reggerardJuly 26, 2014

Hello everyone,

I would really appreciate any help you could give me with these plants (picture provided). I just moved into this house and the neighbors have given me some information about them: they think they are morning glories; they think they bloom in the spring; and they have been thriving in this bed for years. I looked up pictures of morning glories and they don't seem to have the same leaves. I was here in the spring and I didn't see them bloom. So I am not sure either of those things are true. I have seen them thriving for months, but in the last month these brown spots have started to appear on the leaves and it is only getting worse. I live in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia, PA. and there has been a perfect amount of rain this year. None of the other plants around it are being affected in the same way.

Does anyone know what kind of plant this is? Does anyone know of a blight affecting plants like this? Do you know what could cause something like this?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.


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I have no idea whats going on,it doesnt look good, but I think if you post a close up photo of the leaves others will come along and help you. You've come to the right place for answers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

neighbors have given me some information about them: they think they are morning glories

==>>> its nice you are bonding with the new neighbors.. but i dont think they should be relied on for garden help .. lol

compare with lily of the valley .. and if not.. we need closer pix.. with a scale in the pic for size...

which grow with gusto in full shade .. so in full sun.. i am thinking .. improper watering.. drought.. and sunburn ...

your title has the potential to limit discussion ... how did you come to the determination that blight was a potential issue??? .. so .. if you do more posts.. let us guess... w/o a leading title ...

LOTV ... is near indestructible.. if that is what it is.. the only issue is.. how ugly it gets in too much sun.. w/o enough water ... i can not.. in any alternate universe.. contemplate spending money on rescuing it...

again.. LOTV is a guess.. you confirm.. or get a better pic ...

good lcuk


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:34AM
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Thank you for the responses.

I am not sure why I was so fixated on "blight." But it is good advice to not lead with my opinion (considering I don't know what's going on). I will follow your advice in the future.

I will start watering more. I also made an assumption that the rain we were getting was adequate. Since, I don't know what adequate is for this plant, it is also good advice to start with water. Thanks for the LOTV lead. I will do some research on it.

I have attached a close up I took earlier. It is actually raining right now. So, when it calms down, I'll take another picture with something to compare for scale and post it here.

Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Looks like cannas now...I've never seen leaf spots like that.

I can only wonder if it's the result of a herbicide (like put on lawn) or maybe drought, cannas like water.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:13PM
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It does look like canna's that havent been thinned out in a very long time.I dont know if cannas would stand the cold winters in Pa. though. How about digging up a couple and show us the root system or if it is cannas there will be a huge bulb. Good closeup picture...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:20PM
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Lily of the valley likes shady areas. We've had a lot of rain this summer which causes all kinds of diseases. By end of summer this plant can look pretty ratty. Your plants have filled in and are too close together. Dig up and thin out. You can't kill them! They need more space so they can dry out after rain. Heavenly scented flowers in spring will be the reward.

Below is a link to diseases.

Here is a link that might be useful: lily of the valley diseases

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Thank you all for all of your great help. After getting the lily of the valley suggestion from people here on the forum, I did some research and looked closer at the plants. I found the berries pictured here that contain remnants of the flowers and I think this is pretty conclusive proof that it is lily of the valley. I was here in the spring but I did not see any flowers like this. I guess that could be due to the lack of watering. There is a small patch of the plant in a different part of my property that is in the shade and just happened to get watered often and it looks great- not a trace of brown, the leaves are even wider. I have been watering daily ever since I got your suggestions and I think the plants are appreciating it. They are not reversing course, but I don't think they are getting worse. I will also try the suggestion to thin them out. They do seem crowded.

With great appreciation,

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:54PM
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Well cannas never had those on them (lol), so I withdraw the idea.
It's hard to tell the size scale on photos with no reference.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 6:05PM
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It reminds me of plants that somehow suffered a spell of drought which is why the browning occurs in the outer part of the leaves.

It does resemble lillites of the valley although I;ve not seen them come up that dense before. But then again it looks like a plant in the ginger family..

Sometimes when plants get too dense, they compete for water - hence suffer more from dehydration.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 3:03PM
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It's lily of the valley; your last picture shows the seed pods.

Condition could be rust that hits this time of year. Not fatal - just ugly, but they will emerge healthy and normal next season.

Prefers partial shade but can adapt to full sun given enough moisture. Definitely thin them out - plunging in a shovel works. Once established, like yours are, nothing much can hurt them. Just went out to look at mine; most of my patches are in shaded/semi shaded locations and they're still quite green.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:13PM
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