petunias are dying - Knowledgebase Question

atlanta, Ge
Question by rein7024
June 30, 2010
I have had bad luck this year with petunias, after being planted they just dry up and die. I have always had good luck with the wave petunia, but I have planted 2-3 times and they all die. They have had plenty of water.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


How disappointing! Petunias need excellent soil drainage and seem to suffer from root rot or bacterial disease if conditions aren't to their liking. Are you replanting in the same soil each time? It might be helpful to rotate locations or use fresh soil in pots to prevent the build-up of any soil pathogens, such as Southern bacterial wilt, Ralstonia solanacearum, which affects many plants, including petunia. The bacteria plugs the plant's vascular system, blocking the flow of water and nutrients. So if the plant appears wilted or dry and you apply water, it won't matter. Plants may not shown symptoms until warm weather. You can see photos of the disease on geraniums at this website. If this doesn't look like what your petunias have got, I suggest you take samples of the plant to your local County Cooperative Extension office for positive ID of the problem. Good luck!

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