Pests and Diseases forum: Zinnia leaf problem

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Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Nov 6, 2016 8:39 AM CST
Hi all Group hug ,
I have not come here for a long time.
It's nice to have new home, new domain.
Ok. I am planting zinnia from seed. But now, some of those plants have ugly leaf like this.
Thumb of 2016-11-06/cornflower/8c33f7

Please, can anyone give me a thought what's wrong with my zinnias? Is it over fertilized or maybe have a disease problem?

Thank you.
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Nov 6, 2016 4:38 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-11-06/cornflower/ea3c5c
Another weird leaf for today. Confused

I wonder if I should cut down the stem to force it grow new branch with good leaf. Whistling
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Nov 12, 2016 4:01 PM CST
Hi Lily,

You are in Zone 11 ?? That must be pretty tropical for you to be growing zinnias. My outdoor zinnias are all frozen and dead here in Kansas. I take it you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

Are those zinnias growing in pots, and if so, what is the nature of the potting mix? I see at least two problems in that second picture. The dying tip could be a foliage disease. I would suggest snipping off the outer third or so of that leaf, just to make sure you "got it all" and discard that in the trash as a "biohazard".

The top picture has a leaf that looks like something took a big bite out of it. Both pictures show malformations in the newly forming leaves that could be a symptom of a calcium deficiency. Some nutrient deficiency for sure. What product(s) are you using to supply nutrients?

I grow and breed zinnias as a hobby, and I am still learning things about them. And that learning process will continue indefinitely. So I don't classify myself as an "expert", but I am interested in zinnias. I am attaching a couple of pictures of some of my "home hybridized" zinnias as an example of what you can accomplish beyond what is available in commercial zinnia seed packets.
Zinnia
Posted by ZenMan
Image
Thumb of 2016-11-12/ZenMan/9f98d4
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you "be the bee" and do your own cross-pollinations of your zinnias.

If you have any more pictures of your zinnia leaves, it might help to post them. I am suspecting a nutritional deficiency.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Nov 14, 2016 12:54 AM CST
Hello ZenMan Group hug
You have very beautiful zinnias.

I always give my zinnias growmore 20-20-20 since they were seedling. I only use top soil. And the pot size is 6" for 1 or 2 zinnias.

I just got one bloom.
Thumb of 2016-11-14/cornflower/218b09

And here are some other zinnia leaves.
Thumb of 2016-11-14/cornflower/13ca15

Thumb of 2016-11-14/cornflower/e9b9df

Thumb of 2016-11-14/cornflower/8ad7c3

Thumb of 2016-11-14/cornflower/266dd0
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Nov 14, 2016 11:06 AM CST
Hi Lily,

Your GrowMore 20-20-20 looks like good stuff, with chelated trace elements, so it should provide adequate nutrition to your potted zinnias. So it is a bit puzzling that apparent nutrient deficiency symptoms are showing up. There are several possibilities. The simplest is that you aren't using enough of the 20-20-20 GrowMore. But be careful. A big overdose of soluble nutrients can damage or kill plants. The "nominal" dosage of soluble nutrients, including GrowMore nutrients, is one tablespoon per gallon. It should go without saying, that is a level tablespoon. Thumbs up

So my first recommendation is this. Mix up some one-tablespoon-per-gallon GrowMore and apply it to your zinnias as a foliar-feed drench. Use a watering can or equivalent to wet the foliage and let the run-off go down to the roots in the soil. If you want to apply that drench daily, then cut the strength to one teaspoon per gallon.

If after a week of applying dilute GrowMore as a foliar feed daily, look for a noticeable improvement in your zinnias. If there are still problems, take more pictures and post them here. One factor that might be in play here is that Zinnias prefer more Boron than most plants. But GrowMore contains Boron, so lets see what happens with the foliar feeds. After the first feed of one tablespoon per gallon, I would cut the strength to one teaspoon per gallon for the follow-on daily foliar feeds.

These are pictures of some of my indoor zinnia plants from last Winter.
Thumb of 2016-11-14/ZenMan/04c7f3 Thumb of 2016-11-14/ZenMan/212a6c
I am starting some of the prep work for my indoor zinnia project this Winter.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 14, 2016 11:58 AM CST
Lily, when you say you only use top soil do you mean garden soil, or is it what some stores sell as "top soil" which is usually not soil at all. Garden soil doesn't work well in pots so it would be useful to know what it actually is. The new leaves look a little distorted to me so I'm not sure it is a nutrient issue. It does look as though there are long stems behind the zinnia leaves, not sure if it is the zinnias that are leggy and floppy? If they are then at least part of the problem may be not enough light. Are they growing in a house, greenhouse or outdoors?
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Nov 14, 2016 7:38 PM CST
sooby said:Lily, when you say you only use top soil do you mean garden soil, or is it what some stores sell as "top soil" which is usually not soil at all. Garden soil doesn't work well in pots so it would be useful to know what it actually is. The new leaves look a little distorted to me so I'm not sure it is a nutrient issue. It does look as though there are long stems behind the zinnia leaves, not sure if it is the zinnias that are leggy and floppy? If they are then at least part of the problem may be not enough light. Are they growing in a house, greenhouse or outdoors?
I agree
I agree with almost everything Sue said. (However, deficiencies of Calcium, Boron, or Zinc can lead to zinnia foliage distortions.) Sue was very observant to notice the long curved stems in the background. And raising questions about the growing medium in the pots is appropriate.

Zinnias do need "full sun", which is usually defined as at least 8 hours of direct sun exposure per day. Although the leaf problems don't look like insufficient sunlight.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Lily
(Zone 11)
cornflower
Nov 16, 2016 7:23 AM CST
Hi ZenMan and Sue,
I used garden soil.
Weeks ago, I placed those zinnias in shade. That's why my zinnias are leggy. But now, I have placed them in full sun (outdoor).

And I have some problems with leaf miner and white flies? Could they be the problems? I placed some yellow traps. And I also removed all leaves infested with leaf miner. But I think the traps got most of them. I shake the zinnias every morning to see whether there are white flies flying or not.

Thanks Group hug
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Nov 16, 2016 8:54 AM CST
Aster yellows?
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Nov 16, 2016 10:35 AM CST
Hi Lily,

" And I have some problems with leaf miner and white flies? "

Leaf miners are never a problem for me. They have natural enemies that keep their population in check, and they do only minor cosmetic damage to leaves. (As you have done, if you don't like the looks of a leaf, you can always remove it.)

My only serious white flies problem was when I was trying to raise a full sun plant (tomatoes) in a shaded environment (our front porch.) I did have a major population explosion of white flies on a couple of potted tomato plants on our shaded front porch. I used our canister vacuum cleaner to suck them in. After a few vacuumings, the white flies were pretty much gone. I did do some minor damage to the tomato foliage. But nothing compared to what the white flies were doing, which was killing the plants outright.

Zinnias don't normally have problems with leaf miners or white flies.

ZM

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