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Plant Problems

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

Inspect your garden regularly for signs that something could be wrong.

When something's going wrong in your garden, you can tell by looking at your plants; however, even though it's easy to identify that something isn't right, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the problem could be. Here are some tips for identifying plant diseases and pest damage.


When something's going wrong in your garden, you can tell by looking at your plants; however, even though it's easy to identify that something isn't right, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the problem could be. Here are some tips for identifying plant diseases and pest damage.

Common plant problems:

  • Disappearing seedlings: This can be caused by animals, birds or cutworms. Look for footprints to rule out deer or rabbits. Protect plants from cutworms by encircling stems with a paper or plastic cup pushed into the soil.

  • Holes in leaves: Large holes are often the work of slugs, grasshoppers, caterpillars or beetles. A few holes usually don't bother plants, but if the damage gets worse, look for the culprits in the daytime and at night. Small holes in leaves are usually caused by flea beetles. Use a neem-based insecticide to get rid of them.

  • Crinkled leaves: leaves that show crinkling, strange colors and textures are often victims of disease. It's best to remove them from the garden.

  • Drooping leaves: If your plants are not thirsty, drooping or pale leaves are generally a sign of sap-sucking insects, like aphids. Insecticidal soap is a good remedy.

  • Rolled leaves: Caterpillars sometimes use leaves as a home. Look inside curled up leaves to see if anyone's shaking up inside.

  • Collapsing plants: Cutworms or a root disease are usually to blame for a plant's sudden collapse and death. Remove the dead roots and replace the plant with one unrelated to the one that died.


Check your plants often for symptoms of disease or pests, and take action as necessary.

 
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