How to Cure Common Plant Ailments

Plants are susceptible to a multitude of diseases. Here are solutions to some common problems.
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Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Botrytis Mold

Botrytis is a fluffy gray mold, appearing as whitish spots on tomatoes, that enters plants through wounds or flowers. Remove dead and infected plant material to reduce risk of infection.

Clubroot

Clubroot is a soil-borne slime mold that infects cabbages, causing swollen roots, wilting foliage, even death. To combat clubroot, ensure good drainage, add lime to acidic soil, and choose resistant plant varieties.

Preventing Clubroot

Add lime to acidic soils before planting cabbages to increase the pH level and reduce the incidence of clubroot.

Blossom Rot

Blossom end rot occurs when dry conditions affect calcium uptake in plants, which in turn causes sunken black patches at the tips of tomatoes and sweet peppers. Correct with adequate, regular watering.

Sclerotinia

Sclerotinia is a fungus that causes brown slimy rot with fluffy white growth, predominately on stems and fruits of various vegetables. Remove and burn or discard affected plants.

Powdery Mildew

A wide range of crops are affected by this fungi, causing powdery white growth on leaves in dry soil conditions. Water the soil well, but not over the leaves.

Tomato Blight

Tomato blight, caused by a fungus that thrives in warm, wet weather, causes brown patches on leaves, fruits and tubers. Grow resistant varieties or spray with a copper-based fungicide.

Onion White Rot

Onion white rot is a fungus that persists in the soil for up to seven years and causes yellowing leaves and fluffy white growth on bulbs and roots. Remove and burn infected plants.

Magnesium Deficiency

A magnesium deficiency on older leaves is shown as yellowing between veins, especially in acidic soil or after heavy rains. Apply Epsom salts to the soil or as a foliar spray.

Rust

Rust appears as orange or brown spots on the leaves and stems of various vegetable crops, particularly in damp weather. Remove infected leaves and grow resistant varieties.