Rhodo walk: looking for trouble in the garden.


Lacebug damage.

Last week our Master Gardener class went for a walk in the garden to look at disease and pests, focusing heavily on Rhodo’s. We saw some pretty ugly things. Evidence of all sorts of infections, scattered in pockets along the Rhodo walk. It was the perfect time of year to study these problems in the garden.  Before the damage  gets pruned out for the growing season. This year, winter damage is every where you look.

Possible Phytophthora.

The problem is, I’m always lightly lagging behind the group. I get distracted. A flush of colour here. Or chance bloom bursting it’s way into spring there. What is a girls to do?

You know me, I’m all about the eye candy!

Witch Hazel in bloom.

A Hellebore hiding from the rain drops.

Pine cones on a Japanese Larch.

Back to the plants at hand.

We spent the afternoon observing, poking, and assuming. We talked about how the infestations start. Their life cycles, and what can be done to mitigate the damage.


I learned a lot. I still have to hit the books and do a little more research on a few of these. I’m happily surprised at how little these issues gross me out. I assumed this would be my least favorite part of the course, but it really has been quite fascinating! I’m not for a career in identifying plant diseases, but hopefully, I’ll have a good enough handle on them to take on the questions that I’ll certainly be hit with once I start manning the clinics this summer.

Brown bud.


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8 comments on “Rhodo walk: looking for trouble in the garden.

  1. meemsnyc on said:

    I would love to learn more about plant diseases! I should look into the Master Gardener classes here! It’s so fascinating.

  2. Marguerite on said:

    Looks like a fantastic class. I’m sure as a master gardener you will get many questions about sick plants so this is great information to have. Sounds like you’re enjoying yourself.

  3. Kristin on said:

    Only problem with becoming a master gardener is you see all the problems in your garden. Somehow I wonder if ignorance is bliss. Glad you are enjoying the course. It was so many years ago for me. Can’t wait to see who has signed up as master gardener in our childrens school garden.

    • Laura on said:

      Yes! I do see problems everywhere. It makes me feel good though, as I’m finally learning what to do about some of these problems. I do like a fixer-uper!

  4. Dirty Girl Gardening on said:

    I just wrote a little thing about rhodies and my trials with them… finicky plants.

    • Laura on said:

      They grow really well here in BC. They have a lots of pests attracted to them though. Ugghh, the things we do for a beautiful bloom!

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