Does canna virus "hang out" in the yard?

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)May 20, 2013

I had two different clumps of canna that completely died within one season, I assume from virus. They completely disappeared - poof - gone - highly unusual for Jacksonville, Florida. Throughout last spring/summer, they appeared weaker and weaker and weaker. Nothing - none of them - came back up this year. Again, highly unusual for Florida. All of my other canna came back up right on schedule.

So is the canna virus still harbored/incubating somewhere in my yard? Can I transplant a different variety of canna - that I already own and is uninfected - in the location where the old ones died? If not, how long do I have to wait? And is there a way I can completely eradicate the virus from my yard? I have not purchased any canna in years and I wish I had not bought those two pots. How dumb. But I am a sucker for pink.

Thanks!
Carol

Dead and gone:

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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Carol!

There's little to no evidence that THE canna virus survives in the soil. The infection is almost entirely confined to contact with other infected plants. If you've trimmed/cut infected stock, it's important you disinfect the clippers before using them on healthy plants.
There are other pathogens and such that could linger in the soil, but not the rust virus, fortunately.

I've never personally lost a canna to the virus. I've had a few infected, but it never seemed to kill them off, just uglify them.

If you think you might have any infected stock left, don't compost their remains. Though the soil should be safe, Canna leftovers can survive in a compost heap for quite awhile, and you don't want those leftovers playing footsies with your healthy plants.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:37PM
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canna2grow

Carol,
Kudos to MikeâÂÂs reply relative to virus surviving in the soil. Canna viruses (virons) reside within the confined cell wall of living cells. As he suggested there are other pathogens that may survive in the soil or within the rhizome that can carry over from one year to the next. I might point out that rust is a fungus that often creates debilitating effects on canna particularly in the warmer semi tropical areas and easily carries over in the cooler months. It is not a serious problem in the more northern latitudes. Prolonged freezing conditions will kill the rust fungi. Bacterial bud rot can be a serious and often life threating issue with some of our susceptible cultivars. You can usually cut one of the older stalks near the ground line and see the center of the stalk is dark brown or black. A rhizome with bacteria bud rot will usually show the same signs and contain a thick jelly like sap.
Is the canna in the photograph one of the ones that died? It appears to be quite healthy at that time? Do you happen to know the name of this cultivar? I donâÂÂt think we can determine the cause of the cannas demise but assuming there is not a soil issue (donâÂÂt rule this out) I would not hesitate to try to grow other cannas in that location. Just donâÂÂt be careless, do a trial year to see what happens with only a very few.
Kent

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 12:49AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Mike and Kent, thanks for all of the information and advice.

I was surprised that they COMPLETELY disappeared, too, but they did. Yes, the canna in the photograph is one of the ones that died. Last year I purchased two clumps - one of them photo'd above - already growing in pots. There were probably three or four growing eyes (one or two rhizomes?) in each pot. Both pots of canna were the same variety - a rosy pink. And they all looked very healthy when purchased and planted. Yet NOTHING came back up this year - NOTHING. I couldn't believe it. So no, I don't have any infected stock left other than what may remain of the rhizomes still underground. I have fantastic soil - absolutely excellent - well-amended - full of earthworms - rich and dark and not sandy - so I don't think that is the problem. I think it was that darn virus.

Thank you both so much for the help!
Carol

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 12:27PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Any chance the rhizomes rotted during the winter? Between your cooler temps in J-ville and the quality of your soil, I'm thinking that the likeliest explanation, but Kent would know better.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:51PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I don't think rot is a possibility. I've never had any other cannas rot... including the ones in the shade that the common lake sprinkler system was hitting daily throughout the winter. No, I think these were virused. I should have taken photos as I watched them slowly decline (as the growing season progressed!) It's ok - I have some hardy canna that I have had for about six years (the one in the messy bed by the lake) that I will move up there next year. I'm going to give it one more year before I put cannas in the "death bed", LOL.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:32PM
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canna2grow

Carol,
No need for us to keep beating a dead horse: You have what appears to be a very lovely yard that is well groomed.
I sometimes become very tenacious in finding solutions to problems. If your time permits, I would like to know if you spray your yard for weed control and/or make fertilizer applications. Do you happen to have a weed barrier under the mulch that was around the cannas?
I am dubious of a virus killing what appears to be a healthy plant as you suggest. It is very possible that your plants were virused but typically those plants will produce enough new rhizome growth to survive and grow the next year. The new growth will still be virused but I think something else came into play in this case!
I understand if you decide that this is water under the bridge and need to move on.
Regards,
Kent

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:58PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Kent,

I do all of my own lawn care. I do not spray my yard for weed control. I do fertilize, but not within 15-20 feet of the lake. I usually use organic fertilizers but in March, I do apply a weed control fertilizer. I applied Vigoro Southern Weed & Feed (29-0-4; Active ingredient: atrazine 1.38%) at half rate. I used one bag for the entire yard (front and back). The rest of the year, I use Milorganite or GreenEdge (6-2-0) or some other organic fertilizer. If it is anything with high numbers, I apply at a low rate. I am a fan of fertilizing all plants more frequently at a very, very low/weak rate.

There is no weed barrier under the mulch anywhere in my yard.

I'm still as surprised as anyone that these two groups of cannas just bolted like they did. Highly unusual. I was in school at the time and didn't monitor my yard like I do now, so I don't have lots of photos and didn't watch the demise with a close eye. I wish I had better info. Could it be from lack of water? I didn't water them but then, I never water any of my canna! Once established, all of my plants are on their own.

Thanks for your time, Kent.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:12PM
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canna2grow

Carol,

Just a quick point that may provide a clue for your canna loss; the Vigoro Southern Weed & Feed you are using is a product that contains Atrazine. Atrazine is a great broadleaf herbicide that I used for many years primarily in our field corn production but never in our flower crops, at least not on purpose. A heavy rain can easily move Atrazine from the yard to a close bed of your cannas. It will definitely injure or kill the susceptible plants that absorb the chemical via roots. Atrazine does not affect your southern grasses and that is why it is being used in your area on lawns.

Kent

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:34PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Kent,

Interesting. Of course, I knew that the Vigoro contained atrazine and I know what atrazine does to weeds, but I didn't know it could/would affect only particular canna. I have a huge clump of canna that it didn't bother at all. I have more canna in other beds that didn't have any ill effects. Furthermore, I have many, many other plants in this same fairly new bed (two years) with the canna that were lost, and those other plants didn't have any problem. I didn't lose a single other plant. I guess that is how they roll. Thanks again,
Carol

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 11:07AM
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