Gardening

Heather Pests and Diseases: [Detection, Causes and Solutions]

Heather is one of those ornamental plants that we should all use to decorate our garden.

One of the reasons is that it colors the flower environment in purple tones at a time when most plant species go to rest: winter.

It can be kept in full sunlight when it is in an area with mild climates throughout the year and, best of all, it accepts acidic soils.

Having it very well cared for involves knowing all the pests and diseases that can affect heather and here we leave you a very detailed summary of them.

powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the best-known fungal diseases in the world of ornamental planting and heather does not escape being attacked by it.

Thanks to its presence, several areas of the plant such as the leaves and the youngest stems, as well as the shoots are affected.

The action of powdery mildew produces a white stain on the aforementioned parts, whose origin is precisely the mycelium of the fungus.

After the passage of time, these white spots cause the plant to weaken until, as a final action, it ends up dying.To help prevent a heather plant from falling victim to its attack, it is best to plant it in an area with sufficient air circulation.

It is also a good plan to keep it protected from weeds in its surrounding area and apply horsetail extract.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are white insects that locate a decent home to live in the leaves of heather plants (and many other species).

Because it is white, it is often confused with powdery mildew, but its action is different, as are the symptoms it produces.

The first thing we have to consider when dealing with this pest is that it has a cottony and waxy exterior that prevents insecticides from damaging it.

For this reason, it is essential to be very attentive to the crops so that if it attacks it can be fought before it becomes excessively numerous.Another important detail is that the cochineal sucks the sap from the plants , which generates a general weakening that can affect flowering.

By consuming this sap, it generates a molasses that is an ideal food source for a fungus known as bold, being even more harmful.In case you need support from natural products, neem oil and potassium soap are highly recommended.

But it is also a good plan to introduce the insect’s natural predators into the environment, as in the case of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.

verticillium wilt

Verticillium wilt is a disease that produces a fungus that lodges in the roots and, from there, causes damage to the total structure of the plant.

At aerial level, the effects are noticeable because the leaves begin to turn yellow and then dry up and finally fall off.

In most cases, the heather is affected by it when it is in the middle of the summer season, with high temperatures.On the other hand, irrigation systems are also decisive, since high humidity stimulates its appearance.

When sowing, it is essential to ensure that the chosen seedlings are in perfect condition, as it will make them less vulnerable.

Likewise, it is a good strategy to avoid the use of land where Solanaceae have been planted previously , such as aubergines, because they are very prone to this disease.

Red spider

The spider mite is one of the most worrying pests that can attack any crop because they reproduce quite quickly.

Its way of causing damage is based on a sucking mechanism that extracts the sap from the plants, leaving wounds on the leaves.

These wounds do not heal but turn yellow and may later become necrotic.

However, when it is detected in time, it is possible to carry out a more or less simple job, eliminating the affected leaves.Extracts made from garlic are also a good way to prevent the attack.

In case the presence of many spiders is evident, biological control is allowed by adding natural predators to the ecosystem.Among them is Amblyseius californicus, which is efficient because it consumes both adults and their eggs and larvae.

Rust

Rust is a fungal disease and unfortunately it is one of the most damaging versions of any species, including heather.

One of the ways that it enters the plant is through the roots (when the soil is contaminated or the seedling used is sick).

Another way is through pruning wounds, which leads to the requirement that disinfected tools are always used and the application time is well defined.

Detecting this disease is simple, since it is visible to the human eye because a kind of pustules form on the underside of the leaves.

These pustules contain the mycelium of the fungus inside and, if not detected in time, they will end up covering the entire structure.

At the same time, the affected leaves turn yellowish and end up drying up, remaining attached to the plant for some time.

Currently, the seedlings that are used for planting are becoming more and more resistant at the genetic level.Hence, it is much more advisable to take advantage of one of these because, in addition to protection, they have a faster growth than planting from seeds.

On the other hand, it is necessary to prevent the plant from being in an area with excess humidity because this condition stimulates its appearance.As a treatment, it is advisable to remove the affected leaves to prevent the multiplication of the fungus.

It is also essential to work with a natural fungicide that exerts immediate pressure on the fungus, Bordeaux broth is recommended.Having the heather beautiful and well cared for will give us many joys, but for this it is essential to take into account all these data to always have it at 10.

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