Gardening Q and A

Spiderwort Fading, Yellow Spots on Leaves

Q: What is killing my spiderwort? A: I know the yellow leaf spots are worrisome but frankly your plant looks relatively normal for early May. Spiderwort blooms freely in mid-spring but as the weather heats up, the foliage dies back....

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Pruning Edgeworthia

Q: We put these edgeworthias in three years ago. One of the plants is six feet around but the other one is huge! We are not sure how to prune these amazing shrubs. A: Edgeworthia is a great shrub but...

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Aphids on chives

Q: I have black aphids on my garlic chives. They can be washed off but come right back. How do I get rid of them? A: I guess you could use store-bought insecticidal soap on them, but spraying with a...

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Katydid nymph identification

Q: Can you identify this insect which I have been finding on my roses? It has two tiny tubes or pinchers where it’s mouth is. Is it a friend or foe? A: It’s a katydid nymph. Although they do chew...

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Will Bradford pear recover after severe pruning?

Q: Recently our Bradford Pear tree was pruned to this extreme. Will it still grow and bloom? A: Bradford pear is a tough tree to kill. Your tree will probably recover. The person who did the pruning thought this would...

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Can I change Color of Oakleaf or Panicle Hydrangea?

Q: Is there a way to change flower color on oakleaf and tree hydrangeas? A: No, the old-fashioned bigleaf hydrangea is the only one that responds to soil pH to change flower color. Oakleaf hydrangea flowers are white when they...

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Can I Crop Indeterminate Tomato? Distinguish Determinate from Indeterminate

Q: If I plant indeterminate tomatoes can I crop the top to keep them from growing tall? A: Pruning an indeterminate tomato to make it bushier is possible but you’ll be fighting Mother Nature. After planting, indeterminate tomatoes grow for...

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Slime Mold on Pine Straw

Q: I have looked and looked trying to see if this fungus is harmful to my roses. A: I am not an expert, but I think this is a slime mold, which is different from a fungus. Either way, it...

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Loropetalum – Yellow leaves

Q: Our four loropetalum bushes seem to have something wrong. They stay wet where they are planted, especially with all the rain. Just planted last year. A: Loropetalum is a tough shrub but, like a lot of woody plants, it...

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Planting Under Live oak

Q: I need help deciding what to plant around a pet’s grave. Her grave is near a huge live oak tree. A: Your challenge will be competition for light and water. My top picks for dry shade include hellebore, lungwort,...

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Young Pine Tree – Bending

Q: I’m working on a project where I want to make a curved ceiling out of wood. I have a lot of straight pine trees. I would like to take some of the smaller ones (4-6″ in diameter) and bend...

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Pine Cone Cluster

Q: While running at Cochran Shoals, I found this pine cone cluster. I thought it was unusual, as I have never seen more than two cones together. A: Wow, you are right, that is pretty unusual! Pine trees have two...

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“Wormy” Things on Driveway

Q: What are these brown wormy things on my driveway? I see them every April. A: They are the spent male flowers of a nearby pine tree. The majority of the yellow pollen we see blowing around Atlanta each spring...

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Ground Bees – Controlling

Q: My neighbor’s yard is covered in digger bee mounds. They are now spreading to my yard. I have at least over a hundred in just a few days. Do you have any suggestions to keep them away? A: I...

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Rabbit Damage to Holliy

Q: I planted five Nellie Stevens hollies two years ago. They grew very well last year and looked good this fall early winter. I was gone Jan-Feb, but when I returned I noticed all the leaves on the lower 1-2...

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Deer Damage to Leyland Cypress

Q: I have 3 Leyland cypress that the deer have chewed. They are continuing to grow tall but after a couple of years they still don’t seem to be filling in on the bottom. The guy who planted them said...

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Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta) Control

Q: These weeds have taken over my beds. Can you help? What should I use to kill? A: The weed is yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta, sometimes called yellow clover. It is tough to control. It arises from a taproot...

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Smilax vs English Ivy Berries for Birds

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot and have two tall trees that have some sort of vine growing on them. They have a shiny/waxed looking leaf, the fruit is blue berries that the robins absolutely love. Every year in...

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