Ask a Question forum: Derby Bean Bush Plants May Have Diseases - How do I treat?

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BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Hello, I have recently started growing Derby bean plants. It has been 2 weeks since they've germinated, and in total they have been growing 3 weeks. The first week after germination was fine, but this week they have been developing some sort of disease. The soil they are growing in has white spots (Fungus?), and one of the plants has a small brown Mushroom growing next to it! (I plan to kill the mushroom soon). In addition, the leaves have small white spots on them, and I think the diseased soil is effecting them. I don't know what to do. Here is some extra information - I am growing these for a science fair, I want them to live for 5 weeks at least, and then it is fine with me if they die - They have been growing indoors, and sometimes the soil is damp. They grow in large plastic cups, and have chopsticks as supports (some of them lean in weird ways, so the chopsticks help with that). They get all the sunlight they need, as they are near a window sill. I give them water daily, and they were doing fine for the first two weeks. There are also little baby fruit flies sitting on the leaves or on the dirt they are in, which I am planning to kill with fly spray very soon (should I, or will it effect the plants)? Now, since I'm growing them inside, I cannot give them fungicide because it might effect me. Even if I did, I'd either have to not water them for a few days (Because the fungicide might effect me), or take them outside (where things might get worse) What do I do? I am no experienced gardener, and this is my first time with bean derby plants.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2016 3:07 PM CST
If you could post a picture of your plants for us, that would help a lot.

Fungus on the soil surface really shouldn't be affecting the plants much. You can spray your plants with a solution of 1/2tsp. baking soda to a quart spray bottle for a few days if you think it's a problem and that will slow down or stop the fungal growth.

Edible plants should never be sprayed with "fly spray" because these are plants that produce food. You need to always use non-toxic controls for insects (and fungus) on all edibles. (think of this as a "big picture" moment, not just your science fair project that you don't care if they survive and bear or not). In fact you should include this info in your science fair report. It's all about the learning.

For flying insects a spray of 1/2 tsp dish soap to a quart of water will usually knock down any annoying bugs. But if what you have are fungus gnats, you may need to water your plants with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide. You can get it at the drug store, and dilute it 1oz. to 2 cups of water. The peroxide douse will not hurt the plants at all and breaks down to oxygen and water very quickly, so again it is non-toxic.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 3:16 PM CST
Alright, I'll post pictures later and also do some of what you said.

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 3:53 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:If you could post a picture of your plants for us, that would help a lot.

Fungus on the soil surface really shouldn't be affecting the plants much. You can spray your plants with a solution of 1/2tsp. baking soda to a quart spray bottle for a few days if you think it's a problem and that will slow down or stop the fungal growth.

Edible plants should never be sprayed with "fly spray" because these are plants that produce food. You need to always use non-toxic controls for insects (and fungus) on all edibles. (think of this as a "big picture" moment, not just your science fair project that you don't care if they survive and bear or not). In fact you should include this info in your science fair report. It's all about the learning.

For flying insects a spray of 1/2 tsp dish soap to a quart of water will usually knock down any annoying bugs. But if what you have are fungus gnats, you may need to water your plants with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide. You can get it at the drug store, and dilute it 1oz. to 2 cups of water. The peroxide douse will not hurt the plants at all and breaks down to oxygen and water very quickly, so again it is non-toxic.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

Here are some pictures.
So, some things to clear up.
The fungus knats are dead, the fly spray already took care of them. In the future, if I do grow anything, I will use nontoxic solutions. Sadly, I already used the fly spray before making this thread. Also, I think the area the plants are currently in is fine. The whole wall is basically windows, there are 4 big windows that provide sunlight from east and west and basically every direction. Do the plants need to be moved outside? Also, you said fungus on the soil shouldn't be a problem. As you can see in one of the pictures, the soil looks kind of whiteish. Is that a problem. I'm going to start watering every other day, and less water too. And I think that's it. Anyway, the pictures may help you if you need anything more:
Oh yes, one more thing. The picture at the VERY bottom is one of my mom's dying plants. She doesn't care for them at all, and I think fungus gnats spread the diseases of her plants to my once healthy plants. What do I do?
Any ideas?


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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2016 5:06 PM CST
Wow, Bobby lots of questions! First, your plants need a little water every day, and they need to be right up next to the window. Raise the blinds up all the way too. On sunny days they will need more water. Water the soil only, not the leaves. Water slowly until a little bit of water comes out the bottom on each plant. The white stuff on the soil surface isn't anything to worry about.

I'd need to know where you live to tell you if you could put them outside, but anywhere north of the middle of the country, it's too cold at night already for beans. That's a nice bright location you have for them there.

You might have a tiny bit of fungal leaf spot going on there, but it's probably not enough to kill off the plants before your science fair. Keep an eye on it and if it starts up on more leaves, use the baking soda spray.

