✿ Ask Heidi

Hey Folks!

I've been getting many comments over the years. I LOVE engaging with all of you regarding your garden and plant concerns. Feel free to like my Facebook Page or Instagram account, you can contact me personally there, or make comments here by spreading some seed via this blog.  Click on my social media links below:
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Just ask!  Looking forward!

19 comments:

  1. Andee Cordano andeecordano@gmail.comMonday, June 12, 2017

    Greetings!
    Thank you for your posts on aphids. Meadow rue thrives in our northern grotto patio in Anchorage,
    Alaska. I have tried everything, smashing, spraying with water, homemade soap mixtures, Neem oil soap. Each spring the pesky aphids return. This year they are also on the columbine surrounding some of the Thalictrum. I will look for nettles and try that with my soap solution. Please keep posting, I hope to be surprised one year when they disappear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andee, funny - I just sprayed aphids off of our roses at the back this evening. I seem to have avoided getting them on the Meadow Rue this year. So far, anyway. We mulched the base of the plant last fall with Hemlock shredded bark. It's a finer grade of mulch that works well with perennials. I think it has boosted the Meadow Rue's ability to avoid the aphid attack. Perhaps try a type of mulch if you can. Cheers!

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  2. Hi Heidi:

    On your website you have a picture of a cornflower with a tiny black and white inch worm. I have those on my coneflowers too! Do you know what they are? I have been searching the internet and have had no luck so far.

    Thanks,
    Renu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Renu, Good eye! Yes, that summer we had several of our trees with the Fall Cankerworm (Inch Worm) Alsophila pometaria. Several of them dangled down with their silken threads and landed on our Echinacea and Hostas below. I watched it gingerly crawl off the flower and dangle down to the next set of leaves. I didn't notice any feeding on the Echinacea.

      This year in Toronto, we have 'cankerworms' in huge proportions. The mild winter and wet spring has unearthed a huge infestation. Our trees are chewed up pretty bad.

      Cheers! H :)

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  3. Thank you for solving the mystery! The winter was mild here too in NYC, so that would explain it. While the echinacea are not near any trees, they probably were at the nursery where I purchased them.

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  4. Hello,
    My Nanna has just been moved to a nursing home and she has the loveliest little Holly bush in her garden, of course now the ground is fully frozen in Hamilton and the house is no longer hers as of January. Any suggestions? I would love to save it, to keep it in the family she has pruned it perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh dear, I feel for you and your Nanna! I can't say I've ever transplanted or uprooted a Holly Bush this late in December. If the ground is frozen solid, well it would be rather tricky trying to dig it up. I wouldn't advise trying to do it this late, now that winter is here to stay. I too wished to uproot many shrubs and perennials from my parents' home, but couldn't. I do however, drive by occasionally and become thankful in seeing the same shrubs live on despite the new owners endeavours.

    Perhaps ask the new homeowners in early summer, to see if you can take some cuttings to root.

    Or take some cuttings now and press them for memories sake.

    Take lots of pictures for memories sake.

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  6. We have about 15 euonymus shrubs of all sizes and ages that seem to have been hit by something this 'spring'. Many of them have dropped a lot of leaves, some have sort of rusty coloured leaved and some are faded. A few of them now have what look like healthy new growth. Could all of these have been attacked in one season by scale or is this some sort of winter kill? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you see why crusty rice looking debris on the stems of your euonymus, then you might have scale insects. But generally, when we have a harsh winter in the Toronto area, because euonymus are broadleaf evergreens, their leaves can become brown, faded, papery and drop. Not to worry, euonymus are tough and will defoliate with lush new growth. Be patient. Water the shrubs during drought times to help the plants re-flush foliage during the hot summer months. Check your euonymus stems for scale. Check the top tab of insects and disease where you can find a post on Euonymus scale. Cheers

