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  • ©RHS SCN0001542

    Soft scale

    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.

  • Solomon's seal sawfly

    Solomon's seal sawfly

    The larval stage of Solomon’s seal sawfly can completely defoliate Polygonatum species and hybrids in early summer.

  • Sooty blotch and fly speck of apples

    Sooty blotch and fly speck of apples

    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.

  • Sooty mould

    Sooty moulds

    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.

  • Speedwell (Veronica filiformis). Image: RHS Herbarium


    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 HDC/The Red Brick Road Company Ltd

    Spotted wing drosophila

    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.

  • Narcissus eelworm

    Stem and bulb eelworm

    Many gardeners look forward to a spring display of bulbs, unfortunately the bulbs do not always give the expected display. One possible cause for failure is Ditylenchus dipsaci the stem and bulb eelworm which can cause poor growth and death in a wide range of plants, not just bulbs.

  • Strawberry 'Pegasus'. Image: Graham Titchmarsh/RHS


    Strawberries are easy to grow, and even a few plants can give a plentiful supply of sweet succulent fruits in summer, which are especially appreciated by children. 

  • Strawberry black eye. Credit: RHS/Tim Sandall.

    Strawberry black eye

    Black eye is the most recognisable form of frost damage on strawberries. Affected flowers will not set fruit.

  • Strawberry viruses

    Strawberry viruses

    Several viruses and phytoplasmas (which have characteristics in common with both viruses and bacteria) infect strawberries to cause a wide range of symptoms which result in poor vigour and low yield.

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