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Workshop on How to Identify Sick Plants & Treat them

Workshop on How to Identify Sick Plants & Treat them

A Bonsai tree is a living tree or shrub which has been grown in a way which gives the impression of being a full-sized, mature tree. An artistic representation of a full-sized tree in nature. Bonsai trees are generally grown in shallow ceramic pots. Bonsai are trees and plants grown in containers in such a way so that they look their most beautiful–even prettier than those growing in the wild. Cultivating Bonsai, therefore, is a very artistic hobby. Bonsai is the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots.

A Bonsai is not a species of tree; in fact many species of tree can be turned into Bonsai through various techniques. Bonsai may sound like an expensive affair but it can also be done at an affordable cost by anyone at home.

To learn how you can do this exactly, join us  for our workshop on “Preparing Bonsai at Low Cost” with our speaker Dr. Sadida Ahmed & Miss Simin Badar who will be sharing with us ways and simple techniques on preparing Bonsai plants easily at home. Dr. Sadida Ahmed has learnt the art of making Bonsai in USA and is making Bonsai since 1998. She has also exhibited her Bonsai in various exhibitions. She also has a huge farm where she grows paddy, fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicinal & flowering plants organically. For more information you can reach out to her through her Instagram page organic_natural_farming

Topic to be covered:
1. Making Bonsai without spending lot of money
2. Taking care of Bonsai

Also, you can use the code SIMITAOS to get a 5% discount on TAOS Products. Do check it out on our website here.

Tanvi and her tips to treat sick plants: 

 “Hello everyone, welcome to another workshop by Taos. Today we have with us, Miss Tanvi Chauhan. Hello Tanvi, how are you?” Asked Zehra.

“Hi everyone, I am great. How are you?” Asked Tanvi. 

“I am good. Welcome to our workshop today. We are very pleased to have you with us today Tanvi. I will give you a little brief about her, she is an Agricultural final year student and today she will like to explain to us about sick plants and how we can treat them at home using organic methods. You can also visit her Instagram handle for her unique tips for plants. So, let’s get started with plant problems and diseases.” Said Zehra. 

“So, I love plants and gardening. From my childhood days, I felt connected to nature. So, I started my plant journey during the lockdown period. I initially started with 3-4 plants and my beginning journey was not very good, I faced many problems. So, I had a Cucumber plant that had a good starting growth but then it got infected by pests which affected its growth. Then I started reading and learning through videos that these were pests and it happens with many beginners in gardening or growing plants. It happens with many people who have plants but they don’t know about the infections and diseases and what makes plants sick. So, in this workshop, I will tell you all about, how you can identify that your plant is sick and fix its problems.

So, the first important thing to fix the problems of the plant is to identify the problem the plant. But before that, you need to know the plant as they are living things they need water, food, and sunlight to survive which is the same as humans. Let me give you an example if you have a plant that is under stress if you pour water into your plant it may look better the next day but that doesn’t mean it is stress relieved. But we should know that over-watering the plant will lead to stress in the plant many times people say that Cow Dung is good for plants but if it is not given in proper quantity it can create problems in plants. We should also know how much quantity of water different kinds of plants require. 

So, the first step to fixing your plant is to identify the problem. As if you are not able to identify then you won’t be able to find the solution to the problem. It can be tested by using Test kits or by physical examination of the experienced gardener. So, the common problems that you can see in plants are insufficient water, insufficient light sources, fungi, pests, and many other things. Let’s see it in detail. 


As the human body needs water plants also need water for their proper growth and survival. So if your plant’s roots are being suffocated by too much water then you will be able to witness yellow leaves, spots on leaves, and dropping of the leaves from the plant branch. There can be many reasons for over-watering:

  • No proper drainage holes for excess water to leave the plant.
  • The misconception is that overwatering will lead to faster growth of the plant
  • The problem of the daily habit of watering the plant without checking whether the plant needs water or not. As there are many plants like Aloe Vera where if the plant doesn’t receive water for 1-2 days, it will survive. Whereas, if you talk about Pothos/money plants if not receive water for even a single day they will die. 

