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Little white hairs killing everything

Discussion in 'Pests, Diseases and Cures' started by Hattyfatner, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Hattyfatner

    Hattyfatner Apprentice Gardener

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    I thought it was natural for my little fig trees to have hairy stalks/trunks but when I noticed the leaves going from deep green, through lime green, through yellow/brown I suspected all was not right.

    This hairy fungus or something has killed all the fig trees, including one I intended to bonzai and is now on everything else in my 'garden box'.

    I thought it was part of powdery mildew, which I do have but have been treating rather effectively with milk and luckily I had direct sunlight (the other essential ingredient to the milk/mildey cure, which activates the enzymes to kill the mildew). But milk has no effect on this most virulent disease.

    I'm not sure if it's related, but on top of the powdery mildew and hairy fungus there is something turning the leaves on my honeysuckle red which is now also dying back.

    I bought a plant which was similar to a heather which certainly contained the powdery mildew and got rid of but I think the hairy stalks were already on the figs and I don't know about the red leaf disease.

    The figs are all dead now. Vigorous growth up to about last week.

    I will admit at this point I noticed how wiping the hair with mouth wash on cotton wool made it dissapear so I wiped them all down with mouth wash. Practically scrubbing the largest fig. Now they are all dead. :( The fur has gone where it was scrubbed though.

    Wiping down those figs as they were clearly beyond saving was quite emotional for me! I hope the whole box doesn't fall prey to this hairy monster.

    Image descriptions:
    0001: A close up of the bonzai when still alive last week. Thick hair growth near the new growth at the top.
    0009: Hairs growing up a late bulb new shoot leaf (I dug the whole box up so everything is behind)
    0015: Small hairs visible on a thornless blackberry plant which was dug up and roots were strewn about and this is new growth from roots. Also on a small leafed thing that grows along the ground and a bulb shoot.
    0004: Hairs and purple stems on fig stalks.
    0014: Hairs on new growth on honeysuckle. A light brushing knocked some of these new leaves off!
    0019: The now (almost) dead fig tree.
    0020: The nearly or dead fig bonzai.
    0018: Red patches appearing on honeysuckle leaves.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  2. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    I don't think the white hairs killed anything, an awful lot of my plants have little white hairs on them and they are fine.
    Mouthwash and plants doesn't sound a good combination.
    A bit more information on your "gardening box" and general conditions would be helpful. My honeysuckle leaves often look a bit rough at this time of year, is your one inside or outside?
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      I agree with Nigel. :noidea:

      Also, do you have any photos of the fig trees?

      Your first photo appears to be a tomato plant and they always have those hairs. It's normally the end of the season for tomatoes.

      All the plants that I can see have hairs where you would expect them to have them and are not anything bad.
       
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      • longk

        longk Total Gardener

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        The hairy stems look normal to me. In the fifth photo the leaf appears to have evidence of overhead watering residue and aphid skins possibly. Maybe some remnants of the powdery mildew as well - a better photo would help.

        I'm not sure that I would want to use milk to treat infections. Milk goes off and encourages bacteria - I'm not saying that it is wrong, just that to me it makes no sense. We're all different and for powdery mildew I spray with a solution of water and cinnamon powder which is fast, safe and effective. Diluted mouthwash distresses me less.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I think we can safely say the mouthwash finished of the figs,;) and I agree the hairs in the pictures are just normal plant hairs, nothing sinister.

          When you say figs, are you referring to Ficus plants, ie houseplants, or are we talking the fruiting fig, Ficus carica, which is deciduous?

          Lots of plant leaves start to look a bit tatty at this time of the year, it doesn't necessarily mean the plant is dying.
          Although, yes the tomatoes are dead.
           
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          • Hattyfatner

            Hattyfatner Apprentice Gardener

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            No they are/were definitely figs as I collected the figs myself from down the road where there is a mature fig tree and the biggest one even managed a tiny little fig before it died.

            The hairs, if natural, surely wouldn't just wipe off with mouthwash and now pretty much everything has tiny hairs growing all over it in the box and growth has now halted completely. Hairs on stems and leaves of honeysuckle, blackberry, sweet peas, tulips and ground growing thing.

            The 'box' is a window box I build myself and is outside.

            The hairs are a menace but I can't find any reference to them. I loved my figs and am so sad they died. I had such high hopes.

            0002: Bonzai last week before it died back.
            0003: Larger fig just before it died back over course of week.
             

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          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Ever Hopeful Canuck

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            Mouthwash is far too harsh for plants. If you see something that you think is mold or mildew, use a solutuion of about 5% peroxide. Spray it on and leave it.

            You can always try again!
             
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            • longk

              longk Total Gardener

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              That's not a fig. Here's a picture of a fig leaf...............
              [​IMG]

              You definitely have an aphid issue.
              Where in the country are you?
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                Those pics are tomato.:smile:
                 
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                • Vince

                  Vince Not so well known for it.

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                  I don't know what to say without being harsh so I will keep my mouth shout re: the demise.

                  Now let's all help in passing on all our "dilemmas" to Hattyfatner?

                  And being supportive and helpful please.
                   
                • NigelJ

                  NigelJ Total Gardener

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                  @Hattyfatner At this time of year growth stops/slows on most things so don't worry about growth stopping. How big is your window box? Does it have drainage holes and what type of soil are you using?
                  What you are calling figs are tomatoes and would die at this time of year anyway as will the sweet peas.
                  Could you post a picture of your tulips as these do not normally appear until spring.
                  Don't worry about the hairs they are not the problem. They were probably just flatted down when you wetted them, just as your hair does.
                   
                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  Nigel is correct.

                  Some of you may not have noticed that Hatty has edited the first post and added some more pictures and explanations.

                  It still doesn't solve the problem that what you have listed as figs and Bonsai are definitely tomatoes. :noidea:

                  The hairs are also natural and not a problem.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  • Hattyfatner

                    Hattyfatner Apprentice Gardener

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                    I wasn't aware hairs on tomato plants also grew on the surface of the leaves as well as the stems.

                    Also, the hairs starting to cover the rest of the flora in the box, both leaf and stem are wilting, yellowing and dying so signs do point to a fungal infection.

                    I wiped down the hairs on the young fig trees with undiluted mouth wash as a last ditch attempt to save them but it was too little too late, they had already in effect succumbed to the white hair of doom.

                    I'm sure if the hair was supposed to be there, a little mouth wash would not remove them.

                    This leads me to believe that they were in fact germs as mouth wash contains germ killer.

                    I did grow tomatoes but that was two years ago so they would have had to hibernate over a summer to grow the following year.

                    This is less likely than the figs I dropped into the plant pots germinating as I had dropped about 6 figs into those post the previous autumn.

                    Below is the solitary fig that was grown which you will no doubt tell me is a tomato.

                    "I don't know what to say without being harsh"
                    Please, don't hold back. I would be interested to hear your thoughts. I hope I haven't upset anyone!
                     

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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    I'm now very confused:biggrin:
                    Your fig looks like an immature tomato.
                     

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