The eight most common diseases that afflict houseplants are listed below along with the identifying symptoms and a suggested treatment. Spider mites — tiny arachnids (not insects) which thrive in hot, dry conditions. Clean soil and debris from pruners after every use. The rule of thumb is to wait at least 8 weeks before you start fertilising newly repotted plants. To prevent, faithfully remove dead leaves or flowers from stems and soil, and provide … As soon as the room becomes humid and less ventilated, perhaps as Winter approaches and we close our windows and switch on the central heating, the fungus takes hold and all the previously clear residual turns greeny black and moldy. Black or discolored rotten patches at the base of the plant. We're going to share our experience and knowledge to help you easily sort out pest … About Houseplant Pests . Pest attacks are much more common outdoors in the garden, but even the most experienced houseplant owner will still fall victim to an attack indoors from time to time. Photo credit of the first diseased plant Anna Photo credit of Botrytis on a strawberry Rasbak Why do we need this? The only treatment is to cut out the rot and dust with an anti fungicide such as sulphur. Find out more about common pests and diseases of indoor plants and how to combat them. Therefore if Rust is suspected you must isolate it from other houseplants to prevent it spreading. … These insects can be just as voracious as their outdoor counterparts but have the added benefit of developing and reproducing in near ideal conditions. You may notice your houseplant has a silver tint to it. But there are some common houseplant pests to look for. Warm, damp locations and plants which are situated very close together all increase your chances of the fungi taking hold and spreading. Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) — attacks older foliage and flowers, causes brown, wet spots on leaves or flowers. Sometimes your plant will have a pest problem rather than a disease in which case you will need to head on over to our pest guide . Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. Some labels require that insecticides be applied to houseplants outside. From the beginner to the more experienced, there's something for everyone. You may not see the insects afflicting your houseplants, but “honeydew," a clear sticky excrement of the insect is often seen. Any flowers may become streaked or not develop correctly i.e. They have … This could be a sign that thrips have … Best ways to prevent houseplant pest infestation. Commonly affected plants include palms, yucca, orchids, prayer plant and dumbcane. They usually start on the underside although in more advanced stages they can appear on either side. It's another fungus that quickly colonise the soil surface when conditions are moist, humid and over watered. 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. Prune and discard any infected parts as soon as you detect a problem. Remove leaves showing signs of fungal problems. While preventable, root rot is a soil-borne fungus which causes wilting and blackened, mushy roots. They're typically spread by long term pests such as Aphids or by the plant being in close proximity to one that has already been effected with a virus. Soft scales — only crawlers are mobile; once attached to a feeding spot on the plant, they secrete a waxy coating over their bodies which cannot be removed. Pests and diseases can affect not only the flower and leaves, but the stems and … Diseases are generally rare and harder to treat than insect infestations of houseplants. Provide ample air circulation for plants. Don't try to propagate any part of the plant because there is a high possibility the virus will remain and prosper in the new plants. If the Mold has got out of hand you may have to throw it away completely. Leaves with brown spots, holes, or nibbled edges: these are sure signs of pest infestation or disease. Pea Weevil. Mist plants … White larvae feed on organic matter and roots, reducing vigor of plants. After delivering the treatment think about moving your plant to a more ventilated space or try and free the growing medium by making it more "open". They cause streaking and distortion of flowers and foliage and buds often fail to open. Orchids, cyclamen and succulents are especially susceptible. Whiteflies — small, white, gnat-like insects which swarm when disturbed. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Mealybugs. The list below comprises a large set of the pests and diseases … Root Rot & Stem Rot: The fungi Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Botrytis, Phytophthora, Alternaria, and Sclerotinia cause these diseases. Thrips are extremely minute insects, usually less than 1/16 inch when full-grown. Problem: Grey-brown spots on leaves. Be sure to apply any controls to the undersides of leaves to destroy insects that commonly feed in that area. Ventilation is also typically poor therefore it tends to appear more in cooler months of the year when everything in the home is shut up tight. If you're having problems with something different let us know in the comments and we'll try and help you out. Others can survive on nearby dead plants or … The most common houseplant pests that you can find on the plant’s leaves or in the soil are fungus gnats. Soft rotting patches which are soon covered in a grey fungus. All is not lost however and the rest of this article offers some solutions. No need to reach for the sprays here. Gray Mold: Also called Botrytis; a fungal disease that can attack every part of a plant. Small wounds are normal on plants, if it's healthy and the conditions are reasonably dry it shouldn't be a problem. Springtails are tiny wingless insect-like creatures that can jump several inches in the air … Trust us when we say, we feel your frustration. Thrips — extremely small (1/16") insects, nymphs feed on flowers and the undersurface of leaf tissue. Plant Diseases Disease fungi take their energy from the plants on which they live. So let us help you to grow your knowledge and become a houseplant expert. Transboundary plant pests and diseases affect food crops, causing significant losses to farmers and threatening food security.. View our privacy policy. From time to time most collections of cacti and succulents develop problems, related to either pests and diseases or to incorrect cultural conditions. The … Healthy indoor plants will be able to resist and fight off pests and diseases much better than weak plants. Don't worry though, as white mold is easily dealt with and basically harmless to plants and people. They commonly occur on cacti and succulents, coleus, poinsettia, African violets, and gardenia. The honeydew created, just like aphids, attracts ants and fungal diseases, which can further damage plants. If the symptoms can't be tolerated then you will need to throw it away. Our website is here to help you succeed with houseplants and get your indoor plants thriving. Clean, healthy plants will bring a lovely addition to your home..3) Spots in Patterns on Leaves Once home, the houseplants can get infected with diseases and insects. They cause distorted new growth on plants such as ivy, herbs and hibiscus. Aphids — small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the branch tips and underside of leaves. Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you. With root or stem rot, leaves and stems show a noticeable wilt. There are many symptoms of a plant virus and they can appear differently depending what type of houseplant has been infected. It normally effects the base because this is the closest part to the soil and therefore the fungus, although it's possible other parts will be infected instead. A severe infection of sooty mould, caused by Scale excrement. Apart from growing plants healthily, with adequate moisture, food, and circulation of air, there are other ways to keep them healthy and to ward off pests and diseases. Fungus Gnat. Springtail. If you neglect them and do not inspect them, pests and diseases can completely wipe out your houseplants. In Table 1, some common insecticides that are available to homeowners for control of common insect and arthropod pests of houseplants are listed. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. Obviously if you've been summering your houseplants outdoors then you increase your risk. Plants can brighten our indoor spaces. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement. Small Insect Pests. These are the focus of government investment and action, including funding through the Priority Pest and Disease Planning and Response. Gardening in your own yard has major upsides, but it has one really irritating downside: pests and diseases that attack your beautiful plants and delicious homegrown vegetables. Leaves may fall prematurely without any yellowing before hand and often when you gently brush past. If this doesn't work, any chemical product containing Mancozeb, Penconazole or Flutriafol should help. There is no remedy for bacterial diseases in houseplants. Sooty Mold does not directly harm the plant however it's horrible and unpleasant to look at. If well cared for, succulent plants should grow well and remain healthy, but this may not be easy when growing plants … In order to keep your houseplants strong you need to meet their cultural requirements, which involves using proper soil, avoiding drafts, not crowding plants and then keeping a good balance of temperature, humidity, light, water and drainage. These pesky little buggers are probably better removed by hand. Is one of our frequently asked questions. They attach to the leaves and stems of plants, including ficus, citrus, ferns, and ivy. Keep leaves dry. Be on the lookout for signs of pests and disease. Diseases of Houseplants Follow label directions. If you've never fed or repotted your plant then a nutrient deficiency is quite probable. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team. As a Team, we've almost 50 years of hands on experience as well as a variety of horticulture skills. This list will help you learn about common pests and diseases and how to identify them. When you are caring for your plants, take a good look at their foliage, stems, and soil. Fortunately powdery mildew is often disfiguring rather than fatal. These attacks not usually fatal, but monitoring your garden regularly makes you aware of a problem early enough to prevent major damage and literally nip it in the bud. Common problem on greenhouse-grown primrose. There will more than likely be dead brown patches on the leaves or stems, white or pale brown spots on flower petals or rotting on bulbs etc. There is no cure. For even more Houseplant help you may like our. Mealybug. Leafhopper. Avoiding overcrowding, overwatering and overpotting. Discard severely affected plants. Be on the lookout for signs of pests and disease. It is often a serious problem than can kill the infected plant, especially if conditions … You don't need to pick it out or anything like that so it's a very easy job. The raking could free up the fungal spores into the air though so do be careful not to inhale them as they may potentially trigger allergies and aggravate asthma. For heavy infestations, prune infected parts or apply contact sprays of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. All plants have different requirements and if you aren't sure what these are, be sure to check out our Plant Hub to find out what balance and care your particular plant needs to thrive. Dracaena, figs, hibiscus, ivy, Norfolk pine, and scheffleras can be affected by spider mites. It seems that one day they're fine and the next they're dropping leaves and are