Dracaena is a common houseplant preferred for both homes and offices. This is mostly because of the many health benefits it offers to the occupants. All in all, just like animals, these plants are also prone to diseases. Diseases will cause the plant to become weak and in the worst cases, they will kill the plant. It is for this reason that you should take the time to understand the different diseases that affect houseplants and learn how to manage and treat them.
What you need to keep an eye out for
Always take time to understand the signs of a diseased plant before ordering one from an interior foliage provider. When a plant is diseased, it is easy to notice. This is it suffers from stunted growth, the leaves may change color to yellow or brown, a white powdery blotch may be seen and spots may develop on the leaves. The affected leaves will mostly drop and the stem may become mushy and soft. You may also see black tissues near the soil.
The main causes of diseases in office foliage are overwatering and compacted soil. Overwatering will cause the roots to rot whereas compacted soil lacks air pockets which in turn cause the roots to suffocate. If the plant is wilted, there is a good chance that the problem is with the roots. The sights of blackened roots as well as an ammonia or sour odor are all signs that the roots are unhealthy.
There are certain diseases that are more common in plants. Here are some of the main diseases you need to watch out for:
- Gray mold
This is also known as botrytis. It is a fungal disease. It resembles fuzzy gray mold. The solution to this is to remove the dead flowers or leaves from the stems and soil. Adequate air circulation will be needed. The disease mostly attacks begonia, cyclamen and African violet.
- Powdery mildew
This appears as a white powder on the leaves. This will not kill your office foliage but will certainly weaken it. Poor air circulation is the main cause of this problem.
- Leaf spot
Brown, yellow or black or water soaked spots will appear on the leaves. The disease will subsequently kill the leaf. It will further cause brown dusting on the leaves as well as blooms. This disease is mostly seen on dracaena. It is linked to high temperature and humidity. Poor air circulation will also cause the problem.
- Root rot
The early symptoms include yellow leaves and wilting. In severe cases, the plant will collapse. The disease is caused mainly by overwatering and poor drainage.
The disease will manifest as streaked, distorted or mottled leaves. You must do everything possible to avoid getting plants with this disease from the plantscaper suppliers. Most of these viruses are usually incurable and contagious.
The first step to dealing with diseased plants is making sure you don’t bring home diseased plants from wholesale nurseries. You should also learn to isolate the diseased plants from the others and wash your hands before working on the houseplants.