Passive Aggressive Plants

What is Plant Resistance?

Selecting Resistant Plants

Maintaining Plant Resistance

Roses and Rhodies

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What is Plant Resistance?

If so many pests are out there, how can plants survive?
Plants don't wait passively to be ravaged by pests; they combat insects and disease with an arsenal of chemicals, barriers and other defenses. These abilities are referred to as plant resistance. In fact, farmers use natural plant resistance as the most effective, economical and environmentally safe way to manage pests. You too can use this IPM strategy by purchasing resistant varieties and growing healthy plants that can fend for themselves.

How Do Plants Combat Pests?

  • Taste: Some plant varieties don't taste good or are unattractive to many insects.
  • Bodybuilding: Many plants have physical shapes and structures that inhibit pests from feeding on them. Rhododendron varieties have leaf edges that are curled to resist root weevil feeding. Plants with thickened cell walls can avoid some diseases.
  • Roadblocks: Some plants have hairy, sticky or spiny leaves to deter pests. These hairs and similar structures can determine how quickly insects and mites infest a plant.
  • Pesticides: Did you know that most man-made pesticides are derived from plants? Plants themselves produce many chemicals that adversely affect pests.
  • Bodyguards: Plants recruit bodyguards by attracting predators and parasites to take care of pest problems.
  • Tolerance: Many plants just refuse to let pests bother them. In fact, tolerant plants can grow better when munched on by a pest.

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