HISTORY As the National Earth-Kind Rose Research Trials at Farmers Branch drew to a close it was thought that the same concepts could be applied to perennials. In 2010 the Perennial Research Gardens at Myers Park were started. This is the first trial of herbaceous perennials in the world. As the gardens proved successful, additional trials were started in 2011 with crape myrtles and roses. In 2014 annual varieties were added. In 2011 Dr Greg Church collected data on perennial plant performance and Kim Schofield collected data on insect populations. In 2012 CCMGA proposed to Dr. Church that our Master Gardeners could be a resource to continue the data collection effort in all three areas. This proposal was accepted by Dr. Church and Dr. Steve George and training was provided to a core group of Master Gardener volunteers.
Earth-Kind Research Gardens • The research gardens at Myers Park have been developed using Earth-Kind principles of efficient irrigation, limiting or eliminating need for pesticides and fertilizers, use of mulch and appropriate plant selection. • Each plant variety is replicated four times and assigned randomly in different quadrants to ensure that no variety has an advantage. • Data is collected on each plant during the growing season. Results will be published at the end of each Phase’s trial period.
PERENNIALS • Collect data - Phase 1 & Phase 3 observation; Phase 2 detailed through 2014 • Flower number and health • Foliage health • Drought tolerance • Resistance to insects and disease • Ability to thrive in native soil amended with compost • Attractive growth habit
ANNUALS • Collect data through 2016; will be replanted each year • Flower number and health • Foliage health • Drought tolerance • Resistance to insects and disease • Ability to thrive in native soil amended with compost • Attractive growth habit
CRAPE MYRTLES • Collect data – observation data collection through 2015 • Flower coverage and foliage health • Drought tolerance • Resistance to insects and disease • Ability to thrive in native soil – no soil amendments or fertilizer • Attractive growth habit • Suckering
DATA COLLECTION • Flower quantity and quality • Disease and insect tolerance & resistance • Soil tolerance reflected by nutrient deficiencies • Foliage health and coverage • Growth habit – form and shape of the plant • Vigor • Fragrance
PERENNIAL & ANNUAL FLOWERS • Individual flowers • Spike, raceme • Corymb, Umbel
Spike, Raceme Count each flower on the stalk
Corymb, Umbel Count each individual flower – above shows over 50 flowers
ESTIMATING FLOWER COVERAGE • Depending on the number of flowers, divide the plant into a reasonable section (i.e. 25%) • Insure that the section chosen is representative of the number of flowers on the entire plant • Count all of the open flowers in the selected section • Multiply the count by the # of sections (25% = times 4, 50% = times 2) • Crape Myrtles – Estimate total flower coverage
DETERMINING FLOWER QUALITY • Rate the quality of a representative sample of the flowers using a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no flowers to 10 for perfect flowers (very rare to rate flowers as a 10) • Factors to use in the rating: • Flower color - fading • Flower shape – deformed, missing petals • Insect and/or disease damage
PRIMARY DISEASES • Powdery Mildew • Sooty Mold
Powdery Mildew A white, powdery fungal growth on the leaves and shoots. Upper, lower or both leaf surfaces can be affected. There may be discoloration (yellow, reddish or purple) of the affected parts of the leaf, and heavily infected young leaves can be curled and distorted. Mildew growth may also be found on the stems, flower stalks, and petals .
Sooty Mold www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/parishes/East+Baton+Rouge Photo By: B. Lookabaugh Leaf and stem surfaces are covered with a black sooty substance, causing them to appear black and dirty. Mold will easily rub off of leaf surface. Sooty mold indicates that there is an insect problem on the plant. These common molds are caused by fungi that grow on the sugary substance, called honeydew, produced by various insects that suck sap from the plant. Aphids, scales, mealy bugs and whiteflies most commonly cause this problem.
PRIMARY INSECT DAMAGE • Grasshopper • Cutter Bee • Aphids • Caterpillar • Spider mites • Scale
Grasshopper Grasshoppers have chewing mouth parts that tear away plant tissue. Grasshoppers may incidentally damage plant when they rest on twigs and gnaw on bark, sometimes causing small branches to die back
Cutter Bee Cutter bees collect fragments of leaves to construct individual nest cells. The bees cut leaves in a distinctive manner, making a smooth semicircular cut about 3/4 inch in diameter from the edge of leaves.
