Strange Wilting Leaves (not crown rot)

cozykitten(6)April 27, 2005

Over the past six months or so, I have had a problem with a few of my violets that has me a little baffled. This isn't crown rot, as I have tried to scrape down what I thought would be a rotten "stem", and all was ok.

Leaves, slowly (over a period of weeks) begin to go limp one at a time. The leaf itself looks ok, it is the leaf stem, usually up where it joins the leaf, that gets skinny and causes the leaf to wilt. I then break off the leaf at the base. Eventually, enough of the leaves come off that it seems like the plant isn't growing and I am left with the crown and a few leaves around it. A couple of plants I eventually threw out, as the leaf problem wasn't improving.

This doesn't affect all of my plants - the more established ones (that I have had for several years) seem OK so far.

A little background - I have had some *mild* powdery mildew and a *few* fungus gnats. I treated the powdery mildew, but haven't sprayed the gnats yet, as the spray says to not use in conjunction with sulpher for at least a month (that is what is in the fungicide). Could the mildew/gnats be the problem? Any other suggestions/ideas?

Thanks for any help or advice that can be offered.


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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Cathy, what's your room temperature like? I checked with Doctor Optimara and that seems the most likely cause. Maybe. AVs like to be at low to mid 70s; cold (including cold water) could send them into shock.

Anyone else?


    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 1:32PM
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Well, Cathy, it really sounds like you have had enough to deal with without me suggesting more bug problems, but I wonder if you have tipped the affected plant/s out of the pot/s to look at the roots. When I had soil mealies this similar condition happened to my plants but they affected the bloom stalks causing them to collapse. I hope that is not your problem but it is certainly worth a look. I have never actually seen a soil mealie but I have seen the white kind of powdery webbing they create and I have seen white waxy floating stuff in some of my reservoirs from them. I hope you find a much easier cause. Bonny

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 4:42PM
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Thank you Korina and Bonnylynn for your suggestions. They are both a possibility and are something for me to look into.

First off, my house is rather cool at 65 degrees during the day, as my husband and I both work. About 12 of my violets are on a small table in front of a large window in my laundry room. While it gives wonderful north light, the best light in the house, the laundry room itself is built on a "slab" instead of over a basement, so it gets chilly in that room. I knew that could potentially give me a problem down the road, and my fears were confirmed when they developed the powdery mildew (which I understand thrives in sudden temperature changes). The violets I am having the trouble with (Buckeye Butterflies and Little Rose Coral) are in a west window in my kitchen.

The soil mealies are also a possibility. I had them once at my old house. I suppose I would have trouble seeing them now I fear, since I have 1/3 perlite in my soil mix.

It certainly wouldn't hurt to try to treat them for soil mealy bugs - would I use a soil drench of some sort? Could anyone suggest one I could try?

Any other suggestions on what this could be, please post!

Thanks, Cathy

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 7:56PM
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I have an old AV book on culture and it says it also could be nematodes. Both soil mealy bugs and nematodes will cause wilt. The solution is a Cygon drench. I know they took Cygon off the market for awhile, but I believe it went back onto the market a few years ago. Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 10:14AM
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Ever hear of using snuff in the soil to combat critters??

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 4:42PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

If only this thread wasn't three years old... ;-D


    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 3:03PM
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