Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
Plant leaves that have holes are a plant disease. It can cause a loss of yield and a decrease in plant quality. The symptoms of holes in plant leaves include plants growing shoots from both sides of the leaf stem, brown patches on the surface, and thinning of the leaves.
Plant leaves have holes because they consist of cells. The cell walls are composed of cellulose, which is a polysaccharide. Cellulose is what makes leaves so strong. When the cells break down, the cellulose breaks down. When plant leaves have holes, it makes them very brittle and can cause damage to the plant’s health.
Many gardeners have difficulty growing plants with no holes in their leaves. It is a common problem that gardeners can solve using simple tricks. The first step is to keep the plant hydrated and well-fed with plenty of light, water, and nutrients. Then, plant it in potting soil or compost so there are no air pockets.
Here are methods that will help you grow healthy plants without holes.
What Are the Causes of Plant Leaves That Have Holes?
Plant leaves with holes or punctures are a common problem for many plant species. These tiny holes can be caused by many factors, including but not limited to: insects, disease, insects, or drought.
To avoid these holes from damaging your plants further, you should inspect the leaves for any signs of infestation and treat them accordingly.
The 7 Most Common Causes of Holes in Plant Leaves
Leaves are vital for plant growth; thus, paying attention to the holes in the leaves is essential. Some factors are the cause, ranging from damage to the stem to insects.
The cause of the hole in the leaf varies depending on the type of plant. Some common causes are insects, damage from human activities, and environmental factors. If you notice that your plants have holes, look at what might be causing them and how to fix them.
Holes in leaves caused by human activities include when humans break off branches or even small trees too close to their roots or directly into their stems.
Many plants have holes in their leaves, sometimes due to plant insects or disease attacks.
The seven most common causes of holes in plant leaves are:
- Fungus infection
- Light damage from too much sun or frost damage from cold temperatures
- Inadequate drainage leads to root rot and mildew around the roots
- Lack of nutrients in the soil prevents foliage from proper growth and nutrient deficiencies in plants.
- Lack of water
Can Overwatering Plants Cause Holes in Plant Leaves?
Overwatering your plants may lead to the formation of holes in the leaves.
Overwatering can lead to plant diseases, including disease-causing insects, fungi, and bacteria. These infections cause the leaves of your plants to turn brown or yellow with spots or holes that you can see with a magnifying glass.
There are many reasons for this, but the main problem is overwatering or underwatering your plants. If you water your plants too much or too little, the leaves will get moldy and rot at their edges until they get holes, called wet spots.
These wet spots will also cause problems with the root system because the roots are not allowed to absorb water; this leads to the eventual death of surrounding plants.
Tips To Prevent Plants Leaves from Having Holes
Plant leaves have holes from many factors, but there are some ways you can prevent this occurrence.
- Pick the right plant for your needs. If you want a plant that doesn’t require much water, consider an aloe vera or an air-purifying succulent. They can grow without too much attention from you and don’t require much, light-which means they’re great for someone with limited time.
- Watch your watering schedule and give the plant plenty of rest between watering sessions to reduce drying out and prevent leaves from getting holes in them when wet and ready to turn brown.
- Don’t over-water the plant, especially in hot weather or if it’s located in direct sunlight and is experiencing drought conditions.
Other tips that help keep your plants healthy and happy are.
- Ensure the plant is in a sunny spot with direct sunlight for at least six hours daily. Water the plant every day, but not too much or too often.
- Fertilize the plant once a month with a water-soluble fertilizer, such as fish emulsion diluted to half strength with water.
- Prune out dead leaves and branches to prevent the disease from spreading and ensure your plant is getting enough air circulation through its foliage.
How Can I Fix Plant Leaves That Have Holes?
If your plant leaves have holes, don’t worry! The best first step is to evaluate the plant species with these leaves, as each species may require slightly different strategies. For example, if your plant is an oak tree, it will need to be watered more often than a tree-like an apple tree.
Many leaves can develop holes on the edges and tips of their leaves. This is a common issue that will not go away on its own. There are a few ways to fix the problem without too much effort.
Some gardeners fix the leaves that have holes with paint. You can use a layer of paint using a brush to apply it onto both sides of the leaf and then carefully press down on it with a paintbrush or an old rag.
The best way to fix this issue is to find out what is causing the holes and eliminate them.
Pests like birds or squirrels can cause leaves that have holes, but sometimes they result from natural causes.
