Plant diseases on indoor plants - recognize and combat

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Plant diseases on indoor plants - recognize and combat: diseases

Even with good care and optimal site conditions, it sometimes happens that indoor plants get sick. The main causative agents of diseases include bacteria, fungi, animal pests and viruses. If only the leaves discolour, this is usually an indication of an inappropriate location or failure in the care. In an early detection can be saved in many cases, the plant, if immediate countermeasures are initiated. Therefore, it is extremely important to check all houseplants regularly for infestations.

Common plant diseases

In the native latitudes, various plant diseases have become natural, which sometimes better, sometimes can be combated worse. The sooner they are recognized, the greater the chances of successful combat:
  • Leaf spot
  • Powdery mildew
  • gray
  • sooty mold
  • blackleg
  • Stem and root collar rot
  • viral diseases
Leaf spot
Typical causes of leaf blotch are care problems, including excessive spraying, permanently moist substrate, very high humidity, too cold and windy location, too cold irrigation water and poor air circulation. The symptoms of the fungus are, as its name implies, stains on the leaves. The colors of the spots vary from brown to black to yellow. The leaf spot disease can be controlled as follows:
  • Cut off the leaves affected by the mushrooms
  • with extremely large leaves, cut affected areas out of the leaf
  • thoroughly clean the scissors or knives with spirit before each new cut
  • in cases of hardship spray plants with fungicides
  • ideal are broadband fungicides
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is one of the fungal diseases and is often confused with downy mildew. In powdery mildew, the leaf surface is covered by a white and floury coating. However, the stems and flowers can be affected as well. The following procedure has proven effective in powdery mildew:
  • Immediately cut off affected leaves
  • Carefully disinfect the cutting tool with spirit
  • additionally spray affected plants with fungicides
The gray mold covers leaves, stems or flowers with a gray and velvety surface. Particularly vulnerable to this disease are houseplants with very soft leaves and shoots. Gray mold often forms on already damaged or even dead plant parts. The following measures have been proven in gray mold:
  • immediately cut out affected leaves, stems and flowers
  • Thoroughly disinfect the cutting tool with spirit
  • Additionally spray the affected plants with fungicides after pruning
sooty mold
Russtau forms on houseplants when they are attacked by plant pests that produce honeydew. Although this does not attack the plant leaves directly, but looks very unsightly. In addition, the fungus clogs the plant pores, thereby affecting photosynthesis. The following control measures lead to success in Russtau:
  1. First fight the plant pest, which causes honeydew.
  2. Collect and remove plant pests.
  3. Then carefully rinse off the roux with a soft cloth and a weak soap solution.
blacklegThe blackleggedness is caused by various fungi, while the affected shoots turn blackish and begin to rot from the base. Strong watering and a permanently wet earth are the main causes, especially young plants are in susceptible to clay and compacted soil. The following procedure should be taken into account for the blackleggedness:
  • affected damaged areas usually no longer recover
  • if infested with cuttings, dig them up with a spoon and dispose of the surrounding soil
  • to prevent the cutting end of the cuttings dip in fungicide

viral diseases

Viruses are microorganisms that invade the cells of plants and completely change the basic structure of the plant cell. There are no remedies and no remedies for viral diseases. Infested plants are to be destroyed immediately. Symptoms include yellowish streaks and mosaic-like spots on the leaves. Afterwards, the leaves deform completely, crippling strongly and then die.

Decay of leaves & roots

If the leaves of the plant rot, then fast action is announced, so that it can still be saved. The reason for rotten leaves are usually bacteria or fungi. However, if root rot occurs, it is already too late, this plant disease can not be controlled, only prevent. The following aspects should be considered when decaying:
  • If the leaves rot, cut them generously
  • always use a clean and sharp knife or other cutting device
  • After every cut, disinfect the cutting tool with high-percentage spirit
  • Thorough disinfection prevents further spread of decay
  • Make a cut in healthy tissue to make sure that all bacteria have been removed
  • Excessive casting units often lead to root rot
  • Harmful is also constant standing in the pot water
  • First signs of root rot are pale and slightly greyish leaves
  • often leaves are dropped in larger quantities
  • Potting develops an extremely unappetizing smell over time
  • Plant wilted and slackened, dies after this


