Succulent Fungus


Succulents occur in a broad variety of sizes, forms, and colours; however, one trait that they all have in common is the tendency to get fungal infections when they are taken out of their naturally dry environments. When they are present in succulents, surface fungi that are straightforward to cure include sooty mildew and grey mould. However, the numerous varieties of fungus that cause interior rots may offer considerably more challenging difficulties.

Black Sooty Mold

One of the types of fungus that causes the least amount of damage to succulents is called black sooty mould (Capnodium spp). It develops as a consequence of insects such as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and scale eating on the plant. These insects secrete a sugary fluid known as honeydew, which the sooty mould consumes in order to survive. It is necessary to get rid of the bug infestation in order to get rid of the black sooty mould. Honeydew is removed from the plant by spraying it with water from a hose, and after that, the plant is treated with the necessary insecticide. Succulents are not directly damaged by black sooty mould, but big colonies may prevent succulents from producing enough oxygen for photosynthesis to occur.

Leaf Spot Diseases

Succulents have shown a high level of resistance to the fungus that create spots on the leaves and stems of other plants. The webpage for the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California states that these fungus are, for the most part, safe to be around, despite the fact that they may cause significant disfigurement in landscape plants. On sensitive plants, shallow tan lesions occur, causing a persistent stippling or spotty pattern to develop.

In the garden, it may be necessary to replace the plant with a more resistant cultivar or it may be sufficient to just endure the spots since, despite their apparent destructive potential, they do relatively little harm. Succulents that have been heavily affected may transmit spots to other plants, however in most cases fungicide treatment is not advised.

Gray Mold on Succulents

According to the website of the Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California, grey mould (Botrytis cinerea), which is also known as botrytis blight, can be easily recognised by the masses of brownish-gray spores that form on the surfaces of affected succulent leaves and flowers. This makes it simple to spot. The appearance of grey mould on succulents is most typical during the early spring or the summer months, when the temperature is chilly and rainy. It has a propensity to establish itself in older plant tissues that are either damaged or dead, and it rapidly spreads outward. Fungicides may be used as a preventative strategy in areas where grey mould is abundant, but they will not treat an infestation if one already exists.

A portion of the succulent that has been affected has to have the injured tissues taken off and then burned. It is ideal not to water succulents from the top, to not let them dry out in between waterings, and to not leave stubs when taking cuttings. All of these practises should be avoided.

Anthracnose Fungal Diseases

The fungus Colletotrichum spp., sometimes known as cactus anthracnose, may infect a broad variety of cacti and succulents. It often takes the form of a wet, tan-colored rot that is covered with red, orange, or pink pustules all over the surface. The spots begin relatively tiny but quickly spread throughout the crowns and leaves of the plant. The sole therapy for an infected succulent is the removal and disposal of the leaves that are afflicted by the disease.

Anthracnose may be passed on via contaminated pots or soils, as stated on the website of the Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California. As a result, gardening equipment and pots need to be thoroughly disinfected, and unused garden soil should be thrown away. Copper fungicide treatment has the potential to assist in the destruction of fungal bodies.

Fusarium Wilt Can Kill

The fungus Fusarium oxysporum interferes with the capacity of succulents to take in water, which may lead to severe stress, wilting, yellowing, and even death in extreme cases. This soil-borne fungus, which cannot be cured, gains access to the plant via its roots and immediately starts to reproduce inside the vascular tissues. Succulents eventually have clogged tissues, which makes it difficult or even impossible for them to move water throughout their bodies. When the tissue is sliced open, brown streaks may be seen throughout.

When dealing with potted plants, it is important to maintain proper cleanliness in order to avoid the spread of fusarium, as recommended on the website of the Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California. Landscape plants that are afflicted with the disease are provided with the correct nutrients and amount of water in order to assist them in surviving until they are able to grow new tissues that are not afflicted with the disease. The amount of water that is provided to the plants is kept low in order to discourage future fungal growth.

Root and Crown Rots

The fungal infections that belong to the genus Phytophthora are responsible for a wide range of root and crown rots. Due to the fact that the symptoms of succulent diseases are, for the most part, non-specific, it may be challenging to distinguish the early stages of succulent diseases from the early stages of other fungal illnesses. A gradual rot that grows upward from the soil level causes the affected plants to get stressed, wilt, change colours, and finally die. This rot begins at the soil level and works its way upward.

In spite of the fact that treatments for root and crown rots aren’t very effective, the website for the Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California recommends discouraging these conditions by planting succulents in soils with good drainage and taking care not to over-water the plants. Some succulents, like aloe, have the ability to be regrown from cuttings made from healthy parts of the plant.