A white coating on a houseplant or on potting soil is a headache for the florist and a consequence of his mistakes in caring for his pet. As a result of violations of agrotechnics, favorable conditions are created for the spread of diseases and the reproduction of insect pests. Treatment tactics depend on the correct recognition of the causes of this phenomenon.
White spots: where do they come from?
Causes of white spots on house plants can be:
- defeat by a pest – powdery worms
- fungal diseases – powdery mildew, false powdery mildew, white rot, mold
Mealy worms are sucking insects that leave sticky droplets and white secretions on leaves that resemble cotton balls. You can clean the leaves from them with a disc soaked in alcohol or soapy water. Then the plants are sprayed with insecticides, which are on the market in a wide range.
If you follow the instructions, you will have to apply the preparations repeatedly until the worms are completely eradicated. Important. A diseased plant should always be quarantined immediately.
Fungal infections are promoted by high humidity, sudden temperature changes, overcrowding, and weakened plants. Excess nitrogen fertilizer and calcium deficiency combined with inappropriate housing conditions also provoke fungal infections. Fungal diseases are highly contagious: spores are carried in the soil, through the air with dust, and with new plants. Fungal lesions are most susceptible to senpollias, begonias, chrysanthemums, hydrangeas.
Types of fungal diseases
Diseases that appear on plants with white spots are caused by different types of fungi.
- Powdery mildew. This is a rapidly spreading fungal infestation of houseplants. Leaves are quickly covered with white powdery spots, a fungus that is fairly easy to peel off. The white plaque then takes over other parts of the plant. The spots enlarge, become “felted” and turn brown. Infected leaves wither and fall off, shoots do not develop, the plant is depressed.
- False powdery mildew. It differs from the real one in that the plaque first appears on the underside of the leaf plates, then turns brown. White rot. The white rot fungus infects the stem through the soil. The lower leaves lose their natural color and become covered with white fragments, and the top of the plant wilts.
White mold, caused by the development of fungal microflora due to overwatering of the soil, can appear directly on its surface. White mold spots should be distinguished from salt spots on the ground, caused by a chemical reaction and related to the composition of the water used for irrigation. Moldy islands give off a specific smell of rot and are easily rubbed in the hands.
Treating fungal infections
Fungal infections must be dealt with immediately, otherwise the plant will rot and die. First of all, the microclimatic conditions of the room must be brought into line with those required for the plant. And immediately begin curative measures. There are many folk recipes safe for humans to combat fungi. Here are some of them:
- Soap and soda solution: take 50 grams of soda (calcined or food) and 20 grams of laundry soap for 10 liters of water. Treat the plant, repeat after a week.
- Manganese solution: dissolve 5 grams of potassium permanganate in 10 liters of water.
- Mustard solution: dissolve 2 tablespoons of mustard powder in 10 liters of warm water
Prepared solutions first wash all the leaves and stems of the “sick”, then spray it. In neglected cases, you can not do without the use of fungicide preparations of industrial production: fundazole, topaz, Previcura, Vitaros and others. Spraying is performed by following the instructions of the selected product.
If white spots of mold on the ground are detected, it is necessary to:
- Remove the top contaminated layer of soil
- Sprinkle the bottom layers of soil with a solution of citric acid at the rate of half a teaspoon of acid per glass of water
An acidic environment has a detrimental effect on the fungus, preventing its reproduction. After two weeks, water the plant again and put new, healthy soil with pieces of charcoal on top. A more reliable way to get rid of the fungus is to transfer the plant to another pot with a complete change of soil. Contaminated soil can not be thrown away, but disinfected in another container by boiling and burning in the oven.
A well-known rule – that disease is easier to prevent than cure – applies to all living things, including house flowers. In order not to miss the moment of infection, it is enough to observe simple measures:
- Regular inspections of plants for spots and pests
- Cleaning the leaves from dust
- Pruning, removing old leaves that are in contact with the ground
- Creation of optimal conditions for each species, taking into account brightness, humidity, temperature, and nutrition.
A florist’s relentless attention to their pets, adherence to agronomic techniques and conditions, and prompt assistance when needed are the basic ingredients for healthy and well-groomed indoor plants.