Fungal pathogens are microorganisms that can cause various diseases in plants. These pathogens belong to different fungal groups and can affect plants in different ways. Fungal infections in plants can be effectively managed using organic solutions that are safe for the environment and promote plant health. These natural remedies help suppress fungal pathogens and prevent further spread without relying on harmful chemicals. In this article, we take a look at some common fungal pathogens affecting plants and some of the best organic solutions for combating fungal infections in plants.
Fungal Pathogens that Affect Plants
Powdery mildew appears as a white, powdery growth on the leaves, stems, and flowers of plants. It affects a wide range of plant species and thrives in humid conditions.
Downy mildew manifests as yellowish or purplish patches on the leaves, often accompanied by a fuzzy growth on the underside. It commonly affects vegetables, ornamental plants, and crops.
Anthracnose causes dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, fruits, and seeds. It is prevalent in warm and humid climates and affects a variety of plants, including trees, vegetables, and fruits.
Botrytis blight, also known as gray mold, leads to a fuzzy gray or brown decay on plant tissues, including flowers, leaves, and fruits. It thrives in cool and moist environments and affects a wide range of plants.
Fusarium fungi cause wilting, yellowing, and browning of plant tissues. They can infect the roots, stems, and vascular system of plants, leading to significant damage. Fusarium can affect various crops, including vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Rhizoctonia fungi cause damping-off, root rot, and crown rot in plants. They attack the lower stems, roots, and basal parts of seedlings, often leading to plant death. Rhizoctonia affects a wide range of plants, including vegetables, ornamentals, and turfgrass.
Phytophthora pathogens cause root rot, crown rot, and stem lesions in plants. They thrive in waterlogged soils and can affect a variety of crops, including trees, vegetables, and ornamentals.
These are just a few examples of fungal pathogens that can harm plants. Just know that specific fungal species within each group may have variations in their preferred host plants and disease symptoms.
Proper identification and timely management will help you to prevent and control fungal infections and ensure the health and vitality of plants.
Now onto the best organic solutions for fungal infections. This list includes a mix of both organic and biofertilizers.
Organic Fertilizers and Biofertilizers
|Organic Fertilizers||Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources, such as plant and animal materials, and are minimally processed. They provide essential nutrients to plants in a slow-release form. |
Organic fertilizers improve soil fertility, enhance soil structure, and promote overall plant health. They contain a combination of macro and micronutrients, organic matter, and beneficial microorganisms.
Examples include compost, manure, bone meal, and fish emulsion.
|Biofertilizers||Biofertilizers consist of living microorganisms that form a symbiotic or associative relationship with plants, enhancing nutrient availability and promoting plant growth. |
These microorganisms can fix atmospheric nitrogen, solubilize phosphorus, produce growth-promoting substances, and suppress harmful pathogens. Biofertilizers are typically applied as seed inoculants, soil amendments, or foliar sprays.
Examples of biofertilizers include Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, and mycorrhizal fungi.
Organic Solutions to Prevent Fungal Infection in Plants
|Neem Oil||Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and has antifungal properties. It acts as a natural fungicide, disrupting the growth and development of fungal pathogens. Dilute neem oil according to the instructions on the product and apply it to the affected plant parts. Repeat the application every 7 to 14 days or as recommended.|
|Baking Soda Solutions||Baking soda is readily available and effective against fungal infections. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 quart of water and add a few drops of liquid soap. Spray the solution onto the infected plant surfaces, ensuring thorough coverage. Baking soda alters the pH level on the plant’s surface, creating an unfavorable environment for fungal growth.|
|Garlic Sprays||Garlic has natural antifungal properties that can help control fungal infections. To make a garlic spray, crush a few garlic cloves and steep them in water overnight. Strain the liquid and mix it with an equal amount of water. Add a few drops of liquid soap to enhance adhesion. Spray the solution on the affected plants, focusing on the infected areas.|
|Copper-Based Sprays||Copper-based fungicides, such as copper sulfate or copper hydroxide, are effective against a wide range of fungal pathogens. These organic fungicides create a protective barrier on the plant’s surface, preventing fungal spores from germinating. Follow the instructions on the product for proper dilution and application.|
|Compost Tea||Compost tea is a nutrient-rich liquid created by steeping compost in water. It not only provides essential nutrients to plants but also introduces beneficial microorganisms that can suppress fungal infections. Brew compost tea by placing compost in a container of water and letting it steep for 24 to 48 hours. Strain the liquid and apply it to the plants as a foliar spray or soil drench.|
|Cinnamon||Cinnamon has natural antifungal properties and can be used as a soil fungicide. Sprinkle powdered cinnamon around the base of the plants or mix it with water to create a spray. Apply it to the soil to inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens.|
|Hydrogen Peroxide||Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a soil drench to control fungal infections. Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with water (1 part peroxide to 4 parts water) and pour it around the base of the affected plants. The oxygen released by hydrogen peroxide helps suppress fungal growth.|
|Chamomile Tea||Chamomile tea has antifungal properties and can be used as a soil fungicide. Brew chamomile tea by steeping chamomile flowers in water. Once cooled, strain the tea and use it to water the plants or as a soil drench.|
Here are a few options to try:
Here are a few biofertilizers that can help prevent and control fungal infections in plants:
Trichoderma is a beneficial fungus used as a biofertilizer and biocontrol agent. It colonizes the plant’s root system, promoting growth and suppressing fungal pathogens. To use Trichoderma, you can apply it as a soil amendment or seed treatment. Follow the instructions on the product label for the recommended dosage and application method. Trichoderma-based products are available in various forms such as granules, powders, or liquid formulations.
