Tulip Fire

Symptoms

Tips of emerging leaves appear brown and scorched, and often shrivel and rot. The foliage soon becomes covered in a grey fungus. Brown spots appear on the leaves and flowers, which may also rot.

Cause

Masses of grey fungal spores, which are spread by wind or rain, appear on infected plants in damp weather. Later the fungus forms hard, black, pin-head sized bodies (sclerotia) on the outer scales of affected bulbs and these can remain dormant in the soil for up to two years awaiting the next tulip host.

Harm

The flowers look unsightly and may not open. The plant is weakened.

Treatment

  • Chemical - Chemical no control available, infested plants and soil should be removed immediately to prevent rapid spread of the disease. Do not replant tulips in infested soil for at least 2 years. At the end of the season lift the bulbs and dust them with sulphur and dry before storing.