Monday, June 15, 2015

Dahlia Blooms (and a Problem)

This is the glorious bloom that came from that tightly closed bud I shared in this post. It's the biggest dahlia flower we've ever had in our little garden, and it's a beautiful pale shade of lemon yellow.



Look how big it is compared to my hand -- and to the dark red dahlias behind it. It is 8 inches across!



My beloved white dahlias have come up and are blooming nicely. So is our old peach-colored dahlia, which we've had for years.



Now for the bad news. Nearly all the plants, including our old peach and white plants, have some sort of disease or blight, plus some insect issues as is evident by the holes in the leaves. But the brown patches on the leaves are what concern me. Whatever is plaguing the plants is spreading. So far the spots are only on some of the leaves, and the majority still look okay, but I need to identify this problem ASAP so we can properly treat the plants.



Does anyone know what this could be? I'm going to take a couple of leaves to a garden shop to see if they can identify it. If they can't, I'll turn to the agricultural extension. We've never had this problem with our dahlias until this year. We've dealt with pests such as earwigs, slugs and aphids, but not to the point of ruining the plants, and we've always been able to control them. But these awful looking brown spots are something new. If you have any information or advice, please share! Thank you.

Update: I took some leaves to my local garden shop and they thought it was sun scorch in spots where water was on the leaves. I stopped watering from above and began using the hose at the base of the plants. Problem solved.

4 comments:

  1. According to a garden website, you might be suffering from the humidity in our area. They say don't plant dahlias in the same place every year and use a copper fungicide for the problem (www.forums.gardenweb.com). They also say make sure you water just at the roots and avoid getting the leaves wet.

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    1. Thanks for your advice, Sheila. Sadly I can't do anything about the humidity. I just started watering them by the rooms instead of using the hose, to avoid getting the leaves wet. I may try the copper fungicide. I'm going to take some leaves to the garden shop to see what they think. Their current location gets the most sun, but maybe next year I'll have Paul move them to the fence on the eastern side of the yard. Thanks for looking into it!

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  2. I also think fungicide, Claudia. There are organic solutions to try. I have read about making a spray with Neem Oil. Also can try lime or gypsum(depending an Ph) to enrich the soil for a stronger plant. Holy Moly, your blooms are stunning this year!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! The ladies at the garden shop think that the brown spots are from where water sat on the leaves and burned them in this super hot sun we've been having. They recommended watering at the base of the plant with a can or soaker hose. I've been very careful in watering since yesterday and will see if that helps. If not, I'll try a fungicide.
      Claudia

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