mayfam4
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:16 pm
Location: Southern NM

Help! Sunflower leaves dying from the bottom up!

My sunflower plants were doing very well up until this week. Now the lowest leaves died, and the lower levels of leaves have brown spots on them. The upper leaves still look healthy.

Any idea what the problem is, and how to correct it?

Thanks!
Attachments
IMG_0952.JPG
IMG_0952.JPG (32.55 KiB) Viewed 9928 times
IMG_0951.JPG
IMG_0951.JPG (33.69 KiB) Viewed 9928 times

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Help! Sunflower leaves dying from the bottom up!

It happens, the leaves wear out. Keep up with watering, which may slow more leaves browning.

How black are the seeds? The whole head may be ripening...
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

mayfam4
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:16 pm
Location: Southern NM

Re: Help! Sunflower leaves dying from the bottom up!

The flower hasn't even opened up yet. I showed the pics to the folks at a local nursery, and they think it's fungus? They recommended either cutting off all affected leaves or using a fungicide (which I'm hesitant to do, as the flowers are planted very near to cucumber and summer squash).

Does fungus sound possible? And if so, any recommendations for organic (or at least not toxic!) treatment?

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Help! Sunflower leaves dying from the bottom up!

Fungus is very possible. You didn't say where you are located. If you are in a humid summer area, fungal infections are a chronic issue.

Remove the affected leaves (as long as that doesn't defoliate the plant), then spray all the rest (especially the undersides of the leaves) with baking soda solution or hydrogen peroxide. Test on a couple leaves first to be sure it doesn't burn them.

Baking soda solution:
1 tablespoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of liquid soap
tsp vegetable oil
1 gallon of water

Be sure the soap is soap, not detergent, which can harm your plants.

The spray will have to be re-applied every couple weeks or after it rains.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

mayfam4
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:16 pm
Location: Southern NM

Re: Help! Sunflower leaves dying from the bottom up!

Thank you for the responses.

I'm in Southern NM - high desert. I've lived here for a few years, but this is my first year attempting a vegetable and flower garden.

I have a drip irrigation system that waters morning and evening (to try and keep the water levels more even). It's been crazy hot here (100+ degrees for a couple of weeks) with no rain. The nursery worker suggested that the evening irrigation was creating humidity, as the water 'steams up' from the heat of the day. She suggested irrigating morning and possibly afternoon, as long as the leaves don't get wet, to avoid moisture at night.

The lowest leaves are dead, and the next 3 tiers of leaves are affected. I think I'll remove the most damaged, and try the fungicide solution on the rest (after testing).

Thanks for help!

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”