Is your Snake plant suffering from Southern Blight?
Southern Blight is one of the well-known issues in indoor plants, and it affects snake plants too.
So, how do you fix this issue?
Is there anything you can do to prevent it as well?
In the following guide, you will find all details you’d need to tackle this problem in the snake plant.
What Is Southern Blight?
The snake plant is known for its resilient nature.
But, as you know, no plant is invincible.
If you notice brown spots on the leaves of your snake plant, you may be dealing with Southern Blight.
Southern Blight is a nasty fungal disease that originates in the soil.
It usually attacks the base of the plant first.
If conditions are favorable, it can travel up the plant and infect the leaves as well.
Regardless, it will usually kill the plant.
Southern Blight can appear as root rot, crown rot, or brown spots on the leaves.
You may also notice the plant wilting uncharacteristically.
If you look closely, you might see a white substance on the soil and the base of the plant.
And that’s how you can identify this issue in your plant.
Now, let’s see some of the ways through which you can manage Southern Blight in snake plants.
How To Fix The Southern Blight Issue On Your Snake Plant
Unfortunately, this disease is very difficult to treat once the plant is infected, so it’s important to know how to prevent the infestation from the beginning.
But you may be able to get rid of the infestation and give new life to your plant.
Here’s how you can deal with this issue –
1. Remove The Affected Leaves
If you’re dealing with a potted plant and you don’t think the fungus has spread far, you can try trimming off the affected areas.
Remember to trim not only the leaves but the roots as well.
This will require you to remove the plant from its pot entirely and carefully inspect the whole root system.
This will give you a chance to assess how severe the infection is.
Make sure to sterilize your shears with rubbing alcohol before and after trimming.
Once you remove these parts, discard them completely.
You shouldn’t be using them in your compost bin.
2. Spray Fungicide
Some fungicides are effective against Southern Blight.
Look for ones that are specifically labeled as suitable for Southern Blight.
Unfortunately, the most appropriate fungicides are usually only available for commercial and agricultural use.
3. Try Soil Solarization
This is a method of killing fungus in soil by increasing the temperature significantly.
You can do this by covering the soil in a clear plastic tarp so that the temperature of the top two inches rises to at least 122°F.
This requires the climate to be warm and sunny, which may not be achievable everywhere.
Therefore, you should replace the soil as soon as you see some signs of Southern Blight on your plant.
It’d also be a good idea to place the plant in a new pot.
If you wish to use the old pot, you should keep it in the sun for a week or so before using it again.
Well, these are three possible ways through which you can get rid of Southern Blight from your plant.
In the next section, let’s learn more about the prevention methods for this issue.
8 Things You Should Do To Prevent Southern Blight On Snake Plant
Your best bet for protecting your plant is prevention!
Here are 8 tips for avoiding an infestation in the first place:
1. Remove Infected Plants Entirely
This is the best way to make sure the fungus doesn’t spread to your other plants.
Southern Blight doesn’t only affect snake plants: hundreds of other species are susceptible as well, including tomato, pepper, and potato.
The fungus can present different symptoms in these other species, such as stem rot, fruit rot, or yellowing leaves.
Removing diseased plants immediately is crucial in order to protect your healthy plants.
2. Clean The Soil
After removing infected plants from your garden –
- Remove the top three inches of soil within a 12-inch radius of the infected plant.
- Replace this with fresh soil.
- Consider replanting this area with a species that is not susceptible to the fungus.
Resistant species include ornamental grasses and large woody plants.
The fungus will eventually die out as it will have no host to feed on.
This will effectively “clean” the soil.
3. Use High-Quality Soils And Mulches
Paying extra for higher-quality soil and mulch can help ensure that it’s not contaminated.
Mulches such as shredded oak bark and red cedar are great choices for supporting a fungus-resistant environment for your plants.
4. Practice Clean Gardening Habits
Southern Blight is highly contagious.
Make sure you sanitize all your gardening equipment before and after use!
Rinse them off and wipe them down with rubbing alcohol.
This applies to shears, trowels, shovels, pots, gloves, and anything that comes into contact with soil.
You may even need to clean off your shoes if you’re working in a garden.
5. Stop Overwatering Your Plant
Southern Blight thrives in moist soil.
Make sure your soil can dry out completely.
To start, avoid overwatering your plant.
Snake plants are incredibly drought-resistant, so it’s better to underwater than overwater them.
Definitely don’t water unless the soil is totally dry, and when you do, try not to get the plant itself wet.
6. Ensure Good Drainage In The Pot
Make sure the soil is draining water properly to allow it to dry out.
For potted plants, use a pot with good drainage holes in the bottom.
Don’t let the pot sit in water in a decorative planter, either.
For both potted plants and plants in the garden, use well-draining potting mixes such as those recommended explicitly for succulents.
7. Keep Your Plants Ventilated
Lack of ventilation can also prevent the soil from properly drying out.
Place your potted plants in well-ventilated areas, such as large rooms near open windows.
8. Use Fungicide As Prevention
Fungicide is most effective against Southern Blight as prevention rather than treatment.
If you suspect contamination, this might be the right time to use a fungicide.
Overall, these are the few things you can do to prevent this issue from spreading to the host plant and other plants in your indoor garden.
Now, let’s take a look at the FAQs section, where I’ve answered some queries related to this topic.
Brown spots on the leaves, root rot, crown rot, wilting, and/or a thin white substance on the soil and plant base.
These are the peculiar signs of this issue, so you need to spot them as early as possible.
Trim infected areas, use a fungicide, or try soil solarization.
These are the only ways to remove Southern Blight from this plant.
Ornamental grasses and larger woody plants tend to be resistant to Southern Blight.
You should look for fungicides containing azoles, fludioxonil, flutolanil, mancozeb, PCNB, strobilurins, thiophanate-methyl, or triadimefon.
If your snake plant has brown tips, it may be due to chlorine or other substances in the water.
You can try using filtered water.
Also, you need to regulate your watering frequency.
Don’t let the plant go through dry spells for too long.