House plants are great additions to an individual’s home or even his/her workspace. They improve the overall outlook of the place, they make your living spaces more natural and habitable, and they’re good for the environment. Seems a little too good to be true? Well, plants come with their own set of problems, and proper care needs to be taken to ensure they don’t cause damage to the very home you wanted to embellish in the first place. Some of the most troublesome problems that come from improper maintenance of plants are diseases and pest infestations.
Pests are an ever-arising problem for any gardener, and they cause a lot of inconvenience and stress for the owner. These pests, and the diseases that come of them, not only affect the more visible features – such as the leaves and flowers – of the plant but also cause much damage to the deeper, more significant parts like the stems and roots.
The harmful effects of pests can be prevented, fortunately, by quick action and proper future maintenance of your plants. In this article by Elitech Drip, we’re going to take a look at how you can keep your plants safe from insects and pests that can cause damage to your precious garden.
Tips To Avoid Pest Infestations
First thing first – always make sure you purchase healthy plants from your seller. Prevention is better than cure. Pay close attention to the stems and roots and check for pests and any other kinds of abnormalities in the leaves.
It also helps to keep your new plant isolated from the other plants in your garden, at least for a few days. This will help keep any unwanted pests from the new plant, that may have escaped your initial check at the store, away from your garden’s other plants. It’s always better to isolate a new plant from others when you are not so sure about its health condition.
When you do notice some irregularity in your house plant, it’s always a good practice to treat it immediately with suitable precautions before it spreads to the other plants and destroys your whole garden. Try to isolate them for a few weeks, until you are sure that the plant is fully recovered and will not infect the other healthy houseplants.
While watering your plants try to inspect the plant’s leaves and flowers. Pull out the petals of the flowers that seem to be infected – better a single petal than the whole flower. And make sure to water them daily at fixed times so that your house plants never get dehydrated and die out of lack of water.
Although almost no one has the trouble of not remembering to water their plant, when it comes to supplying the plant with essential growth nutrients, most people fail miserably. When you give your plant a balanced diet of water and nutrients, there is going to be less chance for your plant to get infected by pests and diseases.
Speaking about food, there’s also something called overfeeding. One of the main points to keep in mind while feeding your plant is to not overfeed it because it can make the compost toxic and can retard its growth. Sometimes, it may even kill the plant.
Important Tip: Try to avoid feeding your summer flowering plants after summer because this is when the plant hibernates or shuts down for winter. Feeding during this delicate time may cause lush growth that encourages the development of infections and diseases or even bugs in your healthy house plant.
Common mistakes that lead to pests and diseases
It is necessary to look after some cultural problems as well while growing a healthy plant. If the flower of the flowering plant does not receive much water and appears to be dry and weak – as if it will wither and fall away easily – it may be due to the dry compost that has low moisture levels and also due to less sunlight shining on it. A plant will always give some signs indicating its health. A good gardener and homeowner will always pay close attention to such signs.
The leaves on the lower part of the plant will tend to be crispy and weak if the compost is too dry.
A white powdery line appears on the inner side of the clay pot indicates that the plant has been fed too much water. It could also mean that the water has a lot of chalk content in it.
If the flower bud falls off before even blooming, it shows that the plant needs some exposure to the sunlight. This also happens if the compost is dry and needs more moisture.
Some of the most common pests include aphids, caterpillars, earwigs, red spider mites, scale insects, thrips, cyclamen mites, and eelworms, and you need to make sure not to catch them on your plants. Even if you do, make sure you get rid of them as early as possible, for if not, they may cause diseases like blackleg, botrytis, root rot, sooty mold, rust, leaf spots, and many more.
Sometimes you don’t need to know everything about these problems to have a healthy plant only some basic knowledge and some common sense will work too. These are some of the common diseases that can affect your plant beyond repair.
Mealybugs are insects that are most expected to be found in warm habitats and places with moisture. They belong to the Pseudococcidae insect family and are considered as pests because they feed on green house plants and their juices.
They play a major role in the cause of diseases and infections in plants. You might want to get rid of them as soon as you can.
Rust is referred to as a fungal plant disease that causes a sort of colored powder to develop on the leaves of your house plant and there are many types of rusts and each of them is quite easily differentiable.
There is the cedar-apple rust, the asparagus rust, the white pine blister rust, and the wheat rust, among others. Rusts are height retarders of the plant, and care must be taken not to let them invade your garden.
Unlike other diseases, rots first attack the roots of the plants by decaying them in the soil. They then go on to damage the stem, leaves, and flowers.
The disease infects your plant only when it gets over watered and its water drainage area is blocked, hence this can be avoided by feeding the plant only the sufficient water and not more than that and also by having a nice drainage area.
Leaf blisters and leaf curls
Blisters are yellowish bumps on the upper surface of the leaves with grey impressions on the lower end of the leaves. The infection causes the plant to get curled and jiggered.
It curls the growing plant leaves that are supposed to be healthy, in some places also kill pine trees. This can easily be controlled by spraying appropriate fungicides.
Canker is a fungal disease that mainly attacks the bark of the woody plants or trees. It usually attacks cranks or wounds of the tree or small areas of dead tissues and hidden areas are also affected. This disease is caused by bacteria and biotic fungi that damage the body of the plant.
Cankers can be confirmed if you find circular and discolored areas in the bark of the tree. If you do, make sure you get rid of them as early as possible, for if not, they may cause diseases like blackleg, botrytis, root rot, sooty mold, rust, leaf spots, and much more.