Links to external web pages are followed by the source's name in parentheses.
Preventing flower problems is often the best way to avoid having to use treatments that may be labor intensive, costly, or cause a threat to other nearby plants, people, or animals.
Review the following publications for flower problem prevention methods:
Disease Prevention (University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener training slide series) discusses prevention strategies and provides examples of common flower problems.
Insect & Disease Management in Annuals (University of Georgia Extension) describes how to prevent, diagnose, and control insect and disease problems that affect annuals. Much of this advice can be applied toward perennials, too.
Detecting and Diagnosing Problems
Find out what disease this black-eyed Susan has by reviewing the disease prevention slides, located under the "Flower Problem Prevention." (Photo credit: Mary Meyer)
When selecting flowering plants from a catalog, nursery, or garden center, one rarely visualizes a tattered, stunted, or disease-infested plant as the end goal. When disease, insects, environmental conditions, or animal damage interfere with plant health and beauty, it is natural for its caretaker to look for ways to prevent or remedy the problem.
Prevention and remedy begin with an investigation or gathering of information to accurately identify the cause of the problem.
See the following resources from University of Maryland's Plant Diagnostics Web site. The first one will walk you through the process of identifying plant problems, and the second, the flower photographic keys, provides pictures and examples of common flower problems.
Resources by Region
- Illinois. Flower Insect Pests (University of Illinois Extension). A fact sheet discussing common flower insect pests.
- Indiana. Flower Garden Pests (Entomology Department, Purdue University). A fact sheet discussing several common insect pests of flowers.
- Minnesota. Flower Insects/Disease (University of Minnesota). A listing of flower insect- and disease-related articles.
Local Extension Service
- Check your state’s Extension service Web site and search for information on flower problems, such as insects, diseases, and abiotic/cultural problems. Your state’s Extension office will have the most relevant information for your area.