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Southern Blight in the Michigan/Delaware Tropics


Sorry about the delayed response. I was treating my hostas.

I mark every hosta that goes down to southern blight with a wire flag
bent 90 degrees at the top so the flag hangs down. I mark these hostas
so that the following year I can treat for southern blight BEFORE it
hits these plants a second year in a row. The fruiting bodies
(sclerotia) of southern blight will survive in the soil for several
years waiting for the right conditions to germinate. I use Benlate 75wp
as a foliar application several times early in the season as an overall
preventative and also as a soil drench where I have my flags. I also use
Terraclor 75wp as a soil drench as an alternate to Benlate so as not to
breed strains of southern blight that are resistant to Benlate. The
Terraclor label says it will last in the soil for up to one year.

Southern blight is a major agricultural disease. It seems the sclerotia
are everywhere just waiting for the right conditions to germinate.

Three days of 95 degrees followed by rain or irrigation and there you
go, Southern blight. Alex Summers says he won't water when the temps are
high. It's a trade off. Drought stress or southern blight. Not pretty

Russ Parsons is a friend that lives 20 miles or so from here. Russ has a
high canopy of loblolly pines that keeps the air temperature at least 10
degrees cooler. Russ has no signs southern blight this year. I bet it is
because of his lower temperatures.

I wonder if southern blight is aggravated by high nitrogen content in
hostas. High nitrogen in turf grass leads to several fungal diseases.

I am trying to get my hands on some Terraclor 10G. 10G is a granular
that would be easier to apply but it is in short supply in the ag trade
locally because it is a low concentration and expensive to ship.

Of the 15 hostas I treated last year only a few have lost a few leaves
this year. My 20 or so cases of southern blight this year is on hostas
that showed no signs last year. If treatment is started when the first
hosta leaves show symptoms, southern blight can be arrested. Wait a few
days, and the whole plant will be laying on the ground with only the
flower scapes standing tall.

Best of luck,

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE
zone 7

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Groothuis <mike.groothuis@worldnet.att.net>
To: <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 1999 10:40 PM
Subject: Southern Blight in the Michigan Tropics

Well, I learned today that that SB also effects daylillies. I had a
'Cherry Cheeks' turn brown and drop to the ground with the
characteristic fruiting bodies at the base of the leaves. 93 degrees
today even hotter predicted for tomorrow. HUMID. At least my problem is
localized in only about 1/4 of my full sun garden. Unfortunately, each
plant that is showing signs are growing ever closer to my 5 year old
'Krossa Regals.' The bleach just doesn't seem to be doing the job. I
pour it on and a week later another plant three feet away is rotting. I
guess all I can do is keep my fingers crossed.

Mike Groothuis
Niles, MI
zone 5b

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