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  7. Hello! We have boxwood shrubs that we’ve had for about five years. We recently noticed they are making “buzzing” sounds. I read somewhere it could be an infestation of some sort. We have no clue what we are doing, if it’s an infestation how can we best treat it? Or do we rip them out? Thank you in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you have boxwood leaf minor or boxwood psylids. I've heard the buzzing sound with both. Specifically with the leaf miner. Here is a post I made on how to treat it: http://www.heidihorticulture.com/2013/05/boxwood-leaf-miner-monarthropalpus.html

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  8. Hi Heidi,
    I want to tell you that your blog post on pruning and propagating jade plant is the best that I have come across. Thank you for taking the time to include so much information and detail. This blog has been bookmarked, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

    I do want to ask you a question -
    My jade plants are roughly 20 years old. There is nowhere in my yard that gets consistent sun, so the plants are suuuuuper leggy. Long stems with no leaves for a foot or more. Do you have advice on pruning them back when the only growths are so far up? I want them to be healthy and thick again.

    I appreciate any suggestions.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shea Lynn. You can prune Jade, no matter how long and old they are. Three elements you must remember: 1) recovery time: if you think the plant will respond by refoliating - or budding out quickly after a heavy prune - think again. The thicker the stems, the woodier the stock, the longer it will take to bounce back. 2) Plant Health. If the plants are robust, they have adequate reserves, good root structure and enough nutrients are being drawn up with your watering schedule, then the plant will respond quicker to a heavy prune. 3) Jade plants prefer sunny exposures. You can't change that. Right plant for the right condition. They are only responding to what is offered. Good luck.

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  9. Hey Heidi, I am so terribly upset I set my new little ponytail palm outside yesterday to get some good sunshine and it came a flood last night herr in north ga :(..I woke up 5:30 am this mornin and remembered and when I went out to get it it was overflowing with water😢 I feel terrible ok poured out the water I cld brought it in and used paoer towells to dry the soil tge best I cld its still so wet.. I dont have alot of money and the soil I used when I ppotted it in its container vase had little white millepedes or cenetedes there tiny but they were so many after all that rain. Can you pls tell me will my plant die . I sat it on stove under light to hopefully dry some the water up . my mama gave this to me and I'm a plant lover n animal lover and I'm aloner so you might say this plant is like a friend I hope to have a long time . pls cld you tell me what I can do or will it be ok ?? Thanks again for all your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to worry. Pony Tail Palms can tolerate drought - the bulbous base to the plant is sort of like a camel's hump. It stores much needed moisture in times of dryness. Centipedes and millepedes require moisture, they will look elsewhere for moist debris. Just allow your plant to thoroughly dry out. Lift the bottom of the pot on to risers, to allow adequate air flow, to help dry the pot out. Check on the plant, and only give it water if the leaves seem dry and limp. Otherwise, pony tail palms can hack the occasional dry spell.

      Another way to rid the centipedes, is to place wet paper towels or newspaper under the pots with holes in the bottom. The centipedes will congregate there. First thing in the morning - remove the pot from the wet paper beneath, collect and remove what ever centipedes are there. You reduce them in number this way. You may not get them all, but you'll get most of them.

      Best of luck.

      Happy New Year!

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  10. Hello Heidi,

    I am looking for a Hinoki Falsecypress and I'm having a hard time looking for it in local areas.
    I am based off of Toronto and would like to ask if you know of any place near me.

    Thank you.


    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Alex, I've seen them at Plant World and Humber Nurseries. Try sourcing locally grown HInoki's. Many sell west coast product. They are not used to our hardiness and you may find them harder to establish. Try contacting NVK Connons - they sell wholesale and will perhaps tell you where their product is sold in the GTA.

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  12. Hi Heidi, I am new to plants and stuff,so I really don't even know the name of my indoor plant 😁. The soil of my plant has got a colony of black ants, a few small snails, and one millipede. I wanted to ask, is it alright to have them all in the soil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, not really - it just means you have a cozy environment for them all. I would try to rid it of the snails and ants, for sure. The millipede isn't a worry. Place the plant /pot on a few layers of damp newspaper - that should fish out the snails. The ants will require an ant trap. Good luck.

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