Archive for April, 2012

Sapsucker Feeding May Blacken Maple Trunks

You see or hear a sapsucker tapping in a yard tree and pay little attention to it. The bird perforates the tree or shrub trunk and main branches with numerous shallow holes, similar to a riveter working with sheet metal. A sapsucker feeds on the cambium sap and on insects under the bark. The holes are deep […]

Pest Alert- Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight is a disease caused by a fungus (Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum) which is a serious threat to most boxwood (Buxus) and related species such as sweetbox (Sarcococca spp.). To date there is no evidence of resistance to boxwood blight in any Buxus species. Plant pathologists in England first identified the disease in the mid-1990’s. It […]

Exceptional Describes ‘Major Wheeler’ Climbing Honeysuckle

Climbing or coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a native vine. It can be spotted growing on fence rows along roadsides and in woodlands from Connecticut to Nebraska, and south to Texas and Florida. ‘Major Wheeler’ is one of the better climbing honeysuckles noted for its non-stop production of bright red trumpet flowers and green mildew resistant foliage. Red […]

‘Fireworks’ Pennisetum

Fountain grasses are popular annual grasses that thrive in Southern Appalachian gardens (USDA zones 6 and 7). The new cultivar ‘Fireworks’ is totally spectacular. The mid-vein of the grass blade is burgundy red and edged in hot pink. Fireworks displays three seasons of awesome foliage color before dying off in the fall. Red plume foxtail flowers bloom […]

Fountain Grasses Are Summer Sizzlers

Purple Pennisetum Grass in Hot Parking Lot Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ) is a warm season grass native to Northern Africa (USDA zones 8-10). It is a dense clump-forming grass with several topnotch cultivars. Most popular are purple fountain grasses (varieties ‘Purpureum’ and ‘Rubrum’) for their heat resistant dark reddish purple foliage. The pink to […]

Pest Alert_ Downy Mildew on Annual Impatiens

    In 2011 across Europe, seventy percent (70%) of the garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) were hit with downy mildew. Disease outbreaks were also reported in a few U.S. coastal cities last year. U.S. growers have been preparing for the possible outbreak in summer 2012. The potential for this disease can be catastrophic as the […]

Peruvian Lilies – A Gift Which Keeps On Giving

Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria spp.), also called Lilies of the Nile), are not true lilies (Lilium spp.). Likely, you have purchased a bouquet of alstroemerias from the florist section of your local supermarket. In addition, many potted hybrid varieties have been introduced from Holland and elsewhere over the past decade. Turns out that some Peruvian lilies are perennials, winter hardy in the Southern Appalachian Region (USDA hardiness zones 6 […]

Turk’s Cap Lily for Your Summer Enjoyment

  Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum) is native perennial started from bulbs. The strong single stem grows up to 6 feet tall. Leaves generally form in whorls of 3-9 along the stem. The lanceolate leaves are individually upwards of 7 inches longand 1 inch wide, and rather stiff to the touch. Upwards of 1-12 flowers nod downward from 4-8″ […]

Botrytis Disease in Marigolds Can Be Avoided

Botrytis Disease in Marigolds Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) have been long time favorite summer annuals in Southern Appalachian gardens (USDA zones 6 and 7). Marigolds come in three sizes: 18-36 inch tall “African” marigolds, 12-18 inch medians and 8 -12 inch “French” border types and in two color choices- orange and yellow. Begin planting in April or May after […]

Bloomerang™ Lilac For Non-Stop Flowering

  In most Northeast and Midwestern states, lilacs (Syringa spp.) are the classic spring-flowering shrub, treasured for their beautiful and fragrant flowers. Lilacs are vigorously growing shrubs and are utilized in the landscape as single specimens or as multiple hedging shrubs for privacy. Further south, in the warmer Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and […]