How do I control fungus in my Strelitzia flower heads?

Hi, I have strelitzia growing freely in garden beds, some in semi shade, some in warm full sun. All produce abundunt flowers, however, the flowers appear to contain a mould or black fungus immediately on opening ( possibly forming during the bud growth stage ). Any ideas on how to eliminate. Many thanks


10 June 2013 09:38 AM

Hi W,

What a shame the flowers on your strelitzia are developing with a mould/fungus. Strelitzia is a fairly hardy plant with not a lot of pests or diseases that bother its growth. Strelitzia can be attacked by scale but this pest is normally noticed on the leaves of the plant. The only other pest I can think of that may attack the flower in its early stages, is aphid. Aphids produce honeydew, a sticky substance which appears on the plant. This sticky substance provides a food source for a fungi called Sooty Mould. Quite often you will find aphids feeding on the buds and petioles of roses but I can't say I have seen them on strelizia flowers. It might be worth while checking out the developing flower to see if any of these pests are present. Aphids can be controlled with PestOil. If you have a photo of your strelitzia, email it to us so we can getter diagnose the problem. Good luck.

Topics: Flowers and Ornamentals Issues: Pests