What's Up 77: Mealybugs, Gerbera, overwintering, pruning

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In this issue:

How bathing a mealybug will save a kumquat

Advice from a great white bug hunter: Biological controls

Gerbera daisy proves an ungrateful winter guest

New Joe Pye, other perennials excite the experts

Cold shoulder is a good approach for tender outdoor plants, now indoors

Noticing pruning issues

Taking issue with a bird



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Mealybug control = regular patrols

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Left: Mealybugs love to imitate lint or dust. Right: They also favor those tiny niches at leaf axils and stem tips. Hard to reach them in there!

Below: Mealybug destroyers (Cryptolaemus beetles) are much like ladybugs. However, their young are not so simple to pick out from among a mealybug mob. This is a mealybug destroyer larva. Its appetite for mealybugs is probably even greater than that of an adult, but its chances of being mistaken for a mealybug and squashed by a gardener, higher.



Bathe a mealy bug


 Above: Trudy starts mealybug cleanup on her kumquat. Even if this plant can survive temperatures into the teens, that cold would take its fruit and leaves.

Below: That's a long-tailed mealybug Trudy's after with her swab. It's one of the three most common greenhouse mealybugs. We told her to be glad it's this one and not the tailless citrus mealybug. Citrus mealybug females lay many more eggs.
Just look at these pictures -- what an eye and a focusing power Steven has. I can see the mealybug in every shot including when it's scrubbed up and then off the twig.
In the photo below right, Trudy's swab got the older, waxy mealybug but the younger mealybugs remain on the stem of the fruit. However, they've now been swabbed with alcohol and at least some will die as a result. Download the pdf to read more.

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A gem outdoors, gerber's a baby in the house


Mildews, stem rots, leaf spots, and botrytis -- a.k.a. gray mold -- are all fungal infections. (Here, botrytis on an overwintering Aeonium. If you look sharp you can see the gray fuzz that explains this infection's common name.) When water sits in dark, still nooks like the places where these leaves meet stem, ever-present fungal spores may find all they need to get growing. If at that time the plant is stressed because the air's overly dry and low in energy because the light's dim, its cell walls and internal chemical defenses are weak. The fungus gains ground. Download the pdf to read more.


Expert Gardener Afield: Report from a national nursery's new plant department

Below: You mentioned that you were explaining to a reader recently how there are several plants all called Joe Pye so she shouldn't think hers was mislabeled just because it wasn't the same as one you showed. How about this Joe Pye?! How's that for a different look? - Cheryl Bennerup, Sunny Border Nursery - 


Eupatorium 'Frosted Elegance' (above) and Trollius 'Cheddar' (left,below) are perennials. This Torenia 'Yellow Moon' (center) and Osteospermum 'Zion Copper Amethyst' (right) are "temperennial" -- hardy somewhere but not for us; candidates for indoor overwintering. Photos courtesy of Sunny Border Nursery




You call this winter fun -- whining and dying?

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Above: I loved this banana while it was in the garden. In a living room, its kind don't appeal to me.

Below: Now, the banana Cheryl Bennerup showed me (bottom, right: Musa 'Siam Ruby') I might love that anywhere, even listening to it whine all winter! Photo courtesy of Sunny Border Nursery


Below: At another of the great nurseries of our time, Glasshouse Works in Stewart, Ohio (glasshouseworks.com), no one's fussing over-much about overwintered plants. They're set out en mass on a barely heated glassed-in porch and left to keep each other company. Download the pdf to read more.




Notice trees that need pruning.

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We went out to admire hoar frost (left) on our red horsechestnut's twigs and saw this 2" branch (right). It's rubbing in two places (yellow arrows), which damages the wood and leaves it open to infection and insect attack. It's also growing at such a narrow angle from its point of origin that it's bound to break one day from the weight of snow, ice or even rain. Then it would rip away, ruining both limbs. So during the next thaw I'll cut it off clean at the blue lines.

Did you come here to this page by doing a Search?
In this issue you will find answers to these Search terms:

acid loving plant fertilizer
alcohol in pest control
banana, Musa Siam Ruby
biological control, biological pest control
black on leaves
calamondin, X Citronfortunella
cause of mildew on plants
chemical defenses
Cheryl Bennerup
citrus plant hardiness
controlling mealybugs
downy mildew
eating fruit treated with chemicals
Eupatorium Frosted Elegance, Joe Pye
finding insects on plants
"Flowers are restful...conflicts" Sigmund Freud
frost sensitive citrus plants
fungal infection's
fungal spores
Fungicides applications
fuzzy white spots
gerbera daisy care
gerbera daisy, gerbera daisies, gerber daisy
Glasshouse Works Stewart Ohio www.glasshouseworks.com
grapefruit,  Citrus paradisi
greenhouse insects
healthy plants
house plant winter care
identify pests, identify mealybugs
insecticidal soap
kumquat care
kumquat tree, Fortunella
leaf spot
leaf spot
lemon, Citrus limon
light for indoor pots
mealybug, mealybug damage, mealybug life cycle, mealybug spread migration
mildew on plants
natural lighting compared to fluorescent lighting
natural predators
natures control of insects
Orange, Citrus sinensis
Osteospermum Zion Copper Amethyst
overwintering plants
passion flower
pesticide use health issues
photo's of mealybugs, kumquats
potted plant soggy roots
powdery mildew
Professor Perry University of Vermont, perrysperennials.info/articles/tender.html

protection for frost damage
quotation, quote
rubbing alcohol
rubbing branches
sooty mold fungus
stem rot
sticky droplets
stressed plants
sucking insects
systemic insecticide
Torenia Yellow Moon
Trollius Cheddar, globeflower
volunteer opportunities
watering indoor pots

Many thanks to Moderator Deb Hall, who provided key words so our Search would "See into" this pdf-format issue.
With the generous help of gardening friends, this website grows!





















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