Your mom's plant is a variegated one so the leaves are supposed to look like that. The one leaf with the brown edges just looks like it might have a little bit of fertilizer burn. You might water them for her once in a while if you're watering your bean plants, too. You can use the fly spray on those no problem if you see fungus gnats. They will come back to your beans if they're hanging around her plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 5:28 PM CST
Thanks for all the answers and so quickly ! Since you asked, I live in Arizona. Here in fall, there are lots of dust storms and rain. Also common flash floods. The other thing is I give the plants a certain amount of water, and rain interfering could be bad with the current conditions of my plant, since it might get the leaves wet. Although there is an overhead balcony that shields some of my backyard from rain, the plants wouldn't get much sunlight since the overhead blocks the sky. That's why I don't want to put them outside.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2016 5:37 PM CST
Good thinking there, Bobby. You can keep control of the growing conditions much better if you keep them indoors.

We lived in Utah for 20 years before moving to Florida, and I know about the strange weather that happens there at this time of year. In general it's pretty hard on the plants to have the huge "mood swings" that you get outside in the desert.

Just so you know, I'm gardening indoors this afternoon because it's pouring rain outside here.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 6:33 PM CST
Hey, it's pouring here too! It just stopped a few minutes ago, and I saw a rainbow.
A friend who likes gardening told me to ignore the white spots and put them outside, but I didn't tell them about the weather conditions here, and that I don't want to grow them on until they yield. Anyway, I'm still going to keep them inside so the hot weather, rain, duststorms, and cold weather at night don't affect them.
One more thing: Are you sure I should ignore the white spots? Are the plants affected? Is it severe? I know they'll live, but for example, if I had a cold compared to a fever, I'd feel different. How severe is it on the plants?
As they grow new leaves (I have seen them sprouting new leaves the past 2-3 days), the new leaves have this weird, white hairy thing on them. I might have to provide a picture, but it seems they also have white small spots on them too. Is that something to worry about?

Ok, I'm going to water them tomorrow (I watered them yesterday and I'm trying to water less often).
Again, thanks for speedy replies and feedback. See you later.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2016 6:57 PM CST
They're growing fast, they need water every day. Why do you think you need to water less often?

If it's worry over the fungus thing, really think about plants that grow outdoors. All sorts of fungal entities live in regular garden soil. They're part of the natural world and plants deal with them just fine. They won't hurt you either, you breathe them every day - where do you think the spores for the white fungus came from? The air you're breathing in your home. Not harmful.

Water those little plants every morning. If they're droopy in the afternoon you might need to water them again. Those cups are going to be mighty small for those plants by the time your science fair happens.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 8:19 PM CST
Ok, so water them whenever they need water? I'll do that. I'm just going to feel the soil every day to see if it's moist. If it isn't then I'll water them.
One more thing, so all the leaves have little white specks on them. I have a feeling the bug spray I used left some chemicals on the plants... how badly will it effect them? I know now those little white specks will keep the fungus gnats away, but will the chemicals have other harmful effects on the plants?

Also, I am on break. I have 2 weeks of vacation, and after that time I'll be done with the research I need. So I have lots of time to work with the plants now :)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2016 9:01 PM CST
See if you can get a clear picture of the little white dots, and post it?

Unless your fly spray was a systemic insecticide, it's not going to have any residual effect. Most insecticides are contact effect. i.e. you have to hit the insects to kill them. That's why it's just as good, and less toxic to everybody but the bugs to use the soapy water spray.

More likely the white spots are burn marks on the leaves from the stuff. It won't hurt the plants much as long as the rest of the leaves are nice and green.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 2, 2016 10:48 PM CST
I believe all of the leaves have the white specks/dots on them... They aren't like all completely snow white, but they look crisp and green but with a white tint because of those white specks...

BobbyJ
Oct 3, 2016 8:56 AM CST
Today I woke up at 7 AM and watered them. I believe they get direct sunlight very early in the morning, 4-6 AM I suppose. Still, the heat should be enough to evaporate the reduced amount of water I gave them today. Sadly, I saw more fungus gnats, so I used fly spray again. What are some other nontoxic ways to kill fly gnats? I will try to use nontoxic methods if they ever come back next time...
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 3, 2016 9:02 AM CST
Soapy water in a spray bottle 1/2tsp. dish soap to a quart of water. Stronger is NOT better! It will kill the gnats, but yes, you will need to keep using it for a few more days because there are probably some eggs in the soil that haven't hatched yet.

It's a good idea to rinse the soapy water (and fly spray) off the leaves of your plants, too. It's a contact insecticide just like the fly spray only better and cheaper, plus non-toxic.

