Many organisms including bacteria, viruses, and fungi can all harm your grass and plants. These diseases aren’t much of a problem during cold winters, but if you live in a warmer climate like Florida where you have warmer winters, you’ll need to take action. These diseases can cause significant damage to your landscaping.
Common Plant Diseases in Florida
Armillaria Root Rot
Armillaria root rot also called mushroom root rot attacks loquats, azaleas, ligustrum, oak trees, hickory trees, and more. The fungus infects the root of the plant, causing it to wilt and eventually die. Armillaria root rot can continue to live in the soil, so if you’re going to replant in the same area, consider finding a plant that is resistant to the fungi.
Sabal Palm Disease
Sabal Palm Disease or lethal bronzing is transmitted by a tiny winged pest called the American palm cixiid. It causes the tree’s leaves to turn brown and eventually die. The disease is difficult to diagnose because it shares similar characteristics as a tree that’s been over-fertilized. This is why it’s important to hire a professional landscaper. If you believe your palm has this disease contact your landscaper or an arborist. They may be able to save it with oxytetracycline injections.
Powdery mildew is a serious fungal disease. It can attack a variety of plants including rose bushes, sycamores, Crapemyrtles, and squash. It causes plants to become distorted and stunted.
Help Discourage Plant Diseases
Many times people wait until they see symptoms, then they scramble to fix it but by then it’s often too late. The best way to cure a plant disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Continue mowing your grass through the winter until it has stopped growing
- Remove leaves and other foliage from your lawn to prevent mold
- Prune trees and shrubs during the dormant season, pruning during their growing season causes sap to flow and then attract pests like bark beetles.
- Winterize sensitive plants like roses and young trees with thin bark. Tender plants can be seriously damaged in the winter putting them at risk for a secondary infection like canker fungi.
- Keep on eye on stressed plants. Water them to promote root growth.
Proper lawn and landscape maintenance is the best way to help prevent diseases and insect problems. If your plants are stressed they are more susceptible to disease and are more likely to be affected by lawn pests. We understand these steps may be a lot. Which is why you may want to consider hiring a professional landscaper for your property. In addition to being knowledgeable about the plants in your area, they’re also familiar with plant diseases and how to prevent and treat them.