For questions about how to maintain or assess a plant's health.

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2
votes
1answer
191 views

Can I use an NPK compund fertilizer on herbs?

I have some "Low nutrient NPK compound fertilizer" which is sold as Citrus Food left over from a Calamondin tree which has sadly passed away. Can I use this fertilizer on my herbs? They are basil, ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

How can I prolong a marigold?

A girl who's graduating just got a pot with a pretty little flower in it from her a capella group as a parting gift. She's about to fly away across the world, so she can't take it with her, so she ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Letting basil loose. Will it die?

I let my basil grow from seed, and I very seldom trimmed it. My aim is to understand the plant life cycle, so I did it on purpose. The plants are so arranged: Three vases sitting in a larger, long ...
2
votes
1answer
658 views

How should I treat Frangipani rust?

My frangipani experiences rust. How should I best treat/protect my plant from rust (all year round)? My plant experienced severe rust during December/January (Australian Summer). It was a very wet ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

Will a winter-damaged hosta self repair?

In winter, the next-years growth spikes of some of my Regal Blue Hostas got trampled off, and now that they're up, the leaves all have blunt-ended, ragged ends that curl and ripple. This is right by ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Is there anything I can do to promote spreading in my Lily of the Valley?

I have some old Lily of the Valley plants around the northeast corner of my house, and they grow nice and thick around the foundation, but failed to spread into the four-five foot wide strip along the ...
3
votes
2answers
671 views

Is it okay to grow English ivy on the base of a tree trunk?

In one place in the yard, there is a carpet of ivy under a black walnut. Would it harm the tree in any way to let the ivy up to the base of the branches? I would like to do this so that the whole ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

How should budding off be prevented on Gardenias?

How can budding off be stopped on a mature Gardenia? The plant is healthy in all other ways, but the buds always fall off before opening. What is causing this?
7
votes
1answer
710 views

What are the optimal growing conditions for chives?

I have a few questions about starting chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and keeping them happy. I understand chives can survive and grow in many conditions, but what are the best conditions? A few ...
5
votes
1answer
376 views

What Should I look (out) for when purchasing a hydrangea plant?

I was about to buy a potted hydrangea as a last minute gift. I looked at the stem and it appeared dry, brittle and brown at the base of the plant. It's nice and green and firm near the heads of the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does pH affect plant growth?

I am aware that different plants thrive/need different pH levels to grow. What is it about the alkalinity/acidity of the soil that effects how a plant grows? Note: I understand that this could have ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

How should a lemon tree with yellowing leaves, peeling bark, and small fruit be saved?

Our lovely lemon tree is in trouble... We live in Northern California. Starting mid-last summer our tree began yellowing. We've called an arborist out to the house but the advice has been pretty ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

How should I care for the rhizome of a small canna seedling?

I had been hybridizing cannas in the summer and have a promising young plant. Should I store its rhizome in a basket in the basement like the big rhizomes or do mini plants need special care? The ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

How should I care for a dozen bulbs of Lycoris squamigera?

Someone gave me a box of bulbs, Lycoris squamigera (Resurrection Lily), and I don't really know how to care for them. They are in a cardboard box in my basement right now. When I looked up how to care ...
8
votes
1answer
384 views

Should my spruce tree roots be covered?

This Norway spruce's roots have always been on top of the ground. The soil it is growing on is very hard white dry soil with a layer of decayed needles on top. It has been growing fine so far, but ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Will a snowball viburnum thrive in the San Francisco bay area (Fremont)?

I'm thinking of gifting someone with a snowball viburnum for Christmas. Will it live alright in the bay area (specifically, Fremont)? I heard that the soil may cause some issues.
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Will leaving fallen leaves on the lawn during winter damage the grass?

I have a lot of leaves on my lawn (in Oklahoma). Will it hurt the grass if I leave the leaves there over the winter?
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Can multiple arborvitaes be made to grow uniformly to the same height?

Arborvitaes grown in rows often grow unevenly with some growing twice as much as others of the same age and with the same care. Is it possible to prevent this, and make all the trees in one row look ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Are the yellow leaves on my Massangeana due to root rot?

I bought my Massangeana (Dracaena fragens) 15 months ago, and he's be doing really well. Started off with a few burnt ends, but I switched to filtered water and he was good again. In the last couple ...
8
votes
2answers
197 views

How long do amaryllis bulbs live?

I've had an amaryllis bulb in a pot for about 5 years now and the bulb hasn't been doing much for, I reckon, over 6 months. When should I consider getting rid of it? Could it have run its course?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

My basil had a shock after transplanting. What did I do wrong?

First a little backstory: I bought the basil at a supermarket, where it came in a small plastic vase. I kept it in this vase for three weeks. During these three weeks, I did the following: kept it ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Why has our lucky bamboo turned yellow?

Our lucky bamboo has turned yellow in a very short time, after we've had it for almost 2 years. We've trimmed all yellow leaves, and changed the pebble to clean the green algae - what else can be ...
4
votes
1answer
955 views

How do I take care of a Port Jackson fig bonsai?

A few years ago (4ish, I think) my girlfriend at the time brought me a small bonsai, a Port Jackson Fig (if I remember right!). I have managed to keep it going so far. At this point, it is more a ...
1
vote
1answer
383 views

My plants are dropping leaves suddenly and dying. Are they being poisoned?

We have got a Japanese maple plant in the back garden in a pot that has suddenly seemed to have died. There are absolutely no leaves on it at all now. I asked my dad who said this is perfectly ...
6
votes
2answers
582 views

Why are my basil seedlings failing to thrive?

I have grown basil from seeds in a large pot. They have germinated but are now failing to thrive. They are now about 3 weeks old. They get the afternoon sun and are watered daily. I applied Seasol ...
4
votes
1answer
639 views

What is the best way to keep a tree growing straight?

