What's up with this Brugmanisa?

MAgardener65August 4, 2012

A friend picked this Brugmansia up for me at Logee's a couple weeks ago. It has distorted new growth and the older leaves have strange, blotchy coloring. I have fertilized it like all my others, and see no signs of bugs/mites. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Well, it's faint in the photo, but it almost looks like it's got powdery mildew. The leaf to the "Logee's" logo, at about the seven O'clock position seems to have a bit of gray-looking something, as does the distorted new leaf in the center of the photo, particularly along the veins.

But, it could also just be dust/dirt, fertilizer residue, or even glare from the camera flash or ambient light. Hard to tell, it's not prominent. If it looks more like p.m. in real life, maybe treat for that.

Honestly, I've had Brugs for 20 years, and have fought a TON of mites (which this isn't, looks very different from mites), and never seen powdery mildew or other fungal leaf diseases, but I guess it could happen.

At any rate, overall they're really hard to kill, so I bet it will grow out of it quickly anyway. One thing I do with brugs when they have issues is strip them of all damaged leaves, spray down the plant with some soap and water (Murphy's oil soap or even weak solution of Dawn), rinse off. That seems to help. I wouldn't do that unless the plant is well-rooted, though, might be too stressful for a young, poorly rooted new plant.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:13PM
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The irregularity of the markings and the weird leaf growth make me think it is a virus. For which there is no cure and this plant should be destroyed. Whatever you do, don't put it with any other Brugmansia that don't look like this.

Logee's has a reputation for having virused/diseased plants. I have had several plants arrive with funky colors that ultimately die. And unfortunately they have spread to some of my other plants that I have had for years. I am steering clear of anything from them.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:20PM
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There's definitely some chlorosis going on which is a mineral deficiency. A dose of calcium and magnesium should fix that. The distorted foliage can be from a number of things. A possibility is Broad mites which aren't visible to the naked eye and don't have the tell tale webbing that spider mites do. I wouldn't give it anymore regular fertilizer but would give it some CalMag Plus. If you don't have that you can use Epsom salts at the rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. See how then new growth is after the magnesium. The distortion might go away as well as the chlorosis. If it doesn't you might want to consider a miticide. IMO the best is Forbid but it's quite expensive. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:32PM
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