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Protecting Indoor Plants from Diseases and Pests

Just like outdoor plants, indoor plants are susceptible to diseases and pests. In this blog post, we will examine common plant diseases that affect popular houseplants like Monstera, Dieffenbachia, Anthurium, and Strelitzia.

Protecting Indoor Plants from Diseases and Pests

Organic Solutions for Healthy Houseplants

Symptoms such as yellowing leaves, brown spots, or wilting are the most common and visible symptoms, which may indicate problems such as root rot, fungal infections, or bacterial diseases.

Feeding creatures that have no mouth or tongue is not an easy task, and sometimes we all give our plants too much water without realizing it. The most common mistake that causes fungal diseases in green-leafed plants is overwatering.

Anthuriums can suffer from root rot, bacterial blight, and leaf spot diseases. If you notice the leaves wilting, turning brown, or darkening, you need to take action immediately.

Is the plant's soil constantly wet? Is there a fly formation? Does the plant have adequate air circulation? Ask these questions for your plants that look unhealthy and observe their water needs by sticking your finger into the soil.

Optimum watering of the soil prevents the progression of root rot and allows the soil to dry out between waterings.

You can also use copper fungicide to prevent fungal diseases. Suitable for ornamental plants and houseplants.

Using well-drained soil increases aeration and reduces the risk of fungal infection.

Some diseases can be easily transmitted from plant to plant through contact with leaves, so you may need to quarantine your sick plant or your newly arrived plant.

Neem oil acts as a fungicide and miticide. It is also safe for indoor use.

Rust Fungus

Rust fungus usually appears as small, orange-red spots on the leaves and occurs due to reasons such as excessive watering, insufficient light, excessive humidity and lack of air, and contact with another fungal plant. It is one of the most common diseases in Monstera.

They may be in the form of spots and have a dusty texture. In severe cases, the spots may merge to form large rust-colored fungal spots. The fungus can also spread to the plant's stems, causing them to turn orange or red.

Monstera Rust Fungus
Rust Fungus on Monstera Leaves

It usually first appears on the underside of the leaves as more moisture accumulates. It may also appear first in areas of the plant that do not have much air circulation, such as where a petiole meets the main stem or on the back of a larger leaf.

Leaf development slows down in plants with rust fungus.

If the fungus is too advanced, you can prune it. But you have to be careful as too much pruning can send your plant into shock. Cut off leaves with rust fungus spots with clean and sterilized pruning shears. If the fungus is on the trunk, you must prune the bottom of the affected area. As long as you have at least a few nodes left, your plant will continue to grow after it heals. If there are too many leaves or stems to remove, try pruning a little every four to five days.

If there are only one or two spots on the leaf, prune off the spots instead. You can treat it with neem oil.

Thrips and Mealybugs

Thrips is the common name for arthropods from the insect order Thysanoptera (yikes!). Thrips are small pests that can damage plants by puncturing their cells and sucking out their contents. They leave silver or white spots on Monstera leaves as they move and feed.

Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects covered with a powdery wax-like substance.

They congregate on the stems and undersides of the leaves, causing discoloration and white hairiness.

Mealybugs on Leaf

Dieffenbachia can also fall victim to pests such as aphids and mealybugs. Additionally, bacterial leaf spots and fungal infections can manifest as dark spots or streaks on the leaves.

You can use neem oil and tea tree oil for these pests.


When the plant is placed near a window receiving intense sunlight, white spots may appear on its leaves. These white spots indicate damage caused by excessive exposure to sunlight.

Sunburn on leaf

Since Monstera naturally grows in the shade of large trees, it is not accustomed to receiving intense, direct sunlight for long periods. White spots that may appear on Monstera should be checked regularly.

Place your plant in an area with bright, indirect light, or if it's directly in front of a window, use a blackout curtain to filter some of the light.

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