Are Your Plants Diseased?

Posted on 28 April 2009


plant-diseasedYou take very good care of your plants. But there are a thousand and one factors which can cause their leaves to blotch or their flowers to prematurely drop. Often, diseases of plants manifest themselves physically, and the plants’ physical condition tells you exactly what the problem is. Find out what caused your plant’s ill health so that you may be able to treat it accordingly.

Here are some of the common reasons why:

LEAVES

Black patches – These are a manifestation of fungus disease. The problem is infestation of sap-sucking insects like red spider mites.

Blotches – Large areas of discoloration or blotches simply mean unsatisfactory growing conditions.

Corky scabs – Also known as oedema, the disease results from overwatering of plants grown in poor light

Distortion – Sap-sucking insects, such as aphids, cyclamen and red spider mites, are the culprit.

Falling leaves – If leaves fall off prematurely, the plant must be suffering from faulty cultivation. Change growing conditions

Holes – Holes or notched edges can only be caused by chewing insects like caterpillars, earwigs and weevils.

Rolling-up – When the leaves roll up when they are supposed to be straight, check if the edges are joined by a white web. If they are, a leaf roller has invaded them. Look for a green caterpillar or brown pupa and remove it.

Spots – Unsightly spots and blotches are caused by either cultivation faults or bacterial or viral infection.

Stickiness – Leaves get a sticky feel due to the accumulation of fluid or secretion from sp-sucking insects.

White markings – They are undeniably the tracks of leaf-miner grubs.

Withered tips – The tips of long, narrow leaves may turn brownish and wither due to inadequate watering.

Yellow mottling – This can only come from an attack by sap-sucking pests.

Yellowing – If the leaves turn yellow and wither, sap-suckers, such as aphids, scale insects and red spider mites, might be the culprit. If the leaves turn yellowish but do not wither, it is either you are growing the plant in too strong light or there’s too much lime in the potting mixture.

FLOWERS

Blackening of buds – The humidity may be too low, or cyclamen and red spider mites are at work.

Distorted buds – If it is not a virus disease, it should be an attack by thrips.

Premature dropping – This is the usual result of sudden temperature changes, irregular watering or drastic change ion location.

TOP GROWTH

Web coating – Red spider mites leave a trail of fine web coating on leaves and shoots.

Grayish mold – This is the result of botrytis or gray mold disease.

White patches – Your plant is suffering from powdery mildew, a fungus disease.

STEM OR CROWN

Decaying – Black or brown decayed areas indicate stem and crown rot disease. However, if the rotting is towards the base of a cutting planted in rooting mixture, what your plant has is black-leg disease.

Notched stems – caterpillars, earwigs and weevils chew at the succulent parts of a plant, and what you see are irregular notching on the plant’s stems.

One Response to “Are Your Plants Diseased?”

  1. My Heliboris was doing fine then it started to die. Black leaves developed an the plant is dying. How can I save it?

    Thank you,


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