Passive Aggressive Plants

What is Plant Resistance?

Selecting Resistant Plants

Maintaining Plant Resistance

Roses and Rhodies

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Maintaining Plant Resistance

Many plant defenses are dependent on the health of the plant. Once you've selected your plant, the work isn't completely over. Many plants require some tender loving care to keep their defenses active. Healthy plants can fend off many pest problems.

  • Place your plants in areas that are conducive to their health. Consider the climate, sunlight exposure and soil type before deciding what to plant in an area. Put the right plant in the right place.
  • Do not over-fertilize plants. Over-fertilization may weaken some plant defenses and attract pests. See Soil: Don't Treat It Like Dirt for more information.
  • Do not water-stress plants. Too much or too little water can attract pests and weaken defenses against them.
    Know nutrient requirements of the plant and feed accordingly. More is not better. Excess nutrients can be carried by runoff to drains and streams, eventually dumping into Lake Whatcom where they cause problems like algae blooms that deprive fish of oxygen.
  • Know when, how or if you should prune your plant. Under pruning can create environments conducive to insects and diseases. Over pruning can severely weaken a plant, making it susceptible to attacks. If you're not sure how to prune your plant, let a WSU Master Gardener answer your questions.

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For more information, contact Scarlet Tang or Todd Murray
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