Best Practices for Phytophthora Management

Native Here Nursery (NHN), a project of the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (EBCNPS), grows locally-sourced native plants for restoration and landscaping. We recognize the threat posed by Phytophthora pathogens and other plant diseases. To limit their spread in the nursery, EBCNPS employs phytosanitation measures consistent with Phytophthora Best Management Practices (BMPs) developed by the Working Group for Phytophthoras in Native Habitats (Sept 22, 2016). These are continually being updated and implemented. Our guiding philosophy is “start clean, stay clean”.

Best management practices at Native Here Nursery

  • Collect seeds and cuttings under dry conditions from healthy plants in disease-free areas. Clean footwear and equipment frequently. Sanitize cuttings and other propagules before potting.
  • Obtain potting media from a reliable source, then sanitize this media using an electric soil sterilizer. Store sanitized media off the ground and protected from splash and airborne spores.
  • Sanitize used plant containers in the electric soil sterilizer, then store in closed bags off the ground.
  • Sanitize used plant tags and date tags with 70% isopropyl alcohol and store in closed containers.
  • Everyone entering the nursery area steps through a sanitizing footbath of 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • The potting area is separated from the main nursery. Potters re-sanitize their footwear with 70% isopropyl alcohol before entering.
  • Clean and sanitize potting media bins, tools, and the nonporous working surfaces with 70% isopropyl alcohol before starting work and again between each plant lot. Use only water-proof disposable gloves or freshly laundered gardening gloves.
  • Grow and store nursery stock on clean wire mesh racks above rain splash zone, never on the ground. Plants that leave the nursery cannot be returned.
  • Sanitize plant carts and baskets with 70% isopropyl alcohol between uses.
  • Irrigate and clean exclusively with treated municipal water.
  • Store hose ends on hooks off the ground and sanitize before each use.
  • Minimize splash while watering plants; avoid stressing plants with excessive or inadequate water.
  • Do not use organic fertilizers or fungicides in plant propagation.
  • Collect and grow all plant materials from locally-collected and -grown sources, never container stock from other nurseries.
  • Visually inspect nursery stock weekly and use pear baiting technique to test for Phytophthora as needed. Dispose of any potentially infested stock appropriately. In the event of an infestation, follow protocols for removing and disposing of infested plants, quarantining and testing of adjacent plants, and sanitizing tables until the full extent of infested material is identified and properly disposed.
  • Post BMPs at the nursery, train workers, and maintain records documenting plant sources, batches grown, training, testing, soil and pot sanitizing, and other compliance.
  • The Contra Costa County Agriculture Department performs annual inspection and testing of nursery stock for Phytophthora ramorum.

NHN welcomes questions regarding its plant production procedures and details on its Best Management Practices. By arrangement, we can test plants for restoration and wildland projects.

To find out more, please contact us at You can also download our phytophthora measures fact sheet below.

John Danielsen from Native Here Nursery, leading a seed collection workshop.
Soil sterilizer
Soil pile base rebuild

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