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Deformed Zinnia Flower

The zinnias I planted all developed normal blooms except for one. It has a bright red and yellow center, but is missing its petals.  Do you know what could have caused the unusual look?

Zinnias like many of its relatives and a variety of other plants are susceptible to aster yellows.  The disease can cause leaves to yellow, stunted growth, or misshapen and discolored flowers. This disease, classified as a phytoplasm, is spread by aster leafhoppers.  As the insects feed on infected plants they suck out plant juices containing the disease organism.  When they hop to the next plant they inject some of their saliva, disease and all, infecting the healthy plant.  There is no chemical control for the disease.  Remove and destroy infected plants as soon as they are found to reduce the source of the disease.  Next, control the disease carrying leafhoppers with insecticidal soap or Neem, eco-friendly insecticides.  As always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.


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