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  • Author or Editor: Terri Simmons x
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Magnolia trees (Magnolia sp.) are a popular choice for consumers when choosing flowering woody plants for landscapes. Magnolia species grow in a wide variety of both temperate and tropical locations. Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of the more popular magnolias due to its pleasing aesthetics: large showy flowers in a range of colors and evergreen foliage. However, magnolias can be affected by algal leaf spot. Algal leaf spot is caused by Cephaleuros virescens, which is a widespread plant parasitic green alga. There has been little research on how to treat algal leaf spot on magnolia plants. This study focuses on identifying effective biological- and chemical-based fungicides for the management of algal leaf spot disease of magnolia plants. Two experiments were conducted in a randomized complete block design with six replications per treatment and a total of 12 treatments, including a nontreated control. The first experiment (Expt. 1) was conducted in a shade house (56% shade) at McMinnville, TN, using southern magnolia plants. The second experiment (Expt. 2) was conducted at a commercial nursery in McMinnvillle, TN, in a field plot planted with ‘Jane’ magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ × Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’). The algal leaf spot disease severity, disease progression, plant marketability and growth parameters were evaluated. In both experiments, all treatments reduced algal leaf spot disease severity and disease progress in comparison with the nontreated control. In Expt. 1, copper octanoate, copper oxychloride, chlorothalonil water-dispersible granules, chlorothalonil suspension concentrate, didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr, hydrogen peroxide + peroxyacetic acid, and mono- and di-potassium salts of phosphorus acid + hydrogen peroxide reduced the disease severity and disease progress the most and were not statistically different from one another. In Expt. 2, azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr, didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, and copper oxychloride significantly reduced disease severity and disease progress (area under disease progress curve). Treatments had no deleterious effect on plant growth parameters such as height and width, and no phytotoxicity of applied treatments or defoliation was observed. Treated magnolia plants had better plant marketability compared with the nontreated control plants. The findings of this study will help growers to achieve better management of algal leaf spot disease on magnolia trees.

Open Access

The efficacy of the fungicide pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole (Postiva) was evaluated at varying application rates and intervals to control black spot disease (Diplocarpon rosae) in rose (Rosa spp. ‘Coral Drift’). Container-grown roses were arranged in a completely randomized design with five single-plant replications. Experiments were conducted under greenhouse and shade-house conditions (56% shade) in 2021/2022 and 2023. Black spot disease in roses was developed naturally. Pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole at 1.1 , 1.6, and 2.2 mL⋅L–1, and standard fungicide azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr (Mural) at 0.5⋅g L–1 were sprayed on foliage to runoff on a 2- or 4-week interval. Plants that were not treated with fungicide served as the controls. Plants were evaluated weekly for disease severity (0%–100% foliage affected) and defoliation (0%–100% defoliation). The season-long area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) and area under the defoliation progress curve (AUDFC) were calculated for the evaluation period. Pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole reduced significantly black spot disease severity, AUDPC, defoliation, and AUDFC both in greenhouse and shade-house conditions compared with control plants, and was as effective as azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr. All the application rates and intervals of pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole were equally effective in reducing black spot severity and AUDPC. Our findings suggest that pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole at the lowest rate with the longest application interval is the most cost-effective, and has similar efficacy as treatments with higher rates and more frequent intervals.

Open Access

The efficacy of the fungicide pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole (Postiva) was evaluated at varying application rates and intervals for the control of powdery mildew (Golovinomyces orontii, formerly Erysiphe polygoni) in bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’). Container-grown hydrangeas were arranged in a completely randomized design with six single-plant replications. Experiments were done in 2022 and 2023 under both greenhouse and shade house conditions (56% shade). Powdery mildew in hydrangea was developed naturally. Pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole at 1.1, 1.6, and 2.2 ml·L−1 and a standard fungicide azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr (Mural) at 0.5 g·L−1 were sprayed to runoff on 2-, 4-, and 6-week intervals. Plants that were not treated with fungicide served as the control. Plants were evaluated weekly for disease severity (0% to 100% foliage affected) and defoliation (0% to 100% defoliation). The season-long area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) and defoliation progress curve (AUDFC) were calculated for the evaluation period. The initial and final plant height and width were recorded, and height and width increase were determined. Pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole and azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr significantly reduced final disease severity, AUDPC, and defoliation both in the greenhouse and shade house compared with control plants. In both greenhouse trials and the 2022 shade house trial, AUDFC was reduced in all treatments compared with the control plants. However, AUDFC was not reduced by all treatments in the 2023 shade house trial. Pooled over application intervals, the low rate of pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole was as effective as the medium and high rates of pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole and azoxystrobin + benzovindiflupyr in reducing final powdery mildew severity and AUDPC both in the greenhouse and shade house in both 2022 and 2023. No significant differences between application intervals were noted in final disease severity and progress. Control of powdery mildew with fungicides failed to increase plant dimensions (i.e., plant height and width) compared with the no fungicide control. Because all application rates and intervals of pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole provided comparable powdery mildew disease control, it is suggested that using a low rate of pydiflumetofen + difenoconazole with the longest application interval (6 weeks) is the most cost-effective approach for managing powdery mildew in bigleaf hydrangeas.

Open Access