Gardening Q and A

Loropetalum – Pruning

Q: When and how do I go about pruning my ‘Zhuzhou Fuchsia’ loropetalum. It has grown long limbs and is very open. I’d prefer it to be a little bushier. All the books say it needs little pruning. A: It...

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Pine Straw Mulch – Annual Replacement

Q: I have a question about pine straw mulch. I’ve used it for years and will be putting out new pine straw in a few days. For years I’ve read and heard that the old pine straw should be cleaned...

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Purple Smoke Tree- Pruning

Q: Can you tell me how to prune a purple smoketree? A: Mercy! There are statements of absolute conviction saying opposite things! See: Smoke Tree Plant Spotlight WeedPatch.com I think it is possible two avenues of confusion arise: if a...

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Bradford Pear – Fruit and Thorns

Q: There is a tree in our front yard that I always assumed was a Bradford pear. It blooms the same time, has the same a similar look, but it has berries. It also has thorns on it! Do Bradford...

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Elephant Ear – Protecting for Winter

Q: What is the botanical name of elephant ear? I need to know if now is the right time to dig them up, how to store them and when to replant in the spring. A: Elephant ear is Colocasia esculenta...

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Wild Poinsettia

Q: One day last month my attention was drawn to a new but attractive little weed that had come up in one of my plant beds and grown to a height of about 15 inches. It has all the characteristics...

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Deer – Eating Bird Seed

Q: I’m sending a photo of a doe that I caught in the act of helping herself to one of the feeders in our backyard. We thought a flying squirrel (which we had seen) had been cleaning the feeder out...

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Euonymus – American

Q: Do you have any idea what this is? A: It’s American euonymus, Euonymus americanus….commonly called “Hearts-a-Busting”. You can tell it’s a euonymus because it has green stems (rather than brown ones) coming from the main trunk. The seed pods...

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Confederate Rose – Flower Color

Q: I am a huge hibiscus lover, but I hate the way the tropical ones die at the end of summer. I was thrilled a few years ago when you talked about the Confederate Rose hibiscus. My dad and I...

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Caterpillar Identification Books

Q: We just moved to the Atlanta. Could you tell me the name of the caterpillar book which you mentioned on the radio while discussing caterpillars that sting? I think some of my grandchildren would enjoy it since they’re always...

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Duckweed – Control

Q: We have a lake of approximately 2 acres. My problem is duckweed, Wolffia columbiana that has covered the entire surface of the lake. This has happened for the past two years.Since the warm weather has returned the duckweed has...

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Pampas Grass- Not Pluming

Q: I planted a three gallon pampas grass 2 years ago and it has not bloomed/plumed yet. It is growing, seems healthy, and gets plenty of sunshine. There are no other pampas grass plants in the near vicinity. Do you...

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Effects of Temperature on Plant- Science Fair Project

Q: I am emailing you to ask for your help with my science fair project in botany. My topic is “How would various temperatures affect the growth of a ‘Baby Gold’ ivy?” I was intend to take 4 of the...

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Holly – Naming

Q: My father had a holly that he had found in the woods years ago. He grew 2 other plants from cuttings. One he gave to a special customer and the other was planted at my sister’s house. Her plant...

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Moreton Bay Fig- Growing

Q: On a recent visit to San Diego, my wife and I were awe-struck by a couple of Moreton Bay Fig trees (obviously the one in Balboa Park, but also a couple we saw on Coronado Island). Anychance at all...

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Number of Feet – in Acre

Q: Could you please tell me how many feet are in one acre of land? A: It depends on which creatures are standing there. Many more spider feet can fit on an acre than can elephant feet. Now of course,...

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Chinese Lantern- Propagation

Q: I have a Chinese Lantern (don’t know which) that had beautiful lantern blooms in August. The blooms are dying back and revealing a bright red berry or perhaps seed. How can I propagate the plant to share with my...

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Aucuba – Pollinator

Q: I am needing a pollinator for an aucuba. I think I need Aucuba Crassifolia. A: Indeed Aucuba ‘Crassifolia’ is the only male pollinator for the female...

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