Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
Sap is oozing out of an old pruning cut on my elm. Is this a serious problem?
Answer:

The sap oozing from the elm wound is probably due to bacterial wetwood or slime flux.  Bacterial wetwood or slime flux is a common on elm, cottonwood, and mulberry.  It also occurs on maple, birch, ash, linden, redbud, and other...

Question:
My African violets aren't blooming well. Why?
Answer:

The African violets may not be receiving adequate light.  The proper amount of light is essential for good bloom.  Generally, windows with north or east exposures are best for African violets.  However, if these exposures are not...

Question:
I recently received a flowering azalea as a gift. How do I care for it?
Answer:

In the home, place the azalea in a brightly lit, cool location.  An ideal site is one near a window that receives bright light (but no direct sunlight) and temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

An important aspect of...

Question:
How do I care for a calceolaria or pocketbook plant?
Answer:

Place calceolarias in a brightly lit, cool location.  The location should receive bright light, but not direct sunlight.  Ideal temperatures are 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  Check the potting soil daily.  When the surface of...

Question:
Is snow beneficial to landscape plants?
Answer:

A layer of snow is beneficial to many plants in the garden and landscape.  A layer of snow protects plants from extreme cold and the drying effects from sun and wind.  A layer of snow also prevents repeated freezing and thawing of the...

Question:
My shrubs are flopping over due to the weight of heavy, wet snow. What should I do?
Answer:

The weight of heavy, wet snow can cause considerable damage to small trees and shrubs.  When heavy, wet snow accumulates on small trees and shrubs, gently shake the snow from their branches or carefully brush off the snow with a broom....

Question:
My poinsettia suddenly wilted and died. Why?
Answer:

The sudden death of the poinsettia was likely due to a root rot.  Pythium and Rhizoctonia root rots typically occur when plants are watered too frequently and the potting soil is kept saturated.  Allow the surface of the potting soil to...

Question:
Small, white insects flutter about my poinsettia when I water the plant. What are they and how do I control them?
Answer:

The small, white insects are likely whiteflies.  Whiteflies are common insect pests of poinsettia, hibiscus, chrysanthemum, and a number of other indoor plants.  They are most often noticed when watering or handling a plant.  When...

Question:
Can paperwhite narcissus bulbs be saved after they have been forced indoors?
Answer:

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs should be discarded after flowering.  Paperwhites cannot be successfully forced again and are not winter hardy outdoors. 

Question:
When are trees and shrubs most vulnerable to rabbit browsing?
Answer:

In the home landscape, rabbits feed on herbaceous plants (annuals, perennials, vegetables, and grasses) during the growing season.  Trees and shrubs become food sources in late fall and winter (December through March).  Damage to trees...

Question:
An amaryllis bulb saved from a previous year produces leaves, but doesn’t bloom. Why?
Answer:

An amaryllis bulb purchased at a garden center or other retail business typically blooms 6 to 8 weeks after the bulb is potted up.  In succeeding years, proper cultural practices must be followed to get the bulb to bloom on an annual basis...

Question:
Deer have eaten the foliage on the bottom portions of several arborvitae. Will the bare areas green back up in spring?
Answer:

When a prolonged period of snow cover deprives deer of food on the ground, deer often feed on trees and shrubs in woodlands, windbreaks, and home landscapes.  Among evergreens, arborvitae and yews are most susceptible to browsing by deer in...

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