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About
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More About How-Tos
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Pests & Diseases
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More Info

How to Care for Rheum Altaicum

The rheum altaicum (Rheum altaicum) are a group of large-leafed flowering plants in the buckwheat (sometimes called knotweed) family. This genus is most famous for its edible species. Although their leaves are toxic, their thick red stems are edible and sport a tart flavor – they're often used in desserts and pastries such as pies. Additionally, a handful of rheum altaicum species are grown ornamentally, being prized for their large, showy leaves.
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Rheum altaicum
Rheum altaicum
Rheum altaicum
care_scenes

More Info on Rheum Altaicum Growth and Care

Basic Care Guide
Lighting
Full sun
Temperature
-30 35 ℃
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Rheum altaicum based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Leaf deformity
Leaf deformity Leaf deformity
Leaf deformity
Leaf deformities can have a variety of causes.
Solutions: Follow these steps to revive plants with abnormal leaves. Remove damaged leaves: Plants can recover from damage when given the time to do so. Remove any deformed leaves so they don't continue drawing energy from the plant. This also creates room for healthier ones to grow. Stop using herbicide: Though herbicide damage is challenging to diagnose, gardeners can potentially prevent deformed leaves by not using any and by strictly following manufacturers instructions. Spray insecticide: Prevent pests from inhabiting plant leaves by spraying with insecticide regularly and practicing good natural pest prevention techniques. Apply a balanced fertilizer: Solve nutrient deficiencies and excesses by using a well-balanced fertilizer (organic or conventional both work) before planting, and consider topdressing when signs of stress are apparent. Fix watering schedule: If plant leaves are curled downward due to too much or too little water, adjust the watering schedule so the soil is moist, but not damp. Remove infected plants: If the plant has succumbed to a viral infection, not much can be done to revive it. Remove and destroy all compromised plant material to prevent spread to other plants.
Fire ants
Fire ants Fire ants
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
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Leaf beetles
plant poor
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
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Leaf deformity
plant poor
Leaf deformity
Leaf deformities can have a variety of causes.
Overview
Overview
Leaf deformity manifests in the form of curled, cupped, or distorted leaves, often first seen in the spring. There are a number of different possibilities as to the cause and it will not always be easy to isolate the problem without laboratory analysis. In the majority of cases, however, the gardener should be able to isolate the cause through close examination of the plant and the local conditions.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The plant has developed abnormal leaves. They may look similar to leaf curl, but show other problems such as:
  • stunting
  • abnormal shapes
  • a bumpy texture
  • gaps between leaf sections
  • raised growths on the top surface
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The causes are widespread and varied and the gardener will need to examine plants carefully as well as consider environmental factors.
Disease due to insect damage: Mites, aphids, and other insects that feast on plant leaves can leave them vulnerable to viral and bacterial disease. Some, like leaf galls and rust, produce distorted leaves. If the gardener sees insects on the plants, it is likely the insect is the culprit. Some mites are too small to see, and laboratory analysis may be required.
Herbicide exposure: Herbicides can stress plant leaves. This may lead to stunted growth and a curling, cupped appearance. Even if the plant owner didn't apply herbicides, herbicide drift and planting in contaminated soils can expose plants to these chemicals. If all plants in an area have deformed leaves, the cause is likely herbicides. Herbicide exposure is also characterized by narrow new leaves.
Less than ideal growing conditions: If plants are exposed to cold temperatures right as their leaves are coming out of the bud, they might become stunted and malformed. If deformed leaves occur right after a cold spell or frost, this is likely the cause. Too much and too little water can also cause deformed leaves. Leaves curling down but not distorting is more likely to be a watering issue than a leaf deformity.
Nutrient deficiencies: A lack of critical nutrients during the growing phase, including boron, calcium, and molybdenum, may lead plant leaves to grow stunted or disfigured. If a nutrient deficiency is to blame, the leaves will also show discoloring.
Fungal infections: a variety of fungal pathogens can distort leaves, as is the case with Peach leaf curl.
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qrcode
Scan the QR code with your phone camera to download the app
Fire ants
plant poor
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Continue reading in our app - it's better
A database of 400000+ plants and unlimited guides at your fingertips...
qrcode
Scan the QR code with your phone camera to download the app
Flower withering
plant poor
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
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More About Rheum Altaicum

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Rheum altaicum
Rheum altaicum
Rheum altaicum

