The Q&A Archives: Curly Stems on Shasta Daisies

Question: Some of our Shasta (Alaska) Daisies have curly stems and are all tangled; others are growing straight and lovely! The daisies are about 3 years old, and separated once. What is causing some to be so curly, tangled and unsightly?
They are growing along a rustic wood fence in full sunlight.

Answer: Sounds like Fasciation, caused by Corynebacterium fascians. This disease causes symptoms on chrysanthemums and sweet peas, too. The stems are shortened and thickened near the crown and develop aborted and misshapen leaves. The plants are dwarfed and form an abnormal number of buds. Remove the infected plants and some of the soil they were growing in. The organism stays in the soil for quite some time, so don't plant susceptible plants in that location.

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