark hours.’ If you’re growing outside, you spray the solution before sunrise or after sundown to prevent the solution from hindering photosynthesis. The same rules apply for lights on/off schedules in your indoor grow.
Note: Be careful about amounts and concentrations. Spraying too much of a too concentrated solution can drown your pot plant and prevent it from performing its natural functions.
Why is an organic fungicide for plants better?
Whether you smoke, eat, or extract your weed upon the harvest, it enters your system one way or another.
Store-bought products contain chemicals that harm your health, and organic fungicide for plants eliminates that issue. Using beneficial nonchemical materials and products that you’ll normally find in your kitchen ensures that those buds stay good for you.
The environment will also thank you for using organic antifungals for plants.
Think about it. Some nasty natural life forms need to leave as you grow cannabis, but chemical solutions know no limits. They kill everything they encounter and produce toxic waste, which is easy to avoid with natural products.
Finally, DIY fungicide is much kinder for your wallet, and it applies across the board. You can use the same spray for your flowers, herbs, and ganja.
On the other hand, store-bought solutions are usually specific, they can cost an arm and a leg, and you have to purchase a new pack every time you face the same issue. Using products made from household objects saves money, your plants, your health, and the environment.
7 natural fungicides for plants
Now that you know why natural fungicide for plants is better and how it can benefit your crops, wallet, and general health, let’s discuss particulars. These seven solutions are easy to make with items you (likely) already have in your kitchen and medicine cabinets.
Note: We’ll specify the application method for each, but read up on the details before trying any particular solutions.
Baking soda spray
Gardeners often use baking soda solutions to fend off powdery mildew, a common companion of fungal issues in cannabis.
When it comes to natural fungicides, this one is a fave for accessibility and ease of use. It works for preventative and curing purposes.
What you need: Baking soda, water, dishwashing soap, cooking oil
Why it works: Baking soda disrupts fungal cells, preventing them from taking hold.
Common application technique: Spray the affected areas first, but treat the rest of the crop as well.
Spicy antifungal spray
We call this DIY fungicide for plants ‘spicy’ because it blends aromatic household ingredients that get mouths watering. It’s 100% natural, combats signs of fungal disease, and gives your cannabis a distinct tang that boosts delectability levels.
Combine the ingredients and leave them to release their juices overnight. Then, remove the solids and add the spicy mixture into a gallon of water in a spray bottle.
What you need: Canola oil, garlic, hot peppers, lemon juice
Why it works: Lemon, peppers, and garlic all have antifungal properties, and canola oil ensures that the solution sticks.
Common application technique: Spray the affected foliage from the top and the bottom sides.
This solution requires more work on your end, but it works as a fungicide and natural bactericide for plants. It’s effective against various vegetative pathogens and gentle enough to use for prevention without running the risk of harming your crops in the process.
Ground around 4 ounces of neem leaves after thoroughly washing them and dissolve the powder in water. Leaving the mixture to sit makes it spread evenly throughout the liquid.
What you need: Neem leaves, water
Why it works: Neem leaves are beneficial for plant health and act as agents against various pathogens.
Common application technique: Spray the liquid on plants weekly for prevention or regularly use it if you notice an issue.
Cinnamon is yet another fragrant household ingredient that doubles as a DIY plant fungicide. Its antimicrobial properties protect your crops from common issues and add a delectable perfume to your budding cannabis.
Blend cinnamon oil, soap water, and distilled water for a spray to prevent spores from taking hold of your herbs.
What you need: 100 ml of cinnamon oil, 100 ml of soap water, 1 gallon of distilled water
Why it works: The properties of cinnamon oil are protective, and its texture sticks to the vegetative plant parts.
Common application technique: Spray generously on leaves and stems if you notice any pathogenic growth.
Apple cider vinegar solution
A bit more aggressive than the last few options, this fungal spray for plants is best used when there’s already an issue to deal with.
When applied as prevention, you shouldn’t spray it more than once every few weeks to avoid acidity issues. Used in moderation, it prevents leaf spots, fungi, and mildew.
What you need: 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 gallon of water
Why it works: This vinegar breaks down the protective outer layer of fungal spores, preventing them from surviving on your weed plants.
Common application technique: Spray the affected leaves and stems once every 12 hours until the issue is resolved.
