African Violet: Detecting and controlling diseases and pests

The Content Of The Article:

Although the African violet is very undemanding and easy to care for, unattended care mistakes can mean the death of the houseplant. Respond in time.

African Violet: Detecting and controlling diseases and pests

Pests are very often seen on African Violets. Especially the following animals make it difficult for the popular houseplant:

  • aphids
  • foliar nematodes
  • mealybugs

But that's not enough. Very well known is the mosaic disease. So that your plant is not affected by it, it is important to pay particular attention when casting. But more on that. Now let's take a close look at the pests.

Aphids on African Violets

Aphids are green, sometimes black, red or brown in color. They are about three millimeters long and usually stay on the bottom of the leaves. There you suck the plant juices of the flowers, leaving honeydew and whitish skins as visible traces. The leaves begin to show yellowish spots and then begin to shrivel quickly.

How to fight the aphids:
Isolate infested African Violets, remove the affected parts of the plants and spray the leaves with lukewarm water. With a little luck you can get rid of a small population immediately. In advanced infestations, the use of predators such as parasitic wasps, lacewings and hoverflies offers. Alternatively, you can spray your African Violet every three days with a mixture of rapeseed oil and water.

Small ovules of African Violets

Small ovules belong to the roundworms and live in the water. If your irrigation water is contaminated with the pests, the elm can penetrate the rootstock into the African violet. They detect an attack on a glazed surface of the leaves, paired with brownish spots. The spots are bounded by the leaf veins, so they are visibly sharply demarcated on at least one side.

How to recognize small leaflets:
If you have any doubts about whether small leaflets are the cause of the spotty and glassy leaves, the water sample provides a clear result: crush a suspected leaf and put it in a transparent bowl with water on a light surface. After a short time, the pests are visible to the naked eye.

How to combat small eels:
In the early stages of infestation, you can save your African Violet by cutting off all affected parts of the plant. If the infestation is already advanced, unfortunately only the disposal over the domestic waste. Do not compost diseased plants. The small ovules can survive in the compost.

Mealybugs on African Violets

An infestation of African Violet by lice is quite common. Depending on the species, the pests can grow up to ten millimeters long. Typical signs of infestation are white spiders and honeydew. Since mealybugs feed on the sap, the leaves turn yellow quickly in the absence of control and eventually die.

How to combat lice:
Isolate the infested African Violet and remove any visibly affected parts of the plant. For active combat, there are beneficial insects, especially ladybirds and the larvae of parasitic wasps and lacewings. Alternatively, you can treat the flowers with a mixture of one liter of water and 10 milliliters of paraffin oil, dishwashing liquid and alcohol. Distribute the solution every two to three days with a brush directly on the leaves.

Mosaic disease at the African violet

Also recognizable by the leaves is the mosaic disease. Here, the leaves turn mosaic-like in light green to yellow. If this is observed, you may speak of chlorophyll damage. In most cases, too cold irrigation water and too strong direct sunlight is the cause. If you fix these bad conditions, the African Violet will recover.

Video Board: Diagnosing a Common African violet Plant Disease.

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