Strange things happening in my dahlias
Perhaps some one can shed light on this! I have 2 issues occuring in my dahlias. The first is that the center bud on some of the plants, i.e. the bud that should be the one that blooms, seems to self-abort and the side buds will branch and bloom on a very short branch. The leaves and stem are slightly yellow. The result is a very small, stunted, and unusable stem. I know that some bugs can cause a malformation of the flower but this appears to be something very different.
The other issue is that I have plants that appear to have spider mite but no spiders can be found. The leaves are gnarled, they have 'rust' spots and the stems appear brownish. However, the flower is completely unaffected.
Am I experiencing a viral problem? Thanks in advance for any insight!