Join the Socity of American Florists And Other Growers To #PetalItForward And Spread Happiness With Flowers
Though President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to Alaska this week didn’t bring him to the lower Kenai Peninsula, he got a scent of Homer when local flower grower Alaska Perfect Peony was picked to provide the official presidential bouquet at his Anchorage hotel, the Captain Cook. “It was pretty exciting,” Alaska Perfect Peony owner Rita Jo Shoultz said on Tuesday. “It was quite the honor.”
I have attached a short article about a red spot disease identified for the first time on peonies in Chile. I checked with Andrea G, and she told me, yes, indeed, this disease occurs both in Alaska and Oregon. This past summer, we all noticed some distinct red lesions on the stems and dark red spots on leaves. Now we know what it is!
A grower near Delta brought in roots of peonies that were riddled with wireworms (larva of click beetles). It is the first time we have ever seen them inside the roots. We contacted growers and root sellers in New Zealand, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Maryland, Holland and all over Alaska. Not one person has seen wireworms in peonies before even for those growing peonies for 30 years and more. They are well known in Alaska where people grow potatoes and grasses. In the lower 48, they attack a lot of different kinds of root crops. The grower had tilled an old field that contained a lot of grasses, and we suspect the wireworms (that love grasses) were left over after the tilling. Once the grasses were gone, the wireworms lost their usual food source and chowed down on the peony roots. The lesson here is, if you are tilling in an old hay field or an area with a lot of natural grasses, leave the ground fallow for a year or two so the wireworms die off. Will provide updates as we get them.