The Cydalima perspectalis is a real menace for the boxwood plants in the vivarium and gardens of the old continent.

The first report in Europe is dated back in 2007 in Germany. In the next years the parasite has continued to spread, reaching the year after France, Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands; in 2009 it was detected in Austria and in the Netherlands; Finally in July 2011 its first discovery in Italy, in Lombardy, in the province of Como.

Fearing the rapid spread, in 2007 it has been inserted from the EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protecion Organization) in the list of alert (Eppo alert list) where then it remained for more than three years.

In 2011, the reporting given was considered enough and therefore, in the absence of particular requirements from the EPPO member countries to combat the insect, it was deleted from the alert list.

Unfortunately, it is not extinguished. Fortunately this is not a quarantine pest, but the larvae that feed on the leaves of boxwood are due to large and substantial damage, physiological and economic.

Description and biology

The adult is a butterfly with a wingspan of 4 cm, and white wings with nuances of gold to purple and brown edges. The biological cycle in Europe is not yet clear: the first observations made in Germany and Italy seem to show that the insect performs four generations per year and it is able to spend the winter as a chrysalis on the plants.

The following year, during the month of March by reaching 20° C temperature, the development is completed; adults flicker and through spawning, they start the first generation.

The butterfly lives an average of 8 days and it can also fly for several kilometers.

Despite its excellent flying capacity the main cause of its diffusion in new areas,  very distant from Those of origin, is the transportation of box trees coming from infested countries.

Eggs, large few millimeters, are laid in groups of 25-30, partially topped one on another, below the leaf page. Initially pale yellow almost transparent, they turn brown with ripening.

The yellowish green color larvae are characterized by black and white streaks bands along the body, they are also covered with sparse hairs which grow from black pustules present longitudinally on the body.

At maturity they reach 4 cm and they are the heads of major aesthetic damage, feeding on both the leaves and the sprouts.

High infestation levels can lead to the complete defoliation of the plants on which we note the presence of a dense network of silk threads. They take about 25 days to reach maturity and become a chrysalis.

Pupae measure 2 cm, and initially have a green color with black stripes along the dorsal part, then, with age, they become dark brown. They are well-hidden in the vegetation where, thanks to the silk threads, remain attached to the leaves for about 14 days, long enough to grow again in adults.

At the end of the third generation the chrysalis doesn’t mature right away, but it winters waiting for the spring favorable thermal conditions.

Prevention and defense

The prevention is currently limited to the control of incoming plants from contaminated countries.

You must verify that there are no clear signs of attacks, eggs, larvae or pupae over boxwood plants purchased.

When the insect has successfully colonized a new areal, spreading quickly, the only solution is to intervene with targeted insecticide treatments.

The fight against this defoliating can be biological, chemical or biotechnology.

They can be used natural products such as those made of Pyrethrum or Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki.

The chemical and biotechnological fight must be done using crop protection products authorized for the type of treatment mentioned.

Considering the many generations that this moth plays and the different stages of development achieved in a season, it could be very efficient a mixture between a biotechnological product (growth regulators, chitin inhibitors) along with anti knockdown insecticides.

The most appropriate time to carry out the treatments and prevent the damage is during the hatching of the eggs, or in the early stages of larval development.

What do we do here in Vivai Capecchi

Very well aware of the damage that a single infected plant can cause an entire garden, we take care of our products with a biological product containing Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki.

We work to prevent and treat this problem by following the insect’s biological cycle, working directly on the new generations.

Practically, when the insect feeds on plants treated with Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, this latter produces the toxin that blocks the insect’s gut and rapidly leads to death.

The ideal conditions for this to happen exist only in those individuals that possess a digestive system with a pH greater than 9, that is only specific groups of animals as mosquitoes, Lepidoptera larvae and little else; all mammals are totally excluded (men, dogs and cats including), fish, birds and practically all the good insects including natural predators. This mechanism ensures that it is eliminated only the target insect, respecting any other form of animal life Present On the treated plants.

If you need further clarification Contact us Directly and we’ll provide you all the necessary data.

The first sun begins to peep to announce the imminent arrival of spring and, with its rays, warms the soil to stimulate growth and the first blooms of specimens of all kinds.

In respect of this wonder of nature, we want to dedicate ourselves to something unique, something that we cannot always accommodate in all the gardens, but that, by its mere presence, brings color, joy, light, and stresses the new life and rebirth symbolized by growth season after the winter hibernation.

