Check your plants: Disease in Kansas causing you to destroy rhododendron plants bought at Walmart

Local News

The state is asking anyone who bought a rhododendron plant at Walmart stores in Kansas since April to destroy them.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture reported Friday that confirmed cases of the Sudden Oak Death disease have been found in rhododendrons sold at 60 Walmarts in Kansas and one Home Depot in Pittsburg.

That Shawnee County Extension office says phytophthora ramorum, or sudden oak death, has never been in Kansas until now.

The disease originated from a nursery in Oklahoma and sold its plants in Kansas. 

 “What you’re really looking for is that if you have purchased a rhododendron from Walmart or home depot in April, May or June you want to completely dig up that plant, root ball and all, double bag it, throw it in the landfill, in your trash or you can burn it,” Horticulture Agent Ariel Whitely-Noll said. 

The disease is also spread through rain splashes, moist conditions, and gardening tools.

Click here to see pictures of what infected leaves would look like with the disease. 

Click here for a detailed explanation of the disease and what plants are impacted. 

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