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

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15
votes
4answers
110 views

How healthy are seedlings sent by mail?

I've never bought seedlings out of seed catalogs, but am sometimes tempted to (especially by the flashy free $20, no obligation seed catalogs). I'm just wondering what the considerations are when ...
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?
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Chlorine vs Chloramine: Both harmful?

I've seen a lot of information saying that chlorine can be bad for some plants and the suggestion to let the water sit out for several hours before using it on plants. I rarely see anything about ...
11
votes
1answer
558 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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
907 views

What are the disadvantages of having creepers or normal plants indoors?

I never had indoor plants before. Are there disadvantages to having indoor plants in a dusty environment? If the plant is a creeper, is there a way that I can clean its leaves? Probably by spraying ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
456 views

Why do my newly planted arborvitae keep dying?

I planted arborvitae a year ago that died (five total). I replanted all of them (new trees) this year and three of them are now dying again. Soil Conditions The dirt up here is practically just ...
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
427 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
476 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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)
8
votes
1answer
728 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 ...
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
1answer
326 views

Why did the stem suddenly weaken in my oriental poppy?

I have an oriental poppy 'Patty's Plum' growing in new potting compost in a pot with good drainage. It sits in full sun, and I water it as needed in the recent dry weather. I purchased it from a ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
798 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
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
435 views

When should I transfer from pod to pot or ground?

Since the pre-sprouted plant season is in full bloom, what is a good indicator of the time to transfer a pre-sprouted plant? For instance I have a mexi-bell pepper in a plastic pod and two basil ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
7
votes
1answer
339 views

Can this peace lily be saved?

We have bought this peace lily plant one or 2 months ago, but suddenly all life seems to have gone out of it. Can we still save it? We watered it once a week, so I don't think that is the issue.
7
votes
1answer
706 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
443 views

Cut lupines to the ground, will they grow back next year?

Our lupines (also called lupin in the UK) were done flowering for the year and were harboring an aphid infestation... so I mowed them. Are the "stumps" likely to regrow next year or do the plants rely ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

What is this fungus or weed growing in my flower bed?

I came home today and noticed two patches of this stuff in my flower bed. I recently put down new mulch and I just started watering my lawn again. I live in Texas. 1) Is this a fungus? 2) Is it ...
6
votes
2answers
578 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
896 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
622 views

Why do my gardenias turn yellow before they bloom?

My gardenias seem to be happy all year around, but when they bloom, they turn half yellow. Is there a way to keep them green through the bloom phase?
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Hard potatoes harvested

First time grower in Michigan, partial shade and probably not the best soil. The red potatoes I got out first were very hard. Why? What can I do to prevent this with the rest of them before they ...
6
votes
1answer
473 views

What is causing diseased leaves on my French beans?

My French bean plants have diseased leaves as shown below: What can be causing this? The beans themselves are relatively plentiful. Location: India. Weather In May-June: Hot! > 95F days. The ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

Potted sweet peas have shot up quicker then expected

Please help i've never grown sweetpeas and wasn't sure what to expect when I chucked the seeds that had started to grow in the packet in with the ones i'd started already and now they have all grown ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Does Arugula/rocket flowering mean the plant's crop season is over?

I sowed arugula/rocket in an outside pot 2 months ago. As it was my first sowing of rocket, it turned out to be too dense so I have thinned it out. It was growing nicely, but all of a sudden it ...
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
2answers
79 views

Do I need to leave space at the base of a plant so that air can get into the soil?

I have heard this mentioned many times that at the base of a tree or plant you need to leave the surface uncovered so that air can get into the soil. How true is this? The idea is that if you are ...
5
votes
1answer
372 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 ...
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?
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Do porch lights affect how grass grows?

If I leave a light on at night, does this help or hurt the grass? No particular kind of grass, just grass. I'm using CFL light bulbs.
4
votes
2answers
647 views

Should I use aluminum sulfate (sulphate) to acidify my soil?

It is often recommended online or by nurseries to apply aluminum sulfate to plants like blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas and to hydrangeas to make the flowers blue. Is this advice I should follow? ...