Plant leaves loosing color, turning white.....

dontknowdoodly(8)June 2, 2010

We have a few plants in a small garden. Some of them (Agastache, Morning Glory, Coreopsis) are turning white. The leaves look almost variegated. They all looked great this spring, but as summer hits, they look like they are loosing all green color. All the leaves on these plants are doing it, not just some leaves.

Other plants do not show any sign of it at all. (Coneflower, Zinnias, Lillies, Acanthus), all look great still.

Thanks to anyone who can diagnose this and give me a remedy. I would think it's some soil deficiency.

Image link:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am new to gardening and this is also happening to my tomato plants. I thought at first it was the hot Vegas sun "bleaching" them but I still dont know the cause. I sure hope someone with an answer chimes in here.:)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 2:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weedlady(Central OH 6)

I wonder if it is some sort of soil deficiency, although the plant families involved are varied and overlap those plants not affected. I would take a good-sized sample of each of the affected plants in to my local extension office if I were you. I am sure they would be able to diagnose the problem.
Let us all know the results!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

It sure resembles spidermite damage but no sign of webbing or mites that I can see.
Have you used any fertilizer?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No sign of any webbing. The loss of color is right in the leaves. It doesn't rub off or anything like that. I use fertilizer. Normally Miracle Grow (either bloom or grow) depending on time of year and plant condition.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Your location might help narrow this down. How often do you fertilize? When did you fertilize last? What was the NPK of that fertilizer?
It doesn't look like a deficiency that I'm familiar with but could be a combination.
Try a foliar spray of fish emulsion to see if they green up. Spray very early or around sunset to avoid sun exposure while wet. I spray in the evening.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

That doesn't indicate deficiency to me either, more indicative of a sucking insect. If it were me, I'd spray both sides with neem.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have this same issue and have sprayed with neem and the problem is just getting worse and is on all my plants now! I am infested with flying bugs that have white wings and they seem to be biting me (I think or making me itch). I notice them in the soil and they are EVERYWHERE in my back yard all over the side of my house under my sons toys, EVERYWHERE and MILLIONS of them!! I am using MG potting mix that I am now about to change out to a home made mix! Are thesse guys causing this problem that is pictured? AND why isnt NEEM working. I sprayed them once a week for two weeks and the problem is only getting worse! I dont want them to infest my new potting mix either!! What to do?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Well, mommy sounds like she is enjoying visits from whitefly, with different plants than the OP so not germane to the OP's issue, unless the OP missed the infestation.

To the OP, have you had high ozone days lately?


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

High Ozone days? I'm in East Texas (Tyler), every day is a bad ozone day here..... I put up another photo. Macro, maybe it will help.

I really do not think it's bugs, but maybe it is and I'm not seeing them. Yes there's frass on the leaves, but there's lots of caterpillars from the Gray Hairstreak and from some moths. I raise these few plants, to have nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. I'm not really worried about the bugs. We have been fairly lucky with assassin bugs and mantises that help out the bug populations as well as lizards and toads. If it's a bug problem, that's natural, but if it's from the soil, then I just thought some type of fert might help.

As far as what we use for fert? It depends on the time of year. Miracle Grow, either All Purpose or Bloom or Vigoro 10-10-10. In the early spring, as plants broke the surface, I did a dose of Miracle Grow Azalea due to the low Nitrogen content and a dose of Chelated Iron. Between the Nitrogen and the Iron, these plants have all become huge. Everything is about 25% taller than I have ever seen them. I'm kind of thinking that isn't a good thing.....

I didn't have this "white leaf" problem, till they started blooming. Before that, they were the greenest I ever saw. They were really very healthy plants in the spring and early summer. With the Ozone and the UV the way it is here, it's hard on plants in the summer here. Heck, it's hard on the trees, more and more I see trees in the forests dying out and I figure it's got to hurt our plants too, but not all the plants are this way. As I said, the Coneflower is fine as well as the Coral Bells, Digitalis, Zinnias and Acanthus.

I can try the fish solution (I have some), but probably not the Neem. As I say, if it is really bugs, I do not want to spray anything that might hurt the caterpillars. Some eat the Flowers and others eat the leaves, but they don't make the leaves to loose color. It's like the Chlorophyll is gone more than anything else.

As far as fert right now, we would normally switch off from Bloom and Vigoro 10-10-10. Usually once every couple weeks during the hot summer months.

I also think it's soil related because of the clay here. The beds have about a foot of good soil, but below that it's clay. Texas clay is a red clay and it's pretty bad stuff, so it might be because of that, except why does it only affect some plants and not others. If I were physically able or wealthy, I would dig the beds out about 3' deep, but that's not a realistic option. We have had Perennials here for about 4 years now and this is the worst year so far.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 1:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Looks kinda like leafhopper damage to me.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

With that macro I'm going with ozone and/or PAN ( ... + O3 + NOx). The PAN idea from the excellent foto with the collapsed tissues looking silvery. The white stippling looks like O3.

I take back my neem recommendation. There is nothing you can do about effects of internal combustion engine operation.

Thank you for the excellent foto. Makes it so much easier.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks to all of you for all the responses. I can really see that it may be Ozone or Pollutants. It's really bad around here. The national maps show all of East Texas as a bad area. We want to get out so bad and move to cleaner air...... Apparently, so do the plants!

Thanks again for the information from all of you. I appreciate the time everyone took.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:51AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Getting rid of soil nematodes
Dear veggie lovers: This is my first season growing...
Hi guys, I have had whitefly interfering with some...
Sure fire way to get rid of Earwigs
I read the FAQ's for Earwigs and no mention was made...
A rabbit! Argh!
Of all the problems I expected in a suburban dessert,...
ID please
Found a bunch of these crawling around my rain barrel....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™