Q: I occasionally come across vines that I try to identify to avoid poison ivy. On a recent encounter in Paoli, Indiana, in early October, I thought I was prepared knowing that poison ivy has three leaves and Virginia creeper has five leaves, according to numerous sources. When I inspected the vine in question, to… Continue reading.
What’s killing the oak trees? Q: In 22 years I’ve had more than a dozen oaks die because of a grub or larvae. Symptoms: First the leaves die and turn brown at the top of the tree. It slowly spreads down the tree until all the leaves are brown and have fallen off. Then the bark… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Though your aching back may not agree, heavy winter snows actually are good for your garden and landscape. Snow provides moisture as well as protection from cold and wind. Snow is an excellent insulator against low temperatures and excessive winds. The extent of protection depends on the depth of snow. In… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner The hot dry weather experienced throughout much of Indiana in late summer brought an early leaf drop to many landscape plants. But the eventual leaf drop comes no matter the weather. For some Hoosiers, this marvel is overshadowed by the chores of raking and disposing of leaves. What’s needed here is… Continue reading.
Q: Please don’t think I’m totally crazy, but I couldn’t get anyone around here to answer this question and I thought someone at Purdue could. I have two trees in my backyard that are growing branches that are completely different from the rest of the trees. It is NOT another tree coming up under them,… Continue reading.
BY TIMOTHY J. GIBB It is tick talk time. When I say “tick talk,” I am not referring to a timekeeping device, such as a watch or a clock. I am simply pointing out it is the best time to discuss ticks and their potential danger. Most people have had the disagreeable experience of finding… Continue reading.
BY B. ROSIE LERNER We can be so difficult to please. When plants flower when we want them to flower, we call it “blooming.” But when plants flower when we don’t want them to, we call it “bolting.” Flowering is an undesirable trait when growing rhubarb; therefore, bolting describes the event. Gardeners frequently ask why… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I’m having an argument with my wife about a plant in our yard, and we hope you can help arbitrate. I’ve sent a photo of a plant that we found growing near some shrubs. Neither of us remember planting it. My wife thinks it’s pretty ground cover and that we… Continue reading.
A growing concern for years, especially for those in the world of agriculture, has been the marked decline of bee populations necessary for pollination of plants and crops. That concern was dialed upward last year with the addition of the rusty patch bumblebee to the list of endangered species. It is the first bee to… Continue reading.
Winter is the worst time of year for indoor air quality. House plants do more than simply make your home look better. These plants can help make your home healthier and better for you to live in by improving the air quality. Dracaena is a long striped plant that can easily thrive in your home… Continue reading.
Q: I had potato bugs really bad this year. I picked them off every few days, but they just came back. I tried Sevin, but the rain just washed it off. What can I do about potato bugs? — S. Newland, Columbus, IN A: There are a number of insecticides labeled for control of Colorado… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I sent in a mystery plant question that was featured in your column in the July 2017 issue. The plant was not doing well then but has finally begun flourishing. I have identified it to be a portulaca molokiniensis. I have found various sites that all give different descriptions on… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner People often select plants first for their beauty and second for their functionality in the garden. Frequently, we don’t know or don’t consider a plant’s behavior when we’re selecting them. Almost by definition, a species that is an effective ground cover will have a spreading habit. But does that make the… Continue reading.