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Diseases

diseased plant

Quick Tips

  • Select disease-resistant plant varieties with cold hardiness and drought tolerance whenever possible.
  • Buy only healthy looking plants. Avoid plants with galls, torn bark, trunk wounds, and cankers.
  • Pick the right plant for the right place. The right plant will fend for itself. Things to consider: sunlight; competition from nearby plants; soil moisture, drainage, pH and texture.
  • Plant properly. Take a soil test. Make the recommended adjustments.
  • Mulch with caution. Soggy soils deprive roots of oxygen and cause root-rotting diseases.
  • Rake and remove fallen leaves from around diseased plants.
  • Improve air flow by pruning, thinning and not over planting.
  • Do not water late in the day or at night if leaf diseases are potential problems. Water the roots only whenever possible.
  • Fertilize, but be careful not to over do it. Follow the plant recommendations. Spoon feed nitrogen fertilizer. Too much soluble nitrogen causes plants to grow too fast and renders them susceptible to diseases.
  • Do not make flush pruning cuts or leave large stubs. Pruning wounds are doorways for many plant disease-causing organisms. Learn to prune properly.
  • Protect tree trunks from "lawn mower" or "weed eater" blight by mulching properly (no mulch volcanoes!) [PDF]