We speak, indeed, of some individual items that, by themselves, can furnish and fascinate, with their colors, their grandeur and so special features.

Let’s start from the Kalmia (Kalmia Latifolia Olympic Fire); beautiful with its lush evergreen foliage, it has a rich flowering that goes from strong pink buds up to a more tender and soft version of the open flower, from late spring.

Durable, shiny and leathery, it likes direct sunlight, but also disdains the shade, which limits only its development. Milder at a young age, it becomes solid and strong as it grows.

Thirsty, especially during flowering, it requires care and attention practically all year round, however, giving great satisfaction to those who choose it.

Usually its small size is sold, but we are able to provide such unique plants in pots that reach heights of 250-300 cm, a rarity hard to find.

Another specimen that can possibly be used as a single element in a decor is the Cornus; we have a large number of specimens, from Florida, the Florida Rubra, the Florida Rainbow, the Kousa and even a hybrid between Florida and Florida Rubra!

Certainly not easy to grow (it takes years to get to interesting dimensions), it is very attractive as it evolves during the season. Between the late winter and early spring, at the height of the bare branches, it produces small star-shaped inflorescences consisting of small yellow or green flowers. Under each inflorescence, they develop four large white bracts in the shape of heart that, for some hybrids and varieties, can be pink or red.

Let’s discuss about the time of flowering, unfortunately quite short, but with wonderful and elegant inflorescences that are worth the months of waiting with the plant completely bare.

After flowering, the handsome foliage develops, and the small red fruits ripen in September, also gathered in small groups, at the height of the branches.

Lover of bright and humid climate positions, it fears the drought and too much heat.

We are happy to offer you wonderful specimens stunning characterized large size, up to 400 cm!

Let’s talk about the Hamamelis (we have specimens of Hamamelis Mollis and Hamamelis Mollis Westerstede), the one flowing when the branches are still bare, even in cold weather.

Its name indicates its particularity, Hamamelis means “together with fruit”, because this plant produces flowers when they are still present and ripe fruits of the previous year. There are many varieties that boast subtle flowers characterized by wrinkled petals of various colors, from yellow to orange lemon, pink or purple.

Strong, vigorous and rustic, it is a plant that does not disappoint, especially when placed in a bright position and when you take care of it.

Ready for coloring gardens and flower beds, also for this variety we are able to provide rare specimens that reach 400 cm in height.

We end this series with an absolute novelty, the Oxydendron Arboreum, a very particular plant native to North America, as indeed all the other varieties of this item.

Characterized by serrated leaves of rich green, in the autumn season they turn to bright red before losing them. Characterized by small white bell-shaped flowers united in groups, it has a trunk of a nice brown color.

Usually used as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens, it is well loved for its rich flowering and for the beautiful colors of the leaves in all seasons.

Also used by Indian tribes for the construction of the arches with which shooting their arrows, it has many uses in herbal medicine and in the cuisine.

Come and see with your eyes the beauty of these specimens and tantalize your customers, landscapers or private beings, to accommodate specimens of such beauty in their garden.

IPM Essen fair is certainly the most important occasion of the year to find out news and trends in the horticultural world, to meet with colleagues, suppliers and customers and, why not, to have fun and be inspired to discover curiosities and innovations.

Visited this year by more than 57,000 people from all over the world, it houses as many as 1,577 exhibitors from 45 countries that show their latest technology, boast their most extravagant and wonderful specimens and exhibit their most eye-catching commercial promotions.

We know how this fair, known worldwide, is valuable to keep alive the relationship with all of you customers, and we want to give our best to exchange new information related to our sector as well as to understand how to better meet your needs.

So let’s see what were the main features of this year’s event:

The plants conquer the urban spaces and daily life! The “Urban Jungle” and the fact of knowing how to “grow autonomously” were, in fact, two key elements of the whole fair. Herbs, fruits and the best of the season conquer an important position not occupying only the orchard space, but also being expertly blended with ornamental and inedible specimens.

And to make this possible new irrigation and cultivation item were presented, allowing the growth of many varieties, almost anywhere, even prolonging life and lushness.

But that’s not all! The “trendy” color for next season will be the rose, possibly combined with the purple, in a single flower, to decorate terraces and gardens.

