Problem-Solving during growing season forum: Virus or nutrient issue?

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Jan 9, 2023 6:21 AM CST
I'm trying to figure out if this plant from last growing season has a virus or not. Thoughts?Thumb of 2023-01-09/Justagirl1980/ca5196
Thumb of 2023-01-09/Justagirl1980/76292e
Jan 9, 2023 11:34 AM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Diagnosing virus from pictures is very difficult even for the experts. Our club virus specialist has taken many hundreds of pictures of foliage and she has access to virus testing and has tried to correlate the infected plants by picture with the results of the test. She has gotten pretty good at "reading the tea leaves" but there are lots of errors. Conservative growers who have plants with similar symptoms either cull the plant(easy to replace varieties) or if it is really hard to replace, grow it in a secluded place in the garden or in a pot. with the hopes the symptoms will go away. They used to say that once a plant gets virus, it is a permanent affliction.and scoff at growing it again. However, in the latest ADS Bulletin that came in the mail a day or two ago, they have listed the viruses that can go away. One is said to never make through storage and is always gone. Virus advice is a moving target and what I say and especially what the experts say, changes as they do more research.

I find it interesting that one of the most common dahlia viruses, DMV, "disappeared". In the recent article, it was revealed that the virus has mutated and the test they have used to identify it has been unable to detect it for several years. They are working on a new test . One issue is whether the new mutated virus is harmful to dahlias. Testing for things that are benign may be a waste of time.

We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Jan 9, 2023 12:26 PM CST
Name: Steve
San Diego
Commercial cut flower grower
I can't think of anything general to add to Ted's excellent answer.

If it were mine, and I cared at all about keeping it, I would plant it again and then cull it if/when the new growth looked suspicious (e.g, leaf vein chlorosis, distorted leaves, shortened space between nodes).

[Last edited Jan 9, 2023 12:29 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1412836 (3)
Jan 9, 2023 12:44 PM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
As a general rule, one does not have to "know" what is causing the symptoms. If other plants are healthy and this plant is sick the odds against keeping it are not good. It may be a genetic mutation. When a sickness affects several plants of the same variety, the "s**t" hits the fan and I personally worry that the variety is not resistant to virus. I believe that genetic virus resistance is important but almost no one talks about it. I like to think that many of our breeding lines have some virus resistance. Anecdotally, several of our varieties have never gotten sick with virus symptoms in our garden. .
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Jan 10, 2023 7:05 AM CST
Thank you for your great advice guys, I have space to isolate this one so I'll try that first. Ted, you are correct, breeding for disease resistance should be a priority much like it is for tomato breeders, etc.
Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it

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