Have your houseplants been showing signs of disease?
Unless you know what to look for, it can be hard to tell. Certain plant diseases are a lot more common than others. By learning how to identify them, keeping your plants healthy is much easier before they end up in your green waste.
Here are a few of the MOST COMMON PLANT DISEASES, along with how to prevent them to avoid them ending up in your GREEN WASTE.
Even amateurs have probably heard of blight. Blight typically infects potatoes and tomatoes. If your plants seem blotchy, this could be the cause. Infected plants tend to grow black spots, usually around the stems. Sunken pits might also develop on the fruits themselves.
Preventing blight is easier than curing it. So, give your plants plenty of air circulation. Don’t overwater them, either. If they still become infected, you’ll have to apply a fungicide. Usually, a good copper spray will take care of things.
The black spot could be what’s impacting your roses. This fungal infection hides on dead leaves during the winter. While it won’t kill your plant, it could make them susceptible to other infections. If you happen to see signs of it, use a sulfur-based fungicide. Since it is a fungal infection, spraying your plants down should help them get better. Also, prune any infected leaves. That way, your plant can’t be reinfected.
Are there white, powdery growths on your plant’s leaves? If so, they might’ve caught powdery mildew. This mildew grows well in shady areas with poor air circulation. Curing infected plants can be tough. So, your best bet is to prevent it in the first place. Take care when choosing where to plant things. Only place your plants in areas with plenty of sunlight and good airflow.
Sometimes, woody plants start to look like they’re growing rust spots. These darkly colored spots are actually a fungal disease. Usually, 35 food-grade hydrogen peroxide will clear things up. Adding some of this peroxide to your soil boosts your plant’s oxygen levels. Plus, it’ll inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus. Other fungicides can also be useful. More importantly, get rid of any infected leaves. These can spread the pathogen if you don’t remove them.
Apple Scab is a super common infection in the Fraser Valley. If you’ve been growing apple trees, keep your eyes out for signs of it. Early intervention is crucial. Look for small green spots on the tree’s leaves. If it’s an apple scab, those spots will eventually turn brown. Most of the time, treatment with a sulfur or copper fungicide should be sufficient. However, if you forget to rake up the leaves, your trees could get sick again. Fungi love to hibernate during the winter on fallen leaves. Once summer rolls around, they’ll be bothering your plants again.
Unfortunately, Verticillium Wilt isn’t treatable once a plant has been infected. So, taking care of this is all about prevention. Preventing an infection tends to be fairly simple, though. The infection spreads through the soil and up the plant’s roots. Rake your lawn regularly. Whenever pruning an infected tree, disinfect your shears between plants. Otherwise, you could spread it to your other plants as well.
You could also investigate planting disease-resistant cultivars. These are plants that resist infection better than usual. Planting them should minimize the chance of any issues.
Mosaic viruses are probably the most common viral pathogen found in plants. Tobacco and tomato mosaic viruses are the most common in home gardens. In hot weather, it can be extremely pervasive. You’ll notice yellow leaves on your plants. Plus, the leaves might start looking a little deformed. Unfortunately, once a plant has been infected, there is no cure. When you spot signs of infection, prune the plant thoroughly. Also, you may want to avoid planting in the same spot next year. Otherwise, another infection could spark up. Usually, waiting two years is long enough to start planting there again.
How to Control Common Plant Diseases Best?
Much like us, plants get sick from time to time. Usually, they’ll get better without any help. However, certain plant pathogens can destroy your crop. Hopefully, these tips will help you identify infected plants. Taking care of them is much easier with the right knowledge.
Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.