Then discussion involved the digitization of the green and the many conferences and workshops have been held to educate and enrich the many visitors to the world of green.

They were then rewarded the companies that have brought the most interesting innovations, both at the level of hybrid creations as well as technology.

Obviously, we in Capecchi Capecchi Vivai could not be outdone, and, following the trend to innovation and digitization carried out in these four days, presented our stand, a meeting between technology and tradition, intended to show the best of our desire to take care of our customers and plants that, with much love, we produce and ship all over Europe, and not only…

Given that so many fail to come and see us, we tried to reproduce the sensations and emotions that are experienced in our company, playing on the image reproducing views and visions of our headquarters.

An overview of our nursery was projected behind the spaces for welcoming customers, making them experiencing the feeling of being facing in one of the windows of our offices. At the center of the stand then there was a miniature garden, with some examples produced by us with, in the background, again a projection of our gardens and a reproduction of our offices hall.

Many people stopped by and gave us moments of sharing.

We would like to thank you for the appreciation given us for this way of being even more attentive to quality and for the personal relationship, and we expect many of you at our “original offices” here in Pistoia!

How to prevent frost damage

In the late autumn season plant-health measures on ornamental plants are reduced to a minimum, in parallel to the biological cycles of pathogenic microorganisms (biological agents responsible for the onset of the disease condition in plants), whether insects or fungi.

In this period, however, you need to pay more attention to the performance of the temperature, planning a rational strategy for preventing the damage caused by frost.

The cold stress felt by ornamental plant, grown in pots or in open fields, it is essentially caused by two types of frost:

  • From radiation – determined by the loss of soil heat during the nights with clear skies, low humidity and weak winds. In these conditions the hot air, lighter, tends to move to several meters from the ground level, leaving space for a layer of cold air
  • From advection (in meteorology, horizontal transport, by wind, of some properties of the atmosphere (heat, steam, momentum, etc.). – determined by the large cold air moves, usually from northerly winds during the course of the disturbances

The damage caused by frost are caused by cell water which, when the temperature decreases, it solidifies going to affect both the cells themselves and whole plant tissues.

After the thaw, the affected green tissues appear as emptied and undergo desiccation.

Symptoms of frost damage are visible on the various plant organs, and can occur in various ways:

  • Redness and browning of the leaves, especially those located in the apical part of the young branches.
  • In case of severe frosts the desiccation may involve whole branches, causing browning spread on the foliage.
  • The buds are protected by the perule (leaves transformed in a way that they can provide protection to the buds of plants), but in the spring time, or if placed on branches not well lignified, may receive damage, even coming to detach from the plant.
  • On the stem may occur swelling of the bark, which can lead to cracks or “peeling”.



What to do to maintain the health and beauty of the plant

In the nursery the plant, receiving the necessary fertilization and irrigation, tends to grow a lot and for longer time, compared to the natural conditions, becoming more sensitive to the symptoms described above. This necessitates some targeted operations dedicated to strengthening or better hardening plant tissues, such as:

  • Copper based treatments. Normally designed as fungicides operations, they have also a phytotoxic effect. In response to the treatment, the plant tends to stop his growth and clappers its tissues; in fact it is going to become more resistant to frost.
  • Adopt the right fertilizer. In nurseries served by ferti-irrigation, it is necessary to adopt the correct nutrient solutions according to the seasonal trend. In the late spring/early summer period there are used solutions rich in nitrogen, which promote the growth of plants. On the contrary, with the approach of the fall season, it should reduce the concentrations of nitrogen favoring potassium, in order to induce the plant to harden.
  • In case of strong forecast and sudden frosts, it is recommended to intervene with specific antiperspirant products, that limit the gas exchange between the plant and the environment, reducing the risk of freezing of the water present in the plant tissues.

Considering that at this time of year the frosts can affect the quality of the nursery product, you must pull the analytical knowledge of the meteorological phenomenon to some technical measures that make the plant more resistant.

For more tips for maintaining your plants healthy and beautiful, we are always at your disposal with an internal agronomist able to meet your needs. Write us, we will respond within 48 hours.

When we talk about hollies (Ilex in Latin, to indicate specifically the genre) we could already imagine those beautiful plants with the most varied shapes and colors, from the most famous “Ilex Aquifoluim” to the many varieties, more than 400, that can adapt in many different climates and soils.

