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Browse all our advice on plant problems
Search our A - Z directory to find out expert advice on all your plant problems.
Slugs are persistent and widespread pests which can cause havoc in the garden, eating holes in leaves, stems, flowers, tubers and bulbs. They can cause damage throughout the year on a wide range of plants, but seedlings and new growth on herbaceous plants in spring are most at risk.
Whilst they are not seen as commonly as their close relatives the rusts, smut fungi can affect a range of garden plants, including some widely-grown vegetables and ornamentals. Some smuts cause conspicuous growth distortions, whilst others cause leaf spotting. All can contaminate the soil for extended periods of time.
Snails are familiar animals that can cause a lot of damage in the garden, eating holes in leaves, stems and flowers.
Grey mould in snowdrops is an infection or disease caused by the fungus Botrytis galanthina, causing leaves and flowers to collapse. A fuzzy grey mould forms under wet conditions.
Soft scale is a very widespread and common scale insect attacking a wide variety of garden and glasshouse plants. It is a flat, oval pale yellow/brown insect usually found near the midribs of leaves and on stems and produces large amounts of honeydew.
The larval stage of Solomon’s seal sawfly can completely defoliate Polygonatum species and hybrids in early summer.
These blemish diseases are caused by unrelated fungi, but both result in dark fungal growth on the surface of the fruit. Apples are affected most commonly, but the fungi may also be found on pears, plums and citrus fruit. Eating or cooking quality is not affected. The diseases are most common in wet summers.
The presence of sooty mould fungi usually indicates that a plant has become affected by a sap-sucking pest. Sooty moulds do not attack the plant directly, but their growth is unsightly and can reduce plant vigour by preventing photosynthesis.
Speedwells (Veronica spp.) are pretty, blue-flowered perennials that look attractive in a flower-rich lawn. However, their ability to root quickly, even from small sections, means they can quickly get out of hand in both lawns and borders.
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a fruit fly that was first reported in the UK in 2012. Unlike most other fruit flies it can damage otherwise unblemished soft and stone fruit including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, blueberries, grapes, cherries and plums. The RHS first saw and identified samples via RHS Gardening Advice in summer 2015.
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