How to Care for Rheum Altaicum

The rheum altaicum (Rheum altaicum) are a group of large-leafed flowering plants in the buckwheat (sometimes called knotweed) family. This genus is most famous for its edible species. Although their leaves are toxic, their thick red stems are edible and sport a tart flavor – they're often used in desserts and pastries such as pies. Additionally, a handful of rheum altaicum species are grown ornamentally, being prized for their large, showy leaves.
Sunlight
Full sun
Sunlight Sunlight detail
care_scenes

More Info on Rheum Altaicum Growth and Care

Basic Care Guide
care_pet_and_diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Rheum altaicum based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Learn More About the Leaf beetles more
Leaf deformity
Leaf deformity Leaf deformity Leaf deformity
Leaf deformities can have a variety of causes.
Solutions: Follow these steps to revive plants with abnormal leaves. Remove damaged leaves: Plants can recover from damage when given the time to do so. Remove any deformed leaves so they don't continue drawing energy from the plant. This also creates room for healthier ones to grow. Stop using herbicide: Though herbicide damage is challenging to diagnose, gardeners can potentially prevent deformed leaves by not using any and by strictly following manufacturers instructions. Spray insecticide: Prevent pests from inhabiting plant leaves by spraying with insecticide regularly and practicing good natural pest prevention techniques. Apply a balanced fertilizer: Solve nutrient deficiencies and excesses by using a well-balanced fertilizer (organic or conventional both work) before planting, and consider topdressing when signs of stress are apparent. Fix watering schedule: If plant leaves are curled downward due to too much or too little water, adjust the watering schedule so the soil is moist, but not damp. Remove infected plants: If the plant has succumbed to a viral infection, not much can be done to revive it. Remove and destroy all compromised plant material to prevent spread to other plants.
Learn More About the Leaf deformity more
Fire ants
Fire ants Fire ants Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Solutions: Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy. Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all. For less severe cases: Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem). Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes. For severe cases: Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb. Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants. Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Learn More About the Fire ants more
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Learn More About the Flower withering more
autodiagnose

Treat and prevent plant diseases.

