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What Are the Treatments for Plant Fungus?

By Carole Ellis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Healthy plants have bright foliage and firm leaves.
Plant image by Hedgehog from Fotolia.com

Plant fungal infections can be quite problematic and, left unchecked, can decimate an entire plant population and scar your landscaping and yard. Fortunately, in many cases, there are treatments for plant fungus that are simple to use and inexpensive to implement. Using these treatments can not only restore the health of your infected plant, but they can also help prevent the spread of infection to other, healthy plants.

Sterile Pruning

Sterile pruning is necessary to preventing the spread of an infection when you are removing diseased parts of a plant. Use sharp pruning tools that you have wiped down with rubbing alcohol in between each cut, and dispose of infected plant material by burning or in a sealed bag rather than allowing it to fall on the ground. Sterile pruning also can include the removal of plant material beneath the plant, which often harbors the infection and allows for re-entry into the plant. When dealing with a fungal infection, use sterile pruning to remove foliage, twigs and even impacted branches, if necessary. You may have to repeat the process multiple times to make sure that you have gotten all of the problem areas.

Environmental Changes

Often, plants with fungal infections just need some small changes in their environments to resolve the problem. Moving a plant to a brighter, sunnier area or one that has better air circulation often will kill the fungal infection without any further effort on your part. Being sure that when your plant gets water--via you or the weather--it is in a position that allows it to dry out rather than having water sit on the leaves is crucial. If you have sprinklers, exchange them for drip hoses to prevent the creation of a humid environment that can encourage fungal infections to flourish.

Green Treatments

Many people do not like treating their plants with chemical fungicides because these chemicals can harm pets and small children as well as the soil and groundwater. Instead, you can opt for green treatments for fungal infections like milk sprays, which help control mosaic viruses, molds and mildews, garlic and chive sprays, which control a variety of molds and baking soda spray, which keeps anthracnose fungal infections at bay.

Chemical Fungicides

If your plant is dealing with a fungal infection that is spread through the soil, a chemical fungicide fumigation may be the best way to deal with the issue. Chemical fungicides also can be used to prevent infections or may bolster other efforts at treatment. However, since not all chemical fungicides are legal in all areas and for all plants, consult a local professional before beginning treatment.