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“Aster Yellows”—–very unusual, but not necessarily good

8 Sep

Alien Plant Take Over Your Flowers? No—It’s “Aster Yellow”

See the original post here.

Posies in a panic: tufted leaves that erupt amid a flower head tells you a deadly killer is at work. Read on ....


Know your plants

8 Jul

Had I not known it as “Heliopsis Sunstruck“, I’d say ‘that’s so chlorotic. you may need some heavy feeding of N or Fe’.

Heliopsis Sunstruck: New for 2014, blooms earlier than other Heliopsis and variegated leaves add appeal.

Seattle plans for a city park with edible plants – free for anyone and everyone

1 Jul

seattle park2

from zmescience

A seven-acre plot of land will be covered with hundreds of different kinds of edible plants: walnut and chestnut trees, blueberry and raspberry shrubs, apples, pears, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, herbs, and many, many more. I have just one question now… why hasn’t this been done before ?!


Now HOAs can take a break……from ordering what I (or you) do with my lawn

18 Jun

From San Antonio Business Journal:

Environmentalists are applauding Gov.Rick Perry’s decision to sign several water bills designed to help conserve water during one of the state’s worst droughts.

• SB 198 prevents homeowners associations from stopping members from xeriscaping their lawns.


Do Dying Trees Lead to More Human Deaths? The Debate Continues

17 Jun

From NPR.

See my post in January 2013“The Relationship between Trees and Human Health”

Susceptibility of commercial cultivars to boxwood blight

20 Feb

From NCSU:

Susceptibility to box blight (Cylindrocladium buxicola = Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum) was evaluated for twenty three varieties of boxwood (Buxus spp.) at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, NC during summer 2012. Disease assessments were performed based on a modified Horsfall-Barratt scale including percent leaf area diseased and percent stem streaking. The results shown below are based on the final disease assessment.

Our results indicate a wide range in susceptibility of Buxus spp. to the boxwood blight pathogen; however B. sempervirens types were more susceptible in general (a 2011 publication reported ‘Justin Brouwers’ to actually fall within the B. sempervirens cluster). The varieties listed as tolerant had minimal lesion development caused by C. buxicola. It is important to note that some boxwood varieties are limited in their optimal plant hardiness zones; make sure to look up specific growing requirements for each variety before recommending them in your area.

Boxblight susceptibility


(click on the picture for better view)

Citrus greening, boxwood blight and now Knockout roses are not knocking out?

15 Oct

When I was giving a presentation on Earth-Kind® principals, someone asked what could be wrong with their Knockout roses. In my opinion, two things probably caused the problem: 1) Knockout roses are vigorous plants and have been planted way too close together, ending up with fighting against each other for light, water, fertilization and everything else; and 2) with the mass amount of Knockout roses planted everywhere, it’s not that easy for rose-loving pests to find a palatable source, but have to settle down on something not so preferable at the beginning like Knockout roses. It’s all natural selection.

However, my colleague Dr. Kevin Ong raised a very good point—–as a business, you should always look ahead and plan for disaster/changes. That’s so true! What kind of business does NOT change? A dead or dying one.

There are so many rose cultivars that you could come up with at least 10 to meet every need. This ‘Hoot Owl’ is really not bad.

When Knockout roses first came out to the market knocking out every other roses (or plants), you (hopefully have learned a lesson from the Bradford pears) needed to plan for change. Here’s a suggestion from my students in Nursery Production and Management class for growers: still produce, but reduce the production of Knockout roses, and look for alternatives.

When citrus greening was first discovered in Florida (long time ago), whoever handling citrus plants elsewhere (mainly in TX and CA) should plan for disaster, which would’ve come in their way sooner or later, with things spreading so fast these days.

When news about boxwood blight first came out, you should plan for change, offering and marketing boxwood look-alikes and alternatives.

The list could go on and on. The key is always changing, and staying ahead of the game. Disasters are not scary, but you DO need to act quickly and embrace them.