dear master gardener: I’m still finding ugly stink bugs in my home in the Twin Cities area. Do they stay in Minnesota over the winter? Do they damage plants?
answer: The brown stink bug (BMSB) is a recent pest in Minnesota that invades our homes in the winter, along with the Asian ladybird and box beetle. Yes, according to the DNR, in Minnesota brown marmolated stink bugs overwinter as adults in plantations, homes, sheds and garages in a hibernating state. Adults emerge as early as March and April and may give offspring in June. They usually feed in September when populations peak and he feeds until October, after which they look for wintering sites. There are endemic stink bugs and other species that are sometimes confused with BMSB. Some of these look-alikes are useful predators for pest control, but unfortunately BMSB is a problem for a variety of fruits and vegetables.
dear master gardener: I know I have to prune my apple tree soon, but the snow is so deep that I don’t know if I can reach it. When and how should apple trees be pruned?
answer: The best time to prune fruit trees is in late winter or early spring when the health of the tree is least affected. Extreme cold temperatures after pruning can reduce winter hardiness and winter damage slightly and quickly, so prune apple trees when the coldest period has passed. Pruning before is desirable. Keep pruning to a minimum, especially for young trees. Excessive pruning delays or reduces fruit set and leaves the plant overgrown. The University of Minnesota recommends removing diseased, broken, dead, or downward-growing branches if two limbs are crossed, intertwined, or competing. , remove one of them completely from the root. Remove the limbs along the trunk with a larger diameter than the trunk. Also, remove straight suckers and water buds. Make a pruning cut near the collar of the branch at the base of the limb.
dear master gardener: I have a blue echeveria and some of the lower leaves are turning brown and crunchy but the rest of the plant is beautiful and healthy. mosquito? Also, there are two stems that seem to grow out of the central rosette and bloom, but they are bent. Is it normal or is it a watering problem?
answer: If the Echeveria is healthy and growing well, you don’t have to worry about the few lower leaves dying. It’s normal for the lower leaves of many succulents, especially rosette types, to turn brown, crunchy and fall off from time to time. You can also remove them to keep your plants clean. A blue echeveria bloomed in the fall and is about to bloom again. The peduncle bends and the flowers droop. When it blooms, it is orange-pink and very beautiful. It is a very beautiful plant with blue leaves and pretty flowers!
dear master gardener: I bought some Venus flytraps, but I don’t think I have enough bugs in my house in the winter. Do they have to have insects to survive?
answer: Venus Flytrap is a rare houseplant native to Carolina. Nutrients obtained from catching and digesting insects supplement the diet and aid plant growth, but are not required for survival. Like all other plants, Venus flytraps make their own food through photosynthesis. . In their native environment, they grow in the sun, bringing out the red color within their leaf traps. If grown without sunlight, the plant will likely be all green. please. It’s a plant that doesn’t need water! Never fertilize Venus flytraps.
dear master gardener: My spider plant has at least 15 babies. For plant health, should I remove anything? How do I breed my baby?
answer: Spider plants are popular houseplants because they are easy to grow and produce new plants most of the time. You can leave the saplings on to create a very complete look, or remove them to create new plants. Spider plants are easy to propagate. At the ends of long stems called runners, small plants called plantlets develop after flowering. Plantlets often form short white aerial roots that remain attached to the parent plant. Do not remove the sapling from the parent plant until it has roots. Once the roots have developed, the offspring are cut from the parent plant and planted in pots. If you want to speed up root development, place the seedling in another pot with soil and wait for roots to form (this can take 2-3 weeks). Professional potting soil containing sphagnum peat moss with little or no perlite is best.
dear master gardener: I went to my friend’s house last summer and it was beautiful with lights shining through the trees. Is there a way to do that and will it affect the tree?
answer: You can illuminate a beautiful area of your garden by placing a light fixture at the base of a tree trunk and pointing it towards the tree. By doing this, you can capture beautiful foliage in the sky. Uprights can be very nice if you have trees with unusual branching or nice bark. When placing lighting fixtures, try to keep them as inconspicuous as possible. The goal is to have a soft and subtle glow that is natural and provides ambience. By placing the lights in the right places and directing the light to the branches of the trees, you can create dramatic effects in both the garden and the trees. No, it doesn’t harm the tree.
Call the new Master Gardener Helpline at 218-824-1068 and leave a message to get answers to your gardening questions. A master gardener will return your call. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If space permits, I will answer in a column.
University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners are trained and certified volunteers at the University of Minnesota Extension. The information in this column is based on university research.