Shrubs

Holly flowers black in fall

Q: Can you identify this black muck on the stems of my hollies? It is loose and falls off when touched. A: Great pix and sharp eyes! I think you’re seeing the decomposing holly flowers. You can wash them off...

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Why don’t identical hydrangeas grow the same?

Q: I planted three hydrangeas last year. One is thriving but the other two not so much. They are all planted in the same area with similar soil and mulched with pine straw. Can you advise as to why one...

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Azalea Lacebug – Control

You may have seen the damage lace bugs do to azaleas without knowing who did the dirty deed. Lace bugs suck the juice out of individual leaf cells. Since they hide underneath azalea leaves, you’ll never notice the bugs but...

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Recovering loropetalum from severe pruning

Q: Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I cut these loropetalums back drastically when we moved in the house. What should we do now? A: An honest confession is good for the soul, my mother would say. Typically a loropetalum will...

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Hydrangea limbs suddenly wilt and die

Q: Why would my well established oakleaf hydrangea that has been in the same spot for eight years and has always bloomed for me suddenly be dead? Last year many of the stalks seemed to be dying. This spring it...

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Hydrangea wilts after planting

Q: I planted hydrangeas to spruce up my yard before putting my house on the market. They were getting along just fine for over a month and then they began to fade and wilt. A: The wilted flowers on your...

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Donating Mahonia Bushes

Q: I have thousands of naturally growing mahonia bushes in front of my house in the woods. If you’d like I will donate them to you to dig all you want. A: Thank you, but I have plenty for now....

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Want Some Mahonia Bushes?

Q: I have thousands of naturally growing mahonia bushes in front of my house in the woods. If you’d like I will donate them to you to dig all you want.  A: Thank you, but I have plenty for now....

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Arborvitae dry roots and proper planting

Q: Can you identify what’s killing my Emerald Green arborvitae trees? The trees would first get small patches of gray/brown needles. Then, the browning spreads until it consumes the tree. Can you identify what is causing this issue? A: It...

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Azalea and Camellia – Leaf Gall

Q: The leaves on the ends of some of my camellia branches are swollen and thicker than the rest of the leaves. They are also lighter green. I’ve seen this on azaleas but not on camellias. Is it the same...

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Hedge To Plant In Between Yards

Q: We are transplants from southern California. I want to landscape my grandson’s new home with a hedge in between his yard and his neighbors. He is twenty-one with no interest in gardening and I will not be around forever...

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What Other Plants Can I Plant Where My Boxwood Was?

Q: I have a topiary boxwood that has succumbed to boxwood blight. I know one can’t replant a boxwood in the same site but are there other shrubs that I could put in the same place?  A: Boxwood blight has...

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When To Prune Butterfly Bushes?

Q: We have some lovely butterfly bushes that are getting too big for their space. When is the best month to prune them back?  A: Butterfly bush responds very well to yearly pruning in the winter. Blooms on this shrub...

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When To Cut My Lenten Roses Back?

Q: We have lots of very healthy Lenten roses and autumn ferns. My husband wants to cut off all the leaves and fronds from the plants. I think they look great just the way they are. Is there any reason...

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Yellow leaves on Florida anise in spring

Q: The leaves on our large Florida anise shrubs are turning yellow and have black spots. What may be causing this? What can we do to address the problem? A: Good news! This is normal springtime behavior. Nothing to worry...

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Paperbush (Edgeworthia) flowers hurt by early frost

Q: My paperbush (Edgeworthia) flowers were very small this year. I think the cause was the long, hot, dry summer at a time when they usually set their flowers for winter. A: I think the problem was caused by cold,...

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Soft Caress mahonia problems

Q: I planted several Soft Caress mahonia shrubs last year. The plants appear to be dying now. I trimmed back the dead branches. I really like the look of these plants. A: “Soft Caress’ is an intriguing plant. Rather than...

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Boxwood Alternatives

Q: I have a topiary boxwood that has succumbed to boxwood blight. I know one can’t replant a boxwood in the same site but are there other shrubs that I could put in the same place? A: Boxwood blight probably...

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