Gardening would be much easier if it wasn’t for pesky pests and nasty plant diseases. Annoyingly, there are many pests that can infiltrate your garden and transfer dangerous diseases that bring harm to your plants.
Learning more about common garden pests and plant diseases enables you to identify if your plants are affected and how to tackle the issue quickly and effectively. It’s also worth learning about preventive measures to protect your plants from pests and disease and allow your garden to thrive.
Below, we’ve covered some common pest-related plant diseases and how to protect your plants as much as possible with garden pest prevention methods.
Common Pest-Related Plant Diseases and How to Prevent Them
Keep an eye out for the following pests to avoid these common diseases from spreading throughout your garden in time for spring and summer.
Powdery mildew appears as a white, powdery-looking residue and mainly affects a plant’s leaves, stems, and flowers. If left untouched, this mildew can cause the plant’s leaves to distort and curl at the edges, leading to the affected leaves falling off earlier than they should.
You can prevent powdery mildew from building up on your plants by removing infected leaves as soon as possible to prevent spread. You should also make sure there is adequate airflow around your plants to maintain optimal humidity and reduce mildew growth.
Antifungal treatments also work a treat to get rid of powdery mildew. Regularly applying fungus-killing sprays to your plants, such as those containing neem oil, ensures minimal growth and spread of powdery mildew.
Leaf spot diseases
If you notice your plant’s leaves are covered in circular or irregularly shaped spots, they might have fallen victim to a well-named disease called leaf spot disease. Often, these spots appear like halos and are predominantly caused by fungi, although some bacteria and nematodes can contribute to leaf spot disease development.
It’s best to avoid overwatering your plants to prevent leaf spot disease. Doing so can create the perfect warm and moist environment for fungi to grow. Consider using copper-based fungicides and make sure to remove any affected leaves as quickly as possible to reduce the spread of leaf spot disease in your garden.
Soil-borne pathogens can infect plant roots and cause a range of issues. Root rot can lead to the plant wilting, yellowing, and stop growing altogether. Often, you only spot root rot after it’s too late and your plant’s health has already started to decline past saving.
However, you can take preventative steps to avoid root rot from taking over your garden and destroying your plants. Firstly, you should ensure proper drainage to prevent your soil from getting waterlogged (as this can promote the growth of harmful pathogens in the soil). Allow your soil to dry properly before watering it again.
Secondly, you can use fungicide sprays that kill soil-borne pathogens and prevent them from spreading to other plants.
Aphids are tiny insects that feed on plant sap. When they suck sap out of plants, it causes the leaves to dry out, curl at the edges, and distort.
Because aphids are so tiny and reproduce exponentially, it can be challenging to control them. However, you can protect your plants from aphids by spraying insecticides on your plants to kill these pesky creatures.
You could also implement predatory species, such as ladybirds, into your garden, which will eat the aphids and resolve the problem for you.
Whiteflies and honeydew
Whiteflies excrete something known as honeydew, which is a sticky substance that remains on your plants, causing them to wilt.
You can spot an aphid infection by searching for yellowed or drooping leaves. To eliminate whiteflies and keep your plants safe, you can either use insecticides, natural oils like neem oil, or reflective mulch that diverts whiteflies away from your garden.
As exciting as Japanese beetles look with their shiny metallic green coating, they are a nuisance and can wreak havoc in your garden. Although they don’t necessarily carry dangerous diseases, these beetles can cause serious damage to your plants by chewing the roots, leaves, and flowers.
You can relieve your garden of Japanese beetles by applying pesticides and insecticides to your plants. You can also use natural remedies like garlic, chives, and cat nip to kill or defer these pesky insects.