Who knew that those little lifesaver pills double as fungicides for plants? Aspirin has antifungal properties, and it’s gentle enough to work as prevention when applied around two times a month.
Use the same technique as with neem, garlic, and ginger. Crushing the pills into a powder and letting them dissolve leaves you with an effective spray to stop issues in their tracks.
What you need: 1 aspirin pill, 4 cups of water
Why it works: The compounds of conventional aspirin pills prevent fungal spores from sticking to your cannabis.
Common application technique: Spray the affected area once every four hours until the infection clears.
Garlic and ginger spray
If you don’t have access to neem leaves for your homemade fungicide for plants, garlic and ginger are well-known ingredients that serve the same purpose. Gentle enough for prevention, they care for your cannabis crops before and after a health issue occurs.
Follow the same process as the previous recipe, grinding the two into a paste and dissolving it in water.
What you need: Garlic cloves, ginger root, water
Why it works: As natural protectants, ginger and garlic encourage the defensive mechanisms of your marijuana plants.
Common application technique: Spray the liquid onto the leaves and stems to strengthen them, and use the plant fungicide more aggressively if need be.
How do you make homemade fungicide spray for your cannabis plants?
Some trial and error might be necessary before discovering the homemade fungicide for plants that works best in your garden. We’ve outlined some easy and effective options above, but now, we’ll go into details with the number one on our list.
Years of caring for cannabis led us to conclude that baking soda is the easiest, most hassle-free fungus spray for plants you can make at home. Let’s discuss how you can create and apply it one step at a time.
Step #1: Get your ingredients
You’ll need the following for this homemade antifungal for plants:
- Around four teaspoons of baking soda (potassium bicarbonate is a good substitute)
- One gallon of water
- A tablespoon of dish soap (pick a brand free of bleach or degreaser)
- A tablespoon of cooking oil, such as coconut or sunflower
If more plants are affected, or the issue is huge, double or even triple the doses.
The latter two ingredients aren’t necessary for your homemade fungicide for plants, but they help. Soap is excellent at killing spores, and cooking oil makes the solution cling to the leaves and stems for longer, boosting effectiveness.
Step #2: Blend the spray ingredients
To make natural plant fungicide, you’ll first add the four spoons of baking soda into a gallon of pure water. Shake the bottle till the baking soda dissolves, and then add a tablespoon each of mild soap and oil if you wish.
Pour the blend into the spray bottle. We recommend using glass or transparent plastic to ensure uniform texture without any soap or oil layers.
Congratulations, you now have your homemade fungicide for plants.
Step #3: Spray the foliage
Inspect your marijuana plant and locate the spots where fungi have already done damage. Most often, the leaves are the first to go. Using your spray bottle, cover the affected area, and be generous with it.
Bonus tip: Only apply baking powder fungicide at dawn or dusk. Excessive sunlight exposure causes a harmful chemical interaction.
Bonus tip #2: If healing outdoor crops, check the weather forecast. It shouldn’t rain for at least 24 hours after the treatment.
Step #4: Tackle the rest
The fact that you can’t see fungi doesn’t always mean that they’re not there. Apply your garden fungicide to the remaining foliage and branches to kill off any stray spores and prevent the issue from re-emerging.
Note: The baking powder-based homemade fungicide for plants contains salt, which means moderate usage is the way to go. Only spray until you see your crops recovering. Otherwise, you might cause nutrient issues or toxicity while trying to resolve another problem.
Organic solutions for a fungi-free garden
Why do I see fungi in my garden? Can my crops be saved? How do you make homemade fungicide spray, or do you need to rush to the store? We hope that this guide answered these and other questions you might’ve had about this nasty plant health issue.
Remember, the best way to avoid fungi in your garden and eliminate the need for plant fungicide lies in good gardening practices. Study your particular marijuana cultivar and take good care of it, and it likely won’t fall victim to pathogens in the first place.
Another factor is genetic stability. Buy weed seeds from reliable distributors that guarantee quality products, and you’ve already won half the battle.
Visit our blog for more educational resources on all things cannabis. Test your new fungi-fighting knowledge with our vast selection of strains and grow a gorgeous ganja garden at home.
About the author: Parker Curtis
Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.