Tropical Britain

Xylella fastidiosa 

Many of you will have heard of the Xylella fastidiosa pathogen that is ravaging ornamental plants throughout Europe and which has resulting in strict new controls in the importing of European plants that came into effect at the end of 2017. The range of plant species infected in Europe is enormous and is only likely to increase. It includes trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants - among them many plants that exotic gardeners often grow such as olives and palms as well as more common plants like lavender. Over 350 species have to date been recognised as host plants.

The RHS is calling on gardeners and the industry to future proof gardens by buying host plants that are propagated from seed in the UK or grown in the UK for a minimum of 12 months. Tropical Britain has always propagated about 99% of our stock ourselves and we want you to know that will always continue to be the case.

The threat to UK gardens can not be over-emphasised... we will all need to change the way we garden, with an increased awareness and care over the provenance of the plants we use. If this pathogen is introduced into the UK it will change our gardens for ever... any outbreak within the UK could lead to the destruction of all host plants within 100m.

Already many UK garden centres are at last starting to source their stock from plants grown in the UK rather than risk being the first outlet to harbour the pathogen. We urge you, the plant-buying public, to be extremely cautious where you buy your plants from and to ask staff where their plants are sourced.

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