Category Archives: ornamentals


Soft Spot for Succulents

Written by Hannah Ayala – Extension Assistant Like all plants, your succulent could be suffering because of a plant pathogen, an insect pest, or an abiotic factor. When it comes to succulents, there are some issues that are more common than others. One of the most common problems we find in samples that come into the lab is caused by overwatering. Cacti and other succulents are mostly found in areas with low rainfall. This means that they store more water than other plants, hence their “puffy” foliage. This… Read More →


Written by Kendall Grier – TPDDL Student Worker; Edited by Hannah Ayala – Extension Assistant Disease is everywhere! As plant diagnosticians, we are constantly reminded of this everywhere we go. One of these reminders is daily as we walk into the lab for work. When you walk into the Centeq building (the building where the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab is located) you are greeted by some spotted Indian Hawthorns. At first glance they look very pretty, almost as if the color change is caused by the changing… Read More →

Perfect conditions for Cercospora

Be on the lookout for Cercospora leaf spot in your landscape plants! Recent weather conditions around the state like cool temperatures and high humidity seem to trigger an increase in Cercospora activity. Check your colorful fall annual bedding plants, including zinnias, hydrangeas, snapdragons and azaleas, for necrotic or purplish, angular leaf spots. A: Cercospora symptoms on a recent Pansy sample B: Conidiophores on leaf edge C: Cluster of Cercospora conidiophores  

Root rot galore

A quick wrap of things seen in the last couple of weeks as temperature begin to get cooler.  At the Plant Clinic, we have some samples with root rot damage.  These are root rots of all kinds, occurring on woody ornamental and turf grasses.  Why is there a pickup in the incoming samples?  There is not an easy answer. It may be that since weather is getting cooler, more people are out in their yards -resulting in greater observations of the damage in the landscape.  Another explanation could… Read More →

Diplodia blight (Training at the Plant Clinic part2)

Blog article #2 by Marissa McCarthy (for partial fulfillment of BESC 484 requirement)   Diplodia is most often parasitic fungus, can be found to be saprophytic, that is extremely host specific on pine hosts or other conifer species.  This Diplodia was found on a Juniper from a private residence that was submitted to the lab. Chief complaint was new growth and tip yellowing and necrosis. Diplodia is found across the vast majority of the United States including Hawaii and California, and affects most species of pine or conifer…. Read More →