Sunflower Stem Rotting - Knowledgebase Question

New Cumberland, PA
Question by jmartin36
June 22, 1999
About 2 months ago I planted a row of Mammoth Sunflowers which have been growing like mad. Yesterday I noticed that the largest one's (about 6 feet high) leaves were wilted. I felt one of the leaves and as I did, the flower fell over at about halfway up the stalk where it appeared to have rotted away. (I didn't tug on it). Any ideas? The others seem fine for now.


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Answer from NGA
June 22, 1999

0

I talked to a friend of mine who grows sunflowers in his market garden. He said that because they absorb so much water and grow so quickly, sunflowers have a tendency towards what is called "lodging" or bending over from the weight of the flower. Depending on weather conditions, wind, etc., there could be a break in the skin. Whenever that happens, the plant is susceptible to bacteria or disease which causes rotting. As long as your other plants look fine, it shouldn't be a problem. I hope this info helps, and if you notice other problems, send another email to the database so we can get to the bottom of it!

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