Gardening Q and A

Musk Thistle

Q: I have a beautiful weed growing in my yard. The base of the plant has been growing all winter. It has very sharp thorny leaves. In the last month it has grown at least four feet and has a...

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Peony Leaf Disease

Q: When I grew up in Michigan, my mother had peonies that bloomed without trouble. I dug up some of the roots and brought them to Georgia. I have been unsuccessful in getting them to bloom. They flourish in the...

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Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

Q: Is ‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus an annual or a perennial? I recently purchased two and the garden center listed them as full sun perennials. Other references say the plant is an annual. A: If you were to live in tropical...

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Rohdea – Identification

Q: I bought a plant from Piccadilly Farms, near Bishop, GA, some years ago and have lost the name since then. The plant is evergreen and the blooms appear in early May. It is growing on a dry slope in...

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Olive Tree – Growing from Pit

Q: On New Year’s Day a party guest raised a question I hope you can solve. Is it possible to grow an olive tree from an olive pit? We’ve grown an avocado from a pit. Why not olives? A: An...

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Boxwood – Problems

Q: I have one Japanese boxwood out of six that has had sections die off. I trim out the dead parts hoping they will fill in. The rest of the bush looks healthy and I have seen no signs of...

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Fuchsia – Care

Q: I have a ‘Dark Eyes’ Fuchsia and would like to plant it in the yard. Is this a wise thing to do? A: You are welcome to plant it but I can’t guarantee success. In the first place, fuchsia...

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Windmill Palm – Flower

Q: I have a ten-year old windmill palm that has gotten a bloom on it for the first time. In fact it has three separate pods. Are these seeds or what? A: The yellow sprays are not seed – they...

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Wire Cage – Remove When Planting a Tree

Q: Is it necessary to remove the wire cage from the root ball of a tree? I’ve discovered that the pin oak planted in my yard a year ago still has its cage. There seem to be varying opinions about...

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Small Farm – Starting

Q: I will be retiring soon and would like to investigate buying land and starting a small farm. I don’t know what I can raise on a small acreage and still hope to make money. Do you have any information?...

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Sweetshrub – Identification

Q: There is a wooded area behind our house which has an apparently native blooming shrub. It has odd-looking red blossoms. It also seems to spread easily and I’m wondering how to get it under control. A: Your plant is...

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Garlic – Identification

Q: My sister-in-law recently gave me some iris from her yard. Coming up with the iris is a strange plant I don’t recognize. I’m thinking it may be just a weed, but am not sure at all. A: Break out...

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GG Gerbing azalea – Sport

Q: I have three large-leaved azaleas in my garden. The other day, I noticed two perfect lavender-colored (Formosa)blossoms on an otherwise all-white (G.G. Gerbing) plant. How unusual is this? A: It’s not unusual if you understand the origin of ‘Mrs....

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Hydrangeas – Coloring With Epsom Salt

Q: I’ve been thinking about the notion of applying Epsom salts to hydrangeas to enhance the blue color. Since I have an old box of Epsom salts, I would like to try this, but the word “salt” sent up a...

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Oak Sower Gall

Q: We found a fuzzy, gall-like thing on an oak at Cochran Mill Nature Center. It was white with brownish-red spots. Upon breaking it open, it has seeds inside and appears to have pierced the bark of the tree branch...

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Bridge – Building at Home

Q: I am making a small wood bridge to go over a creek. Is there a book that you know of that tells how to build a bridge? A: Here are some ideas off the Web: Petes Bridge Garden Bridge...

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Gall Insect – on Turfgrass

Q: I’ve found what looks like little cotton balls in my turf. The mass is the same size as spittlebugs but the material is like cotton. Does not appear to be damaging the turf. Any ideas? A: Extension agent Todd...

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Willow Leaf Beetle – Identification

Q: Little black bugs are eating the leaves off my corkscrew willow. What can I use to get rid of them? A: Willow leaf beetles are having a feast at your expense! They do great damage to the leaves but...

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