Gardening Q and A

Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Too Late To Plant It Outside?

Q: I purchased an oak leaf hydrangea back in the spring. It’s still in a two-gallon pot, doing very well. Is it too late in the season to plant it outside?  A: There’s no reason not to plant this hydrangea,...

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Hellebore Black Death – Diagnosis

Q: I took a sample of diseased Lenten rose to the DeKalb Extension office, where it was diagnosed with “hellebore black death”, a virus. I dug up the sick plant but have found more symptoms in other plants. If it...

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Lacewing Eggs – Identification

Q: I found these white things on a satsuma leaf. A: Lucky you! You’re seeing the eggs of a lacewing. You’re lucky because lacewing larvae are ferocious predators of sapsucking aphids, scale insects, spider mites and whiteflies. Look around on...

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Ninebark – Growing in Georgia

Q: My ninebark shrub is not doing well. When planted it was beautiful and really cool looking. It is supposed to be native to Georgia. Now it seems to be dying/struggling. Any advice? A: Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius, is indeed a...

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Live Oak – Growing in North Georgia

Q: My husband heard your caller from Athens about trying to grow a live oak there. You said it would probably not live. We have one in Braselton that is now 13+ years old and doing very well. It’s had...

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“Christmas Crack” (Chocolate Popcorn) – Source

Q: On your radio show at Christmas you mentioned giving “Christmas Crack” to your colleagues. What is it? A: My favorite holiday gift is a chocolate popcorn/pecan mix made by a small company in Minnesota. I discovered Donamae’s – A...

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Magnolia – False Oleander Scale

Q: Any idea what these are on my magnolia leaves and what to do about them? A: You have false oleander scale. False oleander scale is not a good name since this insect attacks over 100 plant species, including Southern...

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Repairing Damaged Japanese Maple

Q: My Japanese maple was hit by a truck. It damaged one side and split the trunk. It’s alive but it looks bad. The black stuff at the bottom is tree wrap we purchased to protect the trunk. How can...

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Cow Udder Plant – Identification

Q: I photographed this odd plant at the NC Charlotte Botanical Gardens recently. Notice the thorns on leaves as well as the odd fruit. A: According to Tammy Blume, Greenhouse Manager at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, you saw a...

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Fire Ants – No Control With Cucumber Peels, Coffee, Cinnamon, Grits

Q: Do cucumber peels, coffee grounds, cinnamon, or grits control fire ants? A: In a word, no. The grits/fire ant control myth has been around for ages. Folks mistakenly think that fire ants will eat the dry grits, which will...

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Edgeworthia (Paperbush) – Root Rot

Q: I have five edgeworthia plants. The one that has been most beautiful suddenly began to show wilt and appears to be dying. It gets morning sun and is in shade in the afternoon. Can you tell me what is...

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Murray Cypress – Identification

Q: I have seen online ads that claim Murray cypress is a type of Leyland cypress that is hardier and faster growing. Is this true? A:  There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the origin of “Murray cypress”,...

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How Long Should I Wait To Spray Weed Killer After Seeding The Fescue Lawn? 

Q: I reseeded my fescue lawn and the new grass is coming up really good. There are a lot of weeds also coming up with the new grass. How long should I wait to spray weed killer after seeding the...

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Old Water Oak In Decline – What Can Be Done?

Q: We have an old water oak in our front yard that the Extension service tells us is in decline. For the past 3 years, there has been a noticeable diminishment of leaves on the tree. What can be done? ...

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Weak Gardenias – When Should I Prune And Fertilize?

Q: I have some gardenias that once had large flowers. They have declined in the past couple of years. Now they have small leaves, small flowers and lichens on the stems. Should I prune and fertilize them now to help...

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Is ammonium sulfate and 21-0-0 the same thing?

Q: Is ammonium sulfate and 21-0-0 the same thing? A: Sure is! It’s always good to remember in the back of your mind that fertilizers, whether organic or synthetic, are basically chemicals. Organic fertilizers are complex organic compounds; synthetic fertilizers...

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When Should I Plant My 18” Peanut Butter Tree In The Ground?

Q: I have a peanut butter tree that I’ve been growing in a pot. It is now 18″ high and has a few smaller sprouts that have also come up. When can I plant them in the ground outside? A:...

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Where Are Angel Trumpet Seeds?

Q: Where are angel trumpet seeds? I see ads for the seeds but I can’t see any on my plant!  A: An angel trumpet (Brugmansia) seed pod looks like an okra pod hanging from a short stem where a flower...

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