Help us achieve our goals:
make a donation »
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
See what events are on near you and browse your bookmarked pages.
A key part of disease control within a garden is good hygiene. Infected material from plants in the garden and allotment should be removed promptly and disposed of carefully in order to limit the spread of disease.
These techniques are suitable for herbaceous and woody material, bulbs, seedlings and compost.
Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases (pathogens) can be spread by air currents, rain droplets, soil, seeds, insects and mammals, transporting plants and through physical injury such as pruning.
Most pathogens can survive on dead plant material and some can also survive on their own in the soil or on surfaces in greenhouses and on tools, making garden hygiene very important.
It will be necessary to use a range of disposal methods, depending on the type of material and the disease:
For help with identifying diseases read:
RHS Pests and Diseases by Pippa Greenwood and Andrew Halstead (Dorling Kindersley 2009, ISBN 9781405341776)
Pests, Diseases and Disorders by Stefan Buczacki and Keith Harris (Collins 2005, ISBN 9780007196821)
These books are also made available through the RHS Lindley Library.
Brown leaves on woody plantsLeaf damage on woody plantsPlant virusesPotato tuber rots
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9