Diseases of Indoor Plants

If your once perky indoor plants are looking a little down, perhaps they have fallen victim to one of a number of plant diseases. Investigate to determine the cause, but if a plant disease is caught in time, all is not lost. In most cases, you can treat diseased plants and help them to make a full recovery. Researching the diseases that affect indoor plants, including causes and treatments, can give you the knowledge to keep your plants healthy and vibrant.

Root Rot

This disease is the most common of all indoor plant diseases. It is a type of fungus that causes roots to rot. The rot can spread from one root to another, causing the entire plant to die. If your plant is wilting and the leaves are turning yellow for no apparent reason, feel the roots by removing the plant from the soil. Diseased roots will be mushy between your fingers, but healthy ones will feel firm. If the diagnosis is root rot, treat the plant immediately to give it the best chance of survival.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a disease that is seen most often when the air around plants is humid and the ventilation isn't adequate. The plant can be saved if the disease is caught early enough. Dead parts of the plant will need to be removed, and the plant must be relocated to a drier, better ventilated area. Plants that are susceptible to the disease include African violets, roses and begonias. Infections of powdery mildew can occur on dry leaves, yet warm temperatures and shade encourage growth of the fungus. It appears on stem and leaf surfaces, causing new growth to be distorted.

Gray Mold

Gray mold is a common indoor plant disease that can cause a problem for ornamentals such as African violets. It occurs when the plant is overcrowded or living in high humidity levels. It can also occur when dead parts of the plant are not regularly removed. Signs of gray mold include gray, fuzzy growth on the plant's leaves and flowers--if this appears, they must be removed. The plant should be kept in a drier place and watered less. It may be helpful to use a fungicide to rid the plant of remaining mold.

Keywords: indoor plants, plant diseases, gardening

About this Author

Leigh Kelley is a freelance writer who provides SEO Web copy to industry leading companies. Her work has appeared in publications such as "Bullys Magazine" and "Jonesboro Sun." Kelley earned a bachelor's degree in English from Arkansas State University.