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Please help with the lilies problem

Posted by nat4b 4 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 14, 12 at 15:43

This spring I found something strange on my lilies. They are orientals. On one almost all the leaves fell off, and on another the leaves became that kinda reddish brown color, and recently they also started to drop.
I was suggested that it could be botrytis (sp). I gathered all the leaves from the ground and discarded, and I had to cut one stem because it looked dead. The inside of it was hollow.

Here are the pictures


The one I had to cut

Now, my question is - I see lower leaves on some other lilies getting paler, plus those infected ones grow right next to seemingly healthy ones. Could they get infected too? What should I do?

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please help with the lilies problem

Looks like botrytus to me - a cold, wet spring will do that. It's a normal occurence in nature. But it's a fungus that lies on top of the soil (important to clean up any deceased debris). The bulb isn't slowly being killed. The bulb is capable of going through its normal cycle - replenishing itself with what's left of the stalk and any of the leaves you don't cut off, but it but is likely to have fewer flowers next season.

Seems you've got a lot of things there - maybe the air flow is being restricted and plants stay wet. I might move a few things and give them all a bit of space.

RE: Please help with the lilies problem

Thanks Duluthinbloomz4!
The spring was cold (and hot) but not wet. The brown leaf one is looking bad, I think I'm gonna cut that stalk too.
The way they are crowded - I had NO idea they would multiply so fast. I never dealt with bulbs and I don't know how to transplant without hitting the other bulbs with a shovel :s I have some lilies that have way more room around them, yet they have those dying leaves too.

RE: Please help with the lilies problem

Does not look like bortrytis to me at all. Late frost damage? Drainage problem? I have something similar happened to my Martagons this year, and I have never seen it before. You cannot have bortrytis on only one lily in a clump, while others are perfectly unaffected. It spreads like wildfire in a clump.

RE: Please help with the lilies problem

Does not look like botrytis to me, either. My guess is environmental stress (probably heat). If the plant continued to die, it might also be bulb rot.

RE: Please help with the lilies problem

I agree it is not botrytis. Around here we have problems with the European corn borer burrowing into the stems of lilies, causing this exact problem. The borer will create a small hole under one of the leaves to get inside the stem and then tunnel right up or down the middle of the stem. You will see borer poop coming out of the hole but no other sign until the stem does this, and then the stem will often fall over as it will be hollow inside.

Fortunately they don't usually show up in large numbers and when I see this I just break off the stem and kill the borer inside. If I see a lot of them I'll spray with a systemic insecticide.


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