Gardening Q and A

Holly – Yellow All Over

Q: My hollies have been in the same spot of twenty years and all of a sudden two of them are turning yellow. What should I look for? A: When plants are unhealthy top to bottom and growing beside a...

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Heuchera – Growing in Pots

Q: I love all the new varieties/colors of heuchera but have not had good luck at keeping them growing in my mostly shaded back yard. Any helpful tips? A: I love heuchera too but I’ve had the same experience…in my...

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Amaryllis – All Leaves, No Flowers

Q: I have an amaryllis plant I got as a kit box with soil, bulb and pot. It has been sitting in a spot with indirect sunlight and I have been watering it every other day. So far it has...

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Orchid – Blooming from Stem Roots

Q: My orchid is confused! All the things that were supposed to be in the bottom of the pot came out on the stem. I don’t know what to call the light colored things but they made a bloom stem!...

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Pachysandra – Scale Insects

Q: I just noticed my pachysandra plants have tiny white spots on the stem and leaves. Is this scale? A: It is euonymus scale. As you can see, this sucking insect increases numbers prolifically and can suck the life out...

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Dead Animal – Hiding Odor

Q: Our dogs recently killed an armadillo in the woods behind the house. Now the whole backyard stinks. Is there an easy way to kill the odor? A: I recently had a similar experience. A portly opossum gave up the...

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Holly Plant Allergy

Q: Do hollies cause skin irritation? My wife and I trimmed our hedge and afterwards our skin stung a little. Days later we developed welts and blisters on our arms that lasted for days. A: Hollies are not notorious for...

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Yellowjackets in Palm Tree Roots

Q: I have several windmill palms around my pool. Last summer I saw yellowjackets coming from a hole at the palm tree roots. What can I do to prevent them this year? A: Yellowjackets rarely re-use a former nest. They...

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Ants-How to Get Rid of Without Harming Plants

Q: Ants have a mound directly under one of my blueberry bushes. How do I get rid of the ants without harming the blueberry bush? A: You could try flooding the mound with water every few days. Ants don’t like...

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English Ivy Return

Q: I have a slight hill behind my deck. Long ago I planted English ivy, which has spread and covered the entire hill. I back up to a national park, and when I came back from out of town I...

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Transition to Summer Annuals

Q: My pansies are at their peak but I know that I have to soon make room for summer annuals. Is there a optimum time to start this transition? A: I think when air temperatures are in the lower 70’s...

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School Gardening Info

Q: We are starting an edible schoolyard garden in raised beds at a middle school. It gets a good amount of light. What fruits and vegetables are best? A: This is a terrific project! Much of your success will depend...

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Fertilizing on a Slope

Q:I would like to fertilize young azaleas on a sloping bank next to a pond. How do I do it without creating algae-filled water as I did last year? When is best? A: Azaleas don’t really need a lot of...

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Bermuda Lawn Rescue

Q: Please help me rescue my bermuda lawn. The past couple years of raising young kids has left it in a state of neglect, full of weeds. It has not been fertilized. I’m confused about what to put down, and...

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Dogwood Trees Not Flowering

Q: I have two small dogwood trees I got from the Keep Madison County Beautiful Christmas Tree Recycling event seven years ago. They have never flowered but look healthy. Any suggestions? A: Your dogwood trees probably came from the Georgia...

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Ants in Dirt

Q: I was transplanting some dwarf juniper trees out of small pots into bigger ones and the dirt was loaded with black ants. What can I do? A: Mix a bit of insecticide in a bucket and lower the ant-infested...

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Septic Tank Field-Raised Beds for Vegetables

Q: I am excited about growing fruits and vegetables for the first time. I am only interested in non-GMO, organic edibles. But I have a septic tank in my back yard. Can I plant tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes in...

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Containing Mexican Petunias

Q: We have a long row of Mexican petunias along our back fence that have spread far more than I like. I need a strategy to contain them. A: It may have pretty flowers but Mexican petunia, Ruellia brittoniana, can...

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