Rolling leaves is sometimes a sign that a plant or tree needs water and the rolling is a sign that it is trying to preserve moisture. Growing healthy plants can be a gratifying pastime until complications begin. Leaf roll is a common illness brought about by improper upkeep, environmental abnormalities, diseases and pests. Leaf roll of a tomato plant is usually caused by a viral disease. Leaf roll treatment depends upon the plant type, but once a gardener safeguards proper cultivation and garden site necessities they can turn their attention to disease and pests as possible causes of leaf roll. If the leaf roll source is a virus in berries or flowering plants, there is no cure. The infected plants should be destroyed and the land needs to be left fallow for several years.
Purchase a good fungicide from a local garden store and mix the recommended dosage into a hose end sprayer. There are quite a few fungicides available that work, but a copper-based formulation is best and should be easy to find. The amount of fungicide needed will depend on the size of the tree or plants.
Treat peach and nectarine trees in the late fall, when most of the leaves have dropped off. If spraying in the spring, make sure to treat the tree before the leaves bud or the fungicide will not work. Ornamental trees like maple, oaks and willow will also benefit from fungicide treatments.
Spray the highest areas of trees first by safely climbing a ladder to reach the highest point. Soak the tops and undersides of the leaves working downwards. It is best to apply the fungicide when there is no chance of rain for several hours. Always use a fungicide annually to prevent leaf roll in fruit trees and plants.
Rake up the fallen leaves and other debris to ensure that any fungal spores do not flourish in the soil. It is also important to inspect plants and trees for insects. The likely leaf roll culprits are usually aphids and mites. Mites are very small and can only be seen by positioning a sheet of white paper under the plant and shaking it to dislodge any mites. Any tiny black specks that fall out are the mites. If mites are found, the plant should be treated in with an insecticide. Aphids can be removed from a plant with the water from a hose. Leaf roll occurs when insects start feeding on the tender new leaves. When there is widespread leaf rolling, there are probably mites or another insect infestation.
Apply an insecticidal detergent to plants that are affected by mites. Spray the insecticidal to the tops and undersides of the leaves on a weekly basis or until the plant recovers. The best time to apply treatment is in the morning or late afternoon to stop wet leaves from burning from the sun's hot rays. A neem oil spray should be used on all plant surfaces to kill any chewing or sucking insects. Neem spray is safe for other types of insects like bees or other flying bugs. Treatment should continue daily until the insects disappear and the plant shows signs of recovery. Neem oil is safe around children, pets and on edible producing plants and trees.
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