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PESTS AND DISEASE

The different types of disease and pests that are most common on houseplants.

Diseases

Example of Abrasions on succulents

ABRASION

Abrasions on succulent are not serious. Typically, the plant will grow out of the spotting. This occurs when sensitive succulents are handled by their leaves. To prevent this, try to avoid touching the leaves. If you are handling cuttings, grab the plant from the stem instead.

example of black spots on succulents

BLACK SPOTS

Although there isn't a ton of information on this disease, it is not serious. It is believed to be a fungus most commonly found in Haworthia and Gasteria plants. Placing your succulents in an area with good air circulation will help prevent this disease. 

example of blotchy leaves on succulents

BLOTCHY LEAVES

With most succulents, when they change their colors from green to red or green to a more vibrant color, the leaves sometimes appear blotchy. This is completely normal and the plant should grow out of it once the color change process is complete. 

example of dead lower leaves on succulents

DEAD LOWER LEAVES

Losing lower leaves is normal if the center growth is healthy. As long as you are seeing new growth at the top of the plant, it is healthy. In some succulents, the lower leaves die off to protect the stem from harsh sunlight.

example of plant rot on succulents

PLANT ROT

Plant rot is very serious in succulents. This disease is a result of over watering. Once a plant receives water, it stores enough in its leaves to survive. The excess water absorbs into the soil, causing the roots to rot. A sure sign of plant rot is a mushy black/yellow center. In most cases, the plant is not salvageable.

example of sunburn on succulents

SUNBURN

Sunburn occurs when plants that haven't been acclimated to full sun are introduced to it. Most commonly found on new plants, sunburn sets in when the weather changes from cloudy to bright and sunny. Sunburn also occurs when a plant is watered while sitting in a very sunny/warm spot. Try watering in the evening or morning. It is not fatal, but is cause for more diseases.

Pests

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ANT INFESTATION

Ants are attracted to the honey-like secretion that occurs from other pests including mealybugs and aphids. Although they are unslighty, they will not harm your succulent plants. The best way to treat an ant infestation is to apply an insecticide on the plants foliage and soil.

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APHIDS

Aphids are small, long-bodied pests. They are usually light green but come in different colors of yellow, black, and pink. Typically, this pest is attracts to the flowers on succulents. They feed on the sap/water that is stored in the succulents leaf. The best way to get rid of this pest is to incorporate an insecticidal soap when watering your plant.

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MEALYBUG

Mealybugs are white round body shaped pests that surround the inner leaf nodes of the succulent. They can also be found on the undersides of leaves and the lower stem. Mealy bugs use succulents as a food source and breeding ground. Removing the infested plant from other plants will help from spreading the pest. Once removed, using an insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol will help remove this pest. If it is a large infestation, the best option is to remove the plant all together.

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THRIP

Thrip are small pets with a long body. They are primarily found on the flowers of succulents. The pollen from the flowers acts as their food source. Thrip can also be found on leaf nodes when flowering is not present. If spotted, deblooming your plant will help get rid of this pest and also help prevent thrip. After deblooming, and insecticidal soap may be used to help get rid of thrip not on the flower.

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SPIDER MITES

Spider mites are small bodied pests that resemble a spider. This pest targets the underside of leaves and creates a home with a web. They are similar to aphids as they feed off of the leaves. Washing your plant with insecticidal soap will help remove this pest. Repeatedly wash you plant if spider mites are still present.