At the start of the Summer I bought 300 Busy Lizzies (Not the New Guinea variety) from Tesco's. At time of purchase I did not know that these plants where highly prone to to the airborne BL virus. Once I found out I received a full refund. However, the plants could not be returned as they had already been planted out in borders, pots & hanging baskets.
Pretty soon the plants began to either die off or struggle to survive. The ones that didn't die where in a very sorry state, flowers formed but quickly died off, plants remained small & showed no sign of the prolific spreading out. It was obvious that all the plants showed the classic signs of the virus infection.
Now, suddenly three months later, the surviving plants - I would guess about 70% - are a revelation They are growing prolifically, bushing out, healthy with hundreds of flowers with no sign of any disease.
I was under the impression that once this virus infected Busy Lizzies there was no hope for them. Yet these plants seemed to have survived the virus & somehow become healthy again. Does this mean that BLs are becoming resistant to this infection? If so is there hope for BLs next year?
Before people write in & say that perhaps the plants were not infected in the first place I can assure you that ALL plants where infected. The vast majority planted in borders in close proximity of one another so virus would be easily transferred from plant to plant.
Any expert horticulturalist (not educated guesses) out there who could explain this?????
The surviving plants had some resistance and the hot weather has killed off the virus, which needs damp to thrive.
No, this doesn't make the busy lizzie problem any smaller next year - it needs years of breeding to build up natural immunity.