Common Bromeliad Fungal Disease – Helminthosporium Leaf Spot
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Diseases are more than a nuisance for Bromeliad plants, if they are left untreated, the diseases can kill them and/or spread to other healthy plants in your home. Prevention is always the best course of action for treatment. In this article I’ve listed the symptoms and Control methods for the common Bromeliad fungal disease Helminthosporium Leaf Spot.
Helminthosporium leaf spot – (Helminthosporium rostratum)
- Symptoms – Leaf spot symptoms tend to vary with each pathogen/host pair from very small (pinhead size), solid brown to purple color lesions or spots to expanded lesions with bleached centers that girdle the leaf blade. Severely infected leaves turn purple or reddish color, giving the turf an overall purple cast. Severely infected leaves will eventually wither and dry to a light tan color. Distinct patches or patterns to the disease are usually not obvious. “Melting” occurs under severe infections as turf areas thin and die. Lesions on stolons (stems that grow along the surface of the ground; a method of plant vegetative propagation) are dark purple to black.
- Control – Usually when plants are exposed to overhead irrigation or rainfall, they are more susceptible to disease (you may want to try sub-irrigation). Although many growers have reported that poorly fertilized plants are more susceptible to Helminthosporium leaf spot than well fertilized plants, research has not established this relationship. If you keep your Bromeliad plant growing in full sun, it’s more severely affected by this disease, rather than if your Bromeliad was grown under reduced light (50% shade). This may be partially due to the stressful conditions of sun production which result in a somewhat chlorotic plant (An unusual or abnormal yellow color of green leaves or other parts of plants). Even weekly treatments with fungicides which are effective under shade conditions are not sufficient to control this disease under full sun conditions. The best control here is prevention!
Hechtia Care Cheat Sheet
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