Stargazer black slimy top

Jim & Marti McManus
Wed, 09 May 2012 19:04:49 PDT
  Thanks, Mike.  You're the second to suggest waterlogged bulbs.  Bought 
some copper fungicide today:  will treat the bulbs and plant in a 
better-drained location.  Appreciate your thoughts.


On 5/9/2012 11:00 AM, Michael Mace wrote:
> Hi, Marti.
> Welcome to the PBS list!
> I hope somebody with real lily expertise will have a thought for you.
> Unfortunately, I am not that person; my climate in California is a bit dry
> in the summer for lilies, and although I tried them a lot in the past, it
> was too hard to keep them going over the years, so I moved on to other
> things.
> So all I can do is give you general advice, and hope it helps a little.
> The symptoms you're having sound unusual.  The most common diseases you read
> about in lily websites like this
> (…
> ml  ) are botrytis and basal rot.  All the photos I've seen for botrytis
> show attacks starting at the bottom of the plant (due to spores splashing up
> from the soil?) or show the whole plant engulfed.  And basal rot attacks the
> bulb.  I presume you've dug up the bulb when dormant and it's not damaged,
> right?
> Based on your symptoms, I'd assume that the disease is happening at the tip
> of the plant, but you can't be sure of that.  I have seen cases in other
> bulb species where the plant tips die or wither due to damage at the root
> level (root damage = not enough water going into plant = parts of plant
> furthest from roots die or are vulnerable to secondary infection).  You'll
> think the problem is at the tip, but actually it's underground.  That could
> be happening to you -- do the tips wilt first and then turn black, or do
> they go straight from healthy to black?  But even if root damage is the
> cause, it could be due to either too much or too little water, or to some
> pathogen in the soil.
> So who knows where this is coming from.  If we don't get a lily expert
> chiming in with a real diagnosis, I would be very tempted to treat the plant
> now with one of the systemic fungicides you can get in a general nursery.
> If this is a fungus, that treatment will hopefully protect both the roots
> and stems.
> (Of course, a bottle of fungicide might cost more than the price of that
> lily.  Your call.)
> Good luck, and I'm sorry I don't have more specific advice.
> Mike
> San Jose, CA
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