Re: [AZ] Spots and Bill Steele
- Thank you Bill Miller for letting the group know about the passing of Bill Steele. I was fortunate to meet Bill and his wife Mich at last years convention in Virginia.I was a customer of Bill's for years until he closed the doors of his operation. He had a tremendous collection of plants which to this day will be greatly missed.John Migas
--- On Fri, 3/5/10, William C. Miller III <bill@...> wrote:
From: William C. Miller III <bill@...>
Subject: [AZ] Spots and Bill Steele
To: "ASA Mail List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Friday, March 5, 2010, 9:19 AMThe following exchange appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I thought I'd bring this published Q&A to the attention of the maillist. For more information about the spots, see THE AZALEAN, Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2000, pp 8-9,16.--
William C. Miller III
www.theazaleaworks. com************ ****Q: For the last two summers my mom's azalea bushes had white spots on the top of the leaves. The leaves are green in the spring, the plant flowers fully, and then in the summer, white spots appear on the leaves. Is this a fungus? How do I get rid of it? It doesn't appear to hurt the plant.- Karen Smith
A: Correct, it apparently does not affect the plant.My colleagues in the Rhododendron and Azalea Societies have been trying to nail this phenomenon for a while, and it appears that an answer is at hand.Greg Hoover, an ornamental entomologist at Penn State's Department of Entomology, says the spots are from two species of mealy bugs, which inject a plant toxin from the underside of the leaf. Not all azaleas are attacked, and although heavily infested foliage can turn necrotic, it is usually relatively benign if unsightly.Hoover recommends a late March or early April soil drench of Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Insect Control. The active ingredient is imidacloprid, so another commercial product containing it and formulated for use as a drench presumably would also work. When applying the drench (read the instructions! ) be sure to remove any mulch so that the drench goes directly onto soil. Imidacloprid is taken up by organic matter, so if it lands on mulch, much will be absorbed by the mulch, where it will accomplish nothing.A local azalea specialist, William Steele of West Chester, who died just last month, was instrumental in bringing this malady to Hoover's attention, supplying him with plant material and pressing for an answer - a testament that regular gardeners can have a beneficial impact for others.
Send questions to Michael Martin Mills, The Inquirer, Box 41705, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101 or gardenqanda@ earthlink. net. Please include locale. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.
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