Time for peach leaf curl control, leaching houseplants

Peach Leaf Curl Control

If you have ever seen emerging peach leaves that are puckered, swollen, distorted and reddish-green color, you have seen peach leaf curl. Uncontrolled, this disease can severely weaken trees because of untimely leaf drop when leaves unfurl in the spring.

Fortunately, peach leaf curl is not that difficult to control if the spray is applied early enough. By the time you see symptoms, it is much too late. As a matter of fact, fungicides are ineffective if applied after buds begin to swell.

Peach leaf curl can be controlled by a single fungicide application either in the fall after leaf drop or in the spring before bud swell. There are several fungicides labeled for this disease, including Bordeaux, liquid lime sulfur, and chlorothalonil (Ortho Garden Disease Control, Fertilome Broad Spectrum Fungicide, GardenTech Fungicide Disease Control, Gordon’s Multipurpose Fungicide and Daconil).

Thoroughly cover the entire tree during application. Note that it is much easier to achieve good spray coverage if the tree is pruned before spraying.

Leaching Houseplants

Everyone knows that someone stranded in the ocean should not drink the water. The salt content of that water will make a bad situation worse. What many people don’t realize is that this same principle can harm plants.

Fertilizers are salts. They must be salts in order for the plant roots to take them up. However, salt levels can build up over time and eventually may harm plant roots leading to scorched leaves and unhealthy plants. Though this can happen under field conditions, especially in low rainfall areas, it is particularly critical with houseplants.

Houseplants have a certain soil volume that doesn’t change until a plant is repotted. Salt build-up can be a crucial concern especially if plants are fertilized heavily. Leaching an overabundance of salts can be an important practice to insure the health of our houseplants.

Leaching is not a complicated or difficult process. It consists of adding enough water to wash out excess salts. How much water is enough? Add the amount of water that would equal twice the volume of the pot. This, of course, would need to be done outside or in a bathtub or sink. Water must be added slowly so that it doesn’t overflow the rim of the pot.

If salt has formed a crust on the surface of the soil, remove it but don’t take more than 1/4 inch of the underlying media. This may also be a good time to repot the plant.

Matt Young26 Posts

Matt Young is the Brown County Extension District director, as well as an agent in the area of agriculture and natural resources.

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