Fungal attack on plants - the most common fungi on houseplants

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Fungal attack on plants - the most common fungi on houseplants: common

Mushrooms infest plants in the garden, on the terrace or balcony and they even occur in houseplants. The most common fungi and diseases that occur in plants include:

  • mildew
  • Leaf spot
  • blackspot
  • gray


Mildew is the name given to a whole range of fungal diseases caused by fungi. Today, more than 100 mildew species are known, affecting more than 7,000 plants. The most famous forms are the real and the bottle of mildew.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is caused by ascomycota ascomycetes. Among the pathogens include u.a. Grass mildew (Blumeria graminis) or Grape Mildew (Erysiphe necator).
Damage and climatic conditions
Powdery mildew occurs predominantly on the leaf top of plants. They are covered by a gray to brown, flour-like coating. The leaves curl up and turn brown during the course of the disease, until they finally dry up. Even if the fungus first attacks the leaves, it does not stop at buds, flowers and stems. Buds and flowers do not open anymore and eventually whole plant parts wither away.
Powdery mildew prefers a warm and dry weather. Therefore, it is also called fair weather mushroom. But also a humid and warm weather is an ideal climate for the mushroom to spread. In addition, it spreads in strong temperature differences, such as in autumn, when strong temperature differences between day and night occur. The ideal temperature for spreading the mushroom is 20 degrees Celsius.
Particularly susceptible to infestation are:
  • asters
  • roses
  • gooseberries
  • cucumbers

Wrong mildew

For downy mildew, egg mushrooms (Oomcyta) are responsible. Among the most important representatives of their kind are:
  • Mildew of the wine (Plasmopara viticola)
  • Blue sky of tobacco (Peronospora tabacina)
  • Salad downy mildew (Bremia lactucae) as well
  • Host-specific Phytophthora species
Damage and climatic conditions
The fungal fungi, the pathogens of downy mildew, penetrate the plant deeper than powdery mildew. An infestation is indicated by a white deposit on the underside of the leaves. The damage picture further includes yellow-violet to brown spots on the upper leaf surface. As the disease progresses, it spreads to stems and flowers. If the fungus is not fought, the infestation leads to the death of the plant. Particularly threatened plants are:
  • onions
  • cabbage
  • salad
  • roses
  • sunflowers
Unlike powdery mildew, downy mildew loves moist weather. He often appears in glasshouse cultures.

Control of mildew

Wine with mildew

Mildew is a persistent fungal disease, but there are several natural ways to stop the infestation. This includes:
  • Plant bouquets of horsetail, tansy or garlic
  • Sprays of milk and whey
  • Beneficial insects such as ladybugs or sawflies
For the plant stock from horsetail, soak one kilogram of fresh or 350 grams of dried horsetail for 24 hours in ten liters of water. After the reaction time, the resulting broth is boiled for about 30 minutes. Then strain the broth. For pouring, the broth must be diluted with five times the amount of water.
You need fresh, untreated cow's milk for the cow milk spray. It is diluted with water in the ratio 1: 8. With this solution, endangered plants can be sprayed from April to July.
Tip: Low temperatures are not a solution to the infestation. The fungus can survive the winter in the soil or on the plant. As soon as the plant expels again in the spring, the fungus also reappears.
Also, the conditions can be changed preventively so that the fungus does not even settle. Therefore, ensure light and air between the plants. Preventive also act various herbs that make life difficult for the mushroom. These include:
  • basil
  • chives
  • garlic

Leaf spot

The leaf spot disease causes, as the name implies, spots on the leaves of the plants. The appearance of the spots can be different. They can have a brown, red or yellow color, and the size of the spots is also different. In the middle of the spot is often a lighter point to see. This is the seat of the fruiting body of the mushroom. In the course of the disease, a hole forms in the leaf, which leads to the drying and falling of the leaf.

Climatic conditions

As with other fungal diseases, certain conditions favor infestation.
  • Too little distance between the plants
  • lack of light
  • nutrient deficiency
  • Wrong fertilization
  • sunburn

Shotgun disease

Make sure there is enough space between the plants. So they get enough light. Since the fungus v. A. appears in dry periods, the plants pour only from below.Avoid wetting the leaves with the irrigation water.


