Ask a Question forum: Possible fungus invasion?

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Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
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IJsbrandtGA
Apr 23, 2016 6:41 AM CST
I recently purchased a home in zone 7A Georgia. There were several dead trees that we had to eliminate around the house. After the trees had been taken down, I noticed almost every plant, flower, rose, cactus, tree and even my grass and pond plants started showing yellow leaves that would die and fall off. Everything I have has this. I have posted a few pictures here. Some plants seem more susceptible than others. I am spraying routinely with daconil, bagging up all the dead debris and throwing them in the garbage. Can anyone tell me what this is and what I can do? I am exhausted and overwhelmed.
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"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 23, 2016 9:53 AM CST
It looks dire! Usually, I would say too much water but that wouldn't affect your pond plants. Bagging your debris and disposing of it is good. My problem with this is that not every plant should be affected. Is the new foliage looking like this? Or just the old? I think I see a lot of new growth that looks good.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 23, 2016 10:10 AM CST
It's very hard to tell what it could be without a microscopic analysis. Have you called your County Extension service? It's possible they have a microscope at their office and could at least identify your leaf spotting disease. I wouldn't assume it is fungus, necessarily. It seems more likely to be insect-borne than fungal just because it's affecting everything, not just some plants.

Try a couple of insect abatement solutions like a mild soapy water spray on a plant or two, to see if it makes a difference. My favorite insecticide is a spray called Capt. Jack's Dead Bug Brew available at Home Depot or Lowe's and it is certified for use even on organic vegetables, so non- toxic to animals and people.A baking soda solution of 1/2tsp. per quart of water sprayed on foliage can prevent the spread of fungus, too. Try some different things in different corners of the yard, see what works! Document where you put what, though, so you don't forget.

If you're up for a 'shotgun' solution, Bayer's 3-in-1 systemic fungicide/miticide/insecticide is a good product that I've used (in desperate times) on my orchids. I absolutely do NOT advocate "nuking" your whole yard because you will poison beneficial insects as well as bad ones, never a good thing. Try the benign methods first, that's the responsible way to proceed.

The fact that there were several dead trees you had to remove speaks volumes, too. The garden seems to have been neglected for quite a while - was the house owned by older people, maybe? Anyway, just some vigorous new growth might prove to be more resistant to this plague. Give the plants you want to save some pelleted, time-release fertilizer and see how they come along. Plants that grow weakly are much more disease-prone than strong, healthy plants. You can even make a little 'sachet' or two out of newspaper with the pelleted fert inside, and push them down into the soil near the pond plants. (you don't want to put fert straight into the water, as it will grow algae)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 23, 2016 10:51 PM CST
Do you know any history of the property? I don't like asking this question, but is it possible roundup was sprayed all over? (Obviously not by you). Did you notice any problem when you bought it or did it happen after? Do neighbors treat their yard with something? Usually nature self corrects and only some things are affected, it's highly unusual for all to be affected.

Second thought is to get soil and water tested in depth for more things than the usual 4 tests that come in the homeowners kits.

Otherwise fungus and bug is still possible and as dyzzypyxxy stated, then the County Extension may be able to help.

I feel for you, it's supposed to be fun moving into your new place. I hope you find the answer soon.
[Last edited by AlyssaBlue - Apr 23, 2016 10:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 24, 2016 5:46 AM CST
As others have said, it is extremely unlikely that all these plants would be affected by the same fungal disease. It's also unlikely they would be affected by the same pest. The second picture has some white things on the leaf, any idea what that is?

I would say either there are several different things going on in the way of pests and/or diseases, or the problem is environmental. Is it possible, without compromising your privacy, to show us a picture of the whole garden?

Has the garden had sufficient moisture in the past while, the soil looks a little dry in one of the pictures? Can you also post pictures of the whole plant where there's a problem, in addition to the close-ups above, just so we can get an idea of the extent of the problem. For example I could (when we have leaves here Hilarious! ) go out and find yellow leaves and brown spots on things but that aren't a significant problem. Older leaves will often yellow and fall off.

Is there any pattern to this, for example is it mostly in one area of the yard or are the affected plants scattered about? Are there plants that are not affected? Is there any source of possible pollution (a factory nearby, a gas line, a gas station etc.)

I hope we can help ease your mind but unfortunately sorting out mysterious plant problems requires a lot of questions initially. Another option, as Elaine suggested, is to call the county extension service as they may be aware of local plant problems.
Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
Every day in the yard is a GOOD day
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IJsbrandtGA
Apr 25, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Thank you for all your suggestions and comments. I am very new to this site and have not figured out a lot of things like whether I give acorns to everyone who responds? I hope this is the right place and manner to post this reply?...I did not see anywhere else I could reply to the individual posts.

I have been outside trying to mitigate damage all weekend. I am definitely going to call the Georgia Extension Service to see what they may know about it. Thank you! Hurray!
"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8
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
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 25, 2016 10:17 AM CST
Just reply to the thread in general. Once we post on your thread, we will all see your replies. See at the bottom of the thread where it says "Post a reply to . . "

By the way, if you go into your personal profile (the little person in the blue sidebar to the left) and put in your city, state and your name (if you're comfortable) that helps everyone to give you advice. (although we obviously know you're in Georgia, the climate in Savannah is a lot different to the climate up in the mountains to the west). Different things grow in different climates, including bugs and fungi.

That's why your local Extension service is a great resource, they are specific to each County.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 25, 2016 10:20 AM CST
Hi IJsbrandtGA

The Cooperative Extension is a good idea - those guys know their stuff.

There is no need to give everyone an acorn but if someone says something you like, you can give them a little green "thumbs up" or just do what you did and say "thank you for your thoughts and comments".

You are welcome. I hope to see you back with a question or a comment soon. Check out the other forums if you have favorite plants or want to learn about a new plant or subject. There's lots to see here.

Daisy
[Last edited by DaisyI - Apr 25, 2016 10:21 AM (+)]
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