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Plant Diseases/mums with red veins on leaves and dying


Hi there,

I have many mums that I have had for years, and never had any issues. But this year our mums leaves are having red veins and they are dying. I make sure they are watered properly and taken care of, like I said I have had them for years and they grow so luscious and beautiful, I haven't changed anything I have done with them. We have had more rain then most years. But they have proper drainage so the moisture doesn't stay trapped. What can I do to save my mums and bring them back. My heart is broken because they would get at least 16high and 2 foot around. They were absolutely beautiful.

Thank you so much and hope you can help.

Dear Jennifer, I am very sorry to hear about your mums.  I have looked for the exact disease but I have been unable to identify it, except that it seems that they have a fungal infection.  There are two things that are critical in clearing up fungal infections in plants: a good chemical control and increased sanitation practices.  For the fungicide: it is possible that an organic control like Neem might work, since it is effective on fungus, but I wouldn't hesitate in a case like this to pull out some pretty potent chemicals.  The best fungicide will be a product containing either the active ingredient chlorothalonil or proprioconozole.  Either of these ingredients should be able to take care of the infection.  You will need to spray several times (at least three) about 5-7 days apart.  Be sure to spray the plants completely, top and bottom of the leaves.  Now for the sanitation - be sure to clean up any fallen leaves and debris in the garden.  Any really bad areas you may want to cut out, but since this is nearing the time when you would expect them to bloom, I wouldn't advise anything that cuts back the blooms.  Don't compost the dead leaves.  Be sure to bag and remove them from the garden.  Anything you can do to increase the air circulation near the mums would be good too.  I'm pretty sure the excess rain has contributed to the problems with your mums.  Hopefully, the strong fungicide will work and your mums should start to recover.  I sincerely hope that they get better.  Let me know if you need more help, if this doesn't seem to work, or if you have other plant questions.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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