Biotic and Abiotic Plant Disorders


Horticulturalists will generally categorize plant disorders as either biotic or abiotic.  Biotic plant disorders are those problems that are caused by bacteria, pests, and fungi.  If the disorder is caused by something such as weather, physical damage, or any other non-living factor it is classified as abiotic.  If you live in a region of extreme weather or experience periods of high heat and drought then many of your gardening problems will probably be classified as abiotic.

Plants have a strong set of natural defenses but if they are subjected to atmospherical extremes they will weaken and may be prone to attacked by secondary organisms.  Some examples of the natural defenses of plants include bark, and waxy leaves that protect them from outside organisms.  Plants can also produce enzymes when they are attacked by pathogens.  When a plant is forced to uses it’s resources to produce enzymes to thwart a pathogen attack the growth of the plant suffers.

Some plants will separate the infected cells that are being attacked from the healthy part of the plant.  At times though the attacking pathogen can go undetected and it will be too late for a plant to respond in time.

Drought is one of the main problems facing gardeners today.  Make sure you water your plants when things get dry.  Sure your plants can dry up if you forget to water them, but as was just described they are also made weaker and more susceptible to pathogen attack.

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make is forgetting to water and then overwatering your garden.  This does a lot more harm than you think.  First the plants are weaker since they need water, thus more susceptible to pathogen invasion.  Now by creating an overly moist environment you are creating a prime breeding ground for pathogens.

Consider drip irrigation as a way to not only conserve water but keep your plants healthy.  Using this means of irrigation ensures that the water goes exactly where it is needed and won’t lay excessively on plants.

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