5 Common Plant Diseases
In the previous articles we talked about Natural Pest Controls for Plants and how you can identify, treat and prevent an infestation of Slugs & Snails. For the first article of June, we will be covering Common Plant Diseases in Your Garden. In the following article will be the best treatment and prevention methods available along with extra steps you can take to help protect your beloved plants.
When it comes to Plant Diseases it’s not only the bad bacteria, fungi and viruses that contribute to the cause. Micro-organisms, parasites and genetic disorders also play a detrimental role in opening the doors for unwanted trouble. It’s important to understand how the disease came about, and the contributing factors before calling in the big guns or jumping to conclusions that can cause more harm than good. Bacteria are single-cell organisms that live on a diverse range of organic matter, they are unable to survive out in the open therefore your plants provide a perfect residence for diseases. These diseases are then easily spread from plant to plant by human contact including garden tools, water run-off, wind and travelling insects.
Common Plant Diseases in Your Garden
While there are many types of diseases, I have chosen 5 common plant diseases that you might find in your backyard, especially around this time of year. These diseases are Frangipani Rust, Leaf Spot, Sooty Mould, Powdery Mildew and Root Rot.
Frangipani Rust – There are over 5,000 known species of plant rust that are caused by a fungal parasite which requires living plants to survive. Different species affect different types of plants, today the rust we will be covering is Plumeria Rust, a species of rust that is commonly found on Frangipanis. Rust diseases are mostly present by 4 to 8 hours of low light intensity, warm, humid temperatures with rain followed by 8 to 16 hours of high light intensity and slow drying of leaf surfaces.
Leaf Spot – There are two types of Leaf Spotting, one caused by bacteria and the other by fungus. Both are similar in appearance as well as their effects on the plants, same goes for their treatment and prevention methods. Leaf Spot is most active when there is an abundance of moisture combined with warm temperatures and over watering. Wind and rain are the most common ways for the infection to spread from plant to plant.
Sooty Mould – This disease is a type of fungus which slowly spreads and covers the entire leaves, stems and twigs with a black, sticky substance. Sooty Mould loves to feed on Honeydew which is a sticky substance that sap-sucking pests leave behind after feeding on the plant. Sooty Mould is a prime indication of a pest infestation. The mould itself does not feed on the plant, however as it slowly covers the leaves in the black substance, it blocks the plants ability to absorb sunlight affecting the photosynthesis production.
Powdery Mildew – One of the most common fungal diseases and easily identified on plants, this disease is caused by a variety of fungal species. Powdery Mildew thrives in environments with high humidity levels and warm temperatures. A greenhouse is a perfect example of this environment. Wooly Aphids and other sucking pests are the most common transmission methods for the fungi to spread.
Root Rot – Root Rot is mostly present when the plant is being over watered. This makes it very difficult for the plant roots to absorb the air that they need, combine this with high moisture levels and the water mould will start to decay the roots which can contaminate surrounding plants. The majority of plants affected by Root Rot do not survive although they can be carefully propagated if the mould has not destroyed the entire plant.