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Why Does My Pilea Have Black Spots on Its Lower leaves?


“Why is my Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) getting black spots? It’s almost always the lower leaves.” Question from Katherine of Las Vegas, Nevada
Answer: There are several reasons why the semi-succulent Chinese money plant gets black spots. First, consider what it needs to grow. The South China native naturally grows in shaded forests in well-drained soils among damp rocks at higher altitudes. It likes […]

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What Preventative Strategies Stop Garden Pests Before They Attack?


“What is best to use to be on the offensive and keep pests from coming into your garden?” Question from Marilyn of Roseburg, Oregon
Answer: You cannot keep pests from visiting, especially if you are growing their favorite foods. But, cleanliness, monitoring, and planting robust pest-resistant varieties are three excellent tools for keeping pests at bay. Planning ahead for potential pests is another tactic. Let […]

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How Do I Get Rid of Dallisgrass?


“How do I get rid of Dallisgrass?” Question from Mil of Knoxville, Tennesee
Answer: Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum, USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9) is a weedy perennial grass that originates from South America. It forms coarse, stiff clumps that spread and grow quickly–faster than most turfgrasses. There are several ways to rid it from your lawn or garden. Sadly, none are an easy fix. Here are the […]

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Can Potatoes Survive in the Ground Through Winter?


“Can potatoes survive in the ground if they are not harvested when the above-ground foliage is removed? If yes, how long will they last?” Question from Ed or Coats, North Carolina
Answer: It’s an interesting question. The answer is yes and no. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are perennial plants and some cultivated potatoes can be quite hardy. The ability of cultivated forms to survive winter cold […]

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How Do I Stop Squirrels from Eating My Flower Bulbs?


“I have a problem with squirrels digging up my flower bulbs. What can I do?” Question from Susan of Lexington, Kentucky
Answer: Squirrels, voles, mice, and other related creatures dig up tulip certain crocus bulbs but dislike most others. Tulip bulbs are especially tasty treats that hungry critters will dig up in fall and winter when food is scarce or the bulbs look best on […]

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Why Is My Newly Transplanted Tree Wilting?

Why Is My Newly Transplanted Tree Wilting?
“Hi! How do you revive a newly transplanted flowering tree whose leaves and flowers are wilting? It was planted in loose, rich black organic soil (no chemicals have ever been added). It was dug up from my brother’s flower garden, and it was in rocky sandy soil at the time. I brought with me some of the soil it […]

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How Do I Rid My Garden Soil of Disease?


“Curious to know if anyone has figured out a way to get rid of viruses and diseases out of your soil. Mosaic, for example. Flea beetles spread it. Is my garden gone forever? I’m willing to do ANYTHING!” Question from Pam of Conroe, Texas
Answer: Different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases of plants exist in the soil for various amounts of time. Some are not […]

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Why Didn’t My Cannas Bloom?


“This year, I didn’t get many blooms on my cannas. Any ideas?” Question from Gloria of Morgan Hill, California
Answer: I’m sorry to hear that your cannas did not bloom well. Let me cover everything that they need to grow and flower to their fullest, followed up by some danger areas, and you can troubleshoot from there.

What Cannas Need to Grow Well
Cannas (Canna species and […]

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How Can I Remove Spider Mites from My Adenium?


“Help!  My 4-year-old Adenium has always thrived.  Last year it put out 6 seed pods and this year the blooms were massive overpowering any green.  When the blooms finally stopped all the older leaves turned yellow and dropped.  But new ones were coming out.  Now the new ones are all curling and while green on the top the bottoms have brown spots.  It’s in […]

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What Caused My Azaleas to Suddenly Die?

What Caused My Azaleas to Suddenly Die?
“I have many azalea bushes in my yard, and this year, I had three suddenly die off. I couldn’t detect any pests or that type of issue. They were around a tree, and all four lost their leaves very quickly. One has sprouted green. One seems quite dead, and the other two are still bendable and not dead, but […]

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