So, whenever you go to water the plant, keep in mind to check whether the plant needs water or not. To know whether the soil needs water or not, you can check it by using your finger pit. Touch the soil with your finger pit and check if the soil is dry or has moisture in it.” Said Tanvi.

1. “So, sometimes people fill water up to the rim of the pot. So, how will you tell them how much water they need to put in the plant?” Asked Zehra.

“So, make sure to check before watering the plant whether water is required or not. And don’t flood the plant with water as due to overwatering the plant may die. And make sure to skip watering the plant if the plant is moist.” Said Tanvi. 


So, pests can be seen in a variety of ways depending on the kind of plant. It also depends on the pests which feed on different types of plants. Usually, pests feed on plants and damage the plant. To identify whether the plant is infected by pests, you can check the plant’s leaf. If the plant leaf has holes or spores in black/ brown color in clusters identifies that the plant is infected by insects.

  1. Aphids: They are very small in size and are soft. It has a pear shape body. They are usually on new leaves and in new plants. They are also found on the stem of the plant and the backside of the leaves. Aphids mostly are found in Hibiscus plants. 
  • Aphids suck the plant sap and turn the leaf yellow color. 
  • To reduce Aphids, we can use Clove oil.  
  • To make the solution, take half-liter water and add 2-3 drops of clove oil, mixing it well. And now the solution is ready to be used on the plant infected with Aphids. 
  • Make sure to use the solution twice a day and for 6-7 days continuously to see the results. And spray this on the plant
  1. Spider mites: They are very small and it is difficult to see them. You can recognize them by seeing that spider mites create webs around the whole plant. This stops the circulation of air in the plant and the plant may die and face heavy damage. If you witness early symptoms of spider mite infection you can remove them from the plant by using any type of brush. 
  • To save them from infection you can use Neem Oil. 
  • To make the desired solution, take a half-liter of water and add 4-5 drops of Neem Oil, mix it well, and then you can spray it on the infected plant. 
  • You have to use the Neem Oil solution for 7-8 days to see the results. Make sure to put more water on the leaves.  
  • Make sure to put this solution before keeping it in the sun. 
  1. Mealy bugs: They are small in size and white in color. They look like cotton, and you will not be able to distinguish between them. They are always in groups. Mostly they live between the leaf and stem.
  • They are mostly found in Tomatoes, Mango, and Hibiscus plants. 
  • Their large quantity affects the plant and may damage the plant also. 
  • To prevent them, you can use a brush to remove them from the plant but make sure not to drop them on the soil. As the male mealy bugs change their form. 
  • You can use Neem Oil to wash your leaf with it to remove the Mealy bugs from the plant. 
  1. Leaf miners: they are the larva of various plants like moths and flies. They make a trail and blotchy area on the leaves. So, Leaf miners don’t harm the plant but if increased in large quantity then it can affect the plant. 
  • You can use Neem Oil or you can wash the leaves with alcohol by dipping a cotton ball in alcohol to wipe/wash the leaves. 
  • You can find good results after 7-8 days. 
  1. Fungus: They can also create problems for the plant. The fungus has rapid growth once spread. So you have to stop it at the initial stage to reduce the damage to the plant. You can recognize it with white and black spots on the leaves. There are some signs of fungus:
  • Leaf spot: – Fungal leaves spots are shown up on the house plant in brown, black or purple color. If you witness reddish color on the leaves then it is a sign of a leaf spot. It happens if the soil mix is too wet, so keep your plant where they can get proper sunlight and there should be proper drainage holes in the pot. You can find this mostly in Cucumber, Watermelon, etc. 
  • White mold: – So, it grows on the top of the potting soil and in house plants, it easily comes in contact with the white mold as it also happens due to wet soil mix, overwatering, or no proper drainage holes. So you will be able to witness a white cotton-like substance on the topsoil of the plant. So you should remove that topsoil. And make sure to keep that soil without that white mold soil in the sun for 2-3 days. 
  • Rust: – Rust is very common on inside and outside plants. They are most common on Rose and Chrysanthemum plants. So, you can identify them by their black color and their unique structure i.e. in rings. Initially, they are on the backside of the leaves but at the advanced level, you can find them on the front side of the leaves. If you cure them at their initial stage it will be better. 