AI-powered plant doctor helps you diagnose plant problems in seconds.
close
Leaf beetles
plant poor
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
Continue reading in our app - it's better
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unlimited guides at your fingertips...
close
Leaf deformity
plant poor
Leaf deformity
Leaf deformities can have a variety of causes.
Overview
Overview
Leaf deformity manifests in the form of curled, cupped, or distorted leaves, often first seen in the spring. There are a number of different possibilities as to the cause and it will not always be easy to isolate the problem without laboratory analysis. In the majority of cases, however, the gardener should be able to isolate the cause through close examination of the plant and the local conditions.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The plant has developed abnormal leaves. They may look similar to leaf curl, but show other problems such as:
  • stunting
  • abnormal shapes
  • a bumpy texture
  • gaps between leaf sections
  • raised growths on the top surface
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The causes are widespread and varied and the gardener will need to examine plants carefully as well as consider environmental factors.
Disease due to insect damage: Mites, aphids, and other insects that feast on plant leaves can leave them vulnerable to viral and bacterial disease. Some, like leaf galls and rust, produce distorted leaves. If the gardener sees insects on the plants, it is likely the insect is the culprit. Some mites are too small to see, and laboratory analysis may be required.
Herbicide exposure: Herbicides can stress plant leaves. This may lead to stunted growth and a curling, cupped appearance. Even if the plant owner didn't apply herbicides, herbicide drift and planting in contaminated soils can expose plants to these chemicals. If all plants in an area have deformed leaves, the cause is likely herbicides. Herbicide exposure is also characterized by narrow new leaves.
Less than ideal growing conditions: If plants are exposed to cold temperatures right as their leaves are coming out of the bud, they might become stunted and malformed. If deformed leaves occur right after a cold spell or frost, this is likely the cause. Too much and too little water can also cause deformed leaves. Leaves curling down but not distorting is more likely to be a watering issue than a leaf deformity.
Nutrient deficiencies: A lack of critical nutrients during the growing phase, including boron, calcium, and molybdenum, may lead plant leaves to grow stunted or disfigured. If a nutrient deficiency is to blame, the leaves will also show discoloring.
Fungal infections: a variety of fungal pathogens can distort leaves, as is the case with Peach leaf curl.
Solutions
Solutions
Follow these steps to revive plants with abnormal leaves.
  1. Remove damaged leaves: Plants can recover from damage when given the time to do so. Remove any deformed leaves so they don't continue drawing energy from the plant. This also creates room for healthier ones to grow.
  2. Stop using herbicide: Though herbicide damage is challenging to diagnose, gardeners can potentially prevent deformed leaves by not using any and by strictly following manufacturers instructions.
  3. Spray insecticide: Prevent pests from inhabiting plant leaves by spraying with insecticide regularly and practicing good natural pest prevention techniques.
  4. Apply a balanced fertilizer: Solve nutrient deficiencies and excesses by using a well-balanced fertilizer (organic or conventional both work) before planting, and consider topdressing when signs of stress are apparent.
  5. Fix watering schedule: If plant leaves are curled downward due to too much or too little water, adjust the watering schedule so the soil is moist, but not damp.
  6. Remove infected plants: If the plant has succumbed to a viral infection, not much can be done to revive it. Remove and destroy all compromised plant material to prevent spread to other plants.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Fertilize properly. Keep your plants full of essential nutrients with a balanced fertilizer.
  2. Regularly monitor for pests. Remove all pests by hand or treat them with an insecticide. Early discovery and treatment will prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
  3. Provide the proper amount of water. Water until the soil is moist, but not damp. Only once the soil dries out, should the plant be watered again.
  4. Protect plants from cold. Bring plants indoors or protect them with frost cloth when bad weather is forecast.
  5. Avoid herbicide exposure. If the gardener or surrounding neighbors are applying herbicides, consider moving vulnerable plants to where they are less exposed to any chemicals that may be carried on the wind.
Continue reading in our app - it's better
A database of 400000+ plants
unlimited guides at your fingertips...
close
Fire ants
plant poor
Fire ants
Fire ants gnaw on the roots of plants and are aggressive toward people.
Overview
Overview
Fire ants are a group of ants that are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Some fire ants are native and others are invasive from other countries. Once they reach plants, they climb them and chew away at leaves and flower buds.
Fire ants also kill and eat beneficial insects such as caterpillars, ladybugs, mantis, and native ants. They can be a problem any time temperatures are above freezing, but new infestations are most likely to appear when brought in via contaminated material such as potting soil or mulch, or when insecticides have harmed populations of beneficial insects that would otherwise control populations of fire ants.
They can be difficult to control, especially once populations become large. Plant damage is typically minor, but fire ants can destroy seedlings.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The number one symptom of fire ants is seeing the ants themselves which are red or black in color. Ant mounds in the ground are also signs. Fire ant mounds rarely exceed 46 cm in diameter. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, many fast-moving, aggressive ants will emerge. These ants will bite and then painfully sting.
Even if no ants are visible, their damage might be apparent. Chewed leaf and flower edges might indicate fire ants. Fully eaten seedlings are another sign.
Solutions
Solutions
Caution: fire ants are venomous and cause painful bites which can be fatal in the case of a rare but significant allergy.
Fire ants can be a painful pest to have around for you and your plants. Keeping them under control will ensure comfortable gardening for all.
For less severe cases:
  • Physically remove mounds. Dig out and remove entire mounds (remember, they go deeper than they seem).
  • Use citrus oil. Pour citrus oil, which is toxic to fire ants, down their holes.
For severe cases:
  • Use ant bait. For a chemical solution, broadcast insecticide bait formulated for fire ants in the area around a mound. Apply the bait during a dry evening so the ants can forage for it at night. Look for products that contain Indoxacarb.
  • Release phorid flies. Introduce or promote beneficial phorid flies to gardens. These parasitic flies attack invasive fire ants.
  • Hire a professional. Some ant baits are only available to professional exterminators. For serious cases of fire ants, consider hiring a professional.
Prevention
Prevention
Fire ants become more difficult to control as they establish themselves, so try to prevent them or treat them early.
  • Monitor new material. Do not bring in any soil or plants from known infested areas, unless if they are "Quarantine Approved." Make sure to check new material for fire ants.
  • Apply insecticide. Some warm and humid areas have high fire ants populations. In these areas, spread a granular fire ants insecticide such as Varsity in the spring near gardens to prevent these unwelcome visitors.
  • Treat early. Spot treat at the first sight of any fire ants mound, as larger mounds are more difficult to treat.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
Solutions
Solutions
If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface.
In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well.
If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Prevention
Prevention
This is definitely one of those instances where prevention is more effective than cure. Here are some preventative measures for avoiding premature flower withering.
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
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