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Variegated Spider Plant
Variegated Spider Plant
Variegated Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum'
Also known as : Spider Plant, Ribbon Plant
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
care guide

Care Guide for Variegated Spider Plant

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Watering Care
Watering Care
Details on Watering Care Watering Care
Fertilizing Care
Fertilizing Care
Details on Fertilizing Care Fertilizing Care
Pruning
Pruning
Trim the diseased, withered leaves once a month.
Details on Pruning Pruning
Soil Care
Soil Care
Chalky, Loam, Clay, Sand, Acidic, Neutral
Details on Soil Care Soil Care
Repotting
Repotting
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Details on Repotting Repotting
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Variegated Spider Plant
Water
Water
Every week
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full shade
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Questions About Variegated Spider Plant

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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
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Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What should I do if I water my Variegated Spider Plant too much or too little?
Without proper watering, this beautiful ornamental grass will underperform. In the ground, watering issues can be solved, but In a container, too much or too little water will kill Variegated Spider Plant in short order. When Variegated Spider Plant isn't receiving the right amount of water, it may stop growing. In the case of overwatering, it will begin to display yellow leaves with brown tips. Underwatering can produce drooping leaves, weak seed head production, and browned leaves. If you suspect your Variegated Spider Plant has been improperly watered, the first thing to do is figure out if the problem is too much or too little. If your Variegated Spider Plant is getting too much water, stop watering it immediately. Sometimes it can take weeks for heavy soils to dry out, so be patient. At the first sign of new growth, test the soil for moisture and decide whether it needs more water or not. The solution for Variegated Spider Plant receiving too little water is even simpler: give the grasses a nice, deep drink and see if it perks up. Bearing all of this in mind, remember that a long, deep watering is always better than a lot of shallow, frequent waterings. The reason for this is that deep watering encourages grasses to grow deep roots, which makes them more drought resistant and less prone to problems from watering.
Read More more
How often should I water my Variegated Spider Plant?
The watering needs of Variegated Spider Plant will vary depending on where it is planted. Generally, you should water this grass every week. In hot climates, once or twice a week watering in the summer may be necessary. In moderate climates, watering once every seven days or more may be enough. Grass in containers almost always need more frequent watering than grasses in the ground. But with a species such as this that can thrive in full sun or part shade, the location also matters. Shaded grasses need to be watered less frequently than in-ground grasses. Variegated Spider Plant should only be watered when the soil is dry. If you’re unsure when to water, there are a few key signs you can use as your cue. Pressing your finger a couple of inches into the soil will tell you if the soil is dry. For a potted grass, you can weigh the grass with a portable scale to see how light it is, but you can also quickly feel when the pot is light from lack of water. Like many types of grass, the blades may appear folded along their centers and thinner than usual when the roots lack sufficient water. Despite its drought tolerance, regular, deep waterings will reward you with a beautiful color. In the wild, Variegated Spider Plant grows in open scrubland, where it would be subject to extreme heat, loads of bright sun, and intermittent rain. Because this grass is drought resistant, you might expect never to need to water it. But don’t let its hardiness fool you, Variegated Spider Plant still needs care and attention. Even though this hardy grass can handle harsh, dry conditions, gardeners agree that it thrives best with consistent water. When first planted, Variegated Spider Plant will need more frequent water until it has established deep roots. For Variegated Spider Plant in pots, the soil will dry out quickly, especially if the pot is in hot, direct sun for a large part of the day. Test the soil every 3 to 4 days and water only when it feels dry. Variegated Spider Planted in the ground generally needs less watering, but that depends on the soil it is grown in. Heavy clay soil holds water for a long time and may feel dry at the surface while still retaining plenty of moisture below the ground. Sandy soils that drain quickly will need to be watered more often.
Read More more
What should I be careful with when I water my Variegated Spider Plant in different seasons, climates, or during different growing?
You can often tell if you are watering enough by the rate of growth of your grasses. Variegated Spider Plant during the hottest months of the year and has been known to double in size in a year’s time. If the weather is hot and the grass is not growing vigorously, you may need to adjust your watering schedule. In winter, you might be able to get away with watering only once a month, but you will still want to touch the soil to test for moisture. During a growth cycle (in the warmest months), the grass will need more water than usual. But during winter and cooler months, the need for water will be dramatically reduced. The most important thing to remember about Variegated Spider Plant is that the soil it is planted in should always be allowed to dry out completely before adding water.
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Key Facts About Variegated Spider Plant

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Attributes of Variegated Spider Plant

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Grass
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
Bloom Time
Summer
Plant Height
50 cm
Spread
50 cm
Leaf Color
White
Yellow
Green
Variegated
Flower Size
1.5 cm to 3 cm
Flower Color
Cream
Stem Color
Yellow
Green
Dormancy
Non-dormant
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
20 - 35 ℃
Growth Season
Fall
Growth Rate
Moderate

