HOUSE PLANT DISEASES
Decorating houses with plants has become the in-thing. People
today prefer furnishing their home and office with beautiful
plants and thus it becomes very necessary to keep the plants
healthy and looking great. However, maintaining healthy plants
indoors can sometimes be difficult. However if you are a kind
of person who enjoys the company of your plants and love taking
care of them then you should know the different types of problems
that your plants face and know about the solutions. Thus if
you enjoy the challenge of growing plants indoors, you will
still need to use time and ingenuity to figure out what is
causing problems when they occur. Following are a few common
houseplant diseases with possible causes and remedies.
flower spots and scars
and bacteria may cause spots. If you suspect bacteria or fungus
is causing spots, remove and destroy the affected plant parts,
avoid splashing water on the foliage since this spreads the
microorganisms causing the problem, and provide good air circulation.
Infection only occurs under moist air conditions or if standing
water is left on the foliage for prolonged periods. Too much
light or heat causes pale washed out, white or gray spots,
usually irregular in shape and size. Brown corky spots or
lumps can be caused by too much water, especially during cool,
humid weather. Many tropical plants develop spots on foliage
that is old and ready to be dropped. This is normal.
means that the plant is not able to replace the water lost
by evaporation. The cause is some types of fungi and bacteria
enter the plant roots through the soil and destroy the water-conducting
ability of the plant as a result of which leaves wilt and
become pale, eventually turning brown; growth is reduced and
the plant may soon die. To determine the cause, you must examine
the roots of the plant. Sometimes over watering and lack of
drainage will cause the roots to die because of lack of air.
Thus provide drainage, and reduce watering. Growing plants
in small pots may also cause wilts. A pot-bound plant, which
has filled its pot with roots, which can often be seen growing
out of the bottom of the pot, will wilt because there isn't
enough soil to hold the water for all those roots. Hence the
solution is to repotting the plant in a larger pot. Sometimes
infection by root knot nematodes will result in wilting. Look
for lumps and bumps on the root system. Infected plants and
soil should be destroyed.
stem or root rot
fungi cause root rots, which are usually aggravated by too
much water. If only a small amount of the roots have been
affected, drenching the soil with fungicides may cure the
disease. Fungal root rots will eventually cause a wilted top.
Cutting dead roots and repotting in clean soil usually obtain
good results. If most of the roots are dead, the plant should
be discarded. The microorganisms that cause these problems
thrive in moist conditions, so plants, which have root rots
as a result of over watering, are highly susceptible to infection.
Always place the plant in dry, ventilated room and avoid too
much watering because at first the plant seems like it needs
water and the leaves droop. It is only a false sign. Withhold
water until progress of the disease is halted.
of the entire plant
of the plant may result from too little light, too little
fertilizer, insects or mites. Most often yellowing is caused
because of over watering. As above, check for drainage in
the pot, examine the roots and if root is dark, rotten and
dead, it is better to discard the plant.
disease generally appears as a fuzzy gray growth and is basically
caused because of fungus. This fungal disease mostly develops
on any aboveground part of the plant as a result of high humidity
or overcrowding, or if dead leaves or flowers have been left
on the plant. Thus always spend some time to remove old leaves
and flowers. Increase ventilation and keep the plants in dry
places, avoid too much humidity and moisture. Treatment with
a recommended fungicide may be necessary.
and bacterial diseases
diseases rarely cause serious problems with houseplants. These
parasitic microorganisms multiply only in living plant cells.
They cause a variety of symptoms like, ring spots, abnormal
leaf growth, etc. Bacterial diseases cause root and stem rots,
wilts, leaf spots and galls on the different plant parts and
are difficult to control. To keep plants safe from bacterial
diseases keep plants in dry places with proper ventilation
and do not over water your plants.