Gardening Q and A

Rustic Sphinx Moth

Q: I found a caterpillar hanging upside down on my lantana. Can you please tell me what kind it is and what those white things are attached to its back? A: It looks like Rustic sphinx moth caterpillar. The moth...

READ MORE

Maple – Bark Splits

Q: Nine years ago I planted 4 red maples . I am concerned about two of the trees. Their bark has long cracks in it. Why? A: My initial answer is “That’s just what they do sometimes!” Notice how the...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Sprouts in Lawn

Q: Last year I had a very old crepe myrtle tree removed. The stump was removed but now the plant is coming up everywhere. Many of these sprouts are coming from various roots left from the removal. Other than digging...

READ MORE

Squirrel – Chewing on Deck

Q: This past June we helped my son and his wife refinish their deck with Olympic water base stain. Since then the squirrels are chewing the edges of the boards. She has witnessed a squirrel tearing a stick off the...

READ MORE

Hercules Beetle Grub

Q: I’ve seen grubs in my yard from time to time, but yesterday, I ran across a big one. This rascal has to be almost 4″ long when fully stretched out! Normally, grubs are about 3/4″, right? What is it...

READ MORE

Naranjilla – Identification

Q: I took this picture at the North Carolina State Fair horticulture exhibit last fall. I’m curious what it is. It was a decent sized shrub – about 3 feet in height with a wider diameter. A: The plant  is one...

READ MORE

Jerusalem Cherry – Identification

Q: This shrub “volunteered” at the base of a large sweetgum two years ago. I have never seen anything like it. It has small white flowers in the spring and the fruit is as shown; a bright, tomato red, sphere...

READ MORE

Pecan Phylloxera

Q: We have an enormous old pecan tree on our property. While planting some vegetables in mid-summer, we noticed some horrible looking leaves on the ground. We aren’t sure if it’s scab or something worse. Our main concern is if...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Roundup Damage

Q: OK, lets be up front about this, I did a stupid thing. I have made just about every mistake in the gardeners manual, but I make them only once. I forgot to purge my lawn tractor sprayer of Roundup...

READ MORE

Cottony Maple Scale

Q: I have what I think is a fungus on the underside of my red maple. It looks like white puffs of rice with a black spot on one side of the puff. The fungus is on almost every leaf....

READ MORE

Rabbit – Eating Ornamental Sweet Potato

Q: I planted several ornamental sweet potatoes in planters around my house. Immediately, something started gnawing them to the bare stems. I thought it was a chipmunk. Today I caught the actual muncher with a mouth full! A: CAUGHT IN...

READ MORE

Leafcutter Bee – In Branch

Q: I’ve never seen anything like this. A small branch, about as thick as a man’s finger, fell from our mature oak tree. When my husband went to pick it up, he saw a small pile of sawdust at the...

READ MORE

Paperwhite Narcissus – Bloom Again?

Q: I received paperwhite narcissus bulbs for Christmas and they have finished blooming. My question is, if I plant them outdoors, when will they bloom again? A: They will not bloom this spring, certainly, because they have been artificially forced...

READ MORE

Tomato – Blossom End Rot

Q: I’ve successfully grown patio tomatoes on my deck for 3 years. This year, most of the tomatoes suffer from some sort of brownish blotches. It is also happening to my green pepper plants in the pots. Any suggestions? A:...

READ MORE

Acorns – Control Sprouts in Lawn

Q: I have a problem with acorns dropping in beds (pachysandra and juniper). Would Preen inhibit their sprouting in spring? We spend soooo much time on our hands and knees pulling oak “babies”. A: Mark Czarnota, my UGA weed expert...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – ‘Acoma’

Q: When is the best time to plant an ‘Acoma’ crepemyrtle? What is its mature height? A: ‘Acoma’ is an excellent choice for a white-flowering crapemyrtle when space won’t accommodate a ‘Natchez’. ‘Acoma’ grows to 15 feet tall in ten...

READ MORE

Ivy – Removing from Brick

Q: We recently purchased a house that has a hideous overgrowth of ivy on the brick walls and siding. How can I properly remove the ivy without damaging the restored masonry underneath? A: Allowing ivy to grow on walls is...

READ MORE

Geese – Control in Lawn

Q: I have a small pond in my backyard. Geese have taken up residence and are making a mess of our lawn. Any ideas on how to get rid of them? A: Geese molt in late summer so they can’t...

READ MORE