Sunday, April 11, 2010

Debbie's Dilemma

Okay, Dear Readers--I have a challenge for you. Who can tell me what is wrong with my morning glories?
They are a pale sickly green with those marks on some of the leaves. To me they looked sun-bleached. I mulched around them to protect the roots and have even tried screening them from the sun (with a window screen). The get plenty of water, and the soil is rich. We do have sandy soil, but the area they are in stays pretty moist.

I've seen pictures of morning glories with lush deep green foliage, but for years all I've been seeing are sickly leaves. Is it the harsh Florida sun, something I need to feed them, or what?

This was suggested to me by Jenn at Gamine's Garden

16 comments:

debsgarden said...

My first thought is that you may have leaf miners. They can cause white streaks and spots on leaves. My columbine had them, but spraying with eco oil early in the season seems to have stopped the problem. My second thought is it may be a virus or fungus.

Ami said...

Sorry, I am no expert, but will be interested to see what others will tell you.

Just Jenn said...

I'm thinking that perhaps they're too wet. Pale yellow leaves often indicate overwatering. It's hard to tell from your picture but my guess would be the white stuff is a fungal disease. MG's tolerate dry conditions quite well. I'd clear off the leaves and let the whole thing dry out for a bit. When the soil is dry down to about an inch I'd treat it with compost tea and see how it does.

Isadora said...

Hard to tell but it almost looks like spider mites. They will suck the juices out of the leaves from the back and give them that mottled appearance. How to tell: take a white piece of paper, hold it unde a leaf and tap the leaf on the paper a few times. If you see reddish-black spots on the paper that move, you have spider mites. If not, I haven't a clue. If you do, you might try washing them off with a good strong spray of water. There is a chemical you can buy, but I don't know how effective it is. They took the good stuff off the market.

Deborah said...

Thanks for your speedy replies.

Over-watering makes sense. We have an automatic sprinkler system, and maybe I should block off that spot for a while. I suppose if they are too wet, the leaf fungus could be the result. I don't have eco oil (yet--I'm sure I can track some down) but might try some tea tree oil on that.

I'll have to give the paper test a try for spider mites. We have all kinds of critters down here.

Hopefully Chapter 2 on my morning glory saga will be: Beautiful Blue Flowers with Lush Green Leaves.

Penny McCrea said...

I agree with Isadora; speckling like that is often spider mites. Still, I wouldn't expect them on such young plants. If you look through a magnifying glass on the underside, you should be able to see them. (Time was, I could see them with the naked eye. Sigh!)

Amy said...

I'm not an expert...some common morning glory problems are
white blister, rust, fungal leaf spots, stem rot, thread blight, charcoal rot, and wilt.
I think it looks like fungal leaf...not sure though...:/

Suzanne said...

Check out this website -- it might be of help:

http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/IPM.asp?code=287&group=75&level=c

Darla said...

First rule of thumb for morning glories...NEGLECT...they do not like wet/moist soil. They thrive in heat and some drought. Once they become established and you continue to water them you will have foliage and very little flowers.

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Can't help with your problem, the only morning glories around here are wild ones. Hope you get it figured out. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Sherrie's Stuff
http://sherrie-plummer.blogspot.com/2010/04/bloomin-tuesday_13.html

Deborah said...

Thanks, everyone. So far I have blocked them from getting water from the sprinkler system, and given them a little shade from the hot florida sun. Next I'll check for critters and dab something on them in the event of a fungus.

Phew! I spend a lot less time worrying about much more exotic plants!

Bangchik said...

I cant offer much help on morning glories. Wanna try poultry fertilizer in the form of pellets as supplements?..

~bangchik

perennialgardener said...

It looks like some type of fungus to me.

Jean said...

Thanks for joining Bloomin' Tuesday! Sorry I can't help you with your problem. I love your daisy post! Jean

Deborah said...

I'll probably wind up trying everything folks here have posted. To those who couldn't help: It's okay. I have plenty to work with now.

If my morning glories survive and thrive, I'll be posting their pictures later.

Rainpebble Waters said...

Its caused by spider mites. I've had the same problem every time I've planted morning glory seeds, as soon as they get around 5 leaves it starts and no matter what home made or store bought product I've tried it never stopped them from eventually killing my vines.