Lilies forum→Sudden problem

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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Nov 2, 2020 4:51 AM CST

Moderator

Well, frustratingly and disappointingly it looks like I'm not going to see two seedlings this year.

This started tilting a few days ago and today I found that all the foliage down one side has collapsed. Several of the leaves around the top have been going brown and I removed those when they first appeared in the hopes that it was something fungal at the top of the stem, but that clearly hasn't worked.
Thumb of 2020-11-02/Australis/68c201

Today this seedling has suddenly gone from looking fine yesterday to this:
Thumb of 2020-11-02/Australis/306e5e Thumb of 2020-11-02/Australis/d1b822

A handful of other plants - seemingly at random - are affected. One stem of 'Black Charm' has been affected, but the other five are not.
Thumb of 2020-11-02/Australis/ce0982 Thumb of 2020-11-02/Australis/d53a26

My biggest concern is that whatever is causing the stems to suddenly pull over to one side indicators that the bulb is dying. I've sprayed the plants with an anti-fungal today in the hopes of arresting whatever this is.
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Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
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Lucius93
Nov 2, 2020 5:22 AM CST
I had similar markings on my 'Mapira' this year. I was 100% sure it was fungal problem and I sprayed it against it with little to no success. When flowers bloomed they were all virused.
Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
Köppen Climate Zone Csa
Lilies Bulbs Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Sempervivums
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer Region: Europe
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Lucius93
Nov 2, 2020 5:26 AM CST
I need to add one thing. I had 13/14 'Mapiras' at one large pot and only one stem had this problem but ALL 'Mapiras' showed virus symptoms when bloomed. You should just move that pot from other lilies and see results after they bloom.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Nov 2, 2020 6:17 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks Luka.

The affected seedlings aren't going to bloom, but the unaffected two seedlings will and the other five 'Black Charm' will. I will keep a close eye on them, but I hope it's not virus. What makes me suspect environmental or fungal is that I only bought 'Black Charm' and a few others this year. All but one of the seedlings due to flower this year are flowering for the first time, so it would mean one of three scenarios:

1) I had virused plants to begin with and 'Black Charm' got infected,
2) I had virused plants to begin with and some of the new ones I bought this year were also infected
3) I had clean plants to begin with and some of the new ones introduced a virus, which has spread to my seedlings

I don't think any of those scenarios are likely, though - I've been keeping a close watch for pests and only one pot has had any aphids on it (none of the affected plants). The other factor is that if I had virus already, something must have made it manifest this year when it hasn't previously. I have never seen this type of problem occur with my plants before - the two times I've seen definite viral symptoms they were confined to the blooms and in both cases the plants went out.
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Nov 2, 2020 11:05 AM CST
No one can say with absolute surety that virus(es) are not a contributing factor that might help weaken the plants, but they certainly are not the cause of your manifestation.

I am missing the reason why you think this is a concern pointing to bulb death. To me, it indicates the opposite, as there are healthy leaves that exist along with dead and dying. (They are not all equally affected.) Vascular systems of monocot versus dicot, and woody versus herbaceous differ. It is only in woody dicots that certain roots or vascular connections serve certain parts of the above ground growth exclusively. Cut halfway into the trunk of a (woody dicot) tree and half of the tree dies while the other part is unaffected. Do this with any other type stem, and this result does not happen.

Most plants, and especially herbaceous materials, have the ability to for at least some (and usually adequate) compensation for brakes in vascular tissue.

Back to your problem, Joshua, even though you haven't seen this before, I don't see this as a new or unexpected problem (in terms of eventuality). It is fungal or bacterial, and seems pretty typical of either. It is good that you are removing the visually affected leaves, but don't forget that infections occur a day or more (depending on temperature and the pathogen) before you see anything happening. And of course, once an infection occurs, topical pesticides cannot reach inside the the plant to kill it. Only systemic ones can do that.

Particularly vulnerable places for infection are places where water persists and where innoculum abounds. This might be the top indent of a growing point where dew is funneled together and collects, or similarly from a misplace garden hose water spray. The likely scenario is that it "drips" down one part of the stem, just due to the proliferation of innoculum, either spores or more likely sluffing active cells, dropping due to gravity and infecting leaves below.

