The area of plant problems is something we all must deal with. Ones best bet would be to speak with either local nursery personnel or contact the Agricultural Extension Agent in the area for advice on keeping plants healthy and disease free. Secondly, always be on the lookout for subtle changes in your plants. Are the leaves wilting or changing color when they shouldn’t? If you notice changes and have questions, bring in a sample clipping of the problem so we can help to identify it.
Essentially, there are four types of problems that occur within plants.
Bacterial diseases can occur in areas of high soil moisture, high humidity, and high temperatures. This problem can also exist due to extremely high nitrogen concentrations in the soil. Wilting of leaves or galls (overgrowth of plant cells) are some visual cues to look for.
Fungal disease is common in the garden and can be controlled chemical sprays and dusts. Powdery mildew is one such fungus. You can spot the mildew by looking for pale colored patches on the bottom of the leaf. This will take nutrients from the plants leaves, and eventually the leaf will become discolored.
Insects are another issue with plants. Insects such as aphids, leaf hoppers, and spider mites (among others) can easily be controlled using chemical sprays (and some can be controlled with an insecticidal soap).
Environmental reasons can also wreak havoc on your plants. Cooler weather can cause leaves to die back and drop. In the heat of the summer, water droplets upon the leaves can act as a tiny magnifying glass and burn holes in the leaf. This is known as leaf scorch. Planting the wrong plant in the wrong area, improper installation, or improper watering/lack of watering can also cause plant problems.