While most common disease names do not accurately identify the specific ailments affecting your plants, the names generally place the disease in the proper category. Paying close attention to the plant's adverse symptoms and the common name of the disease will help you to quickly identify the actual disease, its causes and possible treatments.
There are many types of plant scab. Variations include apple scab, potato scab and wheat scab, to name just a few. Scabbing on fruits, vegetables and grains is a result of a fungal disease. Infected areas will initially show as small yellowish spots that turn black and may merge with one another. Scab diseases are usually cured with chemical treatments or major pruning.
Wilting of a plant can be a sign of many things, most commonly a lack of water or over-watering, or for some plants a lack of sun. However, among other reasons, wilting can be a sign of disease. One of the most common wilt diseases is verticillium wilt. Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease that attacks a plant through its root system. When the plant begins to show signs of infection, the disease has already infected the entire system of the plant. Successful treatment of verticillium wilt is difficult and requires timely fungal treatments of the plant and soil.
Certain fungal diseases cause the rotting of the plant or tree's fruit and force wilting of stems and branches. Brown rot and black rot are the most common rotting diseases, attacking mostly stone fruits such as peaches and cherries. Those diseases, and others like them, are caused by fungal spores that overwinter and begin infection during early spring. Fungal treatments and major pruning is required to treat and cure this disease.
Chalk-covered or mildew-covered foliage is a major sign of powdery mildew. This fungal disease attacks the foliage toward the end of the growing season. The fungal spores overwinter and produce small whitish deposits on the underside of the foliage. Untreated plants will suffer from early and severe leaf drop. Infection will eventually pass through the foliage and into the stems and branches, if left untreated. Fungicidal soaps and sprays will effectively counteract this disease.