Rose bushes and flower seedlings, shrubs and trees, vegetable plots and fruit crops, house plants and even the lawn are all in danger of succumbing to the UK’s most common plant and garden diseases, whether they be fungal, bacterial or viral. Here’s how to spot and treat them.
- Honey Fungus affects all woody plants and trees, including ornamentals.
What to look for: The disease causes nasty white growths under the bark and honey-coloured threads in the roots, which is how it gets it’s a name. Brown toadstools can also appear at the base of the tree.
How to treat: Remove and destroy the affected parts, and dig out as much of the roots as possible because this is where the disease is most easily spread to other plants. And when replanting in the affected area, make sure the soil is replaced first. At present, there are no chemicals available for the treatment of honey fungus for home gardeners.
- Rose Black Spot is a widespread problem on roses but can be sometimes found on other plants too.
What to look for: Black spots appear on the leaves and can sometimes join together to form larger areas of dead tissue. The spots are in fact dead leaf tissue caused by the fungus which spreads the disease. Some roses also develop smaller black spots on stems.
How to treat: On first sign of black spot, remove and destroy all infected leaves and plant parts. A Bordeaux Mixture gives excellent organic control. Or alternatively spray with a systemic chemical fungicide such as Rose Clear. To reduce the chances of re-infection for the following season, prune shrubs back hard. Try to select resistant varieties of roses when buying.