Sap-sucking scale insects thrive on plants overwintering indoors

Q: I’m about to send you a picture of the angel’s trumpet after I put it inside. All the leaves fell off and a white moldy substance began to develop. One trunk has grown new leaves and is “moldy” and now the new leaves are falling off. Any advice?

A: Wow, that’s an impressive display of what looks like an infestation of scales – insects that stick to the plant and suck out the sap. If you have a garage, move the plant into your garage. I want to keep it as cool as possible without freezing it hard. Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet) can tolerate light frosts, but the plant freezes to the ground and bounces back through the root system. In a warm house, however, insects grow faster. On calm days, move the plants outdoors and spray them with dormancy oil or neem oil to completely cover the plants and suffocate the insects. You can also find spikes of houseplants that contain fertilizers and pesticides. This also helps. Monitor new growth to make sure it’s clean. Also, check the houseplants that are nearby, as scales can attack a wide range of plants.

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Q: my sweet olives look awful [the reader sent a photo]The leaves have turned an ugly grey/brown and are now all falling off.

A: Many plants such as sweet olives, loropetalum, rosemary, azaleas, and gardenias look unattractive. Temperatures he hit a record low in December and covering it didn’t help. Try ignoring it for now. Pruning now exposes even more plants to potential damage. Let’s hope we don’t repeat the recent blistering cold. But let all the plants stay where they are until spring comes and you can assess what’s dying and what’s burning.

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Q: I know gardenias can get hurt in the cold, so I was hoping to see some damage to the gardenias, but you should be able to see the pansies. I never did. Even that year he had 15 inches of snow, but the snow got through. Any chance they’ll come back or should I pull them out now? No color this winter.

A: Again, you are not alone. My pansies look pretty ragged too, but some may fall out. It was colder than usual, and the cold lasted for days. Snow was actually a good insulator and protected the plants. Many gardeners may be looking for quick colors as spring approaches, but don’t plant heat-loving annuals until as early as April.

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Q: We purchased a new lake house this year and the previous owner planted Bradford pears in the backyard. How high can you prune a limb to maintain water visibility without killing the limb? And when should you do it?

A: I know many gardeners love the Bradford pear tree for its spring flowers and fall red color, but it’s not my favorite tree because birds eat the fruit and drop seeds everywhere. We now have pear seedlings covering our state. Remove them and plant another. To answer your question, tying them up with branches won’t kill the tree, but it can make it structurally unsound and less aesthetically appealing. is appreciated in the form of tears. This shape alone makes it slightly heavier on top and more prone to storm damage. Lifting them with your limbs can make them even more head-heavy and out of shape, making them an eyesore in your garden.

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 or email her at PO Box 2221, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

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