Local News

Wet Weather Creates Problems For Plants

Posted May 29, 2003

— The wet, overcast weather is causing an explosion in plant diseases, including rusts, black spots, fungus and mildew.

"We've been getting a lot of calls and a lot of people coming in asking questions about their plants -- with not only the rain, but also the cool weather," said Barbara Kennedy of Buchanan's Nursery.

At North Carolina State University's Plant Disease Clinic, Dr. Tom Creswell is busy working to identify diseases affecting boxes of sick plants.

"If you take a look at it and pull on the roots, you'll see that the roots [come] off very easily, leaving the bare stem," he said.

Area plant experts are already seeing a spread of fungus and mildew that could kill plants.

"The downy mildews have been showing up unusually," Creswell said. "We've been seeing downy mildew on a few crops where we've never seen it before, for instance, on the butterfly bush."

"One of our plants is showing powdery mildew. One of the flowering honeysuckles called gold flame," said Todd Lassinge of the

J.C. Raulston Arboretum

at N.C. State University.

So what should you do if you see mildew or fungus on your plants?

Lassinge said some type respond to fungicide. For others, unless the plants dry out soon, they will not survive.

Experts recommend taking a plant sample to your

local cooperative extension

office before spraying.

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