Exasperating Container Gardening Chaos

sammyyummy(11)August 7, 2012


been gardening just a lil over 3 months, container gardening mostly, zone 11.

Ive had some friends give me zinnias and allamanda young seedlings and tried to grow them (since my efforts at growing from seeds have been ..oh well)

These are my concerns. They were doing fine - exposed in a well aerated/ventilated area, full direct sun, water them when soil dries out.

1. Allamanda. Ive managed to grow them but they dont seem to flower and bloom. Ive used a bloom booster (15-30-15, 1x a week) a month after i got them established but nothing. I was advised to prune them which I did very minimally but still nothing. Any advice on what im doing wrong?


2. Zinnias. I thought these were easy from seeds but after 3 months have nothing to show. These are seedling Ive managed to establish for a month and half, but things are turning bad i think

the leaves are turning brown or have a withered look about them. After which, Ive also noticed some spots of mildew. Ive used a cinnamon fine mist spray on them 2x a week/ and/or ground cinnamon powder on the leaves as well so they kinda stick to the affected leaves). Some of the leaves tips have turned brown as well.




3. Prior to these issues, ive used a bloom booster (npk 15-30-15) once a week on them. A friend suggested a fish emulsion with npk of 2:1:25) - is this a good npk ratio? also does fish emulsion prevent flowering as I read in some blogs.

4. Finally, so far the only plants Ive managed to grow (fingers crossed) are the mexican sunflowers. But Ive noticed some of the lot have marked yellow veins along the leaves. Some neighbors say it is diseased (pest) others say its alright. being an amateur,i really dont know if it is a cause for alarm.


Your inputs and advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Sorry the pics didnt show so here goes i the same order as above: ALLAMANDA

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:52AM
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    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:53AM
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zinnias with white fur spiky stuff on leaves

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:55AM
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zinnia with white fur spiky stuff on leaves

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:56AM
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yellow veins on leaves?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:57AM
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Looks like fungal and/or edema issues both caused by high humidity and soil moisture. Could this be the cause?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:25PM
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I don't know much about Alamanda, but one link I went to said that it blooms from branch tips. If you are pruning it, maybe it isn't getting a chance to make blooms? Or maybe it just isn't old enough. It looks like some cuttings there, maybe they just need more roots yet. They look healthy, at least as much as I can tell from our photo and with my limited experience.

The Zinnias have fungal problems. They are notorious for powdery mildew etc. Really the only way to not have fungal problems is to anticipate them and apply antifungals before the fungus shows up. Most of these products do nothing about a fungus that is present, they just help to keep them from showing up later. It may be that the cinn water you are putting on is just wetting up the leaves and providing the moisture that the fungus needs.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Seems to me like you are using the wrong soil, like a potting SOIL instead of a light airy potting MIX.

Repot those in a nice light mix, use the 5:1:1 mention so much on here or make something with some Miracle Grow and add in some Pine Bark and Vermiculite.

Drill several holes in the bottom, make sure it drains like a kitchen sink, add the MIX.
Once repotted use something like a Copper Based Fungicide on it , spray top and bottom of leaves.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Are you trying to grow zinnias indoors? That can be quite difficult :/ Sorry if I'm misunderstanding the pictures.

What is that stuff you're growing in? Is it soil from the yard? If so, overwatering/drainage problems are guaranteed, and is probably your main problem. You definitely have powdery mildew, as you've ascertained... Zinnias are famous for it. Using cinnamon on thin/soft textured annuals can be problematic, and may be contributing to the leaf burn. Frankly.. I don't think those zinnias are worth trying to save. Zinnias should be a trouble free growing experience, aside from powdery mildew late in the season. In zone 11, I think you have time to start again from seed in a roomy pot with a well draining potting mix. They need light to flower!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:28PM
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