The Q&A Archives: Stargazer buds and leaves turning brown

Question: I have four different areas of stargazer lily's. It started last year when one patch of lily's started turning brown starting from the top and working it's way down the plant. They are in well drained soil and have the appropriate amount of water and plenty of sun. I have had these plants for many years. Now it's happening again. It always starts at the top, moves down to the leaves and buds, and on one plant it has even browned the entire stem of the plant right to the ground. What could cause this problem?

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain whether this would be a disease such as botrytis fungus, or a pest, possibly the stalk borer. I would suggest you consult with your local county extension and see if they can give you a more specific diagnosis. Based on knowing that, they can suggest a control. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use in a home garden and how/when is best to use it.

In the meantime, avoid wetting the foliage if you water the lilies, and clean up and remove any affected leaves and stems. Dispose of them in the trash to limit reinfection. This fall, after frost kills the stems, do a thorough clean up of all the spent lily stems for the same reason.

You might also find the following web page helpful in trying to identify the problem. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

Good luck with your Stargazers!

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