Basal Rot on lilies

sazzyrose(2b Sk)October 4, 2007

On Monday I went to a lily presentation put on by our local gardening club. At the meeting Fusarium and bulb rot was talked about.

Since I had several stalks from bulbs that appeared stunted this year I decided to dig them out to check what was going on. The first bulb appeared fine. But my second one had completely rotted at the basal root. This bulb was Heathers Promise. Another garden club member had the same thing with this Heathers Promise bulb.

On another forum it was suggested that I dig 18" deep and 3 feet around this bulb to remove the soil and the fungi that was present. Lo and behold in this area, I found another rotted bulb, right beside my Heathers Promise. This bulb bloomed but the last flowers seemed to shrivel up rather than open. Now I understand why. So now my 3 ft area just got bigger.

I now have 50 or so lily bulbs to plant, but am very paranoid about putting them in my lily bed. I have stirred up the soil quite a bit by moving things around and planting new.

So I think that I am potting up these new bulbs and making a couple new raised beds next year. I'm also thinking that my lily bed might have to become a new rugosa rose bed.

I've been searching on the net and other plants are susceptible to this fungi as well including daylilies, irises and peonies.

It is kind of scary that this fungi can live in the ground for 4 years without a host. Time will tell if I have eliminated from this bed or spread it around.


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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

Great, something else now to watch for! I was just out cutting down some of my lily foliage because I thought a couple had botrytis, but now I'll have to keep an eye out for basal rot too. So is stunted growth the first sign of basal rot?

It's interesting that you both had problems with Heather's Promise. I wonder if some varieties are more susceptible than others? And I wonder if certain lily growers are more careful than others is controlling it? Boy, it sure opens up a whole can of worms, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 1:29PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

What are the signs of botrytis? I've mentioned here that i had some lilies whose foliage went black and African Queen's roots had rotted. I thought maybe it was due to our wet June and July. To dig an 18" cube out of the bed African Queen was in would pretty much be the whole bed!

My iris' foliage is okay, but there were a few daylilies with brown foliage.

Come to think of it, the wetness would create a good habitat for fungus. I really won't have the time for new beds this fall - maybe i should hope for another drought?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 1:57PM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Stunted growth is a sign. As well as a bulb failing to come up at all. It was suggested to me that possibly the bulbs were infected when we received them. Since two of us had problems with the same variety. They both were bought from the same supplier last fall.
Both of us have received free replacements.
As in the case of my other bulb that was also infected, it bloomed, but the last flowers dried up rather opening.

I planted my Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony right beside this area. I dug it out and it is now soaking in bleach water.
I'll replant it in a different area.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Oh boy, that's not good Shelley, my Heathers' Promise did good this year, knock on wood that it doesn't get BR.

The only lily I have some worries with is

Megan (all 3 bulbs)

I hope it doesn't have any virus disease and only stressed due to the hot dry July we had this summer and return to normal next year.

The Lily Nook has a good article on diseases and pests.


Here is a link that might be useful: Diseases and Pests:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:02AM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Sharon, I had a lily with broken coloring as well. My supplier told me his was all fine so mine must have been weather related. I still am leary and found out that I did the right thing which was to cut the foilage off really early so the aphids couldn't transfer a possible virus to another plant.
If it blooms broken again, it is out of there.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:43AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I also had a broken coloured bloom on a new lily this spring. It was ummmmmm ummmmmm oh yeah Moneymaker. It got cut off for a bouquet and the bulb is fairly isolated so I'm not too worried about it.

Botrytis rot usually shows up in wet conditions. I had one case of it once, and it never showed up again and I practice terrible gardening hygiene. Which makes me think it's more of a wildcard issue than an epidemic.

Basal rot has me a little worried because three of the bulbs I got from one supplier in the past two years have either not come up at all, or came up wiht a puny stunted stem which then turned red and died. Those bulbs are all in the main garden. >:0( We shall see.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:16AM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

I dug up Megan just to see if I can see any disease and all look healthy, so will see what happens next year.

Another new bulb that I planted early in the season that had stunted growth was Coral Sunrise, lo and behold I found slugs! They sure chewed them up and one bulb I can't even find... but I think I can save the other 2 bulbs. I squished the buggers off and rinse the eggs off well, I also had these growing in too much moist/shade and moved them over to the field project garden, will see if these make it too.

Gil, check yours for slugs too ;)


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 4:05PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Sharon, I'll check but honestly I have never seen a slug in this yard - it's very sandy and tends to be dry.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:45PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

I got some good news today, Lynette from Valley K just wrote me back an email and said that my Megan does not have a virus.....a virus lily looks very very distinct and has distinct lines of color to go with it, more like vivid blotches than color blending.

She also stated that her Megan bulbs all bloomed late and stunted, she thinks the company that she got them from had them stored an entire year in coolers before shipping them to us, as the growth on them is typical of this kind of storage. Everything they received from this company that was planted this spring behaved the same way. There was another company who used to do the same thing all the time years ago and then she finally figured out what the problem was. Those plants always grew normally the second year.

She is sure by next year that mine will too grow normally and the colors may blend into each other again even if it's very hot when they bloom.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 8:46PM
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