Witches’ Broom Disease Cacti And Shrubs Symptoms
The symptoms of witch’s broom disease are very similar to those of other diseases such as white mold, powdery mildew or rust. These diseases usually affect plants during their dormant stage and they do not cause any harm to the plant until it starts blooming. However, when these diseases start attacking plants at bloom time, they can quickly become fatal.
Witch’s broom disease causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Leaves may also die back from the stems and branches. If left untreated, witches broom disease can kill a plant completely.
Symptoms of Witch’s Broom Disease Cacti & Shrubs:
Cultivation Tips For Wiccans And Witches’ Brooms:
1) Do not allow your plants to get wet!
Watering your plants will only make them grow faster and cause them to rot quicker.
2) Do not let your plants touch each other or soil.
This could spread the disease to neighboring plants!
3) Avoid growing in areas with high humidity, like bathrooms, bedrooms, garages and basements.
You want to keep the air dry so that the disease cannot survive.
4) Do not plant any other plants in your yard for at least several years.
This would prevent the disease from spreading.
5) Move your infected plant out to the trash and discard of it immediately.
6) Thoroughly clean the area with a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water and 1 part bleach).
This would kill all of the fungus diseases that have infected the soil, helping to stop them from spreading.
7) Wait at least 3-4 years before replanting anything in that area again.
The longer the better!
The witches’ broom disease infects many types of plants. Some of these include:
2) Cacti (especially prickly pears and chollas)
3) Chinese lanterns
4) Croton (“Silver Queen” is especially susceptible)
8) Hosta (“Fancy Lady” & “Lavender Joy” are the most susceptible)
10) Irises (especially Japanese ones)
11) Lilies (especially Asiatic lilies)
12) Ornamental Grasses (especially “Nephrolepis exaltata” & “Adiantum” species)
14) Roses (especially hybrid teas like “Cinderella” or shrubs like “Knockout”)
15) Statice (“Bouquet Orange” is especially susceptible)
16) Thymes (especially common thyme)
17) Tulips (especially “Parade”)
Witches’ Broom disease is actually caused by a type of fungus. The fungus itself cannot be seen with the naked eye and looks very similar to mold or other types of fungus that you may find in your home or outside in nature.
This disease spreads very rapidly and can destroy an entire plant within days, weeks or even months! It can also stay dormant for up to several years before suddenly reappearing!
The fungus that causes witches’ broom disease cannot be stopped, although it CAN be controlled with special fungicides and by following the guidelines listed above.
Witches’ Broom is not only found in your typical home garden or backyard. It can also be found in large farms and even in forests!
The fungus that causes witches’ broom disease is very common among cacti and succulents. It can also be found in other types of plants as well.
Also known by the name “Hashimoto’s disease”, this fungus can infect not only leaves but also flowers, stems and even roots. It can even spread to nearby plants through contact with soil containing the fungus.
The disease can remain hidden for several weeks or even months in infected soil before suddenly reappearing. It is easily spread through infected soil or even from contaminated tools.
Leaves infected with witches’ broom disease turn yellow and then die. They also lose their luster and begin to fall off the stem of the plant. Stems and petioles may be crooked and swollen due to an accumulation of dead leaves.
The disease can be found anywhere in the world, although it is most commonly found in warmer climates where it is more widespread.
These guidelines are used by large farms, nurseries and other places which grow large quantities of plants to prevent witches’ broom disease from spreading out of control.
1) Don’t use the same tools for plants that have already been infected with the disease without first cleaning them.
2) Dispose of all dead plant material immediately.
3) Avoid using soil that already has a history of causing witches’ broom disease in plants grown in it.
4) Don’t move plants that already have witches’ broom disease onto land that is free of the disease.
5) Ensure ALL workers are educated in the methods of controlling and preventing the spread of witches’ broom disease.
6) Regularly inspect all plants for signs of the disease and those that show symptoms must be immediately destroyed.
Burn them or otherwise dispose of them in such a way that the fungus is eliminated.
Witches’ broom disease can easily destroy an entire garden or farm if it is not taken seriously. It can ruin even the hardiest of plants in a very short amount of time.
Although there is no cure for witches’ broom disease once a plant is infected, there are ways to control and prevent the spread of the fungus that causes it. By following the guidelines listed above your garden or farm can be protected from this blight.
Sources & references used in this article:
Trees and shrubs that tolerate saline soils and salt spray drift by BL Appleton, V Greene, A Smith, S French, B Kane… – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
33. Witches’-Broom of Hackberry by Y Doi, H Asuyama – Mycoplasma diseases of trees and shrubs, 1981 – Elsevier
Changes in the composition of volatile compounds of Spartium junceum induced by the phytoplasmal disease, Spartium witches’‐broom by CE Seliskar, CL Wilson – Mycoplasma Diseases of Trees and Shrubs, 1981 – Elsevier
Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli (spruce broom rust) by FJ Crowe – Diseases of Trees in the Great Plains – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
A witches’ broom of the service berry by E Mancini, C Marcone, V De Feo, F Senatore… – Plant …, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
First report of a phytoplasma-associated witches’ broom disease of Miconia calvescens in Brazil. by JC Varmah – Mycoplasma Diseases of Trees and Shrubs, 1981 – Elsevier
44. Kabatina Blight of Juniper by IS Compendium – cabi.org