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Philodendron Fungus [How it Happens & 5+ Ways to Treat]

The white fluffy particles or yellow spots that spread rapidly over leaves could be due to the Philodendron fungus. 

Generally, Philodendron fungus is a group of pathogens that makes plant leaves turn yellow and have rust spots and white powder. And overwatering, temperature shock, high humidity conditions, and contaminated plants promote their growth.

Thus, learn how to control their number from the article and save your Philodendron.

What Does Fungal Disease Look Like On Plants? [Symptoms]

Fungus is a rapidly spreading porous organism responsible for about 85% of plant diseases and is the same for Philodendron.

The plants suffering from fungal disease look like powders sprayed over leaves or dotted plants with halo-brown spots.

Furthermore, the Philodendron fungus shows various symptoms depending on the pathogen attacking them.

So you need to know different types of common Philodendron fungi that are easily noticeable to treat them on time.

  • Leaf Spot: The Dactylaria humicola is responsible for the Philodendron fungal leaf spot disease. It produces oval-shaped yellow to irregular brown spots on Philodendrons that get larger with time and merge, leading to wilting and falling off leaves.
  • Powdery Mildew: Often noticed as grey or white fluffy growth, powdery mildew is the most common fungal infection in Philodendron leaves due to Podosphaera fuliginea. The infected leaves may distort, curl or stunt their growth.
  • Anthracnose: Anthracnose is a fungal infection caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. The most noticeable signs are dark, sunken water lesions and yellowed leaves that drop prematurely.
Yellow tip of Philodendron with brownish border
The basal leaves are always affected first, then the top ones.
  • Southern Blight: Schefflera rolfsii, also known as web fungus, is responsible for Southern blight in Philodendron. These fungi are present as thick, white threads on the lower leaves that turn yellow and collapse.
  • Pythium Root Rot: Also known as water mold, root rot in Phildodendron is caused by Pythium spp. You can notice wet yellow to black lesions on leaves and water-soaked grey to black root tips.

Causes Of Philodendron Fungus

The pathogen responsible for Philodendron leaves fungus does not appear out of the blue unless you have created a susceptible condition for them.

Philodendron fungus spots are caused by warm surroundings and a highly humid environment supported by overwatered conditions.

A detailed briefing for the condition causing fungal infection in Philodendron is as follows.

1. Overwatering

Philodendron enjoys moderate watering given weekly. However, the plant can be overwatered if you do not maintain intervals between watering.

Such conditions give breeding grounds for the fungus, mainly Pythium rot, as the roots drown in it.

The Philodendron suffering from the overwatered condition will eventually have damaged roots due to fungal attacks.

And malfunctioned roots mean no absorption and ultimately death of the plant.

2. Poor Air Circulation

Philodendron roots need air and water to thrive in any condition and maintain plant health.

However, obstructed air circulation creates humid and stagnant conditions around the Philodendron plant, increasing the risk of fungal growth.

A black pot with young leaves of Philodendron
Compact soil can be the reason for poor aeration.

Also, poor air circulation prevents moisture evaporation. Thus, water remains intact, allowing the fungus spores to germinate and grow, as fungi love moisture the most.

3. High Humidity

Philodendron prefers moist and damp surroundings with humidity around 60-70%, with a minimum of 50 % and a maximum of 80%.

The humidity level should not exceed the maximum limit, as too much humidity creates a favorable condition for fungus to grow.

Also, the air moisture carries fungus spores and can spread from one plant to another, penetrating the plant tissue. Thus, not a good condition for Philodendrons to grow.

4. Temperature Stress

Philodendrons are susceptible to fungal attacks during summer days as the temperature is too warm and best for the fungi to grow.

Mainly, Philodendron loves moderately warm temperatures between 65ºF and 85ºF. But temperature directly affects fungal growth.

The higher the temperature, the more the fungus will be. And once they establish near plant roots, it starts stunting the entire plant’s growth.

On the other hand, cold temperature below 55ºF affects the immunity and metabolism of the plant. And when the plants get weak, they are highly susceptible to infection.

5. Contaminated Leaves and Soil

Fungus spores are rapidly spreading microorganisms that get easily carried away by air and water. Also, coming in contact with the infected plant can transfer the spores.

If you have bought an infected Philodendron from a nursery, your entire plant clan will be affected as the fungi attach to the leaves and weaken them.

Meanwhile, most of the pathogens arise from the soil. The ground will still have the pathogen even if you remove the affected Philodendron.

So if you had bought a contaminated potted Philodendron plant, you have made a blunder.

How To Treat Fungus On Philodendron?

Patience will never work for fungus-affected Philodendrons, as they can die off even with a little delay in your cure.

So take immediate action as soon as you notice any unhealthy Philodendron showing the symptoms of infestation.

  • Start the saving procedure by isolating the plant and halting the misting.
  • You should cut off leaves with fungus by using sterilized pruners. Throw the cut part away instead of keeping it in a compost bin.
  • Clean the plant with soap and water and dry it under the sun.
  • You can poke the soil with a chopstick to increase aeration.
  • Use a copper-based fungicide or sulfur powder found in the online market.
  • Alternatively, you can prepare your own by mixing 1/2 tablespoon baking soda and 1 gallon of water to get rid of white fuzzy mold on plants naturally.
  • Changing the potting mix is the only option if the condition is beyond recovery. Remember to cut off damaged roots and leaves to prevent the same problem.

How To Prevent Philodendron Fungus From Appearing?

Having a Philodendron fungus problem is nothing to boast or be sad about, as you can prevent it from the get-go.

Know the optimum conditions you need to maintain while growing Philodendron as a houseplant and avoid fungal infestation.

  • Provide at least 4 to 6 hours of bright, indirect light to Philodendron.
  • Decrease the watering frequency to once bi-weekly during winter days and in rooms with low light.
  • Protect your plant from cold days by bringing them indoors or using a frost blanket and heating mat.
  • Boost the immunity of Philodendrons by fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer monthly in spring and summer. Decrease the frequency in fall and winter.
  • Provide proper air circulation using a porous soil mix prepared from peat moss, perlite, and compost in a 1:1:1 ratio.
  • Also, avoid overhead watering and go for the bottom watering approach or drip irrigation.

From Editorial Team

Additional Information!

Various bacterial and viral infections show similar symptoms to fungal ones.

However, you can tell the difference between a bacterial and fungal leaf spot by noticing the pimple-like moldy growth over the spots that are vivid and often black in fungal infection.