Do not overfertilize plants. Initial symptoms appear on the lower leaves with the disease progressing upward. However, this year the leaves are light in color and are curling up. Powdery mildew is most commonly found on plants growing in shady areas and in crowded plantings with poor air circulation. Many kinds of leaf spots are caused by fungi that thrive on moist leaf surfaces and cause transparent to brown or black spots that sometimes disfigure phlox leaves. Later blight may affect the stem along joints. They also suck plant sap from tender leaves and buds, producing light spots and distorted growth. Start control measures as soon as you notice the first stippling of the leaves. Read and follow the instructions on the product label. CAUSE: Thrips are minute (less than 1/25 of an inch) insects that can be yellow, brown or black. Blooming Stops Because Plant Has Set Seed Plants may develop new roots following infection, but they can only support the plant when sufficient moisture is available. It is the most common disease problem in phlox. Aster yellows is caused by a mycoplasma-like organism, similar to bacteria. Spider mites can also be problematic on phlox, especially during summers that are dry and hot. Powdery, fluffy white spots and blothces on leaves, stems, and flower parts. The eggs, laid on leaf stalks, hatch in May. The infestation is normally noted when the stem near the soil begins to turn dark brown or black. Badly infected lower leaves become discolored and distorted, then (drop)off. Question by elbriggs June 23, 1998. Tiny black round spheres may be visible within white spots late in the season. Dispose of infected growth in sealed bags or by burning. The eggs, laid on leaf stalks, hatch in May. They often cluster gather in large groups of wingless and winged forms on leaves and tender buds. Black rot is favored when the weather is moist and temperatures are cool, between 55 and 61 F. (12-16 C.). Often spots come together to form larger patches of dead tissue. •Some key hosts include Dicentra, Geranium (Hardy), Heuchera, Phlox subulata… •Infected plants in a plug tray will often be uneven in height. It is spread by leafhoppers and aphids. Here are a few helpful tips: Remove diseased plants or plant parts immediately to limit spread of the disease. Their feeding retards plant growth. R EADER DAN asked a great question that reveals a tip you can use right now to prevent powdery mildew this summer on your garden phlox: “The biggest problem I encountered was with the Phlox I planted,” Dan wrote. Read on to learn what to do about creeping phlox with black rot. They also suck plant sap from tender leaves and buds, producing light spots and distorted growth. Spray healthy foliage with garden sulfur fungicide according to label directions to prevent the spread of the fungus. Collect and discard all aboveground debris in the fall so fungal spores do not overwinter. I have heard that creeping phlox has a certain life span and, if so, is it time to dig mine? If you’re growing creeping phlox in a greenhouse, be sure to keep the growing area, and the entire greenhouse, as clean as possible. When it comes to diseases that may befall your plants, powdery mildew tops the list as one of the most common culprits. In the future consider replacing the plant with a mildew resistant variety. This disease is most likely to occur in the late winter thaw when dead leaves decompose on the ground and harbor bacteria and fungi which spread to healthy tissue. Hot Weather Hot air, especially sudden rises in temperature, can leach all the moisture out of your plants and cause blackened leaves. Inspect the lowest leaves on your plant. Fertilize regularly, but don’t over-feed the plants. I would recommend for this year just to peal the ugly leaves off the plant. 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