Gardening Q and A

Dodder Vines

Q: I have orange vines, about the size of spaghetti, wrapping itself around my coreopsis and vinca. It does not seem to have roots. Any ideas what it is? A: It’s the parasitic plant named dodder, also known as devil’s...

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Weed Killer

Q: We had a large oak tree removed and the area underneath sprayed to control English ivy. I would like to plant a vegetable garden in that area next summer. How long does it take weed killer to dissipate? A:...

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Japanese Maple Seed Pods

Q: I have a mature Japanese maple that has generated lots of seed pods. How do I store and germinate the seeds into seedlings. A: Although maple seeds nominally require three months of moist, cold conditions, I’d plant a dozen...

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Walnut Tree Mulch

Q: This spring, after planting the garden, we heavily mulched with fresh shredded material the power line maintenance crew brought us. It has been a total bust. The tomato plants were dwarfed, the cukes were disfigured, and I only had...

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Anthurium – Re-potting

Q: I need to repot my anthurium. Do I need to put a layer of stones in the new pot? A: There is no need to put stones in the bottom of a pot. In fact, you harm the plant...

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Lilies – Pruning

Q: When do you cut back the leaves of calla lilies, daylilies, and Oriental lilies? A: I scissor off brown leaves whenever I see them and have my pruners handy. It’s my experience that “green leaves are good leaves” so...

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Daphne Wilting

Q: I’ve noticed that my seven-year old daphne has started to wilt from the top and it’s moving down. Your website mentions a lethal fungus called Phytophthora. Can a replacement daphne be planted in the same soil later? A: I...

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Trimming Asparagus

Q: I planted asparagus two years ago. The plants are six feet tall. Do I leave this growth or trim it back? A: The ferny foliage is vital to absorb the energy needed to make stronger roots and more spears...

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Gerber Daisies – Will They Come Back?

Q: This year, I initially had blooms on my Gerber daisies, but once I removed the flower, they didn’t produce any other blooms. A: This South African native is known for the bright flowers it produces in spring and fall....

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Growing Scuppernong Vine

Q: I recently received a cutting from a friend’s scuppernong vine. It has taken root but how do I handle it now? A: I’d leave the young plant alone for several months and let it become strong. You can move...

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Japanese Maple Coloration

Q: My Japanese maple gets morning sun and afternoon shade, but the red foliage is turning more green now. Is there something I could do for a redder leaf foliage? A: There’s not much you can do. Japanese maple expert...

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Planting Pansy Seeds

Q: I am getting ready to plant some pansy seeds and want to know the basics. A: Pansies need a constant temperature of 70 degrees in order to germinate and grow strongly. It’s possible you could get the low temperature...

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Brown Bermuda Lawn

Q: Why is my bermuda lawn brown? The tips of the grass grow green, but the grass near the soil is brown. When I mow the grass each week it is brown for a few days until the tips of...

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Blueberry Plants Diseases

Q: I have a long row of mature blueberry plants. For the past two years, all of my berries have turned brown and dropped just prior to maturing. I theorized this was mummy berry disease so I replaced all the...

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Deadheading Flowers

Q: Should all flowers be deadheaded when they wither? Do I just cut off the dead bloom or snip the stem? A: I think most plants look better when the dry flowers are removed. The usual method is to make...

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Cottonseed Meal – In Garden

Q: Will cottonseed meal from a feed store work the same as the cottonseed meal I purchased from a garden center? It is much cheaper at the feed store. A: They are exactly the same thing. Products sold for fertilizer...

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Maple – Black Trunk

Q: I have a maple tree on which the trunk is turning black. Should I be worried? A: Art Morris, Master Arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts says he sees this quite a bit. Dark staining of maple tree trunks is...

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Meyer Lemon – Bloom Time

Q: I think my Meyer lemon tree is confused! It is flowering and has baby lemons started in winter. I pruned it last January, hoping the new growth would stimulate flowers in April, but just got more green foliage. What...

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