If this is truly random, occurring randomly in all places, this almost a good thing, because it helps tell you which lilies are more vulnerable. Certainly, if there affected seedlings, they should get marked, because this should be part of your decision later, when you decide whether to keep it or not.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Nov 2, 2020 2:05 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks for the detailed response, Rick. That is most reassuring. Having never had this happen and with the entire side of the stem affected in one case, I was concerned that this would indicate a problem with the bulb.

You make an excellent point about it highlighting which plants are vulnerable.
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The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Clematis Hummingbirder Birds Irises Peonies
Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader Hybridizer Daylilies
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Nhra_20
Nov 2, 2020 6:08 PM CST
My opinion Josh, is you have fusarium going on. Maybe caused from too much moisture in the pots, or bad soil mix in the pots to begin with or not enough drainage possibly? Just a thought. Have you dug down at all to check the bulbs? I don't personally believe you have a virus issue going on here.
[Last edited by Nhra_20 - Nov 2, 2020 6:09 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Nov 2, 2020 6:13 PM CST
Dave, we all want to learn. What is it that makes you think that... What am I missing?
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Clematis Hummingbirder Birds Irises Peonies
Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader Hybridizer Daylilies
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Nhra_20
Nov 2, 2020 6:23 PM CST
Rick, just from my own experiences. But what makes me think that is when we have had winters with a lot of freeze and the cycles, once the spring comes, the stems come up looking normal, then after a little while, suddenly the leaves start looking like they are basically coming into their winter. They go limo and fall off. Oddly enough, usually from the top down. They just go limp and die off. Almost like they got hit with a frost.

Itv seems to appear as a surface fungal issue, but then when you dig down, the bulb is mushy and rotten and putrid smelling. But what happens is the core remains solid, but the outer scales are bad. That core has enough energy to send up a healthty looking stem, until it runs out of energy or succumbs to the fusarium.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Nov 2, 2020 6:27 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Dave. I'll check one of the bulbs when I get a chance later today.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Nov 2, 2020 6:48 PM CST
Thanks, Dave. I see you have taken advantage of your disadvantaging terrible weather by examination and study of resulting casualties. Excellent! And something I haven't had the "pleasure" to do. But I'm still not sold, yet, as this doesn't explain going limp on one side (versus top and bottom) while the other leaves are fine. It will be interesting to hear Joshua's findings.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
Köppen Climate Zone Csa
Lilies Bulbs Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Sempervivums
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer Region: Europe
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Lucius93
Nov 3, 2020 4:09 AM CST
When I experienced this problem I checked the bulbs and they looked ok. Shrug!
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Nov 3, 2020 6:02 AM CST

Moderator

I checked three bulbs this evening.

'Exuberant' had lost its entire stem, but the bulb was intact.

For the one affected 'Black Charm' stem, I was able to slide the entire plant out of the pot and inspect the base of the bulb. I couldn't see any rot, although the bulb was a bit dehydrated. I think that pot, being smaller, had dried out as opposed to the larger ones most of the bulbs are in.

I paid close attention to my seedling that has been badly affected and took some photos (bit of a challenge getting my phone down the side of the pot!). All the foliage down one side was affected, but the bulb was quite large and solid. A used-up scale came off when I was digging it out and you can see two others in the photos. Couldn't see any rot and didn't want to dig it out fully.

Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/6ef7c1 Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/46c7e0 Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/fcac8b Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/30df81 Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/de65ac Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/a23f00 Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/ed1501 Thumb of 2020-11-03/Australis/11c9ee

Thoughts?
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
Köppen Climate Zone Csa
Lilies Bulbs Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Sempervivums
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer Region: Europe
Image
Lucius93
Nov 3, 2020 6:38 AM CST
Everything is identical to my problem. Separate from the other lilies and let it bloom so see if there will be any symptoms of the virus on the flower.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Nov 3, 2020 6:45 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks for the feedback, Luka. Unfortunately you can see the buds were too damaged and were removed from the seedling.

The buds on the affected stem of 'Black Charm', though, were still okay, so I left those for the moment. I shall certainly be watching all the 'Black Charm' plants closely as they flower.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
Köppen Climate Zone Csa
Lilies Bulbs Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Sempervivums
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer Region: Europe
Image
Lucius93
Nov 3, 2020 7:27 AM CST
I found my old photos in Lilies 2020 thread. You can see some similarities:
Thumb of 2020-11-03/Lucius93/ef48b5
At first, only one side was hit. But after few days I lost almost all leaves and some buds:
Thumb of 2020-11-03/Lucius93/f45ff7
(you can see the stem without leaves in the background)
Flower:
Thumb of 2020-11-03/Lucius93/b70ca4

Maybe my 'Mapira' was already infected so the virus showed up due to other problems (in this case due to a fungal infection). I do not know. Because of the appearance of the flower, I threw it all away and suspected that the virus was the cause of everything.

Name: SteveW
Bellingham area, WA (Zone 8b)
Busy building a lily collection...
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Steve2020
Nov 3, 2020 11:21 AM CST
Joshua - my bias would be to attribute your problem to a fungus attack. Here in the Pacific Northwest this can always be a challenge with cool, wet springs. (Peonies here are very susceptible, but I grow them all the same...) I looked up the following passage on diseases from Derek Fox's "Growing Lilies" (1985): "The biggest nuisance is the fungus Botrytis elliptica which first shows following wet, close conditions in the spring. Attack usually starts on the leaves near the base which soon wither and die on the stem. In serious attacks all the foliage may be killed, the stem rot and the flower buds are ruined. The bulb is rarely killed, but is badly debilitated. Control is improved where there is a free circulation of air, but in any case early spraying is advisable, say, when the plants are half height, with bordeaux mixture or other copper preparations. These have proved more effective than many recent fungicides. Repeat sprays adjusted to the weather conditions should be given even through the summer if necessary." I hope this helps! We need your pictures to get us through until next spring!
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Nov 3, 2020 4:45 PM CST
Thanks for those educational pics, Joshua. The pic of the infected stem with the leaves plucked off is especially useful. Stem damage usually doesn't happen without a particular reason, like freeze damage or mechanical damage. But with the right conditions, it can. Your pics illustrate how easily disease can spread.

When Derek Fox says "Attack usually starts on the leaves near the base", remember he is talking about spring infections. Early in the season, inoculum comes from overwintering diseased debris, and the soil. Spores splash up to the lower leaves usually via rain or watering, but sometimes just the right gust of wind. Later in the season, inoculum is kinda everywhere, as so much of it is around, the spores go everywhere.

If I have a botrytis infection, before I go and pick the affected leaves off, I stop and plan my own attack of removal. Remember that as you do it, you, yourself are acting as an infection spreader by unintentionally touch infected leaves to uninfected ones, and making new wounds. Often, I purposely pluck with only certain fingers, trying to keep the others relatively clean (and the other hand, too) so as to not spread anything when plucking somewhere else with my "fresh" fingers. Always be mindful of how you dispose of the infected debris and what it has touched - including your clothes, and do do a complete wash up session afterwards, even if you don't re-enter the lilies. Botrytis, fusarium and lily viruses can infect other types of plants, too, and perpetuate the problem.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Nov 3, 2020 5:41 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Steve and Rick for the detailed responses. Air flow hasn't been a problem, but we certainly have had a lot of windy weather in September and October, coupled with a few patches of wet weather over several days. That's all I can think of that might have caused damage and created the conditions for a fungal attack.

Rick, you must have read my mind! As I was removing the damaged foliage yesterday I was hyper-aware of the fact that I was creating new wounds and to be very careful what I touched. I actually ended up washing my hands between most of the plants as I didn't want to risk spreading it. All the debris went straight in the rubbish bin.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Clematis Hummingbirder Birds Irises Peonies
Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader Hybridizer Daylilies
Image
Nhra_20
Nov 3, 2020 6:12 PM CST
Glad the bulbs look good and solid still Joshua! Good info from everyone on here!

Wouldn't it be nice though if therre was some kind of home test for gardeners to see if there's a virus or a fungal issue!

Only bad thing about copper fungicides, in my opinion, is that always torn the foliage and stem blue. Not a big deal for a private garden, but if you plan to show stems, it could be a bad idea

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