Guide to Identifying Plant Diseases

Wondering what's wrong with your plants? Join Spring Hill Nursery's gardening expert and figure out! In this video, our expert discusses some of the most common plant diseases. You'll learn how to identify these diseases, the circumstances that leave plants susceptible to them and what you can do to treat the infected plants.


"Hi, I'm Debbie with Spring Hill and today we're going to play a little game called 'what's wrong with my plant?' Now, in another video, we'll talk about the treatment of various types of plant diseases, but for now, let's look at identification, because that's an important first step. Now, if you notice, this Hibiscus tree next to me doesn't have really any foliage left - it's clearly been stressed. Now, if you look closely, this pot that it came in, has a drainage hole about the size of a thumbtack. Well, that's not going to cut it. Plants need a lot more drainage than that. So, most likely, when you have a pot like that, you're going to get root rot. You can see all the water flowing out of these. Now the roots are literally suffocated. So that's something you always want to be careful, make sure that you have plenty of drainage. Now, this rhododendron, on the other hand, has the exact opposite problem - at some point of its life, it suffered from drought. When you have crispy leaves, that's a pretty good identification. The other thing you look at, it's a really small pot so this soil is going to dry out really quickly. So, if this plant has not been watered, specially during the heat of summer, at least once or twice a day, maybe even more, it's going to suffer from drought and as you can see, it's not easy to come back from drought. Now this begonia , has a few different issues. Now we've had a very very hot summer here in Tipp City this year and so this begonia, in the garden center, was stored in full sun. So, clearly, it's being stressed from the heat. Now, it's also because of the heat, someone decided to overcompensate by overwatering. But by doing that, they also didn't feed it enough which is why you see this very light-colored foliage. So, the plant's not getting the nutrients that it's been needing. So, you could see there are a few different problems here. Now, over here, we look at our hydrangea, it looks like a variety that comes all nice and flocked. Looks like someone came through and just sprayed this with a white powder. Well, this is a fungal disease called powdery mildew. It's fairly common and pretty easy to treat. Now, lastly, is our rose here. Typically, roses come with leaves. On this rose, however, you can see it's almost completely defoliated, but the leaves that are left have this blotchy black spot on it. Well, that's exactly what this disease is called - Black Spot. And it's deadly for roses. So, it's very important that this gets treated immediately. Now all five of these plants were purchased just this morning at my local Big Box Store. Now, of course, I'm not going to name names, and, I have to tell you it wasn't a big surprise to be going into it that I was going to be able to find diseased plants there. But what did surprise me was that their garden professionals were not able to help me, they weren't able to even come close to diagnosing the problems here. So that brings me to a really important point - when you are looking for plant material, make sure you get it from a reputable company that can help you and support you. You know, Spring Hill Nurseries has been around for over a hundred years, and we have a team of experts that's happy to help you. All you need to do is, call our customer service center or go to our website or Facebook Page book page with any questions that you have, because we want to help you make sure you have a beautiful and healthy garden for years.