Gardeners urged to monitor rhododendron plants after disease detected


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The State of Tennessee is encouraging homeowners and gardeners to monitor their rhododendron plants for a disease detected in Middle Tennessee.

Phytophthora ramorum is a water mold pathogen that causes sudden oak death, ramorum leaf blight, and ramorum dieback.

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the USDA detected the pathogen in rhododendron plants at a store in Dickson County. The infected plants came from nurseries in Washington State and Canada and were shipped to 18 states.

“TDA suggests that Tennesseans who have purchased a rhododendron since April, 2019 at Walmart and Rural King outlets monitor the plant for signs of disease, including leaf spots and dying branches or limbs,” the department said in a news release Monday.

TDA says if you suspect your plant might have the disease, you should contact the agency at 615-837-5137 or

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