Aphids Aphids in high numbers cause a buildup of honeydew and sooty mold and make plants unsightly and unhealthy
Caterpillar Depending on caterpillar species, the damage can take different forms. Some caterpillars consume entire leaves, whereas others may just nibble holes in them. Some (called skeletonizers) feed on the leaf surface, scraping away the top layer and causing damage that way. Others (like leaf-roller caterpillars) attach leaves together with silk and hide within.
Spider mites Leaves become dry and have a bronze sheen. Tiny specks may be visible on the underside of the leaf. Eventually, thin webbing appears on the foliage. To confirm, shake a leaf over white paper. The mites will be visible moving over the paper.
Scale The insects appear as white, waxy encrustations likely to occur anywhere on the plant, but often near pruning wounds or in branch crotches. Up close, the scale insect is white to gray in color. Larger female scales “bleed” a pink liquid when crushed. Careful examination may reveal dozens of pink eggs under some of the larger white scale covers.
NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES • Iron Chlorosis • Nitrogen • Phosphorus • Magnesium & Manganese
Iron Chlorosis Bill Lilly, DVM - CCMGATX Iron chlorosis is a yellowing of plant leaves caused by iron deficiency. The primary symptom of iron deficiency is interveinal chlorosis, the development of a yellow leaf with a network of dark green veins. Chlorosis usually appears on young leaves.
Nitrogen Nitrogen-deficient plants are yellow and stunted, with the symptoms expressed on the older leaves first. In severe cases, leaves eventually turn brown and die. Fruit may be misshaped and few in number
Magnesium & Manganese Symptoms are most severe on the oldest leaves and appear as broad interveinal and/or marginal chlorosis, but not necrosis. Severely deficient plants will drop their lower leaves. Growth rate will be greatly reduced in such plants and a reduction in leaf size will also be observed. Rabbit tracks may be observed on crape myrtles.
Phosphorus Phosphorus deficiency appears as a uniform wine-red coloration on the oldest leaves . Older leaves will be light yellow-green in color. Phosphorus-deficient plants are typically severely stunted compared to normal plants.
OTHER - DROUGHT TOLERANCE • Wilting, curled leaves, brown edges; sun damage may cause black appearance
DISEASE, INSECT, NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY, DROUGHT • Apply a percentage for each category – Disease, Insect and Nutrient Deficiency, Other • If there is a percentage in these categories try to identify the cause and note along with the percent rating • The rating scale is expressed as a percentage – no damage is 0% and 100% represents damage to the entire plant • Example: If grasshopper damage is evident on 30% of the plant, the notation would be GH-30% under “Insect Damage” If a plant is exhibiting drought symptoms on 20% on the plant, the notation would be DR-20% under “Other”
MEASUREMENTS • Measure height and width of annual grouping in June and September • Measure height and width of crape myrtles in October • Measure Phase 2 perennials each month (April thru October) • Measure Phase 1 and Phase 3 perennials in May, July and September • Measure the tallest and widest points of each plant. • For those that have spiky blooms measure to the top of the spike
INITIAL FLOWER RATING • 0% flowers – 6 rating • 5% flowers – 6.5 rating • 15% flowers – 6.75 rating • 25% flowers – 7 rating • 35% flowers – 7.5 rating • 50% flowers – 8 rating • 65% flowers – 8.5 rating • 75% flowers – 9 rating • 85% flowers – 9.5 rating • 100% - 10 rating. Absolutely covered with flowers
FINAL LANDSCAPE RATING • 0 – Plant is dead • 1 – 90% leaf drop • 2 – 75% leaf drop • 3 – 50% leaf drop • 4 – 25% leaf drop • 5 – 10 % leaf drop • 6 – Healthy foliage, no blossoms, nice growth habit • 7 - Healthy foliage, only a few blossoms, nice growth habit • 8 - Healthy foliage, a significant number of blossoms, nice growth habit • 9 - Healthy foliage, an abundance of blossoms, really nice growth habit • 10 - Perfect foliage, absolutely covered with blossoms, outstanding growth habit (Note: Almost never is a plant good enough to receive this rating)
