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What Are the Spots on My Flowering Dogwood?


“What are the spots on my dogwood tree leaves, and how can I prevent them? They come back every year.” Question from Jennifer of Ramsey, Indiana.
Answer: If you see no stem or branch dieback on your flowering dogwood, then it is likely suffering from spot anthracnose (Elsinoe corni), a fungal disease that is unattractive but NOT deadly, unlike dogwood anthracnose. Another possibility is Septoria […]

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How Do I Manage Black Vine Weevils?


“How do I get rid of vine weevils in the garden without using expensive nematodes?” Question from Kathy of Sparks, Nevada
Answer: The greatest damage done to vines, like hops and grapes, and shrubs, like rhododendron and hydrangea, is caused by adult black vine weevils. The adults are also the most vulnerable to treatment. The larvae do chew on the roots of host plants, but […]

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How Do I Kill Trumpet Vine?


“I am having the hardest time killing trumpet vines & they have taken over my yard. I use roundup every year, but it’s not killing the root system.” Question from Rosie of Wichita, Kansas
Answer: Red trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a beautiful native vine with giant, trumpet-shaped, orange-red flowers loved by hummingbirds, but as you have discovered,  it is best left for roadside fencelines […]

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Help! My Barbados Cherry is Dying


“I have a Barbados cherry tree that I just bought from a fast-growing tree nursery, and it’s small and dying. When I got the plant, all the leaves were gone, and it’s just not growing. I added seaweed and some fish emulsion, but it just won’t grow. There is green when I scratch the stem. What can I do to bring it back?” Question from […]

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What Shrub Rose is Heat- and Drought-Tolerant and Fragrant?

Rosa californica ‘Plena’
“I’m looking for a low-maintenance shrub rose that produces highly scented flowers that will thrive in Las Vegas, NV.” Question from Katherine of Las Vegas, Nevada
Answer: There are several fragrant shrub roses that can withstand high heat in your dry USDA Hardiness Zone 8-9 location. But, there are no classic, cultivated shrub roses that can withstand extended drought. There are, however, some native […]

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What are Good Shade Trees and Shrubs for Wet Clay Soils?

Red Maple is one of many trees tolerant of shade and wet, clay soils.
“What are the best trees and shrubs for western NC that can take shade and wet, clay soil?” Question from Vickie of West Palm Beach, Florida
Answer: I am assuming you have another home in North Carolina. There are several great trees and shrubs that will grow well in shady spots with wet, […]

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What is the Best Thing to Do About Peach Leaf Curl Disease?


“What is the best thing to do about peach leave curl?” Question from Craig of Big Bar, California
Answer: This disease of peaches and nectarines is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and it is really damaging, causing deformations of flowers, leaves, fruit, and even shoots. It can cause real problems with tree health and fruit production. There are a few things that you can […]

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How Do I Protect My Potted Hydrangea in Winter?


“What am I supposed to do with my potted hydrangea in the winter? It’s too big to move around. I did cover it with leaves and pine needles. It lost all its leaves. Is that normal?” Question from Kriss of Steilacoom, Washington.
Answer: Most hydrangeas are deciduous, which means they drop their leaves in winter. Potted specimens are most often big leaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), particularly […]

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Can I Grow Palm Trees in Georgia?


“Can I grow Palm trees in Georgia?” Question from Debbie of Norcross, Georgia
Answer: Yes! There are several palms and palmettos that will grow well in your USDA Hardiness Zone 7 to 8 location. Most won’t reach the grand heights of palms grown in truly tropical regions, but all will add interest to your landscape. I opted to include palms in my list rather than scrubby […]

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How Do You Start Raspberries from Canes?


How do you start raspberries from canes? Question from Deborah of Los Lunas, New Mexico
Answer: Raspberries are one of the easiest fruits to propagate from canes or cuttings because they readily root, even without the help of rooting hormone. In fact, if you let canes naturally weep to the ground in your garden, they will root as they touch the ground. In time a single […]

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