Each month V.D. Kaviraj answers questions about plants and plant problems. Kaviraj is one of the foremost pioneers of Agro-homeopathy and author of the book, Homeopathy for Farm and Garden.
The completely revised and enlarged edition with an additional 176 pages is now available:
Send your questions! (with pictures when possible – JPG or GIF format) to [email protected] with the subject “Plant Doctor”.
Note: When I refer to treating plants with homeopathic remedies, this is the standard dosing procedure: Put 20 drops of a 6X potency in a litre of water. Succuss the bottle 50 times. Put this litre in the watering can,fill it up with 19 litres of tap water and stir. If the watering can is smaller, the amount of remedy put in must be proportionally smaller. Thus a 10 litre can needs only ½ litre and just 10 drops of the remedy. Apply the contents of the watering can to the roots of the plants to be treated. –V.D. Kaviraj
Dear Dr. Kaviraj
We have an outbreak of ‘Black Sigatoka Disease’ affecting our banana crops here in Dominica and other Caribbean Islands. Do you have any helpful suggestions please?
With many thanks for your help
Hi Patricia, That looks like it could use a dose of Sulphur and because it is a tree, you can use the 30C potency. Please keep me posted about the results.
I have coconut and betel nut trees. These trees suffer from fungal infection resulting in falling of premature fruit. Please suggest the homoeopathic remedy.
G. G. Mhatre
Hi GG, what colour is the fungus? Generally, you can use Pulsatilla or Phosphorus, but since I don’t know what fungus is involved, prescription is a little difficult.
I have Hawk Moth caterpillars on some plants in my garden. They seem to like the Frangipani and some yellow trumpet flowers. I have tried all the remedies you suggest for caterpillars and none of them work. I am in the tropics.
Hi Partricia, have you tried Sambucus nigra? If that does not work, try Thuja.
Can you please tell me Indian plants that can be consumed by humans that contain oestrogen? Can these plants help in correcting the hormonal imbalance in female patients?
Dr. Meenakshi Ambwani
I don’t know any Indian plants containing oestrogen. Hormonal imbalance in female patients is best corrected with the right homoeopathic remedy.
Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
I want to begin to use homeopathy more in my garden. Do you know what remedy would help blight in tomato and potato plants? Also, Botrytis in roses and Stem canker in fruit trees?
Hi Jeannie, first of all, keep tomatoes and potatoes apart from each other, since they infect each other with early or late blight. To avoid blight, you can use Phaseolus for potato and Ocymum basilicum for tomato. Once the disease is there, Ferrum phos or Sulphur are the best remedies to stop it.
Stem canker can be controlled by Thuja or Zincum metallicum. Lactic acid may also help.
Our pumpkin plants developed white spots and the leaves rotted. Have you any suggestions?
Hi Penny, that looks like Mosaic virus and there are a few remedies that can be used. First of all Salicylic acid is a good remedy to try. If there is salty water, Natrum salicylicum is better. Arsenicum album is another useful remedy and is probably the best of the 3.
What is going on with this plant? I’ve had it for years and it always looks like this. I’ve tried watering it, moving it to different windows around the house and even feeding it, but it always looks like this with the leaves drying and dying. It currently is sitting in a west side window so not much direct sun light. Thanks for any help.
That looks like you have the wrong soil to grow it in. Try to make a mix of peat and sphagnum moss and 30% sand. Repot the plant and give it a dose of Calendula. Let me know the result please.
Hello Dear Kaviraj
My name is Uriel and I live in Israel. I am trying to treat a few plants and trees with homeopathic remedies and I would like to ask for your opinion regarding some of them.
A few ancient Fig trees are being damaged by white worms which I suspect are about to become Batocera rufomaculata bugs. Large percentage of the tree’s trunk has been eaten as can be seen in the photos.
The quality of the fruit and the leaves has not been damaged, but quantity is much less than expected. But there are very few leaves that look like this:
Rosemary Bush- the phenomena is seen on more than 50% of the bush. It damages the bush until it becomes completely dry (dehydrated). I suspect it is ‘Spider Mite’.
A month ago I treated the bush with Thuja/ Lacticum Acidum / Bovista (in different bushes with the same problem). I repeated the treatment after 3 weeks. What do you think about this treatment- what am I supposed to expect? Do you have any recommendations of any other treatment?
