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Wilted branches, hollow stems

Posted by pksinan z6PA (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 20, 06 at 21:31

This year has been a complete disaster with too many problems to describle. One in particular, however, that I've never seen before: Random branches on a couple of my plants are wilting with no discoloration or lesions on the foliage. These branches tend to be younger and high up on the plant. When I cut them off, I notice the stems are almost completely hollow. Any idea what's causing this? Also, the skin on some of the fruits on these plants is wrinkling and the fruits are becoming mushy.

--Peter


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wilted branches, hollow stems

The hollow stems may be from a stalk borer. It's not a significant threat on established plants, but it can be quite annoying. There's no really good control -- some people slice out the hollowed part and try to catch the caterpillar, but destruction of nearby weeds is probably more effective. Sprays won't do anything.

If the fruit that is wrinkling and turning mushy isn't on the wilting stems, there may be a problem with inconsistent water. It can cause shriveling as well as splitting and blossom-end rot, and the end result is generally mealy and tasteless. I'm assuming that the fruit is otherwise edible... mulching well may take care of that, and watering a bit more often.

--Alison


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