Gardening Q and A

Leyland – Won’t Regrow Lower Branches

Q: I lost two Leyland cypresses in a bad storm. The three left standing are brown on the interior of the tree. The outside of the tree is green.Will the brown side eventually turn green, now that it will receive...

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Sago Palm – Thin Fronds in Low Light

Q: What are these coming out of the sago palm in our office? A: It’s not getting enough light. Sago palm is typically an outdoor tropical plant. The skinny new fronds are simply reaching for any light they can find....

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Are Butterfly Bushes Invasive?

Q: On your website you write that butterfly bush is a good plant to attract butterflies. While that is true, the Georgia Department of Agriculture says butterfly bush is showing signs of becoming invasive. A: I know that other states...

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Options for Water-Holding Lawns

Q: Can you give me ways to decrease water holding in my back lawn? Water comes from a small hill on the side of my house. Might a rain garden help soak up some of the water? A: If your...

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Controlling Lespedeza

Q: How do I control lespedeza? A: I see two kinds of lespedeza that are problematic in lawns. Annual lespedeza, Lespedeza striata, is a low-growing annual plant; it sprouts from seed each year. Sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata, is an upright...

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Planting Star Magnolias

Q: In late July, my star magnolia, planted last fall, suddenly almost completely defoliated. I kept it watered through the winter and only occasionally this summer since rain was frequent. It looked healthy in early July. Any idea what the...

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Termites in Tomato Stakes

Q: We pulled up the wooden tomato stakes from our raised beds and found them covered with termites. What would you do? A: Finding termites on untreated wooden stakes is not a problem. This is the way nature is supposed...

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Trimming Oak Leaf Hydrangeas

Q: When should I trim my oak leaf hydrangea? How far back? A: The best time to prune is right after the flowers fade, usually in late July. Remembering that the shrub wants to be at least 6 feet high,...

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English Ivy and Snakes

Q: My neighbor accuses my English ivy of being a harbor for snakes. Valid? A: Jason Clark, snake expert at Southeastern Reptile Rescue  says ivy doesn’t necessarily bring snakes to your property but when they do wander through and find...

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How to Get Rid of Nostoc

Q: Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of the green jelly stuff in our lawn? A: You have nostoc. It’s a gelatinous colony of a type of bacteria that is usually found where grass is growing poorly due...

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Mexican Petunia-invasive?

Q: I see clumps of tall blue flowers called Mexican petunia in my neighborhood. Everyone tells me that they are very invasive and spread rapidly. Are they really that invasive? A: Tall Mexican petunia, Ruellia brittoniana, isn’t invasive like bamboo...

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Black Peas – Heirloom?

Q: I have recently been entrusted with a seed stock of black peas. It is said they were handed down thru 4 generations of Cherokee Indians here in middle Georgia. Could you verify what I have here? I’m wondering if...

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Clematis – Allergic Skin Reaction

Q: I mowed this vine a couple of days ago and have broke out in a red itchy rash on my legs and chest. I used my string trimmer there about a month ago and had a horrible burning in...

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Tomato Producing Too Small Fruit

Q: I had the worst year ever for tomatoes. The plants didn’t produce as many tomatoes and the tomatoes themselves were smaller than normal. A: I think it was just the vagaries of your local environment. Several things can cause...

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Pine Beetles – Attracted to Pine Chips

Q: We recently had lightning strike a tree in our backyard. We had the tree chipped and used it for mulch in our backyard. Six weeks later, we noticed two pines in the backyard oozing rosin from the bottom ten...

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Butterfly Bush – Invasive or Not

Q: On your website you write that butterfly bush is a good plant to attract butterflies. While that is true, the Georgia Department of Agriculture says butterfly bush is showing signs of becoming invasive. A: I know that other states...

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Hydrangea – Different Color Flowers

Q: This hydrangea is a volunteer that appeared last spring by our deck on a newly built house where the lot was graded. It bloomed nicely this year but the size and color of the leaves concern me. Why did...

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Clematis – Dermatitis (Skin Rash)

Q: I mowed over this vine a couple of days ago and have broken out in a red itchy rash on my legs and chest. I used a string trimmer there about a month ago and had a horrible burning...

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