Fungus on Plants

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have battled fungus, the gray stuff on the leaves, on my dahlias for years. I have sprayed fungicide til it drips and yet it persists. It's like there is a race to blooming versus loosing the plants to fungus. Also on begonias. Is there anything anyone else has used that seems to keep it down. My dahlias are in pots and in the ground, mostly in full sun. We have days of rain, but lots of days of warm sun. Ideas?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sorry, no ideas, but I'll sit and wait with you so you don't feel lonely!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Pril, you nut! lol. I was amazed to see such a quick response. Shoot I would figure you of all people would have some wonderful cure. I guess we wait to see how the rest of the crew handles it. I'll make the tea, you pass the cookies...

This message was edited Aug 13, 2011 4:18 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I've never had the problem but like to watch for answers in case it happens to my plants. Dahlias are painfully slow this summer!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Mine too. I am excited to see which ones took to the propagation. I lost the identity on the tubers so I just propagated each like made. Only two kinds have shown up. One, Hockley Maroon, which I love is the most prolific with four bushes thus far.

Hubby has been smoking salmon he caught two days ago so rather than cookies and tea, it's chardonnay, smokes salmon and garlic bread. Makes a great dinner. he also whipped up a salmon spread with cream cheese, dill, onions, etc. I am trying to lose weight as I am headed to Hawaii next month to see my son and celebrate his 40th birthday. Daughter is coming along as her 37th is just a few days before his. May not make it. Lose weight that is.

Quote from pirl :
Dahlias are painfully slow this summer!

Arlene - glad you said that. I thought perhaps I had just gotten mine in late this year or perhaps it is the lack of water. My shorter dahlias seem to be the only one in flower, while the tall ones still have tight buds and have not flowered at all yet.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Out of about 30 plants I have one bloom each on four plants and two blooms on another. I thought the heat we've had would get the dahlias blooming but they aren't showing off as usual. Their height is also greatly diminished here. We have 5' rebar stakes that look rather humorous by 30" plants.

The ones that are doing very well are those in the porch window boxes - it figures!


So your shorter dahlias are blooming too.... interesting.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes! The ones that are supposed to be tall are all shorter (by far) this year. At least they bloom here into mid November so there's still a lot of time left for them to get with the program!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

My dwarfs have been blooming for over a month, the midsize like Hockley Maroon started a couple of weeks ago, and the tall guys have buds just wanting to burst.

I can't find a primula or primrose forum. Does anyone grow them? I wanted to know what the scientific name was between the waxy leaved ones and the large floppy regular sort of leaved ones. the first ones bloom on stalks the second ones bloom nestled in the leaves with no apparent stem/


I have a few primulas. Not as many as I would like to have. Aren't there candelabra primula and then I am not sure what the others are called.

This is one of my short blooming dahlias - Rembrandt. I do love the short ones.....

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Dahlias are nice at any height to me. I prefer roses at eye level as do the deer.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Your short dahlia is beautiful. I do love them. Two of mine are the 'bishop' series with very dark foliage. Really striking. The ones in the ground are less fungussy than those in pots. I spent a small fortune to get one called Blue Diamonds (I think) -- a blue dahlia. But the buds look suspiciously grape. Well, we will see. They do sort of unfold and develope.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

My Girlfriend had fungus on her Hibiscus and I diagnosed it from information on the Internet and found a simple fungicide made out of milk. It is one part skim milk and nine parts water. Maybe the culture in the milk will help, either way I heard it will go away by it self. Also I happen to know because of the Organics they are using in soil you will get a lot of fungus as well as fungus gnats. I got rid of my fungus in the soil of my house-plants with cinnamon. Cinnamon will kill fungus also. ( yes, the spice)! :)
Also if you water them from jugs try putting a tablespoon of peroxide with the water. It is good additive for plant food and will help with the fungus. Also you can water from the bottom not the top. Keep a thin layer of cinnamon on the soil. Good luck!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I have no idea why people are so very reluctant to water potted plants from the bottom only. My feeling is that they want to see the top of the soil wet but the roots grow deeper in the soil and, hopefully, not at the top. Peroxide adds oxygen, right?

Plants in the ground have to be watered as they are...from above or ground level. Isn't it the humidity and lack of air circulation that leads to mildew? I've only had it on monarda that's in a confined space or it wants to take over the garden. I just cut it back to the ground when I do get mildew but Mary (mstella) can't very well cut the dahlias back so maybe a spray, as you suggest, virginiarose, would help.

For me, I'm at an age where "just spray" is just too much. I'd be "just" spraying for deer, "just" spraying for any mildew, "just" spraying food, and "just" weed out excess seedlings. At 70 I don't have the time for all these "just" jobs.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Pirl, that is kind of where I am at. the garden is fairly large and there are so many needs. Guess you shouldn't ask for more than you can take care of, but it is hard to limit flowers. The pots get watered from the top by rain as well as by me. And I don't water until the pots are all but dead dry using a moisture detector. but with all our rain.... I could space the pots perhaps to get more air flow. I appreciate all the good ideas and will write them down to try as I can. Even trying them on one plant as a test case might be useful. My Siberian Pea hedge gets the fungus on it and it was suggested that I use a milk spray to coat the leaves preventing the fungus from getting a foothold.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good luck, Mary. It's tough to give each plant what it needs, when it needs it, and prevent problems before they start. There are times we all may have the feeling we have more than we can handle. You are not alone.

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I use horticultural oil on powdery mildew. I really should start before it evidences itself, but I never learn. The stuff is like 12pH in concentrate, which is extremely caustic, but it works. Probably smothers some spider mites too. I put it on with a hose sprayer.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Well Thankfully I don't have the powdery mildew but I would like to get rid of a rabbit!
Glad to hear somebody has tried the milk spray, at least it is cheep. Good air circulation would help a lot !
Yes, Pirl the peroxide does put oxygen into the soil and does a lot of other good things.
Hope this will help:

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I tried the neems oil mixture that I use for my roses - neems oil diluted as directed on the bottle plus a bit of baking soda and a little squirt of Dawn dish soap. Keep in mind not to spray anything with neems during very hot weather. They also recommend the milk spray as a natural fungicide for roses, but I think that the neems works better.

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