Answer: Based on your description I am not exactly sure what is affecting your plants but apparently it is some sort of disease that carries over from year to year. The best defense for this type of problem is to thoroughly clean up all of the plant debris in the fall after frost, clean it again if needed in the spring and then replace the mulch around the plant to try to limit the sources of reinfection. If you see it happening again, contact your county extension and see if they can diagnose it for you and then based on that determine how to proceed. Do that at the first sign of it starting so you have a better chance of stopping it before it spreads. If it is something that requires treatment they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how to use it correctly for the best results. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you.
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