Plants can be affected by various types of fungi. Some will weaken the roots first, others the trunk or stem, and others the leaves, which is what usually worries us the most since it is the most visible. What do we have to do in these cases?
For this, I will explain to you how to cure fungi on plant leaves and, also, what you can do to prevent them from reappearing.
How to remove fungi from leaves?
Fungi are microorganisms that love to take advantage of the slightest sign of plant weakness to invade and damage them even more. Above all, they will feel very comfortable if they are in corners protected from direct sun and in a humid environmentso it would not be strange that a plant that is undergoing excess watering was affected, sooner or later, by these fungal tenants.
What to do to eliminate them? There are three different treatments that we can follow either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon:
Copper or sulfur
We put two tablespoons of copper or sulfur in a watering can with 1 liter of water (do not use a spray as it would get clogged right away) and we water the affected plant from above.
We mix the following in a sprayer:
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
- 4 cups of water
When the plant is really very weakened, it is best to treat it with systemic fungicides spray. We spray all its parts well, every time the product packaging tells us to do so.
How to prevent fungus on plants?
The best way to prevent them is controlling the risks. You have to water only when necessary, no more, no less. We have to think that an excess of water can kill the plants, not only because of the water itself but also because of what it causes (root suffocation + general weakening = fungi).
Every time we have doubts we have to check the humidity of the earthEither digging a bit with your fingers, inserting a thin wooden stick, or weighing the pot once it has been watered and again after a few days. Likewise, we must avoid putting a plate under them, unless we are in the middle of summer and we have plants that want a lot of water (rose bushes, palm trees, flowers) in full sun.
What are the fungi that most affect crops?
The plants they can get sick from fungus at any timeespecially during the summer since it is when we water more, coinciding with the increase in temperatures, and in many places, also with the drought. But without realizing it, we can create the perfect environment for fungi; hence it is so important to control risks.
In addition, if we live in an area where the humidity is high, we will also have to make sure that the substrate or soil is porous, light, and therefore allows the roots to be well aerated. In this way, we can reduce the risk of rot, perhaps not completely, but enough to save many crops.
But Did you know that there are several types of mushrooms? The diseases that they cause to plants are:
El browning of conifers It is a disease caused by the phytophthora fungus (Phytophtora). It first affects the roots, which will no longer be able to absorb water, and from there it goes to the branches and then to the leaves. The plant will look sad, with the foliage turning from yellow to brown in a matter of days to a few weeks (depending on weather and soil conditions).
Unfortunately there is no treatment, but there is prevention. In fact, you can prevent your plants from having it by:
- When making a hedge, you put them apart, at least about 50 centimeters. It is of vital importance for them that the air can circulate on their sides, since this way the fungi will not be able to do anything.
- You make sure that the soil drains the water quickly. If it tends to get waterlogged, it is better to install a drainage system.
- You carry out preventive treatments with a specific fungicide for conifers (for sale here!), during spring and summer.
- You don’t buy diseased plants. If they have yellowish or dry leaves, the ideal is to leave them in the nursery so that they do not infect others.
La botrytis It is caused by the fungus Botryotinia (or Botrytis) that rots fruits and irreparably damages the leaves. It also affects the bulbs, which end up dying as the disease progresses.
The most visible symptom is appearance of a grayish powder or mold in the affected parts, in addition to a progressive decay of the plant. Fortunately, if it is detected in time, the diseased part (if it is from the aerial part of the plant) can be cut with disinfected scissors, and treated with fungicide.
If the bulb has been damaged, the ideal will be to throw everything (bulb and soil), since if it is thrown into the garden for example, it could infect other plants.
Damping-off or death of seedlings
El damping-off It is a very common fungal disease in seedbeds, especially trees, but it can affect any type of plant. Symptoms appear either in the seeds, which rot, or when the seedling is growing, affecting the roots, rendering them useless. It also shows a brown spot at the base of the stem, which increases in size as the infection progresses.
It is caused by different fungi, including the Rhizoctonia solani or the Thielaviopsis basicola. And despite what it may seem, it is quite easily prevented if copper or sulfur is added every so often (10-15 days) in the seedbed, during spring and autumn. In summer, spray fungicides.
Sooty mold or bold
La sooty mold or bold It is a disease that appears when there is an uncontrolled infestation of mealybugs, aphids or whiteflies. These parasites excrete a honeydew that is very attractive to the fungus, so it takes advantage of the situation.
It is common in rose bushes and citrus (orange, lemon, etc.). It is not serious, but it does make plants quite ugly, since they end up having the leaves with ‘dirt’, which is nothing more than a kind of black crust.
To control it, pests must first be eliminated, for example with diatomaceous earth, neem oil or potassium soap. Once they are eradicated, you can treat with fungicide, or clean them conscientiously (if the plant is not very large, it is interesting to clean the leaves with soap and water).
Palm tree pink mushroom
The pink fungus of palm trees, whose scientific name is Gliocadium vermoeseniiis a fungal species that affects, as its name suggests, especially palm trees. A warm and humid environment is a breeding ground for this species, which will infect the plant at the slightest sign of weakness.
The symptoms are:
- necrotic spots in the entry or wound area
- pink powder appearance in the affected area
- early death of the leaves
Can it be treated? Not from experience. Palm trees only have one growth guide, and when the central leaf becomes infected, it is because the guide is badly damaged. Therefore, the ideal will be to prevent, with preventive treatments with copper or sulfur, and keeping the plants well watered and aerated.
El mildew is the name of a disease caused by fungi in the Peronosporaceae family. They affect the leaves, which will have light greenish spots at first, and then brown on the upper side; they may have grayish powder on the underside. It also affects the stems and fruits.
It is favored by warm environments, with temperatures above 25ºC, so during that time it will be very necessary to avoid waterlogging. And if symptoms occur, you have to treat with fungicide.
El powdery mildew It is a disease known as ash or whitlow caused by fungi of the Erisifaceae family. A kind of white or grayish powder will appear on the leaves of the affected plants, with a mealy appearance.which will prevent them from photosynthesis. Consequently, these leaves turn yellow and fall.
If we use a lot of nitrogen-rich fertilizers and / or grow plants in areas with little light and poor ventilation, we promote infection. Therefore, it is important that they are properly ventilated, and that they receive the amount of light they need. Also, if symptoms appear, they must be treated with copper.
La roya it is very frequent in ornamental plants. It is transmitted by a series of fungi of the class Pucciniomycetes. Once the infection has occurred, red bumps or bumps will appear on the underside of the leavesand yellow spots on the beam.
To do? A good natural remedy against this disease is to apply Bordeaux mixture in spring, or spray fungicides the rest of the year.
We hope that you can now identify and treat your plants when they have fungus.