You can prevent them from eating through your leaves by trimming their nests and branches before they grow.
Another cause of these holes is damage due to frost. When leaves freeze, they expand and do not have as much insulating power as they would have, so they don’t protect the leaves from the cold as they should.
Signs of a Healthy Plant Leaves
There are signs that plant leaves are healthy. You can look for these signs to know that your plant has a good chance of surviving.
Here we will discuss how to recognize seven signs of a healthy plant.
The first sign is when they have light green colors.
The second one is when they have dark green with yellow patches.
The third one is when the edges of the leaves are smooth and not bumpy.
The fourth is when their veins look filled with straw-colored and transparent liquid.
The fifth one is when there’s no brown color on their stems, but they still have white on the stem near their base.
The sixth one is when all their leaves point away from the sickly, while the seventh sign is a drooping leaf.
The following are other signs of a healthy plant:
- The leaves have a glossy, dark green color, which will be dull if they are too pale or yellowish.
- The veins on the leaves run parallel rather than up and down.
- There are no dead leaves on the plants.
- If the plants have any red spots, they will most likely die.
- If you can see oozing sap coming out from between the veins.
What Is the Function of Plant Leaves?
Leaves are the first line of defense for plants. They act as natural sunscreen, protecting the plant from the sun’s rays.
Plants use leaves for photosynthesis: an attribute that makes them one of Earth’s most important organisms. Leaves absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping plants grow and stay alive.
Some leaves can even be found on fruits like apples or oranges, providing shade to protect them from excess light and heat during transportation or storage.
What Happens When There Are Holes in Plant Leaves?
When leaves get holes, they eventually fall out and stay on the ground.
When these leaves fall out, they do not decompose, and the nutrients they contain will be lost.
What are the consequences of losing these nutrients?
If you don’t clean up these fallen leaves, they can lead to a buildup of organic materials that will cause flooding in nearby bodies of water.
Can Plant Leaves With Holes Affect Garden Crops?
Plant leaves with holes are a type of fungus that infects the plant. Its causes include light penetration, nutrient deficiency, and other factors.
Holes in plant leaves will affect the crop in several ways. For example, the plant may have reduced growth or fruit production in some areas.
Additionally, they can reduce the amount of usable biomass in the garden.
There are many different ways that it can affect the crops that grow in the garden:
- Reducing photosynthesis
- Increasing foliar disease
- Decreasing nutrient uptake
- Reducing yields
How To Grow Healthy Plant Leaves Without Holes
Some ways to grow healthy plant leaves without holes is to give your plants a thick layer of mulch around their roots and give them plenty of light and fertilizer throughout their life cycle.
You can also avoid holes in your leaves by not watering your plants too often and keeping them in a well-ventilated area.
Here is a method for growing healthy plant leaves without holes:
- Do not apply any fertilizer or chemicals that could cause damage to the plant’s natural needs.
- Use a spray of water and alcohol before applying it to the leaf.
- Keep the sun on the plant for at least 12 hours to take in energy from sunlight, which will help it grow stronger and healthier leaves.
- Use a sponge, cotton ball, or cloth dipped in water on the leaf’s underside daily, and they won’t dry out too fast and get damaged.
FAQs on Why Do Plant Leaves Have Holes in Them?
Should I cut off leaves with holes?
Yes. Remove brown and dead leaves as quickly as possible from your houseplants, but only if they’re more than 50% damaged. Removing these leaves gives the remaining healthy foliage more nutrition, and the plant’s beauty improves.
What insect is eating the leaves of my plants?
This damage is caused by sucking insects like aphids, squash bugs, and spider mites. Yellow mottling on foliage indicates red spider mite damage. Gall mites frequently cause raised pimples or matted hair clusters on plants.
Can Brown leaves turn green again?
Crispy leaf edges usually indicate low humidity, but you might notice some yellowing beforehand if you introduce humidity quickly. You might be able to stop the brown edges from spreading, but you won’t be able to make the leaf green again.
Conclusion on why do my plant leaves have holes in them
When you plant a new plant, it tends to grow. This happens because the plant grows from the top down and gets more nutrients from its roots. The leaves tend to grow inward when the plant is young. However, the leaves can develop holes on one or both sides when the plant grows older.
Suppose you have a healthy leave and are curious about what you can grow from leaves. I wrote an article on what plant you can grow from leaves. You can read it here.
If you found value in this article, subscribe to the blog for all future updates. You can do that below.