The Q&A Archives: Zinnia leaves have brown spots

Question: My zinnias were doing great this year until the lower leaves developed brown spotches and the plants stopped flowering. Eventually they died. What caused that?

Answer: Zinnias can be difficult to grow in the hot, humid Georgian climate. Some of the main problems are leaf spot and botrytis fungi, which cause browning and dying back of the foliage.

For best control of fungal diseases, plant cultivars that are less susceptible, such as Dreamland, or disease resistant zinnia relatives such as Zinnia linearis or creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia sp.). Planting zinnias in August for fall blooming is another way to avoid the summer fungal diseases. For best results in summer, plant zinnias in well drained soil, space plants a foot apart, mulch well and avoid watering the leaves.

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