Rose rosette disease confirmed in Florida

Nurseries in three Florida counties — Gadsden, Alachua and Levy — have been confirmed with rose rosette disease (RRD).

RRD causes a variety of odd-looking symptoms including peculiar red growth, excessive thorniness, elongated shoots, deformed blooms, pliable canes and often leads to the eventual death of the plant.

The disease is likely endemic to the continental U.S. and causes no visible symptoms in some native species of Rosa, such as R. setigera and R. palustris. Rosa multiflora is particularly susceptible to RRD.

In the Florida cases, the disease was found in production roses, as well as on a planted rose in a display garden, according to DPI officials. Inspectors have yet to find the mite vector anywhere in the state. That has led DPI officials to believe the disease spread to Florida on propagation material shipped in from other states. All of the infected plants in Florida belonged to the Knock Out series.

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Photo courtesy of University of Florida IFAS ©


California drought worsens

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Jan. 17, citing a need for conservation efforts and a fingers-crossed message that he “hopes it will rain” soon during what looks like it will be the driest year on record in the history of California.

This is “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Brown said at a news conference on Jan. 17. “We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas.”

This is the third straight year with below normal rainfall in California. That state could be in its worst dry spell in a century, unless significant rain falls within the next two months. The parched weather could also wreak havoc during California’s notorious wildfire season.


Monrovia finalizes purchase of Imperial Nurseries

Monrovia’s acquisition of Connecticut’s Imperial Nurseries has been finalized. The intent to purchase was announced last summer.

Monrovia has growing operations in Visalia, Calif., Dayton, Ore., and Cairo, Ga. The acquisition will boost total plant production for Monrovia by 15 percent.

Greg Schaan was named vice president of production for the East Coast, overseeing the Connecticut and Georgia nurseries. Imperial’s sales representatives will work in tandem with Monrovia’s sales team to ensure a continuity of service to their garden centers and landscape customers

Schaan was the Nursery Management Grower of the Year in 2012.


America in Bloom accepting 2014 Community Awards nominations

The America in Bloom symposium is accepting nominations for the 2014 Community Awards program. The program honors cities, and organizations within cities, that are helping to beautify their communities. Eligible groups include: cities, townships, business districts, college and university campuses, military installations, and identifiable sections of large cities.

The deadline for registration is Feb. 28.

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HRI and AmericanHort form partnership

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and AmericanHort have formed a strategic alliance to support and promote research benefiting all horticulture industries. The collaboration will accelerate research efforts in the areas of industry survival issues, sustainability, marketing and technology.

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