Good morning, I am reaching out with a question to a potential plant disease in my garden and around my neighbourhood. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my milkweek all of a sudden is developing curly, deformed leaves (these plants remain fairly small in comparison to same unaffected ones in the same area) and now notice the same on other plants in the garden (oxeye, basil) and weeds. In fact, I have been noticing the same walking down my neighbourhood (junction/Stockyards) – it seems like plants with bigger leaves are affected while others, such as grasses, lavender, etc. remain fine. I am wondering if this might be a virus and would appreciated any feedback or hint :) Thank you so much and kind regards,
It sounds like your milkweed may have Milkweed Yellows Phytoplasma.
This is a Bacterial infection spread by leaf hoppers. As the infection progresses, the deformed leaves on the plant may become yellowed and the plant will more than likely, not bloom. There is only one remedy for this and that is to remove any infected plants, getting as much root material as possible. These should all be disposed of in the garbage and not in a home composter or in the city’s yard waste.
Because this infection is spread by an insect vector, other nearby plants can be come infected too, hence you are seeing this around your neighborhood. Keep a close eye on the rest of your garden plants for signs of spread and be vigilant in removing infected plants promptly.
Hope this is helpful.