Question: What plants can be utilized in an area with a history of disease problems?
Answer: Have you ever had Phytopthora Root Rot or Crown Rot diagnosed in your landscape? Typically, the best way to handle disease problems is by implementing the cultural management practices, especially if your plants have been diagnosed with one of the above-mentioned rots.
First, remove any of the severely affected plant material. Before replanted, be sure to prepare the area by providing good drainage, add organic matter if needed, and build up the bed area. Building the bed up will provide addition drainage. Keep in mind that resistant or tolerable plants that are planted in wet locations with poorly drained soil run the risk of becoming susceptible to root rot.
In order to maintain a healthy landscape, you need to start with healthy plant material. When choosing your plant material be sure to closely inspect the plants. Providing too much water and fertilizer can cause more harm than good. Apply water and fertilizer on an as needed basis. Inspect the soil around the root area of the plants to determine whether they need water. Have soil samples analyzed for nutrient content to determine if any fertilizer and/or lime are needed.
Some shrubs that are known to be tolerant to root rot are your Chinese, Burford, and, Yaupon hollies. A few trees that have shown tolerance are river birch, Baldcypress, Sweetgum, and magnolias.
For more information about resistant plants, please visit http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantpath/activities/societies/ornamental/AG-747_Crown%20Rot.pdf.
Reminder: A growing program this year is the “Sampson County Friends of Horticulture.” This program offers monthly “How To” Horticultural Seminars. Please call (910) 592-7161 for more information. Please call the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center at (910) 592-7161 with your horticultural questions and to register for any upcoming events. Be sure to check out the Ask An Expert Widget at sampson.ces.ncsu.edu for any questions you may have.