Diseases in Indoor Plants

Indoor plants have been proven to provide improved oxygen levels and fragrant scents in the home. Although indoor plants are protected from outdoor weather variations, indoor plants are subjected to indoor impurities, ventilation variations and other indoor conditions that can have adverse effects on the plant's health. Similar to their outdoor counterparts, indoor plants are susceptible to various diseases. Many of these diseases are easily prevented and managed when identified and treated early.

Crown Rot

Crown rot is a rapidly developing fungal disease that infects the root system of the indoor plant. Though the development of this fungal disease is unknown, the disease is quickly spread from plant to plant by shared soils and infected equipment and implements. Indoor plants generally acquire this disease prior to being brought into the home and spread the disease after sharing implements and soil. Plants infected with crown rot will begin to show signs of wilting, browning and discoloration and girdling that result from the lack of nutrients and water being processed by the failing root system. The soil of the infected plant will also develop small fungal fruiting bodies, which aid in the continued existence of this fungal disease. A combination of fungicidal spray treatments, pruning and sanitation will control the spread and potential of crown rot.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can have varying effects on indoor plants. While a slight to moderate infection on foliage plants can be simply cosmetic, a slight infection can have devastating effects on plants such as begonias and gerbera daisies. The infected plant will first display small, white spots. These fungal spots will accumulate until the foliage is covered in a powdery-white covering. As the disease progresses, the infected areas will experience wilting, curling, discoloration and growth stunt. Severely infected plants will also experience necrosis of the infected area. The potential for infection is greatly reduced when the plant is positioned in a well-ventilated location and its foliage and blooms are dusted regularly. Powdery mildew is controlled with regular fungicidal treatments designed for indoor plants. Infected areas should be pruned from the plant prior to chemical treatments.

Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight is an invasive fungal disease that infects all tender parts of indoor plants. This fungal disease requires the presence of standing water and moisture to develop. In indoor plants, this disease is common in overwatered and waterlogged plants in locations with high humidity. Indoor plants that are infected with botrytis blight will display symptoms such as disfiguring growth, wilting, root rot and seedling blight. Infected areas will also develop water-soaked areas near the point of infection which eventually blacken and die. Fungal fruiting bodies will also develop. Fungicidal sprays designed for botrytis blight are effective in preventing and reducing the symptoms of the infection.

Keywords: indoor plant diseases, botrytis blight, crown rot

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994, and her writing career began with her business career. Her business has successfully assisted many clients with start-ups, development, and expansions. She has a bachelor's degree in business and has published with Identity Theft Chat, Garden Guides, eHow, Travels, Associated Content and others.