Bud blast

Bud blast

Symptoms

Dried up buds fail to open then turn hard and brown. They are covered lots of tiny black bristly growths, which are full of spores. The plant is healthy in all other respects.

Plants most commonly affected

Rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias.

Cause

A fungus spread by rhododendron leaf hopper.

Harm

Flowering will be limited as buds can remain for two years.

Treatment

Remove all infected buds so that at least the fungus spores don't spread this way too. If damage is severe, control leaf hoppers with a systemic insecticide.