Botrytis is a common fungus that can be very destructive on many flowering plants. It normally causes a gray mold disease, particularly on flower petals.
Symptoms: Many types of plant tissues can be affected by the fungus. Flower blights, leaf spots or blotches, and stem cankers may contribute to the blighting symptoms produced by this fungus.
Cause: Botrytis normally establishes itself on stressed, aging or inactive plant tissues. Once established, the fungus can attack healthy flowers and leaves. Whereas Botrytis can infect from just above freezing to above 77 degrees F, it is strongly favored by temperatures between 62 and 72 degrees F and very moist conditions. If you suspect Botrytis, place some affected tissue in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel. If Botrytis is the problem, a gray mold should appear within one to two days.
Control: Several fungicides can control Botrytis if applied early in the flowering period, but it is also important to remove old blossoms and fallen petals.
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