nickelbachMarch 15, 2008

I have 2 minis on a small kitchen counter near a low-wattage frosted glass lamp (it puts out a bright indirect light). To help with humidity, prevent a lot of temp changes & deter our cat from disturbing / munching on the AVs, I placed large glass domes over the minis. No leaves are touching the glass & there is plenty of room for the plants to continue to grow. I wipe out any condensation as soon as I notice it.

I noticed that the pollen sacs on my purple AVs have fluffy white stuff on them (it isn't easily moved--I tried to remove with a q-tip). I thoroughly inspected the plant and this material is nowhere else on leaves, stems, buds--just the pollen sacs of flowers that have been open around 2 days.

My other mini has white puffy flowers & when I pinch off a deteriorating flower the whole stem begins to die--even if there are other buds on it. I noticed one of the stems was starting to grow mold, so I removed all of the dying stems this afternoon.

I'm assuming I need more ventilation. Today I propped up the domes an inch all the way around to encourage air flow. Will this be enough to encourage proper ventilation / prevent mold? Is the stuff on my purple AV pollen sacs actually mold, or something else? Any other tips and tricks?

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Try dabbing those little white fluffys with alcohol. If they shrivel up and turn brown, you have foliar mealies. Keep after them and check daily, repeat each time you see a spot.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 8:20PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Fred, isn't it more likely to be powdery mildew? Lack of air circulation and high humidity are prime factors for p.m.

Nickelbach, does the white fluffy stuff look like sprinkled flour, or like tiny puffballs? The former is p.m., the latter is foliar mealies. Let us know which it is and we can help.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 9:23PM
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It's fuzzy / fluffy and only on the pollen sacs, after I remove the pollen sacs, everything seems to go fine, whatever it is hasn't spread to the rest of the plant. I wish I had taken a picture before I cut them off. If it happens again I'll be sure to take a picture. Should I try to treat the plant as if it were PM (just in case)? It definitely looks more like a moldy fuzz than a cluster of bugs. Any way to be absolutely sure?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 10:25PM
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The next time you see a fluffy fuzzy ball try dabbing it with alcohol. That should tell you if it's foliar mealies or not. Powdery mildew looks like what the name says, a fine film of powder over the leaves and blossom of the entire plant. This can be cured by air circulation. I keep a ceiling fan running 24/7 and an oscillating fan going when my lights are on. If I do see some PM on my plants even with the air circulating I spray some Lysol disinfectant spray in the air over the plants. Don't spray directly on the plants. It will however mar and kill the bloom but eventually will help rid your plants of mildew.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 4:33PM
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I have the same issue as Nickelbach! I isolated two new unnamed Optimaras and noticed yesterday that one of the plants has greyish fuzz on each pollen sac. No fuzz anywhere else, just the pollen sacs of open flowers.

I have no idea what that fuzz is, but removed every single flower, bud, and flowerstalk, and sprayed the plant with neem oil solution. I looked at it under a magnifying glass and it looks more like mold and not like a critter. And it is not powdery at all. I've searched high and low to find out what this is but only found this thread. At least I'm not alone. Like the above person asked, is this mold? or something else?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:51PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Sprout -

your grey fuzz is probably Botrytis - mold that you can see on old strawberries. It develops in the high humidity conditions - for example - if you are isolating your Optimaras under the dome.

What you did is good enough.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Yes, Irina! The fuzz resembles mold on bad strawberries! I read up on Botrytis (found out it's also called Bud Rot) and I do believe you hit the nail on the head. I inspected the plants before purchase, never even crossed my mind to look at the pollen. Thanks, once again, for your helpful posts.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:44AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Anytime! The more AV lovers - the better!

IMHO Botrytis is not affecting the plants growing in the open that much. You need to have really high humidity - 70% and up - then - it can become a problem because normally it doesn't affect the living tissue. With high humidity - the juiciest parts of the plant - blossoms - suffer first.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:49PM
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