Q: Here are some cool pics. I had to cut back all the hibiscus. It’s a new bud, but it looks infected/infected, so I cut it off too. I have treated all 4 plants with neem oil.
A: Hibiscus plants can be plagued by several insects such as whiteflies, aphids and mealybugs. They all suck the sap from the leaves and can release sticky nectar. The red-and-black-spotted insects look like Asian ladybugs that eat aphids. The burrows in your dog could be caused by beetles or caterpillars, but don’t worry now. Neem oil should have worked, but if you keep seeing new insects, use insecticidal soap indoors. Try it. You can also remove the water collection tray and move it to the tub to shower first. Often these insects multiply more quickly when dry, and a shower (with lukewarm water) can get rid of them.
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Q: My son helped me with the garden work. He came across this invasive tree on our walnut tree. Our problem is should and how to cut this invasive tree. Thank you for your cooperation. Please have a good year.
A: It could be a root sucker or a sapling that got too close. Anyway, you should remove it. Use a lopper or heavy-duty pruner to remove the top growths, and a pruning saw to keep the roots of the shoots as close to the ground as possible without cutting into or damaging the walnut tree trunk. You can’t die just by cutting. It will sprout again, but if you keep cutting it, it will eventually wither and stop. Happy new year.
Q: I know you are probably inundated with questions about the plant and what to do with winter damage. I live a little north of Conway) but the blanket was in my neighbor’s yard the next morning. Do you have?
A: Many gardeners worry about their plants, but for now they can only hope for the best. The jury is still out at this point, but we have at least two more months of winter. When thawed, you will see burnt leaves, ignore them for now. Damaged leaves serve as protection for the rest of the season. Don’t prune until you know exactly what to prune. It won’t happen until spring.
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Q: I have a 2 car garage, I store one and use the other half for overwintering my plants. They always do well in this scenario, but they probably got colder than normal. Should I throw them or is there a Hail Marie to give them a fighting chance?
A: Tropical plants typically thrive in warm, humid environments, but can survive as long as temperatures don’t drop below freezing. Depending on your garage, insulation, number of windows, etc., the recent cold snap may have dropped temperatures below freezing. Clustering the pots as close to the house as possible, making sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely, and adding a little extra protection around the pot will help in the future. The roots and roots of the can be live. You already moved them so why not see what happens next spring? Then cut them back and see what grows To do.
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Dear Reader, A reader has a bonsai wire that he no longer needs. If you need it and live in central Arkansas, let us know.
Janet Carson, retired after 38 years at the University of Arkansas’ Joint Extension Service, is one of Arkansas’ most renowned horticultural professionals.her blog is arkansasonline.com/planitjanetWrite or email her at PO Box 2221, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203 [email protected]