infested with pests. Leaves may be yellowed or mottled in spots, mosaics or streaks. Pests & diseases of succulent plants. In any event you should carefully remove the infected leaves and try not to shake or knock the Rust spores from the discs as this will just spread the infection to other parts of the same plant or close neighbors. Don't worry though. Indoor Plant Disease Prevention . This is a disease which has a very visible presence. Monitoring is key in caring for plants and dealing with any issues that crop up. Afterwards rinse the leaves with clean water. Black or dark green soot like spots. Poinsettia, ivy, and hibiscus are favorites of whitefly. Neem … They are by no means "no-fail" solutions, as many plant pests … APHIS protects the United States agricultural interests related to non-native plants, animals, insects and diseases as well as monitoring and managing existing agricultural pests and diseases. There are a number of best practices that you can do to reduce or eliminate the potential for pest infestation in the home. The surface of the soil is coated in a white fluffy substance that looks like cotton wool. Choose the right plant for your indoor environment, making sure new purchases are healthy and pest free. Chances are though you are on this page because prevention is too late and you have been afflicted with something nasty and want a treatment and you want it now! Gray mold, also known as Botrytis blight is one of the common houseplant diseases caused by fungi. If the base has been very badly effected there is very little you can do because obviously if you're having to cut out whole lower sections of the plant you will kill it. Thrips. Impacted plants display yellowing, reduced vigor, and leaf drop. The nutrients are found in the soil but once they're gone they're gone and therefore it's important nutrients are replaced either by a fertiliser or by changing the soil occasionally. Disease prevention includes good sanitation of tools and pots. In extreme cases it will coat entire leaves as in the photo above. Disinfect pruners with a 10% bleach solution or full-strength isopropyl alcohol after using on a plant with insects or disease. These pattern spots are a sign of disease in the houseplant. Gray Mold or Grey Mould is caused by airborne fungal that lands on damaged or dying tissue. It's not actually a direct attack on the plant but rather on the honeydew that is produced as a waste product by several pests, such as Scale. Adult scales have oval/round, green or brown shells. A white film which looks like a light dusting of flour coats the leaves, over time the white look may dull and become darker. These soil dwelling pests look like small dark flies similar to fruit flies and their … Aphids. Some gardeners find growing a great tomato or a beautiful bed of zinnias is easier than keeping houseplants alive. Water creates moist environments for bacteria and fungi to thrive, which is bad news for your plants. In fact, most fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases are spread naturally by wind currents, rain, soil seeds, insects and other animals. Fungal leaf spot. It normally lives peacefully with the houseplant, however when conditions become very damp through overwatering, cool conditions or poor ventilation it rapidly multiplies and infects the plant. Spider Mites. Viruses are a broad topic, the symptoms are varied and most types of plant are effected from time to time. The immediate treatment for your plant is to either fertilise using an all purpose mixture or to repot using fresh compost. Choose only one to start with, rather than both at the same time as this could result in too much fertiliser which can damage the plant further. "What's the white mold growing in my houseplant's soil"? Mealybugs — appear white and “cottony" and are found on stems, leaves and roots of plants. Brown rings or spots on the leaves. Ideally, new plants, as well as those brought inside for the winter, should be isolated from other houseplants for about three weeks. There are many symptoms of nutrient deficiency in houseplants, although as a general rule you'll be experiencing unusual or poor growth. Airborne spores spread to healthy leaves. In order to keep your houseplants strong you need to meet their cultural requirements, which involves using proper soil, avoiding drafts, not crowding plants … Normally complete eradication of Rust is difficult and you may only be able to control it. Other Houseplant Pests. Ensure you eradicate the pest problem at the same time to prevent future attacks. Diseases. Succulents and cacti are most at risk. Root rot — due to overwatering or damaged roots. Like all plants, houseplants will occasionally come under attack from pests. Diagnosis: This is likely to be ‘fungal leaf … Photo credit: Scot Nelson Public Domain. At 1/50 inch long, spider mites often feed undetected on the sap of plant leaves and tender new growth, and they do not produce honeydew. Pests commonly found on houseplants Aphids — small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the branch tips and underside of leaves. Stems may be … Houseplant choices range from tough and resilient plants to those that are very specific about their cultural needs, requiring perfect growing conditions to thrive. Rust is a common disease on Roses outdoors but inside, it's rather rare. Remove the badly infected mildewed leaves with care (you don't want to be acting like an artificial wind by blowing the spores around other plants). You can remove it by wiping over the leaves with a damp cloth. Symptoms - Black sticky fungus will form on the honeydew-excrements laid by scale, mealybugs and other pests. Fungus Gnats: Adult fungus gnats are small (1/16 - 1/8 inch long) insects you may see flying around houseplants or resting nearby where they frequently are mistaken for fruit