by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)
Flowers are not immune from disease, and you should be prepared to take action to help your flowers if they fall prey to one of these diseases. Flowers can be attacked by all sorts of things, like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Fungi can live dormant in the soil, even without plants, for quite a long time. Even if you grow your flowers in an area that’s been bare for a long time, fungi can still be there, waiting for you to plant something that it can attack. So don’t think starting with bare soil will protect your flowers.
Fungi are very difficult to kill, because they reproduce through spores that can spread very quickly. A single plant infected with a fungus can spread up to 100 million spores!
Some fungi can enter a plan through the roots, and some enter through the leaves. You need to work hard to get rid of a fungal infection completely so it won’t return.
Bacteria can’t live in bare soil for very long. They can’t grow and multiply without moisture and warmth. Bacterial infections are more prevalent in areas where the weather is warm and wet.
Bacteria is often spread through things like overhead watering that causes water to splash up onto plants. Bacteria often get into a cut stem or leaf, so you should watch for damage to your plants.
Viruses can’t multiply in the soil. They are only able to reproduce inside the cells of a plant.
They are usually transmitted by insects, or they can infect seeds or pollen that can be spread to other plants. Viruses usually enter plants through cuts in the stems or leaves.
The most important thing to do to take care of your sick flowers is to properly diagnose the problem. You can use books or online resources to attempt to identify any problems.
You’ll really need to have some sort of resource available that can help you identify any problems, because you won’t be able to properly treat your flowers if you don’t know what’s wrong with them.
You can also visit your local garden center or extension service to ask for advice. If you aren’t able to identify a problem on your own, you can visit one of these places to seek help.
You can simply describe your problem, but it would be best to take in pictures of the problem if you can. Sometimes pictures can help much more than a description.
If possible, you should try treating your flowers with organic methods first. Chemicals can sometimes damage your plants as much as the disease, and they’re also very bad for the environment.
Don’t automatically go for those fungicides and chemicals, because you can often treat your problems organically.
Some flowers are more delicate than others. Roses, for example, can be highly susceptible to a wide variety of problems. Roses can get a problem called black spot, blistered leaves, and flowers that won’t open due to bugs called thrips.
Be sure to know what problems your flowers can be susceptible to, so you’ll already be prepared to take care of any problems by the time they occur.
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