Disease Control for Houseplants

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This article will instruct you on how to prevent and control disease and fungus on houseplants.
by Brett · All Zones · Diseases and Fungus · 0 Comments · June 14, 2010 · 5,489 views

When planted properly, in the right soil, and placed adequately based on light preferences most houseplants will have few if any serious disease problems.

Houseplant Care Tips

  • If a disease happens to pop on a houseplant, first, remove any infected foliage and discard.
  • If a plant looks diseased or dicolored, check soil moisture to make sure the soil is not overly saturated.
  • More houseplants are probably killed due to improper watering than anything else. The rate of water loss and thus the need to water your houseplants depends upon temperature, humidity, and light levels as well as the type of plants you have. Thus, it is hard to set a strict watering schedule. Know the requirements of your plants and use the "touch method" to evaluate soil moisture and the need (or not) to water. Press the tip of your finger down about 1/4" into the soil. A cool, damp feeling indicates there is still adequate moisture in the soil and a dry feeling indicates that you should water. If you have a lot of house plants, consider getting a water moisture meter to test soil.
  • Dust and dirt on leaves block light and reduce photosynthetic activity. This causes decreased vigor and gradual decline in the plants. There are many ways to clean your houseplants. Larger plants can be put directly in the sink or shower and sprayed with water. Smaller and more delicate plants can be turned upside down (use your hands to hold back the soil) and dunked and swirled around in a sink or bucket of water. Let the leaves dry completely before exposing them to direct sunlight.
  • For a glossier surface, wipe the leaves with a piece of soft cheesecloth or even easier, spray the leaves with a Plant Shine product.
  • Water plants at the base to avoid splashing water on leaves.
  • Mulch under and around plants to avoid leaf to soil contact.
  • Plant houseplants in well-drained soils to avoid root rot, leaf spot and other plant diseases caused by wet feet.
  • Space plants properly instead of overcrowding. Overcrowding doesnt allow for good air circulation; one of the best preventive measures for disease and fungus.
  • Allow soil in containers to dry out a little between watering. Do not water so much that the soil remains consistently wet. Overwatering plants is the number one cause of death.

Homemade Recipes for Treating Fungal Diseases

Try these homemade recipes as a possible remedy and prevention for disease - they cant hurt:

  • Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases.
  • Powdery Mildew: Mix equal parts milk and water and spray on infected plants. Three treatments a week apart should control the disease.
  • Insects and Fungal Diseases: Combine one tablespoon of cooking oil, two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray foliage.


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