Mineral and water deficiency and excess symptoms in plants

LIGHT DEFICIENCY – long, thin, light green growth and yellowing, long spaces between leaves. Cut plant back and move to a sunnier location.

EXCESS LIGHT/HEAT – brown spots on leaves, browning of leaf tips/edges, some leaves are light brown and papery. Note – some plants will show brown spots if the leaves get wet. Move plant away from direct light.

WATER DEFICIENCY – leaves that were dark green and are now a lighter green, leaves that  have collapsed against the stem, wilted leaves and or leaf drop. Soil that has shrunk away from the sides of the pot is another indicator that the plant is too dry. Water plant slowly allowing water to soak into soil. When thoroughly watered empty drain tray, Keep out of direct sun and monitor.

EXCESS WATER – leaves are wilted, leaves have collapsed against the stem, bottom leaves turn yellow and leaves drop. Other indicators are that the soil look and feels wet. Allow soil to dry out before giving any more water, improve air circulation.

GREY MOLD – patches of fuzzy, grey mold on leaves, stems and or dead leaves sitting on the soil surface. Clean up dead and dying leaves, allow the soil to dry out, improve air circulation and decrease humidity.

SPIDER MITES – webbing on the underside of leaves and or from leaf to stem, dusty leaves, small dots on the underside of leaves. Shower plant and water well if needed, monitor for new infections and keep leaves clean.  Mites need dry conditions to live.

FUNGUS GNATS – small black flies on the soil surface and or flying around the plant. Allow the soil to dry out and keep soil surface clean of all dead and dying leaves Gnats need moist conditions and dying plant material to live.

APHIDS – small spots on leaves, leaves are sticky, white specks on soil and around plant, underside of leaves and new growth have grey, green, black,  brown and or fleshy coloured insect. Remove aphids with a forceful spray of water. As a deterrent, spray with a mixture of 3 squirts of dish soap mixed with water, monitor and repeat treatment every week. It is important to ensure your soil is not soaking wet so spray water away from plant and ensure the underside of leaf gets soap mixture.

Isolate sick plants from your healthy ones.

All pests and diseases are opportunists and they only attack stressed and or weak plants. Strong, healthy plants do not play host to pest and diseases.

When bringing a new plant home keep it away from your other plants for at least 2 weeks.  If there are any pests or diseases they should surface by this time.