One of the most common issues with basil is its susceptibility to fusarium wilt, a fungal disease that causes the leaves to turn white and die.
These symptoms are similar to other plant diseases and pests, but it is important to distinguish between fusarium wilt and other issues to save the plant. This article will what causes white spots on basil leaves and how to get rid of them.
The basil plant leaves can be afflicted with a fungal disease that causes them to turn white and die. This is called fusarium wilt, and it exhibits symptoms similar to those of other plant diseases, such as mildew or pest infestation. Instead of killing the whole plant, this particular infection will cause the leaves to turn white and die off one by one over time.
Why Does My Basil Plant have White Spots?
Fungal Diseases. The spots will typically appear on the undersides of the leaves as small, white, circular patches. As the disease spreads, this area will begin to turn yellow and dry out until it falls off completely.
During this period of time, you may also begin to notice wilted foliage that is yellow and dying. If your plant is thus affected, you likely have fusarium wilt, which is caused by harmful fungi known as “Fusarium oxysporum”.
Another common reason why your basil plant has white spots is due to insect infestation. This is common to many kinds of basil plants, such as this one:
You can tell that this basil plant is infested with pests because of the small white spots which cover most of the leaves. Plants are susceptible to disease even if they look healthy, so it’s always a good idea to check your plants for signs of disease and take preventative measures when needed.
If you don’t want to use pesticides, it’s best to cover the infested plant with a plastic bag to prevent the pests from spreading.
It’s also possible that your basil plant has been exposed to high salt levels. If the conditions in your soil or potted plants become too salty, the leaves will start to yellow and wither away. You can lower the salt levels in your plants by watering with a dilute solution of water and chlorine bleach.
How Do You Get Rid of White Spots on Basil?
If you have determined that the white dots on your basil plants are due to fusarium wilt, there is not much that can be done to save the plant.
A few fungicides on the market may be effective at repressing the spread of disease, but it’s usually better to prevent a bacterium from infecting your plants in the first place. Basil is generally vulnerable to this kind of wilt, so it’s best to simply destroy any infected plants as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Few things you can do to get rid of white spots on your basil:
1. Cut off the affected leaves:
If there are only a couple of white spots, prune the affected leaves off at the base of the plant. Ensure to remove all of the dead areas, as this will prevent any other parts from becoming infected.
It’s also important to keep your hands away from any fungal spores that may fall off when you prune your basil plant, as they can easily cause infection if they come into contact with a healthy part of the plant.
2. Give the plant enough sunlight:
Basil plants tend to become quite ill when they are subjected to excessive amounts of light, so make sure that the plant is getting a sufficient amount of sunlight during its regular growing period. Using artificial lighting is not recommended, as it may promote fungal disease.
3. Clean your soil and change the water:
Fungal diseases thrive in moist environments, so it’s important to avoid overwatering your basil plants. Try cleaning out the drains and flower pots used for your basil plants at least once a month. If possible, use dry potting soil that’s free of any fungal diseases.
4. Try using baking soda:
Baking soda is an effective fungicide that can help prevent fungal infection in your plants. Simply add some to the soil, and mist it onto the plant with water. If you want to kill off all of the fungal spores, use a solution of baking soda and chlorine bleach.
If your basil plant is in a pot, you can easily prevent the disease from spreading by using fungicides. Try mixing some baking soda with water to create a spray that will effectively repress the spread of disease.
While there are no really effective controls for fusarium wilt due to fungal infection, it is worth mentioning that basil can be killed by a host of other insects and diseases.
In particular, aphids, nematodes, and powdery mildew are the most common pests that attack basil plants. Handle your plants with care when they are in a state of dormancy and they should develop a good immune system to survive the winter.