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Past Questions and Answers | June 2017

Question #1

Question:  I have a lemon tree in a pot, 9 months old. The new leaves are curling up like a slimy big in them. Tracks on leaves like a tiny slug, but cannot find anything. Tree does not look happy. Should I cut off all these leaves or branches and spray with white oil or only take off effected leaves.

  Jan, NSW


ANSWER:   You can remove the diseased leaves, but do not cut off the branches. Sounds more like a disease than a pest. Try spraying it with a fungicide containing copper and see if that does not solve the problem.

Question #2

Question:  Should you sprinkle mulch within your ground cover plants

  Dan, Carmel, In


ANSWER:   Not mulch. You can sprinkle up to an inch of compost within your ground cover plants to fertilize them for the year. Too much blocks the sun and can cause a problem.

Question #3

Question:  I live in central FL. I would like to plant annuals in containers on my lanai. I need to have some type of listing of annuals that grow well in my area. I prefer flowers that are vibrantly colorful. My lanai receives the sun at the hottest time of day. I have areas on the lanai that receive some shade, as well. I'm new at this so I would like plants that do not require a great deal of attention besides watering and deadheading. Thank you.

  Laurie Moyer, Lady Lake, FL


ANSWER:   Your county Extension Agent will have an extensive list of annuals that do well in your county. This article explains how to grow annuals and has a long list of them that grow well in Florida:

Question #4

Question:  Hello, I apologize in advance, I'm not a gardner but have a gardeningquestion!! Last summer our knock out roses developed the mosaic virus. My husband is currently uprooted all 4 & destroying them. it ok to replant some shrubs in the same area? Is there any concern with the soil? And can you perhaps make a recommendation for a nice, pretty, low maintenance shrub? We live in the midwest(Kansas) so our summer's get very hot & humid! Thank you & look forward to hearing from you.

  Gwen, Overland Park, KS


ANSWER:   Mosaic virus stays in the soil and debris and will infect a wide range of shrubs and other plants. It is better not to replant where you know it has been a problem.

The Kansas Extension service has a list of shrubs that gives you quite a bit of information to aid you in picking the right shrub for your garden. It is at

Question #5

Question:  I have a snake plant and watering it every 2 weeks has only gotten the shoots to shrivel how can I fix this plant? The new shoots are still coming up but I am worried the rest will die off.does it need fertilizer?

  Sandy Ramp, Unadila, NY


ANSWER:   You are not watering the plant correctly. In summer and spring, you need to water the plant only when the surface of the soil feels dry. In the winter and fall, you need to water it only when the pot is quite dry or the foliage droops. You need to fertilize the plant once in the spring with a water soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer. Be sure and follow label directions when using the fertilizer.

Question #6

Question:  I have a planting question. My tiny garden has only this 2 x 12 space that is filled with daffodils. I was told that I can just plant my summer/fall flowers on top, but what do you do with the greens that are still there? I thought the bulb needed the greens to feed it for next year's bloom.

  Val, Philadelphia, PA


ANSWER:   You cannot plant your summer/fall flowers on top of your daffodils. They do need that time with the green foliage to gain the energy for next year. What you can do is plant bulbs that come up at various times of the year together without depriving any one bulb of the energy it needs for blooming the next year. If you want summer/fall plants you will have to remove some of your daffodils and use the empty space to plant the other flowers.

Question #7

Question:  How is the best way to do mulch in flower beds so it doesn't wash away?

  Judy Simmons, Chadbourn


ANSWER:   The recommendation is to put down bark based mulch to a depth of three inches and it should not wash away. If the water is going through your flowerbeds so much that it removes your mulch, you have a drainage problem and should work on that first.

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