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Plant Diseases/trumpet flowers


I have to trumpet flowers that I bring In every fall because I live in Wisconsin. They have never bloomed, This fall they had some white stuff on the back of the leaves. The leaves all fall off when I bring them indoors. The new leaves had a white substance on the back of the leaves and now there are black spots. What can I do to get rid of this. I would like to know what it is.

Hi Peggy,

Sorry for not answering you sooner, I have been out of town.

It is not unusual for plants to drop leaves when brought into the very dry environment of a home.  With the very low light conditions, and the low relative humidity, many plants are hypersensitive and drop all their leaves.

The white substance on the back of leaves (and the black spots as well) is most likely a fungus.  It is hard to know which it is.  There are some systemic fungicides available, but when the plant is not actively growing, that just produces more stress for the plant.  Soap and water to remove fungal residue. Then wait for SPRING.

To encourage blooming, there must be adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients.  Place the plant gradually (over the course of a week or two) in spring into a high light spot.  

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John Cawly


I can help with identification and possible treatment of plant diseases that affect houseplants and horticultural species, to include both biological (fungal, bacterial, viral, parasitic etc.) and environmental/cultural (watering, potting media, etc.) aspects.


Practical experience with a wide variety of houseplants and greenhouse plants, including cacti, euphorbia, african violets, amaryllus, and many others.

American Phytopathology Society
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Society for Virology

Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (in print)
Rhodora -- Journal of the New England Botanical Society
Allelopathy Journal

BS, Southern Illinois University - Biological Sciences
MS, Southern Illinois University -- Biological Sciences - Genetic Engineering Specialization
PhD, University of Missouri Columbia -- Plant Microbiology and Pathology
(Viral Diseases specialization/Biotechnology Emphasis)

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