- ABOUT TRICHODERMA VIRIDE : Trichoderma viride is a high-efficiency organic biological agent. It…
- CONTROLS SOIL FUNGUS DIEASES : Trichoderma Viridi improve the soil, break the knot, improve the soil…
- IMPROVES PLANTS IMMUNITY : Trichoderma viridi activates the plant’s internal defense system. Hence…
- INCREASES CROP YIELD : Trichoderma viridi increases the absorption of nutrients and the effective…
- APPLICATION : INDIVIDUAL PLANTS – Mix 5g of trichoderma viridi with 1 litre water and apply directly…
Mycorrhizal fungi establish a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, enhancing nutrient uptake and overall plant health.
To use mycorrhizal fungi, apply them as a soil inoculant when transplanting or seeding. Mix the inoculant with the soil or sprinkle it near the root zone. The fungi will colonize the roots and extend their filaments into the soil, facilitating nutrient absorption. Mycorrhizal inoculants are typically available as granules or powdered formulations.
- VAMoz – L is based on spores and fragments of Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungal filaments and…
- VAMoz- L is useful for root biomass development and branching, also Improves uptake of Phosphorus…
- VAMoz- L is useful for More growth and stability of the plants also use for Better nutrients and…
- VAMoz- L is most useful for Increases the yield with high quality index Helps in disease management…
- VAMoz- L is most useful for Increases the yield with high quality index Helps in disease management…
Bacillus subtilis is a beneficial bacterium used as a biofertilizer and biocontrol agent. It produces antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens. Bacillus subtilis-based products can be applied as a foliar spray or soil drench. Dilute the product according to the instructions and apply it to the foliage or soil around the plant. Ensure thorough coverage to maximize the effectiveness of the bacterium.
Pseudomonas fluorescens is a beneficial bacterium known for its biocontrol properties against fungal diseases. To use Pseudomonas fluorescens, mix the product with water according to the recommended dosage. Apply it as a foliar spray or soil drench, targeting the affected areas or the entire plant. Repeat the application as needed, following the instructions provided with the product.
Azospirillum is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium that promotes plant growth and improves nutrient uptake. It can be applied as a seed inoculant or soil amendment. Before sowing or transplanting, coat the seeds with Azospirillum or mix the inoculant with the soil. Ensure good seed-to-inoculant contact to facilitate colonization. Alternatively, apply it as a liquid inoculant near the root zone. Follow the recommended application rates and procedures specified by the product manufacturer.
- Azospirillum sp. is an associative nitrogen fixing proteobacteria that fixes atmospheric nitrogen in…
- In addition to this, Azospirillum sp. produces plant growth promoting substances like vitamins and…
- SPECTRUM:Suitable for all crops – cereals, vegetables, plantation crops, ornamental plants and even…
- ABTEC Azospirillum is mainly used for direct soil application. It can be used for seed treatment and…
- Broadcasting / Soil Application: Soil application @ 5 to 7 kg / Hectare after mixing with 250 to 375…
Prevention is the key in managing fungal infections. Regularly inspect your plants, maintain good plant hygiene, and provide optimal growing conditions to minimize the risk of fungal infections. These organic solutions can be used as part of an integrated approach to plant care, promoting a healthy and thriving garden.
Finally, always follow the instructions on the product labels. And, perform a patch test on a small portion of the plant before applying any organic solution to the entire plant.
Have any questions? Ask us in the comments below!
Last update on 2023-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API