Sunflower leaf yellow/brown spots/puckered. Need help
These are mammoth sunflowers. About six weeks old. One and a half feet tall. I was hoping to have beautiful flowers for the summer and harvest the seeds in the end. Now I'm not sure I'll make it there. I don't know if this is disease or pest or both. Can someone please help I am very new to gardening.
Leaf 1. Front and back. Shows a puckering that is on some leaves. Some are more destructive looking.
Leaf 2. Front and back. Shows some yellow area with spots. The backside shows a riddle translucent material. It's not cottony like I expect mold to be.
Leaf 3. Front and back. Yellow dots
Leaf 4. Front and back. Yellow dots blemish top left on the front. More translucent material on the back
Leaf 5. Brown tip on leaf. Have 2 of these.
Leaf 6. Dying leaves on the bottom of the plant. Several plants have this
Hi Missi -
I'm an entomologist graduate student from Penn State!
I'm not familiar with Lyriomiza, but you may also have thrips.
Here is a fact sheet on Western Flower Thrips, for example: http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/pe...
For treatment, you have options. You can purchase biological control/beneficial insects (such as predator mites and pirate beetles), you can use sticky traps to catch adults, and you can use pesticides (such as insects soaps and pyrethrin).
Please keep us updated on what you try and what works.
I agree with the identification of Liriomyza. It's probably L. trifolii based on the location and host plant, though without a specimen in hand I can't be sure. Liriomyza trifolii is highly polyphagous and has been recorded from sunflowers. University of Florida has a good fact sheet on the species, including a section for control. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/v... Some of the damage pictured could be done by L. trifolii, especially the mines mentioned in another comment, though I'm not convinced all of the damage is caused by them. It's probable there are multiple pests/issues.