Annuals forum: Zinnias always get spots

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 11, 2017 1:47 PM CST
Why do Zinnias always get these spots? TIA!
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Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Jun 11, 2017 8:38 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Why do Zinnias always get these spots? TIA!

Hi Tiffany,

That Zinnia foliage disease is Alternaria Blight. Zinnias don't always get Alternaria Blight, only if the soil in their immediate area is infected by the Alternaria zinnia fungus. The fungus is favored by moist conditions.

The fungal spores are spread from plant to plant by wind and splashing water. The fungus survives on infected debris in the soil and on contaminated seed, where it can also cause damping-off of seedlings.

Alternaria blight can be controlled by spraying with a good systemic fungicide.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jun 12, 2017 7:41 AM CST
TY for the info! I figured you would know and I was hoping you would see my question.

Contaminated seeds sounds like the culprit. The area in question was lawn for 100 years, AFAIK, until I dug up some grass in '15 and, among other plants and seeds, Zinnia seeds were scattered.

No other plants that happen to be nearby seem affected, and there are no Zinnias nearby that I've noticed, though I'm not sure how one would define "nearby" in regard to the spores (?) of this blight. How far away would I need to go from that spot to have reasonable expectation to grow blight-free Zinnias in another area? Still in my small in-town yard but in the back yard instead of the front, 1/2 mile... farther? Would foregoing Zinnias next year and then trying the following year be a way to get past it?

Not to snub your advice in any way, just the way I roll - I generally don't treat plants for anything, but replace them with something more amenable to the conditions I have available. Are there other plants known to be affected that I just don't happen to have in that area? Knowing that would help me avoid compounding the problem.

Thanks again, so very much appreciated!
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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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
Jun 12, 2017 9:09 AM CST
purpleinopp said:No other plants that happen to be nearby seem affected, ...Are there other plants known to be affected that I just don't happen to have in that area?

Hi Tiffany,

The Alternaria Blight is caused by the Alternaria zinniae fungus, which sounds very much like it is a disease that is limited to just zinnias. I don't know of any "safe distance" away.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.

[Last edited by ZenMan - Jun 12, 2017 9:14 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Jun 13, 2017 7:56 AM CST
Thanks for your personal assessment.

For others who are interested, I can't speak for the veracity of the info at these links but it's suggested that after 3 years, it should be gone. Also instructions for sterilizing seeds.

http://www.missouribotanicalga...

https://negreenhouseupdate.inf...

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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Jun 25, 2017 7:51 PM CST
Hey @zenman thank you for the above info.
Can you tell me when to spray fungicide? My seedlings are 2" high, no signs of any problems yet, but every other year usually do have the above blight & mildew. I planted saved seed from last years' crop. And, this is an unusually wet year.
Appreciate any input.
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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
Jun 25, 2017 11:20 PM CST
katesflowers said:Can you tell me when to spray fungicide? My seedlings are 2" high, no signs of any problems yet, but every other year usually do have the above blight & mildew. I planted saved seed from last years' crop. And, this is an unusually wet year.


I wouldn't spray until you see a visible sign of a fungus infection. But then I wouldn't hesitate. A systemic fungicide lasts for several weeks. The label on the container should give you some idea about the expected frequency of application.

ZM

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