When most trees get over ten feet tall, they seem to be trying to grow every way but up. Staking would be impractical because of scale, and pruning often helps but does not force the tree to grow up. ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Why do many plants have pith and how is it useful for them?

It seems like everything has pith, from walnuts to ragweed. I can't figure out what good it does them. Why do plants have it and how is it useful to them?
6
votes
1answer
899 views

Can an aloe plant that's completely rotten at the base be cured?

I had a potted aloe plant that looked like a set of leaves coming out of a single spot at ground level. One day it just fell apart - the leaves and the roots got completely rotten at ground level and ...
8
votes
1answer
126 views

Does Rebutia grow better when grafted onto an Echinopsis?

I have tried growing rebutias before, and failed because the plants lacked vigor and grew slowly. Would they do better if I flat-grafted it onto a columnar Echinopsis, to increase vigor? Are there any ...
8
votes
2answers
429 views

Why are there kinks in my aloe vera leaves?

On several of my aloe vera plants, the leaves suddenly became kinked. The leaf would get very thin in a spot and bend over. It starts near the tip and is most noticeable on older leaves. What is ...
10
votes
1answer
15k views

What conditions are necessary to make a potted aloe vera bloom?

I have a potted aloe vera that I keep indoors during the winter and outside the rest of the year. It has leaves one foot long and two inches wide at the base. I fertilize it with tea from my ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can portulacas be overwintered indoors?

My portulaca is growing a clump of short stems at the base of the plant like a sedum. The sedums use this to grow the next years growth. Could I dig my portulaca up and overwinter it indoors?
9
votes
1answer
348 views

What causes spruce branches to drop their needles?

I have a spruce tree that has a problem. Every year, some branches suddenly drop all of their green needles and die. I would like to prevent this, but I don't know what the cause is. What causes this ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I stop dog urine from killing grass?

Everywhere I've lived, the dog urine just kills the grass. I've found nothing on the internet and the garden person at the local hardware said it's impossible. Any suggestions?
5
votes
1answer
345 views

Can I cover an evergreen shrub in winter?

I have a small evergreen shrub that gets frost burn in winter. I had been told to use tar paper on it over winter, but I was concerned that since it is a broad-leaved evergreen it might need light in ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

How should I transition my Thanksgiving Cactus to artificial indoor light?

I have a Thanksgiving Cactus that is getting covered in flower buds but it is getting near the frost date. This plant was outdoors most of the year this year and it has grown like crazy. How do I keep ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does my pepper plant have yellowing, drying and curling leaves?

One of my pepper plants has so far suffered from pests, blossom end rot and odd skin blemishes. Unfortunately, the plant is now taking a turn for the worse and looking rather unhealthy. The leaves ...
3
votes
2answers
983 views

Why does my English walnut lose its leaves early?

I have an English walnut sapling that grows vigorously all summer, but at the beginning of Fall the leaves dry up and fall. It has been two years now. Is that a problem with the tree?
8
votes
1answer
804 views

How do you save an aloe plant whose stem is weak and appears to be rotting?

I have a large aloe plant that is probably 5 years old and has bloomed twice. Stem is very tall and leaves are approximately 2½ to 3ft (750 to 900mm) long and still very green except at the stem ...
8
votes
2answers
180 views

What could be the cause of death for my carnivorous plants?

In the past year I've had a venus flytrap and two sundews that each arrived healthy, flourished (and ate!) for a month or two, and then died (after which I tried again and bought a new one!). They all ...
8
votes
2answers
479 views

What should I do after a pepper plant has partly broken under its own weight?

So, I'm sitting here on my computer and get the life scared out of me by a horrible cracking, rustling, thudding sound. I turn to find one of my peppers plants has broken - apparently one of the upper ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

Why is my hosta shrinking?

I have a blue giant hosta. It is in fertile soil and gets plenty of water. I had been dividing it every few years but lately it has started to shrink. I don't want to lose it. How can I get it back?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I treat rhubarb rust?

I have a small rhubarb plant and one of the stems has gotten some rust on it. What should I do? (there are only 3 small stems on the plant)
9
votes
3answers
578 views

Cherry sapling has orange dots on its leaves and the tips are wilting. What could be wrong?

I recently planted a cherry tree sapling about two weeks ago. It's about a handspan high, and has four leaves. I noticed that it had orange spots on one of the leaves when I planted it. Click on ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Why has my mint plant gone all woody/sparse/stringy?

I grew my mint plant in a pot to contain the roots, and that has worked well for 3-4 months. However, the plant is not really producing fresh leaves now. Is there anything I can do?
7
votes
2answers
76 views

Is it possible to get a plant that is just a genetic dud?

Is it possible that an instance of a plant could just be a dud. As in even with great care it is never healthy?
11
votes
1answer
559 views

How to help a Jade plant heal?

I have a couple of Jade plants ( Crassula ovata ) that I have grown from leaf pieces over the course of the last 10 years or so. This year, for the first time, they appear to have been attacked by ...
8
votes
1answer
735 views

How can I help a sunburned jade tree recover?

I put my jade tree out to get some sun yesterday, and apparently the sun was a little too blazingly direct. Instead of the healthy red edges I was expecting to see, several of the leaves are now ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Should you trim off half yellowed leaves on an indoor plant?

My mum has a plant (Aglaonema modestum) which she doesn't quite take care of, and it is messy with dead leaves and half yellow, half green leaves. I find them very ugly and want to trim them off. The ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

A few leaves on my peppers are showing multiple small holes, should I be worried?

I've noticed that a small number of the leaves on my pepper plants are showing several tiny holes through their surface. These are focused towards the stem of the leaf, and not so much towards the ...