Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Daisy Death

I've really enjoyed my Shasta daisies’ bloom. A fellow gardener gave me three plants this spring. I placed them by the front walk where I could view their cheerful blossoms. The plants have bloomed in succession, giving me a long flowering period. Unfortunately, the first two began to die soon after they reached their bloom peak.

When the first plant started browning, I thought I had under-watered it. When additional water didn’t help, I was afraid I had over-watered it. Later, I became convinced that the roots had been fatally disturbed by a mole. Now, the second daisy has begun to die and I've seen no evidence of mole activity. I'm at a loss. The plants seem perfectly happy until they begin to set seed. They exhibit no obvious symptoms, such as pustules, bug infestation, or mildew. They just look like they are drying up.

I my gardening frind and he says it may be a fungus. I’ll admit, I haven't carefully inspected the plants and could have missed a fungal inspection. He says that this summer has been particularly good for fungus (bad for plants).

My third plant is blooming now. I’m afraid that it will also wilt and die soon (like the plant in front of it). Perhaps this picture holds the clue. Has anyone else had a similar experience with Shasta daisies?


Blogger Jenn said...

Mine get a bit crispy on the lower leaves. I will sometimes prune them back halfway when they are done with flower, and then take out all the old growth when I see fresh shoots coming from the base. This growth stays small and green during my zone five winters, and then comes up strong in spring.

Mine spread a bit each year, and I've not let them go to seed - they about double their size and are easily divided in the spring to increase my display.

Now I don't know anything about fungus - I've just always treated mine like that is how they grow.

It might be that I have a different situation...? I dunno.

Luck with your daisies!

9:10 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

You may very well have a fungus. We've had a terrible time with it this year and we've lost one of those creeping geranium thingies, a Bee Balm, a foxglove, and almost a phlox. We tried spraying with the organic first, then the non-organic fungus killer and only watering in the morning, and that seems to have helped things slightly. Good luck!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

The way they are shriveled up reminds me of some of my coneflowers- I am stumped because they are native and should not dry out like that from what I know. Sorry, I am drawing a blank on this one.

11:14 AM  
Blogger deb said...

here in vancouver (we're a zone 7-8) and my daisies do the same thing after they've bloomed. i just cut them down and wait for the next round to grow, and they seem to do fine. if you're truly worried, you could take the photos into one of your local nurseries and see what they think, but they may just want you to buy more plants...

good luck with whatever you decide to do!

11:28 AM  

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