Leaf spot fungus on plant leaf Source: K.Cochran. [@plant_doctor_kim]. (2022, February 25). The 2022 International Spinach Field Day. [Photograph]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CaaeA4JlVxy/

Common Plant Problems: Leaf Spot

LiveTrends • April 04, 2022 • 2 min read

If your plant is developing some new speckles, here’s what to do next.

Is that…a brown spot? If a new mark on your plant’s plumage makes you take a closer look, only to find clusters of yellow and brown circles, you might be dealing with leaf spot. Leaf spots may form when an airborne fungus finds its way onto a wet plant surface, calls it home, and starts to reproduce.

What You’ll Notice

  • Leaf spot gets its name from its most obvious symptom, and the thing that’ll tip you off first to the fact that you’ve got a fungus problem:
  • Unusual spots (their color and size varies) appearing on leaves, usually near the inner branches
  • Spore-like substances in the center of larger spots
  • Dropped leaves

Treat Your Plant

When a fungus sets up camp on your plants’ leaves, here’s how to get them to pack it up and move it out ASAP:

  • Isolate the affected plant so the fungus can’t spread to any neighboring plant babes. Then, remove any leaves with spots or blotches.
  • Use an organic fungicide — just mix one half teaspoon of baking soda into a gallon of water — onto the remaining healthy leaves. It may not kill off the fungus depending on where it is in its life cycle, but it may save some leaves.

Practice Prevention

Whether dealing with the aftermath of a fungal invasion or proactively avoiding one, there’s a few ways to keep your plants spot-free:

  • When you water or otherwise care for your plants, take a peek at their leaves to catch any signs of leaf spot early.
  • Don’t overcrowd your plants. While the indoor jungle look is a major vibe, it can make it easier for a fungus to travel from one houseplant to another.
  • Gently wipe away any water that splashes onto lower leaves after you give your plants a drink.

Keep in mind, some plants need more humidity than others and will require the occasional leaf spritzing, but remember that doing so can make them vulnerable to leaf spot-causing fungi.

So, if you spot some new brown blotches on your favorite plant’s foliage, know that leaf spot is totally treatable. You may lose a few leaves to whatever fungus has invaded, but your plant should recover nicely with a little help and TLC from you.

Caring for Your Plant

Caring for your plant will keep it happy and strong. Find out how to avoid the most common issues.

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