If you can carry your plants to the kitchen sink and just use the water spray on the leaves they will really like that. After!! you use the soapy water spray.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 4, 2016 5:29 PM CST
Ok, so this time, I used fly spray again. But it was because I saw a bunch of gnats at the bottom of the tray, where the plants' water drains out. So I only used fly spray on the tray, and now theres a bunch of dead corpses of the gnats at the bottom of the drainage tray. Also, I think the plants may be getting worse:
See, the picture I took today compared to the picture of that same leaf I took a few days ago, it looks way worse In my opinion (look at the edges, the leaf looks more sick than it was before!) In addition, I took some other pictures. One shows that the bottom of the tray is where I sprayed the fly spray, so there are dead corpses of gnats. Another one shows that the leaves are kind of looking a bit more puffy than they were before (I think they are droopy, I haven't watered since yesterday so I'll give them a tiny bit of water now)
Also, today I didn't water them since I am giving them a moderate amount of water every other day (in the early morning around 7 AM so it evaporates or dries off)

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[Last edited by BobbyJ - Oct 4, 2016 5:48 PM (+)]
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BobbyJ
Oct 4, 2016 5:31 PM CST
Also, if the bugs get on the plants again, I'll use soapy water on them. I'm planning to clean their leaves tomorrow with water spray (I'm kinda busy today).

BobbyJ
Oct 4, 2016 6:09 PM CST
So, I have put down 2 images (AND A VIDEO, you can watch that in full screen hd in case the pictures aren't enough) of the weird white hair. I have a feeling that the white hair isn't just burn marks, and is something else. The white "hair" is already on new leaves that sprout and grow bigger, and is on EVERY SINGLE LEAF. Even a little bit of the white hair is on the stems of the bean plants. Is this an effect of the fungus or the disease/sickness the plants have accumulated?
(Click on the pictures to zoom in)
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To get the video do this:
(I have a restriction for posting links to other websites, so I have to put it this way)
https //youtu be/74Wxiao-Y6w
there is a : between https and // and there is a . between tu and be in youTU.BE
(just tell me if you don't understand... this stupid restriction won't let me post links)

Some other things:
The condition of the plants is getting worse, and I'm going to use the 1/2 tsp baking soda + qt of water in a sprayer method to kill the fungus today. The leaves look way more sick than they did on Oct 2nd.
This is the last time I'll be using fly spray, after I killed the flies at the bottom of the plants' drainage tray. I'm going to water the plants with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide today to kill any other gnats left. I will also try the 1/2tsp dish soap with a quart of water method to kill any gnats from now on. On Friday or Saturday, I'll clean the plants since you said they will like it.
[Last edited by BobbyJ - Oct 4, 2016 6:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Oct 4, 2016 6:32 PM CST
I'm guessing that the white stuff on the soil surface is salts, forming when water and fertilizer wick up to the surface and then the water evaporates, leaving salt behind.

If that's what it is, and not soil fungus, it's kind of bad for the roots. Salt (soluble minerals from fertilizer or from hard water") is bad for root hairs. Enough , can make it difficult for the plant to pull water out of the salty soil.

In general, it is desirable to create some flow right THROUGH the soil in the pot, from top to bottom so that salts can dissolve and be drawn out of the soil. The roots will etxract what the plant needs and leave the rest behind. That remainder needs to be flushed OUT so it does not accumulate in the soil.

Sometimes, water from the top until water comes out the bottom. Make sure you REMOVE that flushed water from the aluminum pan, or the soil will pull it back in along with aluminum ions dissolved into solution - also bad for roots.

If watering that heavily makes the soil water-logged, the soil is too "heavy" or "fine" - meaning that it retains too much water. In containers, the mix has to be "open" enough to let water drain out pretty freely. Then, there are open air spaces through which oxygen can diffuse into the mix where roots can "breath" it.

Roots need oxygen!

You probably don't want to re-pot any beans even if that was practical, so if the soil mix is too heavy, you have to aim for a balance of NOT over-watering TOO much (which would drown root hairs and eventually rot the whole root), and keeping the amount of salt build-up to a tolerable level.

A good start would be to prop the cups up on something to keep them out of any drained water. That will keep them from sucking excess salt back into the soil.

All this ASSUMES that the white stuff is crusty salt buildup.
If, instead, it is soil fungus, ignore what I've said.



Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 4, 2016 7:17 PM CST
Bobby, the hairs on the leaves and stems are supposed to be there. That's normal for beans.

You NEED to water every single day. Enough water that a little bit comes out the bottom.

These are not houseplants that you can overwater. These are growing very fast and need a constant supply of water.

The gnats are annoying but they're not hurting the plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

BobbyJ
Oct 4, 2016 9:30 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Bobby, the hairs on the leaves and stems are supposed to be there. That's normal for beans.

You NEED to water every single day. Enough water that a little bit comes out the bottom.

These are not houseplants that you can overwater. These are growing very fast and need a constant supply of water.

The gnats are annoying but they're not hurting the plants.


Alright, I will water everyday. Today I watered just a little bit (just a little bit of water came out from the drainage holes), but I had watered yesterday (and before I watered, the soil was already very moist from the small amount of water I gave them yesterday). Are you sure I have to water them everyday, even if the soil was moist from the day before?
One more thing about the beans, about what RickCorey (the person who posted before you) said. Is it true beans have that white hairy stuff on them? Or is that really salt like he said (he was just assuming it was salt..). If it's normal for beans, what even is it? Some weird natural defense system or something, or maybe some way to produce something? And why do they grow it?

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