Robert Davidson

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Diagnosing Plant Problems

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -Ever wonder why your plants keep dying? What are you doing wrong? You can now diagnose the problem.

You might be giving your plant too much water or too much light. Clarissa Balbalian has been diagnosing plant problems for more than a dozen years.

Mississippi’s hot and humid climate can be challenging.

“When plants are over watered their roots systems can suffocate also water can promote disease organisms in the soil especially fungi and that can cause roots in the ground and plants to rot,” says expert Clarissa Balbalian.

What many don’t know is, plants don’t like change. Moving a plant in and out of the light can be stressful.

“In a landscape lighting can change too if a tree gets taken down in the landscape and more light reaching then it used to be. Beginning that spot and you can see some problems occurring,” added Balbalian.

Experts says a healthy potted plant would be in full bloom and display vibrant green colors. But too much rainfall and over watering can led to some serious problems.

“You can see this planter is not draining very well, you can see there’s a lot of standing water in the plant. The outside of the rook has been stripped off here and you just got the naked inside so this out part just comes right off. That’s usually a sign of ┬ároot rot,” said Balbalian.

Balbalian says grass requires its own type of care.

“St. Augustine grass is very common lawn grass in Mississippi, it’s usually quite beautiful. It’s been mowed at the right height so it likes to be mowed high. You’ll see these leaf spots and you’ll see the leaves are starting to yellow. What you see on the leaves is called grey leaf spot and it’s a very common disease at this time of year,” added Balbalian.

Choosing a plant can be tricky. Just because you like a plant doesn’t mean it will grow well in the soil. Plants need to be chosen with shade, height and location in mind.

“You need to choose a plant that’s right for the site, that will not grow to bee too big for the site so that you have to constantly prune it and perhaps stress it by keeping it smaller than it wants to be,” said Balbalian.

And a plant given the tender love and care it needs will grow big and strong.

You can get your plant diagnosed at the Mississippi State Extension Center or log on to msucares.com/lab for more information.