Most new plant parents think that adopting plant babies is easy because all you have to do is water them and make sure they get enough sunlight. Sorry to burst your bubble people but plants need more care and attention than that. On a day-to-day basis, your plants may not need much more than watering. But if one of your babies is struck down with plant diseases, you will have to up your parenting game.
It makes sense to point out that even if you are extra careful with your plants, they may still contract a common plant disease every once in a while. You have better chances of curing the disease if you catch it quickly. And to detect these diseases, you need to be able to check for it’s early signs.
If you are a first-time plant parent, here are some of the problems you might encounter. What’s more, our friends at the LazyGardener are happy to share quick fixes for these plant problems with you.
Plant Diseases Symptom #1: Yellowing
That’s just a regular day in your life as a plant parent because yellowing is one of the most common plant disease symptoms you will come across. You will be surprised to know that yellowing leaves might be a sign of multiple diseases or conditions that your plant is experiencing. Let’s look at the most common ones.
- Over or under watering
- Temperature stress or sunburn
- Root rot
- Pest attack
How to save a plant with yellowing leaves?
Firstly, yellowing could also indicate a natural process of ageing for plants. If the plant is just ageing and not sick, the entire leaf will become yellow and loosen at the stem. But the rest of the plant will appear healthy. If it’s just ageing, you need not do anything about it.
If you are watering your plants too little then the leaves will curl inwards and start browning too. Additionally, check for dry soil to validate your diagnosis. What you need to do is water your plant thoroughly and spray water on its leaves too.
Typically, the leaves turn a pale yellow and start rotting due to water retention. Stop watering the plant immediately and place it in direct/shaded sunlight. You might want to repot it into a planter that has better drainage.
Too much direct sunlight might cause your leaves to yellow and burn out. This happens very commonly in the summers and you need to watch out for brown dried edges to know that your plant has temperature stress. Move it out of direct sunlight immediately and it will recover on its own.
When your plant has root rot, the lower leaves start drooping and yellowing first. However, if you don’t address the problem immediately, the condition will spread to the whole plant. Repot immediately with well draining soil. You might want to let the root dry in sunlight before you pot the plant again.
If the leaves look eaten along with yellowing, rats, ants or other garden pests are attacking your plant while you are away. Pesticides are one way to deal with this problem. The other is to move the plants indoors for a few days (if they are potted plants).
If there is no pattern to the yellowing of leaves and the look deformed then it’s probably a nutrient deficiency. In such cases, the easy way is to plug in a greenstix from LazyGardener into your planter and it will recover its health in a matter of weeks!
Plant Diseases Symptom #2: White powder
Ever noticed that powdering white substance on your plant stem? You think you can wipe it away but there it is again in a couple days. Only when you look closely can you see that the powdery substance actually moves. For its not powder at all, its bugs, mealybugs!
How to get rid of mealybugs?
Mix 3 ml shampoo and 5 ml alcohol in 1 litre of water. Now spray the affected plant with this solution. Keep doing this on a weekly basis until those mealybugs are gone!
Plant Diseases Symptom #3: Brown tips
The condition is called tip burn and it is caused by too much sunlight or a high concentration of salts in the soil. Usually, the soil becomes salty if you have over fertilized it.
How to revive plants with brown tips?
Firstly, water the plant thoroughly. In fact, spray it with a mistifier so that it can stay humid. Also, remove the plant from direct sunlight and keep it indoors for a while. If none of this works, repot the plant in a new pot with well draining soil and don’t over fertilize.
Plant Diseases Symptom #4: Drooping
If plants could make faces, then a droopy plant is the equivalent of a sad faced emoji! Your plant clearly is not feeling well but thankfully the problem and solution are both quite simple.
Too much sunlight and too little water makes plants droopy. Plants wilt and droop their leaves to reduce the surface area in which water is required. It’s their survival mechanism when they are feeling dehydrated.
What to do if your plant babies are drooping?
Move the plant to a shady spot immediately and water it thoroughly. It’s best if you spray water on the leaves so that they freshen up.
Plant Diseases Symptom #5: Shedding leaves
This neon pothos first went brown and then shed all its leaves. What could the reason be?
It was a serious spider mite attack.
How to resurrect a plant that has lost all its leaves?
Make a solution with 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon neem oil. Dilute this with 200 ml water. Now spray it on the bare stems everyday at night. It’s not advisable to use the spray in the morning because it might interfere with the photosynthesis process of the plant making it further malnourished.
If you found these solutions effective, also read how not to kill your succulents.
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