Outdoor grow in woods - insect damage

Hi folks,

I’ve got two grows in a remote spot in the woods. Inspected today and saw some critters have had a nibble at the leaves.

I’m ideally trying to forget about them until harvest this autumn, maybe visiting them a few times over the summer.

Do I need to head back and get some insect repellent on them? Or will they be ok as they are?

Any tips for outdoor grows in locations like a forest would be great. I’ve tried feeding them with Tomorite but each time the soil has been wet from the rain. Weather hasn’t been good lately.

Happy growing!

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Hey @lulu2020 welcome back, just my 2 pennies, I would get some neem oil or Jack’s dead bug lightly on em, maybe put a few sticky traps around em.

Just to start off


Are you going to leave them in pots the whole time or are you putting them in the ground at some point. Either way I’d put some barriers around them to keep animals from eating them.

Thanks @Unknown and just apply the product to leaves? I do have sand bags to prop the pots up but will look into some traps too.

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They’ll be in pots the whole time. Great, will do

That is a kind gesture, but adding sweet berries around cannabis could possibly lead to enticing wildlife to eat it all.

You cannot expect a good result without any commitment.

Adding any poison or unproven elements to your unmonitored grow project could be dealy.

Coomit to your grow.


Last year I was late by a week or so of setting up my insect net and using Jack’s dead bug. As soon as I noticed the damage the caterpillars caused I cut all infested parts off the plant. I thought I salvaged some of it. Wrong. Total bust.
If you have honestly and absolutely zero expectation of harvesting anything, I mean even a gram, then use the approach you described. Otherwise, I think you will need to adjust your plans.
You did not say if it is an auto or photo. Either way the pot looks way too small.
I believe one approach stealth growers use is a small number of plants in numerous locations. If one gets discovered by people or eaten by deer, no big deal, there are others to replace it / them.
Also think about: Regular feed and water
Regular application of insecticides / repellents etc.

Wow! Have you ever tried to use food Grade COdeX Diatomaceous Earth? Just a thought.


Thanks @beardless - so with bugs already at the two plants, is it salvageable or will this already affect the harvest?

I do have some repellent (pictured) so I will get back to the plants as soon as I can. Am I right in applying the product to leaves, around the stem on top of the soil and around the plant pot for good measure etc. They are both autos so I’m aware they can handle a bit of rough and tumble. The pots are 30cm in diameter which puts them in the 10-15L range. This should be big enough?

I definitely want a bumper crop so will aim to up the anti

Thanks @Roger.Tests

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Although I garden, it was my first attempt to grow outside. Very unsuccessfully I might add because of this little critter

They bore into the stem and do an incredible amount of damage.

This is one of my plants before the infestation. Healthy and doing well on 7/10

A week later this is what I discovered

I cut out every damaged stem I could find

Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Spinosad is highly regarded and recommended for moths, caterpillars, thrips, spider mites and other creepy crawlers.
Another insecticide is something with BT - bacillus thuringiensis like Monterey BT spray.
I know these are safe and are recommended and can be sprayed on cannabis. Even while flowering if done early. Other stuff I would confirm their safety through additional research, both to you and the plant, before using.
10-15 liter is quite small for an outdoor plant. I used 5 gallon / 20L fabric bags for autoflowering plants. That size would be a push for a photoperiod plant. Would work if kept smaller through pruning.

Sprinkle some on the leaves and mix a tablespoon of filtered Cayanne pepper in water and spray.


I agree pot are too small. Anything less than 5 gal. buckets the plants will get root bound. Use light colored pots not dark or cover them with some sort of fabric. The dark colored pots get hot in the summer and will cause the smoke to be lower quality. When I did guerilla grows I always planted near a creek or river to access water. I’d bury those pots to be less noticeable in case someone wonders up on them.

Thanks @beardless next time I’ll get some fabric pots. When shall I start pruning do you think? Both plants are coming up to 5 nodes but short early in the grow

I’m moving to an area with a canal nearby, thanks for the tip @deckman22 I’ve been to the plants a few times and each time the soil is so wet I’m afraid to feed it with nutes as not to overwater it. I think fabric pots are needed

Those are Hemp Borer beetles and they are nasty, I had a fight with them last year.

They are healthy so you can top anytime. Usually outdoor plants are left to grow more naturally. I assume you want to top them to manage height and size given the pot they are in. Did you say if they are autos or photos?


I did not mean fabric pots but, wrap the pots with fabric to keep them from getting hot. That or bury the pot level with the dirt.

Regards, Deckman

@beardless I guess I want to top to increase yield potential and quality. The plants are quite well hidden so I’m not too concerned about how big they grow. They’re both autos.
What tips do u have for photos as I do have seeds?

I prefer photos. What kind of tips are you needing? Because of my growing season I don’t think I could grow a decent photo outside. I may be wrong. I know it is done successfully in MI.