Looking a little bit to the history, we find that this plant was already widely used in Roman times when, during the winter solstice (the famous Saturnalia rites that were held around December 22), people were pinning twigs on the clothes to keep away evil and witchcraft.

It had the same value to the Germanic peoples- The British saw in its red berries the symbol of winter fertility and a return promise to light and heat.

This plant was entrusted with the role of talisman with the specific task to ward off evil influences and bring good fortune. Young shrubs were planted next to the houses and it was used to decorate homes.

Later on also the Christians, that were unable to turn away the very deep rooted tradition regarding the use of the holly in wintertime, have taken this symbol and changed its meaning comparing its thorns with the crown of Christ and its red berries with His blood .

Today, looking at this plant, you can not fail to emphasize its strength, its resistance and, at the same time, its grace and beauty. Apparently rejecting because of its thorns, it catches the eye for its colors, its mottling and its berries.

Colorful and durable, you can find it in an endless possibility of shapes, from the sapling to the bush, from the ball to the cone, to cheer and, why not, give a touch of good luck to hour home and gardens.

Some possible uses::

We are in winter time and you cannot help but emphasize how this plant can well represent the spirit of Christmas, giving joy and keeping misfortune away.

In addition to this, the holly is great for a variety of uses, thanks also to the fact that it has a lot of variations.

  • As individual specimens with a tall trunk, considering that it can reach considerable heights (not so fast!) until 5 or 6 meters.
  • As a great component of hedges, especially for those who want to maintain some privacy!
  • As garden shrubs interspersed with other species composing flower beds or bottoms that need color throughout the year.
  • As windbreaks, choosing the right varieties, even in coastal areas.

Shapes and colors:

The best known is the classic shrub with deep green leaves, thorns and red berries, represented by the school drawings of children and symbol for excellence of Christmas.

But the varieties are many, with spiny leaves or completely free of thorns, green or bluish, monochrome or variegated with gold or cream white strokes. Even the trunk can vary from classical to purple.

The berries are usually a bright red, and vary in size and quantity, sometimes big sometimes small clusters with numerous fruits. There are also varieties with yellow or blacks fruits, to make contrast with rich and intense leaves.

Concerning the shapes, depending on its use, it can be carved in cone, bush, ball, middle or tall trunk.

The most popular varieties:

For sure the classic Ilex Aquifoluim always remains a “must”. Unmistakable plant for its behavior and for the triumph of colors, it always represents a beacon of joy and good wishes in dark winter days.

It is also very resistant to many diseases and, not least, to the urban pollution, making it an interesting element to note for urban gardens and terraces.

It receives a lot of attention also the stunning variety with variegated leaves, with the same characteristics and with colors even more special.

Instead, an interesting innovation is the ‘Nellie Stevens’, varieties with dark green leaves, no thorns, and with lots of scarlet berries. Very resistant, it can grow almost anywhere.

Our proposal:

Here in the Vivai Capecchi, you can find a huge collection of Ilex, from Ilex Crenata to Ilex Crenata Convexa and Ilex Crenata Kimne, that we use both for the many forms of Topiary art, both for classical forms such as spirals, middle stem, tall stem, mini stem and Egyptian Pyramid, but also for the realization of Bonsai, both in Italian and Japanese style.

Going into detail our current production show off:

Ilex Aquifoluim available in the sizes: half stem, tall stem, cone, bush, ball, in multi stem with umbrella-like canopy (parachute).

Ilex Aquifolium “Alaska” available in the size bush

Ilex Aquifolium “Aureomarginata” available in the size mini stem.

Ilex Aquifolium “Golden King” available in the size bush.

Ilex Aquifolium “Silver Queen” available in the size mini stem.

Ilex Aquifoluim “Variegatum” available in the sizes: mini stem, middle stem, tall stem, cone, bush, and ball.

Ilex Aquifolium “Variegatum Pendula” available in the size tall stem.

Ilex Cornuta “Furcata” available in the size: middle stem, cone, bush and multi stem with umbrella-like canopy (parachute).

Ilex Meserveae “Blue Angel” available in the sizes: middle stem, bush and ball.

Ilex Mutchagara “Nellie R. Stevens” available in the sizes: mini stem, middle stem, tall ste, cone and bush.

Contact us for information or special requests, we are at your disposal!