Sunflower unidentified black spots

akdahlia(7)June 4, 2010

Hi, I this my first year growing sunflowers, and I kinda went nuts. I don't have any giant ones, just velvet and autumn mixes. All grown from seed inside and transferred outside after second set of true leaves. I have noticed that they are growing exponentially but they have also been getting some black spots on them and some are shriveling at the top. I was so excited for these flowers I hope I can save them (or at least prevent it in the future) I just need help identified the problem. I've asked gardening friends and they don't have a clue. I suspect some fungus or mold. There are MANY more pictures of different sunflowers that look just like this one. It's been REALLY wet here over the past couple months. (Yes I know it's WA state, but it's really been raining!) Please help me help my sunflowers by identifying this issue! Thank you for your time!

Image link:

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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Is there a plant/plants hanging over the fence that could be infested with insects creating this black soot that appears to be covering the ground around the plant? Or is that my eyes playing tricks with a shadow? Or is it just my eyes?
If what's wrong with your plants was caused by excessive moisture, it could be a fungus. There are many fugicides available. Neem, Cinnamon or sulfur comes to mind.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 12:05AM
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The one shown in the picture is next to a peony and a rhody. neither are hanging over it. But I have sunflowers all over and some are quite by themselves not next to other plants or fences. I am really quite new to gardening myself (grew up planting with my mom in Alaska, and just bought a house less than a year ago) so I am not sure exactly what to use in this case. I think your are right with the excessive moisture/fungus thing. I will research and try the items you mentioned! Thanks for the input, I really wasn't sure what to make of it or use!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 12:55AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Rather than use aafungicde or something else, we need to find out what's there.

Have you looked inside the curled leaves. Could be aphids, sucking tissue, producing honeydew, which then is covered with sooty mold. Or not.

In any event, always best to find out what you're shooting at before you fire!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 1:00AM
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Dan Staley

With that resolution, very very hard for a diagnosis. Initial guess would be fungal, but with the tiny size of the pic provided, just a WAG.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:34AM
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I have some other photos, ill try to switch them. I have not found ANY bugs/eggs on them or near them!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:58PM
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hmm ran out of time for now to figure out how to post html photo, not even sure if I can in the forum but here is a link to another photo...

Here is a link that might be useful: Another photo

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:08PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Interesting discoloration. But I still don't know what it is. However, now I can see that the soil is wet rather than moldy as some had suspected.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Dan Staley

Not much better pic. Definitely interesting challenge for diagnosis - surely the one lf with discoloration along veins is a confounding factor. Based on the description, until more info arises, I'm sticking with fungal but not more than 75% convinced.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:47AM
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Yeah, I did buy a fungal/mold spray and I have applied to to 3 plants. I will see how it goes and keep you updated!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 3:12PM
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I too am new to sunflowers outside of one or two I have grown randomly in the past. This year I planted several varieties and have had a lot of success. They are beautiful! However, black spots have started appearing on most of the leaves of all varieties. Some leaves have holes eaten through them, as well. I also have noticed a heavy concentration of black ants. There are no plants in front or behind them but there are Terminix bait traps (for termites) for my neighbor's house within inches of the bed. It never occurred to me that this could be a problem until I put it in writing just now. I have removed all of the leaves that have spots or are dead. Is there anything I can do for them, or will the proximity to the traps always be an issue? Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Picassa Plant Issues

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 6:37PM
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