Healthy Plants Are More Resistant
Healthy plants are more resistant to diseases and insect problems
A plant that’s under stress from underwatering, overwatering, and too much or too little sun is more vulnerable to disease than a healthy plant. Fortunately, many problems are treatable if caught early. Prevention is always better than the cure.
Some of the common diseases and insect infestations to check for:
Poor air circulation and high humidity are favorable conditions for this dusty, white fungus on flowers and tops of leaves. African violets and begonias are especially susceptible because of their thick, soft leaves and their need for high humidity. Under moist conditions, fungus thrives on dead plant tissue and becomes a breeding ground for diseases and attracts insects. Remove any dead flowers and leaf stems from your plant.
As the name suggests brown spots appear on the leaves and, if left untreated, are likely to spread to other foliage. All infected leaves need to be removed and destroyed. Avoid misting for a month or two, and keeping the soil slightly dry.
INSECTS LIVING ON HOUSE PLANTS
Whiteflies look like tiny, white moths. The adult whitefly female can lay hundreds of eggs on the underside of leaves, usually in a circular pattern.Their larvae tend to lurk on the undersides of leaves. In hotter weather, one whitefly can go from egg to grown adult in just 16 days. Yellow, falling leaves can be a sign that whitefly is present. Remove all badly affected leaves as well as fallen foliage to help eliminate this pest.
Spider mites are tiny specks on webbing on the undersides of leaves and between stems and leaves. These sap-sucking pests are a familiar sight on houseplants that inhabit hot, dry rooms. Regular water-spraying with a fine mister will help keep them at bay. The spiders themselves are barely visible; small, numerous yellow blotches on the leaves are a more reliable symptom, as well as small white cobwebs between the leaf and stem.
Mealybugs are small, white, and fuzzy. The female mealybug deposits her eggs in a cotton-like pouch and they hatch in a little over a week. They have an armour like outer shell and can be very resistant to plant care products. They feed on or around the leaf axils or under the leaves. Wipe off with a damp cloth or damp cotton buds as much as possible and destroy the cloth used.
Aphids typically attack new growth and all soft, vulnerable parts of the plant, weakening it. They are sap-sucking insects that are usually green, but can also be coloured orange, grey or black. They produce a sweet, sticky excretion known as honeydew, and if you notice a substance on your plants that feels sticky, it may mean aphids are living on the plant.
Safer® Brand pest control products are popular, organic products that work well for these diseases and insect problems. They are made with real natural ingredients, such as oil from seeds and soap. They solve problems fast, yet are safe to use around people and pets when used as directed.
Keeping plants dust-free and clean helps them stay healthy and more attractive.