The Q&A Archives: Poinsettia Fungus

Question: I rescued a poinsettia from a neighboring office's trash this past holiday seaon. I've been wetering it at least twice a week and have kept it in an east facing window.

This week I discovered that most of the leaves have developed some type of grey fuzzy fungus.

Help me. What should I do?

Answer: Based on your description it sounds like the plant has been attacked by a fungal infection. You might want to consult with or take a sample to your county extension (727-7850)for a definite identification of the problem and their most up-to-date suggested controls. In the meantime, isolate the plant, put it in the brightest location you have, avoid wetting the leaves and do whatever you can to increase air circulation around it. Remove and throw away the worst of the badly infected and damaged leaves; doing that will help open up the plant to light and air as well as reduce the source of infection. Also take care not to overwater it as this can encourage fungal problems in general; the soil should be only barely moist, not sopping wet.

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