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Diseases : Plant disease prevention

Just as plants have conditions in which they thrive, the disease-causing fungi and bacteria have conditions that favour them. Moist conditions generally favour fungal diseases. Some kinds, such as apple scab and potato blight, need moisture on the plant leaves for a period of hours in order that their spores can successfully germinate and grow.

Powdery mildew on maple

Powdery mildew on maple

Some soil-borne fungal diseases, such as root rots, prefer wet soil and actually travel through the soil water to reach new hosts. Bacteria generally need warm weather and this explains the small number of bacterial diseases in this country.

Do not splash water about indoors, or stand pots in trays of water. Outdoors, plant disease susceptible plants so that the foliage dries out more quickly. Take care not to buy diseased plants and do not leave old plants as sources of infection. Removing diseased plant parts gives good control in some cases.

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