R2103 Plant Disorders. Frost damage and Fasciation.
Updated: May 3, 2021
As well as pests and diseases there is another way that plant health can suffer and this comes under the heading of Plant Disorders. Plant disorder can be defined as follows:
Plant disorder = plant health problem caused, not by a pathogen, but by some problem in the environment. Caused by a non living factor.
Although disorders are caused by non living factors they can be exacerbated by the gardener who grows plants in the greenhouse and does not pay attention to watering, shading, monitoring and controlling temperature, and watering regime. There are many ways the gardener can prevent disorders but the actual symptoms are mostly caused by poor environmental conditions.
Examples of disorders which are outlined in the RHS syllabus:
High / Low temperatures
Soil pH including the symptoms of Lime induced chlorosis
In this blog I am focusing on frost and fasciation disorders.
Profile of strawberry black eye
Frost Damage Potatoes (A late frost in May which was unexpected) This could have been prevented by covering with fleece. The potatoes will still crop, but will be delayed.
Gunnera manicata leaves are tender and will suffer frost damage unless protected. This means the leaves are unsightly all Summer if not removed.
The late unexpected frost in May also damaged the young soft growing tips of the variegated Holly
profile of crested fern
Fasciated stems of Forsythia x intermedia are flattened and appear as if many stems are fused together.
Fasciated Cosmos flower with the typical oval shape compared to the usual round centre.
Fasciated Sempervivum abovecompared to a 'normal' Sempervivum below. They are different cultivars but the photo shows the difference in shape.
Saguaro cactus (Carnegeia gigantea) in Arizona. Fasciated saguaro in centre with 'normal ' cacti either side.