Possible red blotch on my bulbs

ajsblu_eyes(9)August 25, 2009

Ok I donÂt think I posted here before IÂve only lurked and learned now I am fearful that I have a bad case of Stagonospora curtisii (red blotch). I am praying it is a bad case of sun burn, but am realistic. Now to the hard part: if it is red blotch is there anything I can do to salvage these bulbs or are they to far gone.


What is the verdict? And thanks in advance for your help


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VERDICT: Stagnospora curtisii

#1 killer of Hippieastrums.

Treatable but a long process that is why experts recommend to just throw/dispose of bulbs.

Peel as much as you can of the bulb's scales until there are no more red spots.

CLEAN that neck! Peel all brown dead tissue and cut out soft/mushy parts as much as you can.

SPRAY the whole plant, bulbs neck, leaves (top and bottom), scapes with copper or manganese based fungicide. This will have to be done every 2 weeks until it is controlled. SYSTEMIC fungicide will NOT kill STAG. Some say that it "could" prevent it but I have doubts about this. It is always best to have HEALTHY Hippies that can fight back if it gets STAG.

Paint cuts/wounds with Captan.

ONLY bottom water or avoid having whole plant getting wet.

This will usually take care of the Stag IF it has not entered the inner scales yet. If it did, dispose of bulb, do bulb surgery, or just chop it up and do cuttage propagation.

You will ALWAYS have t have a constant look-out for possible further or new development of Stag in ur hippies.

Been there. Done this. Took me almost 4 months to control the Stag that hit the collection 2 seasons ago.

LESSON LEARNED: ONLY buy from reputable bulb comapanies if possible. Once you receive your bulbs, CHECK them and PEEL those dry scales. Any sign of red is trouble or possible trouble for me. SEPERATE newly puchased bulbs from your other healthy bulbs. STAG is very contagious that can be transfered from one plant to another through water splash, rain or simply through your own hands.

Hope that helps! Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 8:42PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Well this is what I still don't get: we are advised to take them outside to get sun and grow healthy leaves, but they are not supposed to get wet to avoid the stag. But it does rain, and sometimes it pours - what's a person to do? Only bottom water when they are outside? How? Sigh...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 9:57PM
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Hi Anna!

I wrote "Only bottom water" for the sick treated bulbs. Just so that the wounds would heal good and that the STAG do not develop/spread further.

I just hosed down my hippies today as we have had no rain for 3 days now. And the hippies LOVE these on hot weather and keeps the mites away too. LOL!!!

The thing is to keep a watchful eye. Once I see a red spot or two, I seperate them, far away from the rest and treat them ASAP before it spreads. I usually bring them inside my garage. It's my ICU. It is best to catch it at the earliest stage if ever as treatment is easier. If you don't see any signs, then they are fine.

After growing hippies for so many years now, I have developed this beliefs. I will try to give them the best growing conditions I can give them that I can afford. I can ONLY do so much. Nature will have it's way no matter what. If a Hippie gets sick or dies, it did not die in vain as it has taught me a lesson well learned. (Remember these words Frank?)

Hippies are very strong plants. If their leaves get sick, they have "life" stored in their bulbs. Their bulbs are developed as a "defense system"...layer upon layer of scales protecting it's heart (core). If both leaves and bulb get sick, it still holds it's lifeline...the basal plate and roots.

Don't worry too much Anna. Unless you're going through PMS like I am. Then I totally understand how you feel. LOL!!!

Ahhhhh...fall is just around the corner. I can't wait till the Hippies are put to rest. I AM tired and would love to have some rest too!

Happy gardening to all! And hope 2009 season will be a Stag free one. Yeah right! This is almost impossible with all these stag infested bulbs they are selling us.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 10:59PM
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Thank you for the diagnosis and treatment options I greatly appreciate the help but not necessarily the news :(

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 7:30AM
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Hi ajsblu eyes!

You are most welcome!

Head's up! Don't give up hope and try to save your bulbs. They are relying on you. Your bulbs don't look that bad and seems to be just in the early stage of stag. If you don't have or don't want to use those mentioned fungicides. Try to clean them up as I stated above and wipe the whole bulb with hydrogen peroxide. Remember to ONLY use one cotton ball per bulb so that you won't be spreading the stag further. Then OBSERVE them and keep the bulb (not the soil) as dry as you can.

NOTE: When you peel your bulb's scale, make sure that you also peel away the thin film-like skin. Stag can hide in it.

Next time you purchase a hippie bulb, inspect them asap! Report/Complain to the seller if you find stag in them. We do not deserve to receive bad bulbs. They have been doing this for years. It has got to stop!!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 9:00AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Thanks Maria - just wondering, but is it not true that a slight bruising of the bulb can cause it to have a reddish mark or blotch?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 10:10AM
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A bruise would give the bulb a definite red mark that stays that way and does not spread. A blotch would be tiny red dots that would increase and eventually become a red markings. Take a look at pics above. Notice the red dots on both scales and neck. Those are not bruise marks but Stag.

Our dearest forum friend Charles (Barnhoorn) has patiently helped me a lot with my battle with Stag during those days. Identifying problems, what caused them and adviced treatment procedures through the pics I sent him. You gotta love Charles!!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 10:45AM
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