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6 Most Common Diseases That Your Houseplants Might Suffer From

If you neglect them and do not inspect them, diseases can completely wipe out your houseplants. Pests and diseases can affect not only the flower and leaves, but the stems and roots as well. It’s much easier to prevent these things than to eliminate them after they happen. When you water your plants, make it a habit to pinch off dead flowers and thoroughly inspect the plants to see that they’re clean and healthy. If you notice any problems, treat them immediately before the problem infects the whole house.

1. Botrytis Blight.

Botrytis blight on plants is caused by Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that attacks tender parts of the plant in the presence of high humidity. Botrytis blight symptoms on flowers include spotting, discoloration and wilting. Buds often fail to open. It may look as though the flowers are old and fading. You can tell the difference between an old flower and one affected by botrytis blight by the pattern of discoloration and wilting. Browning from normal aging begins with the petals on the outer edge of the flower. If browning occurs on inner petals first, the cause is probably botrytis blight. Leaves and shoots with botrytis blight have brown lesions and masses of gray spores.

2. Fungal Leaf Spot.

Fungal leaf spot can be found in your outdoor garden as well as on your houseplant. Spotted leaves occur when fungal spores in the air find a warm, wet, plant surface to cling to. As soon as that microscopic spore gets comfortable in its new home, sporulation (the fungal method of reproduction) occurs and the tiny brown fungal leaf spot begins to grow. Soon the circle grows large enough to touch another circle and now the fungal leaf spot looks more like a blotch. Eventually the leaf turns brown and falls to the soil where the spores sit and wait for the next available warm, wet, plant surface so the fungal leaf spot process can begin again.

3. Powdery Mildew.

Powdery mildew is a fungus that plagues almost all gardeners. No matter what conditions you live in or how well you tend your garden, chances are you will come across powdery mildew at some point in time. Finding a cure for powdery mildew is something that all gardeners look for eventually.

4. Root Rot.

Root rot can have two sources — one is a prolonged exposure to overwatered conditions that can cause some of the roots to die back due to a lack of oxygen. As they die, they can start to decay or rot away. The rot can then spread to healthier roots and kill them as well, even if the soil conditions are corrected. The other source can be from a fungus in the soil. The fungus may lie dormant in soil indefinitely and then suddenly flourish when the plant is overwatered once or twice. The root rot fungus attacks the roots and causes them to die and rot away.

5. Rust Disease.

Plant rust is a general term that refers to a rather large family of fungi that attack plants. Frequently, when a plant is affected by rust fungi, many gardeners feel at a loss as to what to do. Rust treatment as a plant disease is startling but can be treated. Rust fungi are very easy to identify on the plant. The disease can be characterized by a rust color on plant leaves and stems. The rust will start out as flecks and will eventually grow into bumps. The plant rust will most likely appear on the underside of the leaves of the plant.

6. Sooty Mold.

Sooty mold is a type of plant mold. It is a type of mold that grows in the honeydew or secretion of many common plant pests, such as aphids or scale. The pests cover the leaves of your plant in honeydew and the sooty mold spore lands on the honeydew and begins to reproduce. Sooty mold looks a lot like the name implies. Your plant’s twigs, branches or leaves will be covered in a grimy, black soot. Many people believe that someone may have dumped ashes or may have even caught the plant on fire when they first see this plant mold.