Managing Difficult Plant Diseases: Numerous host plants

Pictured is a healthy Pelargonium bloom (i.e. florist’s geranium), which will soon senesce. Photo courtesy James Chatfield


By James Chatfield, Joseph Boggs, and Erik Draper

Green industry professionals deal with hundreds of different host plants, different species of maples (Acer) and oaks (Quercus), and different genera from Acer to Zelkova, from Quercus to Xanthophyllum.

Each of these plants has their own set of diseases and other problems. Industry professionals need to remember the multiplicity of host plants creates an extra layer of information for them to keep track of: apple scab does not occur on roses, Dutch elm disease does not occur on oak, black knot does not occur on pears, and sycamore anthracnose does not occur on oak. Each host not only has its own set of horticultural best practices, but also its own set of disease weaknesses.

Infectious plant disease management is challenging, requiring an approach of “the prevention is better than a cure, and in fact is typically necessary.” It also needs careful attention paid to the unique profile of each disease. Nevertheless, it is a key ingredient in good groundskeeping and healthy plant management.

Read the full article: Managing Difficult Plant Diseases

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