Lina Rodriguez Salamanca
Multiple organisms (viruses, nematodes, fungi, and bacteria) can cause plant disease. Preventing and managing disease is best accomplished by a combination of practices, known as Integrated pest management or IPM. Management practices include matching the plant with the site, selecting disease-resistant varieties, plant care that prevents stress (irrigation, mulch, fertilization as needed etc.) as well as fungicide use when warranted.
Fungicides are pesticides that prevent, kill, mitigate or inhibit the growth of fungi on plants, but they are not effective against bacteria, nematodes, or viral diseases. Fungicides can be classified based on:
Rules of thumb for fungicide use
For efficient and safe fungicide use, certain rules have to be followed:
The problem has to be diagnosed correctly: Before applying a fungicide make sure that you know the cause of the disease (is it a disease? If so what is causing it? Fungi? which one?) and when (spring, fall etc.) and how often to apply the fungicide. The timing of the fungicide application can enhance the effectiveness of the product and prevent additional sprays.
When ready to use the recommend fungicide for the particular problem your plant is facing, read the label and follow instructions. This will not only protect your plant, but it will also protect your health and the environment. Remember always to apply fungicides using the appropriate equipment at the recommended application rate.
Fungicide labels provide information on recommended use, ingredients, mode of action, and formulation of the product. For more information please see What You Need to Know about Reading a Pesticide Label
Remember that the best management strategy against plant diseases is by promoting plant health in the first place. Before planting, make sure that soil, water, and light conditions are ideal for your plant. Once the plants have been established, make sure to use the appropriate sanitation, fertilization, and pruning practices to enhance plant health. Plant Problems?