In addition to the preventive measures also help home remedies against the fungus.
  • coffee grounds
  • Cooking water of eggs
  • banana peels
  • Horn remains
In order for the fight to be crowned with success, all infested parts of the plant must be generously cut off. Next, the infested plant should be isolated. If the fungus has already spread over a large area of ​​the plant, it must unfortunately be destroyed.
Tip: Unfortunately, natural and organic remedies for leaf spot disease are not as efficient. Here you have to resort to chemical broadband fungicides.


Star soot or black spot disease (Diplocarpon rosae) is caused by ascomycetes. The fungus is considered extremely persistent and is difficult to combat.


Star blackness can be recognized by round, black-brown spots, which initially spread in a star shape. As a result, the leaves turn yellow and eventually fall off. At the beginning of the disease, the lower leaves of the plant are usually affected, since in the lower part of the plant less light comes. Also, the leaves dry worse there, which also promotes infestation. Starwort's favorite plants include:
  • roses
  • laurel
Unlike many other mushrooms, whose spores are transmitted by wind or insects, the spores of the star soot are in the ground. There they survive protected even the winter.


Control of infested plants is difficult. Therefore, it should be prevented against fungal infestation. Since the spores of the fungus hide in the ground, you should start with preventive measures already in the spring.
  • Sufficient space between the plants
  • Avoid light deficiency
  • Water plants only from below
  • Increase the resistance of the plants
  • Cumshot of the plants, v.a. Roses, with horsetail tea
Other preventive measures include pouring sprouted nettle gruel and sprinkling the soil from beech wood ash.
If infestation has started with blackspot, the plant must be quarantined. Furthermore, all affected parts must be removed immediately.
Tip: Do not put the cut parts of the plant in the compost. There, the fungus can spread further.
In order to save the plant, it must be sprayed with special means. Unfortunately, only the chemical club helps here.


Shotgun disease

Gray mold, in Latin Botrytis cinerea, is also one of the widespread fungal diseases. Like the star soot, there are also some ascomycota fungi responsible for the infestation.

Damage and climatic conditions

Gray molds appear in the form of brown spots on leaves, flowers and fruits that begin to rot quickly in case of infestation. Later, all parts of the plant are covered with a gray and furry coating. The fungus does not stop even in woody shoots. If he is not discovered and fought in time, the disease can lead to the death of the plant. And even then you can not get rid of the fungus, because it survives in the soil and the dead plant remains. If the climate is favorable for the fungus again, it comes out, and the plague starts again.
Tip: Gray mold can survive in the soil for several years. Therefore, in case of infestation, the soil must be disposed of.
As far as the climatic conditions are concerned, the fungus prefers a humid-warm climate. Unfortunately, gray mold affects almost all plants. His favorite plants include herbaceous plants. He can also attack flower bulbs. Other threatened plants are:
  • geraniums
  • gladioli
  • Lily
  • tulips
  • hyacinths
  • snowdrop
  • roses
  • raspberries
  • sunflowers
Tip: Apart from the plant variety, gray molds like to weaken weakened plants because they have less resistance.


The gray mold is best combated with preventive measures. Make sure that no favorable conditions for the fungus arise. Prevention includes:
  • a sufficient plant distance
  • good ventilation
  • no over-fertilization with nitrogen
  • Do not let water flow on the leaves
Tip: Always water plants in the morning. So you can dry off during the day.
Once gray mold has discovered the plant, it will be very difficult to get rid of the fungus. Since it spreads very quickly to neighboring plants, you should not wait too long with the fight. For a successful fight usually only succeeds if the infestation is noticed and combated early:
  • generous cut off of the affected parts of the plant
  • Isolate plant
  • Treat plant by special means
Tip: Dispose of cut plant parts in the household waste. If they are added to the compost, it may happen that the mushroom is distributed throughout the garden when the compost is dispensed.
Mushrooms are among the most annoying pests. Often the cause of the disease can not be determined, but the damage caused is even greater. Since there are few effective home remedies for the infestation, especially preventive measures should be taken.Nevertheless, if a plant is attacked, the fungus must be identified so that the right control agents can be used.

Video Board: 7 Common Plant Diseases To Watch Out For & How To Fix Them.

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