Gardening Q and A

Night-blooming cereus – Information

Q: My neighbor has a plant she calls a night-blooming cereus. We stayed up until 1:00 a.m. one night watching the flower open, almost like waiting for a new baby to be born. It has the most heavenly scent. Can...

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Cypress vine – invasiveness

Q: Can you tell me anything about cypress vine? I have some seed but want to know how invasive it is before planting. A: Cypress vine, Ipomoea quamoclit is one of the “nicer” invasive vines in that you can readily...

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Stinkhorn mushroom – Identification and Control

Q: A mulched area under one of my trees has a large number of stinkhorns in it. It is beside my children’s bedroom windows and it certainly has the correct name of “stink”! Is there any way to kill them...

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Vinca – Rhizoctonia fungus

Q: The vinca patch in my yard has a fungus that makes the stems turn black. The leaves are first yellow and then turn brown. It appears in patches with no specific pattern. Is there anything I can do to...

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Trees – planting

Q: Is there new thinking about how to properly plant a balled and burlapped tree? I’ve noticed lately that landscapers plant with one-third of the root ball above ground level. A: There is no new thinking about planting, there’s only...

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Creeping Fig

Q: I’m trying to identify a plant and determine if it would grow in Atlanta. I visited Charleston recently. One feature I saw a lot of was a vine that covered steps and walls. It was trimmed fairly tightly to...

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Peegee Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: I purchased a peegee shrub and need to know how and when to prune it. It had many blooms and now has a bad case of flopping downward. What to do? A: With a complicated name like Hydrangea paniculata...

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‘Foster’ Holly – Spittlebug control

Q: My ‘Foster’ holly is covered with black bugs. They are about a half-inch long, with orange stripes running across the body. I hope they don’t kill the holly! A: Your holly is hosting adult spittlebugs. ‘Foster’ and ‘Nellie Stevens’...

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Impatiens – Re-seeding

Q: I have a neighbor with a garden full of impatiens, in varying colors, that re-bloom every year. They disappear in winter then come back in summer. He says that they re-seed themselves. I would appreciate any knowledge that you...

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Daisy Beetle – Control

Q: You talked about tiny flower-eating beetles on your radio show and I kind of half-heard your response while driving. When I got home I found the little guys in my brown-eyed Susans and coneflowers. They are really chewing the...

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Bermudagrass – Homemade fertilizer

Q: Are there any homemade fertilizers for bermudagrass that are just as good as the stuff you buy in garden stores? A: Do not be mis-led by television hucksters claiming that beer or household ammonia make good lawn fertilizer. Grass...

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Juniper – Phomopsis tip blight

Q: I’m in a panic because my junipers are dying. The tips of the branches turn brown. This quickly turns into a very dead branch and so on and so on. I don’t see any noticeable insects. A: Phomopsis tip...

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Fir Trees – Wire embedded in trunks

Q: My neighbor’s backyard has a steep hill which was planted with fir trees. The builder used wire supports on the trees. He decided to remove the supports, but they are embedded in the trunks. He’s thinking of using a...

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Bird of Paradise – Growing

Q: We purchased a bird of paradise plant early last year and planted it in a large container. The plant looks VERY healthy, however it didn’t bloom last year and doesn’t look like it will this year. What could be...

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Bermudagrass – Too much lime

Q: I think I made a big mistake with my new bermudagrass sod lawn. Someone told me I needed to put down lime to reduce acid in my Georgia red clay. No one told me I should have the lawn...

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Sod – Laying too late

Q: I have a friend who purchased ten pallets of fescue sod. She put down one pallet the same day. The other nine pallets were not installed until two days later. The first pallet put down looks great. Only twenty...

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Tiger Lily – propagating by seed

Q: Can you tell me if I can use the seeds that nestle next to each leaf on very old tiger lilies? These are precious to me and I would love to find another way to propagate rather than digging...

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Flower bed – conditioning soil

Q: I have an existing flower bed that was tilled with soil amendments at the beginning but maybe not enough. Will top dressing the entire area with soil conditioner this fall help areas that are lacking in amendments? The bed...

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