How to Prevent and Treat Common Landscaping Plant Diseases

We spend a lot of money and time to keep our yards looking good.  This is why it’s so disappointing when our plants succumb to discolouration and disease.  However, with a little bit of education you can learn how to prevent and treat common landscaping plant diseases.  In this article we’ll go over a few of these conditions and tell you how to take care of them.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an affliction of a plant’s leaves, stems and other parts.  It’s caused by a fungus and appears as a white powder that covers the foliage and other parts of the plant.  It’s common among rose bushes, rhododendrons, blackcurrant bushes and many other types of plants. It can cause leaves to discolour and ultimately fall off.  To prevent powdery mildew from growing in the first place it’s best to promote air circulation around the plants and ensure proper drainage of the soil. A topical fungicide can be applied if you’re dealing with non-edible plants, although there are some fungicides that are non-toxic as well.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot can also caused by fungi, but also bacteria or plant viruses.  It causes brown spots or dead patches of varying sizes on the surface of the leaves and can result in the leaves falling off completely.  Non chemical treatments include avoiding watering the entire plant by sticking to the base and keeping the soil properly fertilized. Improving air circulation and reducing excess moisture will also lower the chances of leaf spot taking hold.  Try spraying the leaves with a solution of a half teaspoon of baking soda in four litres of water. If this doesn’t work you may need to use fungicides containing sulfur or copper octonate.

Root Rot

If your plants aren’t looking healthy above ground it may actually be what’s happening below the soil surface that’s causing the problems.  If your plants are grown in clay or other poorly draining soils root rot can definitely be a problem. Root rot is also caused by fungi that grows easily in moist conditions.  Ensuring the plants get proper drainage should clear up the problem. If this is easier said than done you might need to resort to a specifically chosen fungicide.