July 14, 2017

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update – July 14, 2017

Faciation on spirea

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Visit the PIDC's Facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures. For more information on a particular disease or insect problem listed, follow the article cited.

Plant Identification

The following plant identification highlights represent recent sample submissions

Growing Bee Balms in the Home Garden

Bee balm with nectar-feeding bumble bee.

In July and August, the attractive flowers of bee balm (Monarda) are a common sight in gardens, along roadsides, and in prairies.  Bee balm attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  The common name of bee balm is in reference to its former use to treat bee stings.  Other common names include bergamont, horsemint, and Oswego tea.

Japanese Beetle Recap, 2017

June and July, 2017 will be remembered as one of the worst years in recent memory for Japanese beetles in Iowa.  Japanese beetles came back in abundance after the absence of two or three years and achieved very high numbers in isolated locations around the state.

Watering Lawns During Hot, Dry Summer Weather

With hot, dry summer weather prevailing over much of Iowa, rain has been at a premium for many lawns. That brings up an important question: is it necessary to water lawns during such weather conditions? And if so, how much?  Learn more about watering lawns in summer in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from July 12, 2017.

Demonstration Garden Field Days Reinforce Produce Donations

2017 is the 40th anniversary of Demonstration Gardens at ISU Research and Demonstration Farms.  Gardens have been planted at 5 to 10 locations per year every year since 1977.

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Butler County

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed from a residential tree in Clarksville in Butler County, Iowa.  Butler County now becomes the 51st county in Iowa where this invasive pest has been confirmed since the first discovery in Iowa back in 2010.

See the map below and read more about the most recent discovery in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach news release from June 29, 2017.