We define phytomedicine as the science of plant disorders (whether biotic or abiotic), their diagnosis, management and control.

Phytomedicine deals with all infectious agents that attack plants, and also covers damage caused to crops by pests, diseases and weeds.

Under our definition, we additionally include abiotic disorders such as drought, frost, flooding, poor drainage, nutrient deficiency, salt deposition and other soluble mineral excesses or wind, which may occur naturally or be man made.

Other examples of man-made ‘problems’ include soil compaction, pollution of air and soil, salt applications on roads in urban areas, overuse of pesticides, as well as poor education and poor training of people working with plants.


The author is the Managing Director of the German Phytomedical Society, member of the board, head of the DPG-committee for public relations, member of the programme committee of the international  symposium "Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe" and co-organiser of the "Deutsche Pflanzenschutztagung" and responsible for international affairs.