Brown Buds On Chyrsanthemums - Knowledgebase Question

Hannibal, MO
Avatar for samtam
Question by samtam
September 19, 2000
My chrysanthemums are quite profuse this year but when the buds start to open they turn brown. In your FAQS you said it may be fungal disease. How do I treat this? and will it spread to my other chrysanthemums?

Avatar for DWest60
A comment from DWest60
October 19, 2017
Sorry it took me so long to answer! I use a fungicide concentrate mixed with water & poured some into the soil in my planter. Then I trimmed the mum back to approx 3 inches from soil level. It didn't spread but I think it could through the soil. Since mine are in planters, it wasn't a problem. We have high humidity plus my husband waters them with a sprinkler. I recently read that sprinkler isn't good for them..water the soil only. But we've had mums for over 15 years & this was the first case. Good luck!

Answer from NGA
September 19, 2000
Fungus can turn chrysanthemum buds brown, but so can insect feeding and cultural problems. I recently transplanted some small plants and all the unopened buds turned brown. I suspect that repotting the plants stressed them enough to make them abort the flowers they were developing. Perhaps this is the problem with your plants, too. There's a little worm that attacks unopened buds and hollows them out, which causes browning. Finally, a fungal disease can attack the buds, turning them brown. Carefully inspect the brown buds. If you find black dots (spores) then I'd say a fungal disease got to them. If you find the buds are empty, an insect is to blame. But if the buds look brown with no fungal spores and no evidence of chewing, I'd guess the problem is cultural. In any event, you can clip off the affected portions of the plants and new flowering stems will appear. To avoid the spread of fungal diseases make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow and lots of room for air circulation all around them. If you've massed your plants so that they're intertwined, they will be more susceptible to disease. Prune the stems back so that there's good air circulation all around and you'll go a long way in helping prevent the spread of disease. Good luck with your mums!

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