Pests and Disease in Italy

The scrutiny of the plant world has recently fallen upon Italy due to a vicious disease which has destroyed many ancient olive groves. Xylella fastidiosa tore through the heart of Puglia in southeast Italy. An estimated 241,000 hectares (around 5,000 times more than Benmore botanic gardens for reference) were damaged, wiping out almost all the trees within 2 years of initial identification.

I am currently working with Vannucci’s leading plant pest and disease expert. Eduardo has been working in the nursery trade since he was 19 years old. After 20 years he has an expansive understanding of Italian pest and disease issues; his role involves caring for 58 properties and Pistoia Nursery Park (545 hectares).

Odium (powdery mildew) is a very common problem in nurseries all over the world; it affects a large range of plants and needs to be treated. It has been particularly humid this year which has prolonged the season of Odium and Aphidus. Normally aphids are not a problem but due to rain during the night, the life cycle and activity has been extended.

Below is a leaf mining moth which burrows into the new vegetation (in this case Prunus laurocerasus).

Pictured here is a caterpillar tree box on Buxus:

A mature scale insect is seen on Pittosporum:

Luperomorpha xanthodera, Coleoptera, chrysomelidea eat the flowers and the leaves of citrus plants: