Blog2019-09-09T16:40:42+00:00

The official blog of the Oregon State University Plant Clinic

Secretary of War brings back the flower of peace

The association of poinsettias with Christmas is said to have begun over 500 years ago. The plant has been growing in dry tropical forests, along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Guatemala, for even longer than that. In its native form, it grows as a lanky, long-stemmed small tree or large bush. The wild plant has brilliant red “flowers”, but the red bits are narrow, less eye-catching, and scarcely like those on the plants we see in garden centers.

December 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Garlic Gone Bad

Winter is the time to use your summer-grown garlic. Fortunately, we have great garlic-growing weather here in Western Oregon, although occasionally problems do arise. This week we are showing some common problems that can pop up and which are usually only found when you are cracking those heads, seeking the perfect cloves for your favorite potato and garlic soup.

November 26th, 2019|Categories: Garlic|

Calling all naturalists!

Our fun Friday feature is a short introduction to a really cool app called iNaturalist. iNaturalist is essentially an online social network of enthusiastic naturalists, citizen scientists, students, researchers and experts who provide a worldwide crowdsourcing species identification system. Record your own observations, get help identifying species you record, and join projects that can use your observations for research or education efforts. Take your smart phone into your backyard or out on a hike, and try recording your first observation.

November 22nd, 2019|Categories: technology|

Propagation pitfall: Leafy gall disease

Now is the time when nurseries are propagating plants for the upcoming spring season. Odd looking plants with too many shoots or buds could be infected with the pathogenic bacterium Rhodococcus fascians. Propagators should be alert for symptoms, as shown in the gallery below, and have suspicious plants tested for the presence of the bacteria.

November 12th, 2019|Categories: Leafy gall, Plant disease|

Botrytis on hemp… it’s in the news!

The weather this fall has been ideal for development of molds (like Botrytis) in the tight colas of the hemp plant. The alternating cool and moist weather followed by a few clear days of moderate temperatures have been perfect for the moisture-loving fungus. Which translates to bad news for the growers, who depend on the flowers for their CBD-related products.

October 8th, 2019|Categories: Botrytis, Hemp|

Missing Something: Vole damage to plants

Plants that appear to be doing well in the spring, but then crash in the heat of summer could be missing something – literally. We have received a number of different woody plants showing poor vigor, reduced growth, sun scald on the leaves or stems, small leaves, and branch dieback, all leading to a slow decline of the entire plant and eventual death.

September 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|