RATING SCALES • Columns that use the rating scale of 10 is ideal and 0 is the worst: • Flower Color/Health • Flower Initial Rating • Foliage Color/Health • Overall Landscape Rating • Columns that use the rating scale of 0% is ideal and 100% is the worst: • Disease Incidence/Severity • Nutrient Def/Severity • Insect Damage • Other
LANDSCAPE RATING – CRAPE MYRTLES • Bloom coverage • Growth habit • Insect and disease resistance • Drought tolerance • Soil tolerance
LANDSCAPE RATING – Crape Myrtles • Specific Deductions • If a tree shows signs of significant scale and sooty mold (25%), then deduct the percentage • If a tree shows significant chlorosis or nitrogen deficiency, then deduct the percentage • If a tree has dead branches (not twigs), then deduct 1 full point • If a number of leaves (25% or more) exhibit symptoms of disease or there is significant insect damage, then deduct the percentage
LANDSCAPE RATING – PERENNIALS/ANNUALS • Flower coverage • Growth habit • Insect and disease resistance • Drought tolerance • Soil tolerance • Fragrance
LANDSCAPE RATING – PERENNIALS/ANNUALS • Specific Additions • If a plant has a fragrance, add up to 1 point
LANDSCAPE RATING – PERENNIALS/ANNUALS • Specific Deductions • If a number of leaves exhibit symptoms of disease or there is significant insect damage, then deduct the percentage • If a plant exhibits an awkward, unattractive growth habit, then deduct up to ½ point • If a plant exhibits an open center, then deduct up to 1/2 point • If a plant shows significant chlorosis of the foliage, then deduct the percentage
EXAMPLES • The crape myrtle has 25% flower coverage, 25% grasshopper damage, no dead limbs, and 50% scale/sooty mold with some leaf drop • With 25% flower coverage the initial landscape rating is 7. Add the insect of 25% and scale of 50% for a total of 75%. Under Other note a rating of 1 for 10% leaf drop. • The overall landscape rating is 7 minus 0.75 (insect plus scale) minus 1 (leaf drop) for a final rating of 5.25
EXAMPLES • Flower Number & % - 1280/75% • Flower Color & Health – 8 • Initial Rating - 9 • Disease – 0; Nutrients – 0; Insect – GH-10%; Other – 0 • Ttl % - 10% • Foliage Color & Health – 9.0 • Shape – 0 • Fragrance – 1 • Leaf Drop - 0 Overall Landscape Rating: • Start with the initial rating for flowers of 9 (75% flower coverage). • Deduct the total damage recorded under Foliage – 10% • Add in 1 point for Fragrance • Final Overall Landscape rating would be 9.9
EXAMPLES • Flower Number & % - 940/50% • Flower Color & Health – 7.5 • Initial Rating - 8 • Disease – 0; Nutrients – CL-20%; Insect – GH-10%, SCB-10%; Other-0 • Ttl % - 40% • Foliage Color & Health – 8.0 • Shape – minus 1/2 • Fragrance – 1 • Leaf Drop - 0 Overall Landscape Rating: • Start with the initial rating for flowers of 8 (50% flower coverage). • Deduct the total damage recorded under Foliage – 40% • Deduct ½ point for shape • Add in 1 point for Fragrance • Final Overall Landscape rating would be 8.1
The perennial is almost dead due to drought and insect damage. It has less than 1% flower coverage. • Assuming the plant is 90% dead, assign a horticultural rating of 1. • The plant has dropped 50% of it leaves, but has some flowers. • Begin with a rating of 6.5 for 5% flower coverage. Subtract 3 for 50% leaf drop for an overall landscape rating of 3.5. • A plant has one or 2 branches with excessive growth. Even though this is an indication of unattractive growth habit the usual deduction of 1 full point may be reduce to a deduction of 0.10 to 0.25.
SOURCES • http://urbanext.illinois.edu • http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep371 • http://www.olyrose.org • http://extension.usu.edu • http://www.ext.colostate.edu • http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu • http://citybugs.tamu.edu • http://ipm.iastate.edu • http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu • Plant Pathology – Dr. Greg Church • Bill Lily, DVM – some photos from Myers Park Research Gardens