When adding a green wall to the office or an apartment, you ensure direct contact with the vegetation throughout the year. Although plants require only easy and quick care treatments, it happens that something is wrong with them. Read about the most common causes of plant diseases found in vertical gardens and methods of dealing with them!
Causes of plant diseases on green walls
It is worth emphasising that all plants taken into consideration in the green wall designs and then planted, are properly protected against diseases. Already at the planting stage, we provide maximum protection to all species included in the compositions. At the same time, there are slightly different conditions in each interior and neither we nor anyone else has the power to permanently protect plants from diseases. Here are the most common causes of plant diseases on green walls:
- insufficient care - lack of proper pruning of plants (plants grow too much) and removal of dry leaves
- careless maintenance, during which, e.g., roots may be damaged,
- lack of proper lighting,
- poor ventilation of the rooms (inadequate ventilation or lack of ventilation),
- unhealthy air conditioning - a direct stream of dry air aimed at plants,
- inadequate amount of water (too little or too much),
- providing too few nutritional values,
- too tight plant distribution,
- presence of other infected plants in the same room.
What diseases can attack the green wall?
What diseases do these problems lead to, and how we can identify specific plant ailments? Some examples might be:
1/ Fungal diseases - revealed by spots on the leaves, which quite often start at the stem bottom. Humidity, heat and improper airing of rooms are especially conducive to them. There are a lot of fungal diseases – e.g., alternaria, anthracnose, fusariosis vascular, phytophthora, powdery mildew, bacterial soft rot, leaf spot disease, rhizoctonia and gray mould. Individual types of fungi can cause different symptoms, including spots of various colours and types.? When plants are infected by gray mould, the shoots turn brown and wither; characteristic spores can be also noticed. ?In turn, powdery mildew can be identified by white powdery coating on the leaves and inhibited growth of plants, and finally - their death. If the green? wall is attacked by fungi, it is best to remove infected pieces or entire plants. It is recommended to spray plants preventively with infusions from onions, garlic, nettle or horsetail, or ready-made specialist chemical preparations.
2/ Viral diseases - they occur rather sporadically, and extremely rare in the case of vertical gardens. Unusual discolourations such as coloured rings appear on the leaves or flowers of the infected plants. There is no cure for viruses - infected plants will have to be burned.
3/ Plant pests - it also happens that plants are infected by pests, especially by the armoured scales. These small round insects feed from the underside of the leaves and make small brown or yellow circles along the nerves. Armoured scales do not like humidity; if there are not a lot of them, just wipe them with a cloth soaked in hard soap or denatured alcohol. ?Other pests attacking domestic plants include sooty fungi, aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and thrips.
How to protect plants from diseases?
As any other garden, the vertical garden can also be attacked by pathogens and pests. This raises the question of how to protect the green wall against diseases.
First of all, it's worth looking at the systems in the market and choosing the one that will be the easiest to use, preferably with an automatic irrigation system that will take care of watering for us.
Providing the right amount of light is also one of the most important elements. If there is not enough light, use the appropriate lamps because they are one of the guarantors of success.
Plants should be bought from a reliable supplier and carefully inspected before buying. Leaves and shoots should be healthy, glossy, without any discolourations or coating. The root system is well grown and the soil is slightly moist - it cannot be dry but it cannot be muddy, either. The plant should smell gently with slightly moist earth. If we build a garden with good quality components, there is low probability of occurring bigger problems.
In addition, it is good to use appropriate prophylaxis - when planting plants, the root ball can be soaked in a natural or chemical fungicide. In addition to the mentioned spraying with ecological infusions (e.g. from garlic or nettle), and ultimately with chemical agents, it is also worth using foliar fertilisers. When it comes to simple treatments, it is very helpful to clean the leaves from dust systematically (once a month is enough). ?A slightly damp cloth can work wonders!
Proper irrigation is another problem. Automatic systems should be monitored for the first month and checked if the soil is not too dry or too wet - then we can set the optimal watering schedule.
Systematic care is the key to success. If we perform it regularly, once a month, plants should feel good. Because we protect the seedlings against diseases and give clear instructions for the subsequent care of vertical gardens, their deterioration is very rare. Some of the walls were installed by us over three years ago and have not been replaced yet - they are beautiful and healthy thanks to basic care and fertilisation.
If the care is flawless, and there is still a problem with plants, the blame lies with other causes of plant diseases - e.g. small amount/ poor quality of light, inefficient ventilation or air conditioning system.
So it is better to prevent - if not by yourself, then using the maintenance service. Our service is based on the control of the irrigation system and includes recommended care treatments. Service technicians inspect plants, clean healthy leaves, remove dry ones and prune plants. If necessary, they also use additional foliar fertiliser. Regardless of the executor of treatments, systematically cultivated green wall will enjoy the eye for a lot of years.