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May 13, 2018 12:31 PM CST
Name: hermes
GVRD (BC, Canada) (Zone 7b)
I just discovered an additional challenge to patio container gardening on a budget -- pests and diseases! Of ocurse, I must do my own search in specialized forums and archives of information, but for now -- any idea what these are likely to be (can get photos if that helps). Is there a one-time one solution for all of these issues?

1. Nicotania sylvestris (flowering non-dwarf tobacco)
Symptom: as if something is literally cutting the leaves, especially those closest to the ground. If I separate (isolate) plants with different plants in between, much less so. This is the worst (i.e. most widespread and damaging) illness in my garden, though curiously it seems to affect the tobacco almost entirely and ignoring the mints and nettles. However, today I noticed even a few tiny holes in the leaves of my lovage. Unrelated? The tobacco has something that seems to make a journey across the whole leaf destroying it in a straight line.

2. Helianthis annus, var. (sunflower, var. dwarf sunspot)
Symptom: top leaves curl upon themselves. The tall Pederovik variety all died after growing at first as if they were on plant testosterone.

3.Achillea millefolium (yes, the wild variety of yarrow)
Symptom: feathery leaves turn purple-red, some die

4. Nepata cataria (catnip)
Symptom: as #3, stems too in this case except none die

Pests, disease, soil acidity, sun? This is all so complicated! Next year I will be doing urban and forest foraging for simplicity! In the wild plants are robust, tall and it appears, disease-free. Or perhaps I just don't see those that have died?

What resource (book or online) do you find to be most helpful in lokking up diseases for particular plants or by symptom?
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May 13, 2018 6:36 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Hi Hermes,

If you are gardening in containers, potting soil is about all you need - everything is already built in. The plants you name are all plants that need minimal fertilizer. The potting soil contains it all.

Container plants use a fraction of the fertilizer you might put on a regular in ground garden. So, if you are fertilizing at all, I suspect it is too much for your container garden. Plants that need minimal fertilizer to begin with don't need more.

Edited to add: No diseases. Just too much of a good thing.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Last edited by DaisyI May 13, 2018 6:37 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for Hermes
May 13, 2018 7:03 PM CST
Name: hermes
GVRD (BC, Canada) (Zone 7b)
Thanks DaisyL. Although I did add a little fertilzer to some of my containers I see no co-relation between those which i did and those i didn't. I *do* see a co-relation between the plant type and disease type though. Fir example, only the nicotania has this attack of the scissor monster. And only the sunflower gets the curled up leaves.
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