A very popular flowering plant, jasmine is known for its sweet fragrance and bright white/yellow showy flowers. Native to the old world, i.e., Asia, Africa, and Europe, it is now cultivated in most tropical and warm temperate climates around the world. Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family, Oleaceae. However, unlike other members of this family which have four-lobed petals, Jasmine has more than five, and in some varieties even nine, petals. An evergreen plant, jasmine is very commonly used in traditional weddings and religious functions in Asia. It is basically a no-fuss plant with very little pests and diseases that inflict it. However, there are a few diseases that need to be treated before they damage the plant.
Diseases Affecting Jasmine
Jasmine plant problems include pests and diseases that can be easily controllable, provided they are checked and treated on time. Left to their own devices, most pests and diseases are quite capable of devouring an entire plant. Diseases in jasmine are caused due to infections caused by various viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Following is some information about the various diseases that can affect this plant, which one can identify and take a correct course of action.
- Powdery Mildew:
The most common fungal infection, powdery mildew can occur on both dry as well as fresh leaves. It is characterized by circular, powdery-white or gray spots that coat over leaf surfaces, spreading to stems in a short while. They can be easily controlled with a fungicide spray, repeated every week until the infected leaves clear off. They can also be partially removed by brushing the leaves against each other.
- Stem Blight:
Jasmine stems are also known to develop small to large brown/black rapid-spreading lesions that girdle the stem, causing stem blight of entire branches, and in certain cases even killing the plant. Stem blight in jasmine is caused by a necrotrophic fungi Botrytis cinerea, that gets aggravated in unusually cool and humid weather conditions.
- Root Knot Nematode:
This is a parasitic nematode that exists in soil and thrives in places that are hot and humid. The nematode larvae infect plant roots, which results in root knot galls. This knot, being parasitic in nature, drains the plant of all its nutrients. A root knot nematode in jasmine plants decreases flower yield.
Commonly known as plant lice, these are tiny, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects. They are among the most destructive pests found on cultivated plants in temperate regions. They exude tiny droplets on leaves, flowers, and stems that turn into black sooty mold which suffocates the plant part.
- Leaf Eating Caterpillar:
Caterpillars, which are the larvae of moths and butterflies, are among the most common and destructive pests found on ornamental and flowering plants, including the jasmine. This species of pest can completely devour foliage and flowers alike, retarding growth and flowering capacity.
Jasmine plants are also affected by pests like mites, mealy bugs, etc., that can easily be controlled with some pruning and effective fungicide and germicide spray on a regular basis.