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PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:
I am a collector of Cyclamens and grow most of my collection in pots. I believe my C. purpurascens are infected with Botrytis, though I have not had this confirmed by any tests. Last year was particularly bad and I had to remove nearly every leaf from both my plants. This summer, as the new leaves emerged, I sprayed the leaves and surface of the grit with a sulfur solution, which seemed to dramatically reduce the infection rate. Now, the infection seems to be back. Can you suggest some methods of control? Do I have to have it confirmed first? I repotted them early this summer, and sterilized the pots and replaced the grit at that time. What else can I do?
What you have done to control Botrytis is what is recommended by the Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook. It does indicate the Botrytis can be seed-borne and grow systemically in the plant. Your real solution may be to obtain plants that are certified disease free.
However in researching Botrytis online, I found an article, "Botrytis Blight of Flowering Potted Plants" in Plant Health Progress, from Plant Management Network International. This article was written by a researcher at Cornell University who suggested that Cyclamen are also susceptible to Fusarium wilt and that the symptoms are quite similar. Therefore, I do think it would be wise to take a sample of your diseased plants to a Master Gardener clinic for confirmation. The Master Gardener clinics in Thurston County can be found at their website.
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January 13 2017 10:35:53