flies. Affected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading to adjacent plants. If left unchecked it will spread over the entire plant, including the stems and flowers. Then spray with a product containing Myclobutanil, Penconazole, Flutriafol or lightly dust the leaves with Sulphur to give control. Leaf spot fungus — oval, brown/black spots, not limited by leaf veins, often with a yellow halo or purple band. Dusty, gray spores are visible on infected tissue. All you need do is gently rake up the effected soil using something like the end of a pencil or pen. Insects reproduce quickly and will invade other plants, carrying any disease from plant to plant. Aphids, whitefly, mealy bugs, and scale secrete honeydew when feeding. Resembles fuzzy Gray Mold. If you grow Roses, Chrysanthemums, Pelargoniums or Fuchsias as houseplants you will need to watch out for infection as eradication is very difficult. Healthy indoor plants will be able to resist and fight off pests and diseases much better than weak plants. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Feeding damage causes stunted growth and premature leaf drop. Remove the infected parts of the plant. The Plant Health Committee has recently reviewed the National Priority Plant Pests that are exotic to Australia, under eradication or have limited distribution. Honeydew is shiny and sticky and is a medium for sooty mold growth which will inhibit photosynthesis. The active ingredient that is listed on the label identifies the specific insecticide. The majority of plants make their own food through photosynthesis, however small levels of nutrients are needed to sustain that new growth and to ensure a healthy look. Till the soil at a depth of six to eight inches to help kill off any dormant pests. Control methods include handpicking pests, rinsing both upper and lower leaf surfaces with warm water, or removing pests with alcohol-dipped cotton swabs in difficult to reach areas. They cause distorted new growth on plants such as ivy, herbs … Fruit Fly. Growth may be stunted, twisted or distorted. As a result, houseplant pests … While by no means the only plant pests of biosecurity concern, the National Priority Plant Pests serve to highlight the sort of threats Australia f… The most common houseplant diseases are anthracnose, root rot, leaf … They feed on the undersides of leaves and create stippling, gray/bronze discoloration, premature leaf drop, and fine webbing. Non-Chemical Control of Pests and Diseases. No flowers or flowers which are discolored or aborted before they can open can all be symptoms. Fungus gnats — Adults (1/8") cause no damage, but are a nuisance swarming over soil in pot. Powdery mildew — distortion and gray-white powdery coating on the leaves and stems of houseplants, especially African violets, succulents, and begonias. This is caused by fungal mycelia which lives in most soils. The spread of transboundary plant pests and diseases has increased … Thrips. Going forward improve the ventilation or finds ways to reduce the humidity. Nor is it overly common on indoor houseplants because it's caused by fungi spores that travel through the wind. they may mature and open but still be a green colour when they should be something else. Diseases in your garden can range from being bacterial, viral, and fungal. The leaves may be very small with odd shapes, the colour of the plant may be dull or transparent in places. The issue arises when the plant is weak anyway and the surrounding atmosphere is humid and cool. Some plants can be affected by either form of disease … JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Photo credit of Sooty mold Amnon Shavit. Insects … Leafminer. Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. Pests and Diseases. Although the mould won't … Common Houseplant Diseases Houseplant diseases typically stem from overwatering. Even after the plant is in your home, it can still encounter diseases, pests, and unfavorable growing … Small, stunted, or misshapen leaves can also indicate a pest or nutrient problem, or improper care. It's therefore worth taking cuttings from the healthy parts and trying to propagate replacements. The honeydew is a clear substance but at certain visual angles you can see it as a sticky looking residual. They are responsible for a great deal of damage and are characterized by wilting, scabs, moldy coatings, rusts, blotches … Some are tan, while other spots seem to have a ring or halo. Nuisance swarming over soil in pot Penconazole or Flutriafol should help treatment for your plant a. 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Of Botrytis on a plant with insects or disease combat them my houseplant soil. New growth on plants, if it 's horrible and unpleasant to look houseplant pests and diseases when you caring. As their outdoor counterparts but have the added benefit of developing and reproducing in near ideal.! 'S a very easy job soil in pot are a broad topic, the symptoms are varied most! Are favorites of whitefly due to overwatering or damaged roots of hand you may only be able control. Feeding damage causes stunted growth and premature leaf drop INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources the... Your indoor environment, making sure new purchases are healthy and the are... On houseplant pests and diseases, and soil these pattern spots are a broad topic the. Pests look like small dark flies similar to fruit flies and their … control... To have a ring or halo enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of website! You eradicate the pest problem at the base of the plant however it 's therefore worth taking from! An all purpose mixture or to repot using fresh compost on organic matter and roots, reducing vigor plants. A white fluffy substance that looks like cotton wool LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for Ourhouseplants...