Insects that can infect your landscape and create havoc may be your primary concern. However, there are a variety of diseases of which you need to be aware. Some have the potential to infect plantings near and far. Others can wreak so much damage that flower beds may need to be evacuated and trees eliminated if the disease isn’t identified early and control measures prove ineffective.

Diseases can affect the roots, stem/trunk or flower/fruit production. Other diseases are cosmetic in nature. While they won’t kill plantings, they can affect their aesthetic value and the appearance of your property. Diseases are difficult to identify, as some are similar in appearance to insect predations. It’s always best to seek the expertise of a plant specialist.

Armillaria Root Rot

Also known as mushroom root rot, a tree or shrub infected with the fungi may appear wilted, have little foliage, and remaining leaves look shriveled and dry. The fungus prevents plantings from absorbing water and it’s the most common fungi species infecting shrubs and trees in Florida.


More than 170 types of bacteria can affect plants and they can cause symptoms ranging from leaf spots and yellowing of leaves and fronds to plant wilt and death. Citrus Greening is one example. Typically found in citrus groves, it can also affect backyard citrus. Yields drop, eventually stop, and the tree dies.

Black Spot/Leaf Spot

Both types of the fungi produce black spots on the upper surface of leaves. Primarily affecting roses, it can also be found on the leaves, flowers and fruits of other plantings. It flourishes in hot, humid conditions. Black spot is the most serious disease of roses in Florida and can cause severe defoliation.

In Cercospora Leaf Spot, a small round spot appears and grows larger as the disease progresses. The center of the spot eventually turns a tan/gray color. The leaf dies and the lesions can appear on any other part of the plant.

Lethal Bronzing Disease

Affecting palms, the disease is relatively new to Florida and is caused by a phytoplasma – a unique type of bacteria. It results in a quick decline of the palm and death. There is no cure.


Powdery mildew and downy mildew are both fungus infections that are similar in appearance The symptoms of yellowing leaves and white spots are the same, but downy mildew is more grayish colored. Powdery mildew can be anywhere on the leaf surface, while downy mildew is limited by leaf veins.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

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