Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beseiged by Blight

All is not rosy in the SJC garden, but then is it ever in any garden? Many of the Pittosporum tenuifolium are besieged with what appears to be bacterial blight. Not a deadly disease, but definitely not a pretty one. I guess I should just be thankful this is the first time I have ever had a problem with it, probably because I am not a over zealous pruner, but last winter my garden helper was, and everything growing got cut into tidy little squares and circles, much to my distress. Pruning at the wrong time of year can lead to blight like this and although the new growth will definitely cover it all up in a short period of time it has been looking ugly for months. Pruning should be done in the spring once the damp season is over to avoid blight. I do not fertilize the pittosporums so they should not need much pruning, but as it is with many plants in Southern California, the long growing season means they often get much bigger than stated on the tags and do need some cutting back. For instance this particular hybrid is 'Golf Ball' and although Monrovia claims it will get to be 24" by 24", mine need to be trimmed to keep them at 36" by 36". Thank goodness summer will be the cure all for at least some of the garden's woes.

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