If a plant has been infected and the disease has been successfully detected, the affected houseplant must be immediately quarantined. Otherwise, transmission to neighboring plants may occur as most plant diseases are extremely contagious:
  • set up infected plants in rooms without other plants
  • pay attention to similarly good site conditions
  • Remove all affected parts of the plant and destroy them
  • most diseases spread very quickly through direct contact and through the air
  • watch injured plants closely
  • Injured tissue provides easy access for bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • Early detection is the first step to avoid spreading


Palm has yellow brown leaves

Prevention is always better than cure, this saying is also valid for plant diseases. If the houseplant is healthy, well cared for and able to grow under the best possible site conditions, it is not very susceptible to disease. However, if the plant is poorly maintained and often neglected, this weakens the immune system and pathogens have easy game. The following aspects are crucial in prevention:
always pay attention to proper care
  • Do not leave watering water on leaves and flowers
  • Keep a sufficient distance between the individual plants
  • sufficiently large distances avoid the spread of diseases
  • Use only high quality and sterilized soil
  • Germ-free soil prevents diseases of the root system
Tip: In case of ambiguity regarding the care measures, it is always better to inform oneself in advance about the preferences and dislikes of the respective plants.
Plant diseases can usually be well avoided if the care and the culture conditions are right. However, when the plants grow miserably and the immune system is weakened, pathogens have a good chance of spreading rapidly. It is important to constantly check all indoor plants for unusual symptoms that deviate from the norm. In some cases, the affected specimen can still be saved if timely countermeasures are taken. It is also crucial to quarantine the infected plant to avoid infection. However, if the disease is already well advanced, it is always safer to completely dispose of the houseplant. For root rot and viral diseases, unfortunately, there are still no useful tools for the fight.

Worth knowing about indoor plant diseases soon

Discolored leaves
  • Yellow leaves are often due to too much water, but can also be a sign of too dark or too cold location.
  • For most houseplants, the rule is to refill only when the potting soil has become dry at the top.
  • The location should also be changed.
  • On the other hand, too little water is given to plants with brown leaves or dried-up tips.
  • They occur on houseplants mostly in the winter months, because then the air in the heated rooms dries out easily.
  • In this case, it helps to spray the leaves every now and then or to place a jar of water near the plant.
Tip: If all the conditions that a houseplant needs for its healthy growth are met, the cause of petal discoloration is usually a deficiency.
Potted plants can not provide themselves with the necessary nutrients. You therefore need a fertilizer regularly. These fertilizers are either added in liquid form in the irrigation water or stuck as sticks in the potting soil.
root rot
  • Excessive watering or water left in the planter can cause root rot.
  • The first symptoms of this are usually pale, slightly greyish leaves or a larger amount of leaves that are discarded.
  • It also happens that the potting soil develops an unpleasant odor.
  • In the course of the plant then withered and limp and finally dies.
  • The root rot is one of the diseases of indoor plants that can not be controlled.
Animal pests
  • In the animal pests that infest houseplants, especially the aphids to call.They can be combated with a mild dishwashing solution that sprays the leaves.
  • Also fungus gnats occur relatively frequently. To combat them are suitable gel boards, which are available in nurseries. Because sciarid mosquitoes lay their eggs in the potting soil, it is also advisable to sprinkle some sand on the potting soil.
  • Scale insects, thrips and spider mites can only live in dry air. If sufficient air humidity is provided, they usually disappear by themselves. To speed up the process, they can also be carefully scraped off the leaves.
Worms in flowerpots
  • Worms in the potting soil are usually not harmful to the plants, but not aesthetically pleasing.
  • They are easy to pick up by dipping the pot ball of the plant into a container of water for a short time.
  • This forces the worms to move to the water surface.
Common fungal diseases
  • The leaf spot disease, in which the leaves get different colored spots, is due to a fungus.
  • However, he attacks the houseplants only if they are already weakened anyway.
  • Better care appropriate to the genus therefore helps to prevent this disease.
  • If the plant is already affected, the discolored leaves should be removed to prevent further spread of the fungal spores.
  • Other diseases caused by fungi are mildew, which is shown by a white coating.
  • Gray mold creates a gray coating. Also in this case it helps to remove the affected leaves and to provide better conditions.
  • However, heavily infested plants should be best disposed of to protect the other indoor plants.
Tip at the end: For all plant diseases caused by pests, fungi or bacteria, it is always advisable to isolate the infected plant. In this way she does not even put the plants near her.

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

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