If you constantly feel bothered by bugs crawling all over you and your belongings in summer, imagine how your plants must be feeling! Summer is the prime time for active growth for both plants and their worst enemies—pests. What is even worse, they carry nasty plant diseases, hindering your enjoyment of the summer garden.
Here’s a list of pests and diseases you should be wary of this season.
These insects thrive in warm conditions, so summer is the best time for them to attack. You can counter them with sticky traps. Insecticidal soap will help you in case the infestation gets too severe. If you’re all for natural solutions, ladybugs and lady beetles will help you manage a whitefly invasion.
- Red Spider Mites
When these pests activate in summer, you can kill them with insecticidal soap. These sap-sucking insects cause leaves to develop yellow spots. Red spider mites thrive in dry conditions, so be sure to promote high humidity to make it harder for them to appear. The spider mites’ sworn enemies, ladybugs and lacewings, can help you control their population. Another beneficial insect that will aid you in this battle is a predatory mite called Phytoseiulus persimilis.
- Scale Insects
It’s easy to tell that scale insects are out to get you when there are small blisters and sticky honeydew on the undersides of the leaves. In this case, you need to cut off and discard the affected areas with no mercy. Apply a suitable insecticide a couple of times to eradicate these troublemakers.
- Gall Mites
If your plant looks like it’s going through puberty, blame gall mites! They’re the ones causing red pimples and blisters on the foliage. At an early stage of the infestation, you can deal with them by cutting off the damaged parts. Unfortunately, the longer gall mites feast on your plant, the harder it gets to eliminate them. There aren’t any effective insecticides against gall mites, so it’s best to catch them as soon as you can.
- Powdery Mildew
This is a fungal disease that is notorious for causing stress to many plant lovers. Usually, it manifests as a white coating on the foliage. This disease thrives in high humidity, shade, and poor air circulation. If it has already laid its nasty white hands on your plant, buy a fungicide at your local flower shop.
- Aster Yellows
Just like most other plant diseases, aster yellows can be carried by leafhoppers and aster leafhoppers. The affected plants experience stunted growth, deformed flowers, and yellowing of the foliage. Unfortunately, there’s no way to cure aster yellows once it infects your plant. In this case, prevention is the best cure. Be sure to regularly remove weeds and provide your plant with the best possible care conditions. Buy species that are resistant to aster yellows or don’t plant anything in the areas that have experienced previous outbreaks.
- Root Rot
Every gardener’s nightmare, root rot can spoil your summer holidays with its sudden, unprompted appearance. The hotter it gets, the more water your plants need, but there’s a catch—you risk accidentally giving your plants too much water and waterlogging them. To avoid this unpleasant scenario, make sure to always give the topsoil time to dry between watering sessions. If your plant has already come down with root rot, remove all the rotten parts, disinfect the pot, and treat the plant with a fungicide, following the label instructions.
As a plant lover, you shouldn’t let your guard down in summer. Some pests and diseases are especially active during this time of year. Stay alert and take good care of your green friends!