Common Indoor Plant Diseases

Growing plants indoors is a way of bringing nature inside and often provides you with plants when you do not have an outdoor space. Plants are also brought in due to cold weather. However, the natural environment of a plant is outside. When a plant is brought indoors, the conditions change and can frequently cause disease.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a disease of indoor plants in which a powder-like substance begins to attack the leaves of the plant. This disease is a fungus that is spread by airborne particles from a plant that is already infected. This usually occurs when you bring a new plant in without realizing that it has the disease. The best way to address powdery mildew is by removing all infected leaves and placing the plant in a sunny, well-ventilated area.

Mosaic Virus

The mosaic virus is one of the most common houseplant diseases. It appears as yellow spots on the leaves and frequently attacks vegetable plants. The mosaic virus is typically spread from plant to plant by insects. When a plant becomes infected with the mosaic virus it should be removed from other plants and destroyed to prevent infection.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a disease that is generally caused by a fungus but can also be caused by bacteria. It occurs on the leaves and stems of houseplants and looks like purple or brown spots with light colored centers. Over time the spots can become large blotches and destroy all foliage.This can also occur on plants that receive too much sun or have been placed in extreme cold. Fungicide can work to save the plant if the disease is caught early.

Crown or Stem Rot

Rots in houseplants are usually caused by fungus. The infected plant will turn black and eventually topple over. The roots of the plant will also be black or brown instead of pink or white. The most common cause is overexposure to warm, wet conditions. Keep your plants in a well-ventilated area and make sure the bottom of the container contains drainage holes.

Keywords: house plant disease, diagnosing house plants, house plant problems

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.