A very large Loquat tree is being damaged in both fruit and trunk. The leaves look healthy. The fruits rot on the tree and fall. Do you any ideas for treatment?
Open fruit in sunlight:
Almond tree- I suspect that it is being damaged by: ‘Capnodis’. As can be seen in the pictures the tree has a big discharge. There are a few trees- some of them are more ‘eaten’ and some are less. Is there a stage in which there is nothing that can be done to save the tree?
Thank you so very much
With lots of appreciation, Uriel
The first problem (Olives) seems very much like termites to me. Use a dose of Camphora and see if it makes any difference. If that does not work, try Thuja, which is for insects entering the tree itself, digging in under the bark. Since the leaves are dependent on the capillary system, some seem to go pale because of lack of nutrients, which cannot reach due to capillary damage.
The second problem is called chlorosis and you can fix that with a dose of Ferrum phos. Spidermite would draw the leaves together and would not allow any growth. Bovista is more for spidermite in grasses. If it is spidermite – which is not entirely clear from the photo – my publisher has a better remedy – Amblyseius – made from a predatory mite. Thuja does not have much effect, because it works better with sapsuckers that creep inside the leaves. Also Lactic acid is better for bacterial diseases.
Number 3 seems to me to be a lack of Silicea. Do the locusts grow on sandy or stony underground? To me it looks like Bothrytis fungus for which Silicea is the best remedy anyway.
The weeping trees seem to have a fungal disease too, for which Graphitis is the best remedy. Sticky discharge is always associated with this remedy.
Kindly give a remedy for Leaf Rot , Root wilt and Thanjavur wilt in Coconut tree. For Reference on the disease i am asking kindly visit and give me a solution.
Hi Sathya, Most of the problems you talk about are fungal in origin. I would have a test done for soil pH – which I suspect is too acidic. You can neutralise that with Calcarea carb, so as to prevent those diseases to start in the first place.
Next I see from the description that the trunk is weeping, for which Graphites is the best remedy, especially when it is sticky.
Wilt can be cured also by Silicea, but then there must be no weeping trunk present.
I had planted some green-chilli plants in my kitchen garden. The leaves are wilting and then curving on both edges. However the plant is producing chillies, but the flavour in the chillies is missing. Can you suggest some remedy?
To me that sounds like you have an insect rolled up in the leaves, which sucks out the flavour – literally. If it is not an insect, it is time to get yourself some good potting mix and to redo them, because some nutrient will be missing.
This is regarding green-chilli plants whose leaves are getting wilted and curved in the edges. The chillis produced lack flavour. (The plant produces chillis that have a distinct flavour of ghee (clarified butter) but is woefully diminished at present). The plants are planted in the soil and not in pots. Can you please advise some means to improve the soil-nature. I did not find any insects, but, can these be some flying types and thus do not stay at one place??
Incidentally, I had planted coriander plants alongside this chilli-bed, and the coriander leaves do have a lovely color and a strong flavor. The manure I use is cow-dung.
I live in Vancouver and have a plum tree that has black knot. I have been told that there is nothing that can been done. I was hoping you have some suggestions . http//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Black_knot.jpg
Thank you in advance,
Your link does unfortunately not lead to anywhere useful – simply to another page with links, none of which is what you want to show me.
Black knot, is this on the joints of branches? Or on the fruits, the leaves?
My apologies for the link. I’m still not able to make it work. Regardless, black knot is a fungus that is found on the branches of my plum tree. There is no known treatment for this, I have been told to destroy the tree. Since homeopathy has been so wonderful in my garden I was hoping you would have some advice.
Hello dear Dr. kaviraj sir
I have 2 plants – 1. jasmine 2. daisy plant. The problem in both of them is they both are attacked by many insects like brown bugs, catterpillar, spider mites. first black spots occurs on leaves containing the insects under the leaf with numerous black eggs. There are many webs joining two leaves together. sir they are dying very quickly. I was shocked on seeing these much insects for the first time on my plants. rainy season is going here. please suggest what Ishould do. I am also a homoeopathic doctor and had tried helix tosta 30 but is of no avail. please suggest.I have pictures of them also but I dont know how to attach.
Thanks & regars