breaking news

Downtown shop closing after more than 30 years 

Weather conditions lead to plant problems


This weather is killing me. It’s not fair to have a few warm weeks that get us all in a tizzy about gardening and planting and all of that stuff only to have the bottom drop out for awhile.

This is the worst-case scenario for those of you who have planted annuals early. Annuals that don’t tolerate cold soil and air temperatures are likely to be struggling.

One of the most common symptoms that I see during this type of weather is a reddening of the foliage, especially on petunias and other annuals.

This reddening is caused by a phosphorus deficiency. Don’t fertilize. Chances are that there is plenty of phosphorus in your soil, but it’s not in a form that is available to plants.

When soil temperatures are cold, phosphorus is not available to the plants. The symptoms usually show up as a reddening of the older foliage.

It’s usually not a big deal or problem because as soon as the weather warms up and soil temperatures go up again, the phosphorus becomes available to the plant and the foliage greens up again.

The other issue that you might find on annual with our recent cool damp weather is botrytis or gray mold.

This disease affects a wide array of perennials and annuals and some vegetables and fruits and thrives in cool, rainy weather.

It’s not usually damaging if you are paying attention to it. If you let it go or if we have rain for a long period of time, it can cause some problems.

I am guessing that you all have experienced this at some point in time but weren’t familiar with the disease.

Watch for brown spots on herbaceous (green) tissue and look for silver-gray spores on the dead or dying tissue. It looks like it sounds — a gray mold.

It affects all parts of the plant except for the root system. I usually see it on the flowers and buds and sometimes on the leaves.

The good news about botrytis is that when the weather changes. In the meantime, hand-pick flowers, leaves and other plant parts that are affected as they will continue to spread the spores through splashing rain and the wind.

Avoid doing this when the plants are wet as the problem spreads faster.

Rapid drying of plants and good air circulation helps to prevent this disease, and it’s not one that I recommend using fungicides.

Good sanitation practices in the fall also help to prevent major outbreaks of this disease when weather conditions are right. Like now unfortunately.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Frozen embryos mistakenly destroyed at Seattle hospital 
Frozen embryos mistakenly destroyed at Seattle hospital 

Dozens of women hoping to have children are dealing with heartbreaking loss after their frozen embryos were mistakenly destroyed at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. >> Read more trending news  Tina Mankowski, director of strategic communications for UW Medicine, confirmed that 31 patients were...
Election 2018: Turner criticizes Gasper comment about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Election 2018: Turner criticizes Gasper comment about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Congressman Mike Turner is taking issue with a comment his Democratic opponent Theresa Gasper made recently about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. At a candidate night event, Gasper said that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is “an enduring base, it’s never going to close, unless someone blows it up,” according to a video provided...
Mass casualty drill may mean gun shot, explosion noises downtown
Mass casualty drill may mean gun shot, explosion noises downtown

As part of local responders practicing for a mass casualty scenario, there may be loud noises like gun shots or an explosion near Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton on Thursday afternoon. The exercise will be from around 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. MORE: With Enon ER, more health care options inch closer to Dayton market The full-scale and functional exercise...
Parents feel pressured when making child safety choices, study says 
Parents feel pressured when making child safety choices, study says 

More than 90 percent of parents are overwhelmed when researching child safety products, a study released this week asserts. >> Read more trending news  The study -- “Shifting Gears: How Becoming A Parent Changes Driving Forever” -- conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Car USA and coinciding with Child Passenger...
Middletown police investigating shots fired
Middletown police investigating shots fired

One man was grazed by a bullet when shots were fired Sunday night in Middletown, according to police. The incident remains under investigation, Middletown police Sgt. Malcolm Tipton said. MORE: One person dies in Butler County crash involving 2 cars, semi An unknown number of shots were fired around 9:30 p.m. Sunday in the 4700 block of Caprice Drive...
More Stories