You may see the following symptoms:
- Distorted or twisted leaves appear soon after emergence from the soil and may wither or fail to develop
- Brown spots of dead tissue on leaves. In severe cases the spots enlarge and extensive areas become brown and withered, giving the impression of fire scorch
- A fuzzy grey mould may grow over the dead areas in damp conditions
- Spots on flowers and, in wet weather, the petals rot rapidly
- Small black seed-like structures (sclerotia) are produced on the dead tissue and can contaminate the soil, and also the outer bulb scales
Tulips are also sometimes affected by grey bulb rot caused by another fungus, Rhizoctonia solani. This causes similar symptoms to tulip fire. Usually bulbs infected with Rhizoctonia solani fail to emerge, but if they do, the growth may be distorted in a similar way to tulip fire. However, they won’t show the fuzzy grey fungal growth.