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Fungal Diseases on Plants

Fungal Diseases on Plants

Fungal diseases on plants can be disastrous, unfortunately almost every plant on the planet is susceptible to one kind of fungal disease or another, especially our house plants! The majority of house-plants are from tropical regions of the world, meaning that the bacteria they are resistant to are 1000s of km away; meaning the bacterias we have in our home environments, are often not ones they can fight off themselves. Below I have compiled a short list of fungal plant diseases which are prevalent in Catalunya.

List of common fungal diseases on plants and symptoms, in Catalunya.

  • The Botrytis Cinerea Fungus – grey mould growing on flowers, leaves and stems.
  • Root rot – leaves yellow, wilt, and die, soft rot of roots and base of stem.
  • Leaf spots – spots on leaves that can kill the plant if left untreated.
  • Scerlotina – soft watery rot, with white mycelium on stem.

How to treat fungal diseases on plants:

The truth is, prevention is better than a cure. If you think your plants may be at risk of fungal disease, there are a few things you can do to prevent something happening.

  • Move the plant to a space with moving air. You would think placing it next to an open window is a good idea, but there it will be in its most risky position. Try and arrange it so your plant has a barrier between the window and itself, meaning there is air flow but little risk of flying pathogens.
  • Water intelligently – avoid overhead watering as it has the possibility of providing moisture for pathogens, and to also spread them as the water falls down the plant. You could try bottom watering your plants, or a method where you limit water splash over the plant.
  • Prune affected plant matter – cut away leaves or growth that is at risk or already has fungus growing. Make sure to sterilise your cutting utensils!!
  • Re-pot your plants – when you repot your plants, ensure you use perlite balls or another method to ensure the soil has good drainage. This will prevent any soil born pathogens from harming your plant.

What about when its too late for prevention:

Well… It does happen that you forget about a particular plant for a while, and when you finally do remember it, it is in the depths of a pathogen battle. What to do then?

  • Prune any and all affected plant matter! Sadly, the more brutal you are with this process, the better the outcome will be. Remove any and all plant material from the vicinity of the issue. MAKE SURE YOU USE STERILE EQUIPMENT AND WASH YOUR HANDS.
  • Use baking soda – baking soda is a natural fungicide. Dissolve some in water and spray liberally onto both sides of the leaves. However, if you use too much for too long, it can harm the soil and plant from the accumulation.
  • Create a solution of water and dish-soap, spray liberally onto all parts of the plant. EVERYWHERE! Read this article for more information.
  • Use a plant fungicide – these are available in most plant shops, follow the instructions for use.
  • Re-pot plant – if the soil is diseased or infected, re-pot the plant. Make sure you cut any and all rot from it, and sterilise your hands and equipment!

Note: if your diseased plant has been close to others, please treat the others for disease, even if they don’t show any symptoms. It will save you a lot of heartache if you are pro-active with this.

As always, we are here to help. If you have any questions, please message us here.

Plant love, Planteka.

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