Scientific Classification of Variegated Spider Plant

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Common Pests & Diseases About Variegated Spider Plant

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Leaf rot
Leaf rot Leaf rot
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Scars
Scars Scars
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
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Leaf rot
plant poor
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Overview
Overview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
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Underwatering
plant poor
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
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Scars
plant poor
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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More Info on Variegated Spider Plant Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Transplant
10-12 inches
The ideal time for transplanting variegated Spider Plant is during the early to mid-spring (S2-S3), which allows for optimal root establishment before summer. Variegated Spider Plant thrives in bright, indirect light areas. A helpful tip: ensure the soil is well-draining to avoid water-logged roots.
Transplant Techniques
Feng shui direction
East
The variegated Spider Plant's variegation is perceived to be harmonious with East-facing spaces, resonating with the element Wood. This is due to its striking quality often associated with the stirring of growth and vitality, as per Feng Shui principles. However, such interpretations could differ based on individual perceptions and contexts.
Fengshui Details
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Variegated Spider Plant
Variegated Spider Plant
Variegated Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum'
Also known as: Spider Plant, Ribbon Plant
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Care Guide for Variegated Spider Plant

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Questions About Variegated Spider Plant

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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What should I do if I water my Variegated Spider Plant too much or too little?
more
How often should I water my Variegated Spider Plant?
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What should I be careful with when I water my Variegated Spider Plant in different seasons, climates, or during different growing?
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Key Facts About Variegated Spider Plant

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Attributes of Variegated Spider Plant

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Grass
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
Bloom Time
Summer
Plant Height
50 cm
Spread
50 cm
Leaf Color
White
Yellow
Green
Variegated
Flower Size
1.5 cm to 3 cm
Flower Color
Cream
Stem Color
Yellow
Green
Dormancy
Non-dormant
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
20 - 35 ℃
Growth Season
Fall
Growth Rate
Moderate
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Scientific Classification of Variegated Spider Plant

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Common Pests & Diseases About Variegated Spider Plant

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Common issues for Variegated Spider Plant based on 10 million real cases
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Leaf rot
Leaf rot Leaf rot Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Learn More About the Leaf rot more
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Learn More About the Brown spot more
Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Learn More About the Underwatering more
Scars
Scars Scars Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Solutions: Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Learn More About the Scars more
close
Leaf rot
plant poor
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Overview
Overview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
Solutions
Solutions
Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden.
In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Clean up garden debris at the end of the season, especially if it contains any diseased plant tissue. Diseases can overwinter from season to season and infect new plants.
  2. Avoid overhead watering to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another, and to keep foliage dry.
  3. Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne bacteria from splashing up onto uninfected plants.
  4. Sterilize cutting tools using a 10% bleach solution when gardening and moving from one plant to another.
  5. Do not work in your garden when it is wet.
  6. Rotate crops to prevent the buildup of bacteria in one site due to continuous cropping.
  7. Use a copper or streptomycin-containing bactericide in early spring to prevent infection. Read label directions carefully as they are not suitable for all plants.
  8. Ensure plants are well spaced and thin leaves on densely leaved plants so that air circulation is maximised.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Underwatering
plant poor
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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Scars
plant poor
Scars
Any light-colored markings that appear on stems but which do not enlarge or multiply are simply scars that have healed.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Scars form when the plant repairs wounds. They can be the result of people or pets passing by and scraping the plant. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the plant will heal but a scar may remain.
Pests and pathogens can also cause scarring. Insects may attack the plant for a meal, resulting in extensive scarring when a few invaders turn into an infestation. Diseases such as fungus and bacteria can weaken the plant, causing brown spots, mushy areas, or blisters that lead to scars.
Scars occur on stems when a leaf or bud has been lost and the plant has healed. The harder tissue is like a scab that protects a wound.
On other occasions, scars can signal problems from environmental conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight or heat. It might surprise you to know that plants can suffer from sunburn, even desert dwellers like cactus!
Solutions
Solutions
Each source of scarring requires a different approach to help your plant recover.
  1. Protect the trunk and leaves from physical damage like scrapes.
  2. If pests or disease are the cause of scarring, isolate the plant from others to avoid further spread. Some pests can be removed with organic remedies such as a soft cloth and soapy water solution or diluted isopropyl alcohol spray.
  3. Stop sunburn by moving your plant away from direct sunlight and making sure it has the water it needs.
  4. Frequent leaf or bud loss may be due to insufficient light or nutrients.
Prevention
Prevention
Preventing some sources of scarring is easier than others, but all start with careful attention to your plants once you decide to bring them home.
  1. Review specific guidelines for your plant, including soil drainage, watering, and fertilizer requirements.
  2. Inspect plants before planting and use sterile pots and fresh potting soil or media to limit transfer of fungi or bacteria.
  3. Once established, check your plants regularly for signs of scarring or the presence of pests, as it is better to catch problems as early as possible.
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