Gardening Q and A

Winged Elm – Identification

Q: We have an oak that’s 20′ to 25′ feet tall which has a strange growth on the bark. Do you know what this is and whether anything needs to be done? A: A case of mistaken identity! I think...

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Houseplant – Leaf Spot

Q: I have a houseplant that looks like it’s being eaten by something but I don’t see any insects near it or on it. A: I can determine by the yellow “halo” around the notches that this is caused by...

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Ivy Houseplant – Maintaining

Q: I need advice on how to nurse an indoor ivy plant back to tip-top health. My coworker has had it for ten years. For six months it has been limp and has been fading in color and in foliage....

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Clothes Moth – Control

Q: Can you tell what kind of insect this is, they are all over my washroom. A: It’s a clothes moth. The female moth lays eggs on fabric and carpet. When the larvae emerge, they begin munching on it. You...

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Indian Hawthorn – Leaf Spot

Q: We have a fifteen-foot tall Indian hawthorn tree in our courtyard that is losing leaves. But most Indian hawthorns are shrubs, right? How can we save it? A: Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I did...

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Cleyera – Leaf Spot

Q: I have lived in this house for two years. When we moved in, the cleyera was thick and growing like crazy. Not anymore. I’m thinking my frequent trimming (cutting the shoots off the top to avoid blocking the windows)...

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Dogwood – Planting Three Colors

Q: I would like to plant dogwoods in memory of a loved one. I would like to plant a white, a pink and a red dogwood together so they fuse into one mass with three colors. Will that work? A:...

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Tick – Engorged

Q: Can you help us identify this beetle? We found it on the front steps. A: It’s not a beetle…it’s a tick! A very well-fed tick at that. It is engorged after feeding on an animal and has dropped off...

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Azalea – Small Root Ball in Pot

Q: My wife came home from a nursery with some native azaleas. I dutifully planted them but the root ball seems exceptionally small for a plant of this size. It was in a 3 gallon container. Do you think I...

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Sapscker Holes – Attract Insects

Q: I have a tree in my yard that has many small holes in it, oozing sap. There are a lot of small flying insects about the size of no-see-ums around the holes. Can you help me understand what is...

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Cranberries – Growing in Georgia

Q: Did I hear you say on radio that cranberries can be grown in Georgia? A: No, it’s way to hot here for cranberries to prosper. They require cool summers and cold winters plus lots of water around the roots....

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Air Layering – How To

Q: I have heard you mention air layering as a good way to propagate shrubs. Can you describe it for me? A: Air layering is a great way to make rooted cuttings from your favorite rose, camellia or azalea. The process...

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Japanese Maple – Damaged by Tree Falling

Q: My Japanese maple needs help. A tree service miscalculated when dropping a pine tree in my front yard. They dropped the tree correctly into an open area, but when it hit the earth it bounced. And unfortunately it bounced...

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Gardenia – Failure to Water After Planting

Q: Can you suggest why eight of my gardenias died in three months? We planted them in late August 2014. By mid October all were like the pictures. When they required water, our irrigation system was used. A: It looks...

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Black Streaks – In Zoysia

Q: I have zoysiagrass. It was beautiful last summer…thick and green. I feel that the lawn maintenance people we have mowing our lawn did not keep the lawn cut low enough. It always seemed too high. They just started cutting...

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Honey Mushroom – Rhizomorphs Under Tree Bark

Q: A few weeks ago we found a vine-like growth under the bark of my old poplar tree, rest its soul. Did you have any thoughts about this? A: They’re the rhizomorphs (spreading roots) of a fungus named Armillaria mellea....

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Red-shouldered Bug – Identified

Q: We have hundreds of insects in our yard and we don’t know what they are. I went to a big box store and stumped their gardening experts with it as well. They congregate in large groups. As far as...

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Cold Weather Covering – When to Remove

Q: I covered my hydrangeas and fig bush to protect them from the cold in February. Is this overkill? When should I take off the plastic? A: I think “overkill” is correct. The only time these plants need to be...

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