Re: [gardeners] Dahlia woes

George Shirley (
Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:02:36 -0500

The temperatures you describe are our normal summer weather only with higher humidity. Most of our
annuals have turned brown at the bottom and middle by now with the stem still green and the blooms
still on them. It's a natural thing here what with the heat. I've never seen a virus on them do that
unless they get wrinkled, striped, etc. as viruses do first.

Could it just be summer wilt?

George wrote:
> Every summer I grow 9 very tall and prolific dahlias in front
> of a hedge of Upright Yews lined against the house,
> ESE exposure, 6 hours of FULL sun.  Seven of them
> always survive the winter (zone 6) altho they should not,
> and return each spring with vigor.
> This year they were all hit with a virus which I have not been
> able to contain. The tops are still blooming away; the middles
> and bottoms are decimated.  And to my surprise, several of
> them have sprung fresh stalks from the bottom!
> This has been a summer of total drought, with temps at
> 94* for weeks, and humidity at 75%. The dahlias were
> watered the normal way: being on the edge of a big flower
> bed with drip irrigation, they received a low level drip
> 3 times a day, for 10 minutes.  They never wilted, they
> never rotted -- in fact, the tops are luxurient.
> Nonetheless, with 2/3rds of the leaves having turned
> brown (but clinging), they look atrocious.
> Any suggestions...?  Do I  pull them all out and
> fumigate...???
> Penny, NY
> .
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