Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Fertilizer Question, Crinum Lily, American Persimmon and Daylily Rust


A label for Super Phosphate 0-18-0, and it recommends avoiding using this product on container plants. Photo: Hi-Yield Lawn & Garden Products.


Here is a follow up question regarding the fiddle leaf fig from the last RSFF. Sara asks, “Ok. I just transplanted it in a bigger pot in some new Miracle Gro, so soil volume is now doubled. And I found some old grainy stuff says Super Phosphate 0-18-0 in the shed. Does that stuff expire? Is it safe to use? How much would I use and how? Bag is deteriorated to about nothing…”

Because the bag is degraded, AHA looked up a label for SP 0-18-0.

The label for SP 0-18-0 states this caution at the bottom, “This product is not intended for nor recommended for container grown plants.” In Sara’s case, this product is unsuitable for her fiddle leaf fig because it is in a container. The University of Illinois Extension recommends using either a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer. As always, read the label for safe and effective use of a fertilizer.

522_fig_2_crinum_lilyjpgA crinum lily in bloom.
Photo: Fred Carter.

Crinum Lily

Fred asks, “Can you identify this flower? Thanks. “

Fred’s flower is a crinum lily, and Dan Gill, retired AgCenter horticulture specialist, recommends “most summer bulbs prefer good drainage” and “Full to part sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) is important to most of these plants for healthy growth and flowering….”

With respect to plant nutrients, Dan shares this point, “Many summer bulbs are not heavy feeders because they are often native to regions with relatively poor soil. You should generally dig generous amounts of organic matter, such as compost, aged manure, or peat moss, into the area before you plant your bulbs. A light sprinkling of a general-purpose granular fertilizer once or twice during active growth beginning in March and ending in August is sufficient for most summer bulbs.”

522_fig_3_American_persimmonjpgSprouts of an American persimmon. Photo: Susan McReynolds, Master Gardener.

American Persimmon

Susan makes this inquiry, “Do you know what this plant is? It is growing in our blueberry patch. Thanks for your help.”

Susan’s plant is an American persimmon. The multiple sprouts suggest that this seedling was, perhaps, mowed, and the rootstock sent up sprouts. Also, the purple leaves indicate a phosphorus deficiency.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension discusses the fruit, “Unlike the cultivated [Asian] persimmon, the wild persimmon varieties are small and very astringent until completely ripe. They are usually ripe after the first frost and all the leaves have fallen from the tree, though even then some fruit can still be very astringent.”

522_fig_4_daylilies_infected_with_rustjpgDaylilies infected with rust, a fungal disease.
Photo: Gordon Holcomb.

Daylily Rust

Loretta shared a complaint about her daylilies, “My day lilies look terrible! They have never looked this bad. They bloomed, like always, but now look like they are dying. All the fronds have turned brown, they droop, & look sick. Any suggestions?”

An article from the LSU AgCenter website reports these measures, “Infected plants should be cut back to an inch or less and treated repeatedly with labeled fungicides. Foliage from infected plants should be removed and destroyed. Infected plants should be isolated from other daylily beds and varieties…. Most broad-spectrum contact and systemic fungicides may be somewhat effective and may be useful in combination; however, experience has shown that effectiveness is limited.

Home gardeners and growers should make note of varieties showing rust-like symptoms because these varieties may be susceptible.”

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or Also, you can be on the “green thumbs” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

5/25/2020 3:07:59 PM
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