Answer: Sounds as though your plants are affected with a viral disease called Aster Yellows. The disease is caused by a mycoplasmic organism spread by sucking insects such as the tarnished plant bug and leaf hoppers, the same way mosquitos spread malaria among people. You can protect your plants in many of the same ways that people protect themselves from viral diseases: keep infected plants away from uninfected ones and insects (cover them with row covers and pull out diseased plants); keep plants healthy so they can fight disease, and grow resistant varieties if they are available. Other ways to keep vector insects (the ones who spread the disease) from your prized flowers: mix up your plantings to confuse the pests, and keep weeds under control, since weeds are great places for low-life pests to hang out. Hope these suggestions help!
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