Not enough nutrients:

Nutrients provide food to plants for their development. Nutrients are used for growth and development. Lack of nutrients can lead to no flowering in the flowering plants. There are different kinds of deficiency that can be seen in many plants:

  1. Nitrogen Deficiency: If you witness the leaves turning yellow then there can be chances of deficiency of nutrients in the plant. It can happen due to overwatering the plant which leads to nitrogen deficiency in the plant. 
  2. Potassium Deficiency: Potassium is very common in plants. The plant’s roots become weak due to potassium deficiency and you will witness burned-up leaves. The leaves will change yellow color. 
  3. Chlorine Deficiency: Chlorine is very important for plants as it is required for the process of photosynthesis. Too little chlorine in the plant will turn the leaves yellow and will stop the growth of the plants. 
  4. Phosphorus Deficiency: The plant leaves will turn purple due to phosphorus deficiency. 

Insufficient Light source: 

If the plant is growing at a very slow rate, then the plant is not provided with sufficient sunlight. The plant can be sick if it does not receive a good amount of sunlight and even if it receives more sunlight. To recognize the signs of more sunlight, you will witness leaf burns. If the plant is not receiving a good amount of sunlight it can be identified with the softening of the leaves of the plant and yellowing of the leaves. 


Fertilizers help in providing nutrients to the plant and help in growing a healthy plant. But more amount of fertilizers can create problems for the plant. They may die due to excess fertilizer usage. Make sure to ensure the right amount of fertilizers are put into use in the plant. Fertilizers should depend upon the size and amount of soil. Don’t use fertilizers in the same quantity of the soil it can severely damage the plant and can burn the plant.

Before telling you the solution to fix the plant, it is important to know your plant. First, you need to know what kind of plant it is like is it a Snake plant, Aloe Vera plant, or any vegetable crop? After finding the type of plant you can find the cure for your plant. For example, if you have an Aloe Vera plant then if the plant is not provided with water for 2-3 days it can survive, but in the case of a vegetable plant, regular watering is required for their proper growth. You should know the basic recognition patterns of the plant. It may happen that many a time there is a flower on the plant but the growth of the fruit is not proper. So, in such kind of situation, you can use organic compost, cow dung, or homemade vegetable compost. You can recognize the sickness of the plant by seeing the stem, soil, leaves, and roots of the plant.” Said Tanvi. 

2. “So, Tanvi in my house I have a Pothos plant. I have witnessed that the new leaves on my plant are curled up and not open. So, what could be the reason for it?” Asked Zehra.

“Where have you kept the plant in your house?” Asked Tanvi.

“I have kept it in my kitchen.” Said Zehra.

“Does the plant receive proper sunlight?” Asked Tanvi.

“No, it gets a little amount of sunlight.” Said Zehra.

“So, the reason for the curled-up leaves can be not proper sunlight.” Said Tanvi.

3. “But, pothos being an indoor plant, if it receives little sunlight is it not enough for its growth?” Asked Zehra.

“So, it can happen due to not proper sunlight that they receive. As they should receive at least 5-6 hours of sunlight. So, you can keep the plant on your window or a place where it gets proper sunlight for a good amount of hours and then you can bring it back to its original place.” Said Tanvi. 

“I hope everyone watching the workshop would have learned a few things to save the sick plant.” Said Tanvi.

“I hope everybody must be able to identify the diseases and the sickness they are facing with their plants and hopefully they try to apply the remedies that you have suggested.” Said Zehra.

“So, awareness is needed for it. So that they don’t kill their plants.” Said Tanvi.

4. “So, I have a question, so for every problem, there is a different solution to it? Like if we have just Neem oil and we spray it on all the plants thinking that this will treat all kinds of diseases and bugs that are not right, right?” Asked Zehra.

“Yes, it may not treat all the problems but it can cure a few diseases. So Neem oil is very common and I usually use Neem oil in many plants and the results are good. It works as an insecticide.” Said Tanvi.

Thank you so much, Tanvi. 

“Thank you so much, for your time and efforts in explaining everything in detail. It was a very informative session and we thank all the audience that joined us today.”