What Is Bacterial Blight?

Bacterial blight (BL) is a fungal disease caused by certain types of bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). These bacteria produce toxins which kill plants when they infect them. They are spread through wind or waterborne droplets from infected plants to healthy ones. Infected plant parts may appear normal at first but eventually the affected part will die due to lack of nutrients and other problems.

Symptoms of BL include wilting of leaf tips, yellowing and death of foliage. Leaves may curl up at the bottom or even drop off completely. Plants may wilt under their own weight or even fall over if not protected from strong winds.

How Can I Prevent BL From Killing My Lilacs?

The best way to prevent BL is to avoid getting infected with these bacteria in the first place! If you do get infected, treat yourself immediately with a fungicide. You can buy these products online or at your local garden center. Another way to protect against BL is to grow your own food. Grow your own vegetables, herbs and flowers. Use compost tea instead of watering your plants every day and make sure you keep soil moisture levels high enough so that there isn’t too much evaporation during dry spells.

What If I Get Bacterial Blight Anyway? What Is Bacterial Blight Treatment?

If you already have BL, you need to treat it. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get rid of it. Start by reading package instructions on the chemical fungicide you bought. Most likely, you’ll need to treat the plant as soon as possible and repeat as directed every 7-10 days. Other treatments include raising soil moisture content and adding fertilizers. These help to strengthen the plant so that it can fight off the disease.

I Have Bacterial Blight!

Now What?

If you have BL, it is important to begin treating it as soon as possible. Also, it is important to keep the following in mind:

-Keep an eye on nearby susceptible plants for signs of infection or wilting. If they are infected, treat immediately.

-Do not save seeds from infected plants.

-Destroy any fallen or dropped infected leaves or flowers.

-Clean shoes and tools before moving between gardens to avoid spreading the disease.

Thanks for reading! We hope this helps you prevent and treat BL in future plantings of your garden!

Sources & references used in this article:

Ash yellows and lilac witches’-broom: phytoplasmal diseases of concern in forestry and horticulture by WA Sinclair, HM Griffiths, RE Davis – 1996 – apsnet.org

Diseases and pests of ornamental plants by PP Pirone – 1978 – books.google.com

A trunk disease of the lilac by H Von Schrenk – Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1914 – JSTOR

The organic gardener’s handbook of natural insect and disease control: A complete problem-solving guide to keeping your garden and yard healthy without … by BW Ellis, FM Bradley, H Atthowe – 1996 – books.google.com

Force of infection and true infection rate of dengue in Singapore: implications for dengue control and management by LK Tan, SL Low, H Sun, Y Shi, L Liu… – American journal of …, 2019 – academic.oup.com

Pests and diseases of the date palm by JB Carpenter, JM McMillen, EM Wengert, HS Elmer – 1978 – books.google.com

The effect of urea on flower bud formation in common lilac. by NJ Pikuleva – … effect of urea on flower bud formation in common lilac …, 1970 – cabdirect.org

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