Botrytis Blight

allandale(3b)May 11, 2012

Hello, I'm new to this forum and have a tulip virus that's puzzling me. I've been growing the same species bulbs and their offsets for about 6 years. I've ended up with 100's of bulbs since they multiply rapidly, so have moved them a couple of times. They keep coming back over and over, no problems. Last fall I replanted some in a newly dug bed and some of them have come up with a virus that I think might be botrytis. I can't figure out where the virus came from. The bulbs were stored a short time after digging but were healthy going into the ground, the bed is brand new and has only ever been grass, so shouldn't be any lingering soil-borne disease. Bulbs replanted elsewhere in my yeard have come up fine and none of my other beds or perennials have ever been infected. Does anyone have any ideas where this blight might have come from? And am I going to end up with an unusable pile of dirt because of it? Thanks so much for your help.

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Botrytis is a fungal disease, not a virus. The spores can be present in any soil but tend to be activated by climate condtions and any sort of damage to the bulbs themselves. It is an extremely difficult pathogen to control and the recommendation is to discard any affected bulbs and plant only fresh, disease-free stock. I would avoid transplanting any other of your bulb offsets to the affected area but I might try with newly purchased bulbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Botrytis in bulbs

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Thanks gardengal. I live in an area classified as semi-desert so high humidity during storage is not the likely culprit. I'm thinking I must have inadvertently damaged some of the bulbs when separating them from the mother bulb. They seemed so indestructible I guess I got careless. Will dig up the infected bulbs this weekend and discard. Happy gardening in the PNW, my old stomping grounds!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:17PM
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