Tropical plants are very beautiful to look at. After all they are usually vibrant, extravagant, feathery, glossy, or textured. It makes sense that these plants would bring some life to one's landscape. Louisiana is a very hot with a considerable amount of rain fall. However, that makes an excellent environment for tropical plants.
How to Take Care of Your Tropical Plants in Warmer Weather:
All plants of course need water, light, and soil to grow successfully. Additional things such as fertilizer and pest control can also improve your plants health. Tropical plants tend to flourish more when they are constantly moist rather than being overly wet. Overwatering your yard could possibly damage the plant. It is also important to try to give your plant enough sun and water if you do not live in a warm and wet climate like Louisiana.
Taking Care of Your Plants During the Winter:
There are one of two things that usually happen to tropical plants during the winter. Tropical plants will either wither and die to the weather conditions, or they will be able to sustain the cold temperatures and live to bloom another season. However, there are several precautions you can take to help prevent certain tropical plants from succumbing to the cold temperatures in the winter.
What to Do If You Want to Take Plants Inside for the Winter:
Assuming you are able to take some of your tropical plants inside and give them proper conditions, it might be one of the best options to help them survive in the winter. Another thing you can do is cut the foliage down because the leaves will eventually fall by themselves due to the cold weather. Another thing you can do is wash the plants. Washing the plants is important if you want to move them inside, because it will help remove any unwanted dirt and possible pests. Speaking of pests, make sure you rid your plant of bugs before you bring it inside.
In contrast, some tropical plants that are more likely to survive the winter. Hardy ferns and clumping bamboo can be found in colder climates, and plants like these are usually the ones to survive harsher climates.
What are moles and voles?
Moles are small creatures with shovel like hands; and they can be grey, black, or brown. They live underground and their den consists of several passageways. They operate underground to protect themselves from harmful predators. They habitat your lawn to consume insects and larvae.
Voles are mouse like creatures that operate underground similar to moles. Voles are herbivores and mostly eat plant roots. If you see dying plants or bushes, then they may be the cause.
When moles and voles burrow into your yard, they produce holes and underground tunnels. Those underground tunnels will make your yard less stable and uneven; and the holes will become an eyesore. There could also be uproot and damage to vegitation and plants.
How to get rid of moles and voles:
You can exterminate moles with poison, traps, and repellents. However, sometimes moles and voles go away on their own whenever they have nothing left to eat. Moles eat insects and worms, while voles eat vegitation.
Over watering your yard may cause more complications. Moles are drawn to burrow in soft soil as this type of soil is easier to burrow through and create a home.
Repellents can also rid your landscape of moles and voles. They emit a smell that is distasteful to certain rodents. Repellents contain castor oil which is the main ingredient that they do not like. Traps and bait can also be used, and it will most likely kill them.
Additionally, making sure your lawn cut properly helps to get rid of voles. This is because voles will sometimes hide in excess mulch and grass.
If moles and voles continue to invade your yard after exterminating them, there is another method to keep them out. You can install an underground fence around your landscape, so that it is harder for them burrow and infest your yard.
How to treat your yard properly:
Rodenticides are essentially pesticides that are used to rid the rodents in your yard. Applying rodenticides incorrectly can cause problems for your pets. They can cause your pet to vomit, drool, become nauseous, have reparatory complications, seizures, arrhythmia, comas, and diarrhea if applied incorrectly. They can also cause similar problems for humans. If you believe that there are any complications go seek medical aid.
Make sure that you are always following the instructions and applying only the amount you need. Additionally, make sure that you are applying it only in the places necessary during proper weather conditions. Windy weather can cause pesticides to spread to unwanted places.
Why are my crepe myrtles turning black? What are these white specs on my crepe myrtles? If you are asking yourself these questions, you likely have crepe myrtle bark scale on your trees. It was introduced to the United States in the mid-2000s in Texas. Crepe myrtle bark scale made its way over to Louisiana shortly afterwards.
How to Get Rid of Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale
Crepe myrtle bark scale affects crepe myrtles more that are unhealthy. Crepe myrtles that are subjected to poor pruning habits (looking at you crepe myrtle toppers) are more likely to get bad bark problems. Maintain proper pruning methods to keep your trees healthy.
The best time to treat is in during spring, between April and May. A soil drench or deep root treatment using a product containing imidacloprid. You can find this in any hardware store. Follow the mixing instructions and treat the area all around the drip line of the crepe myrtle. Be certain to rake back any mulch before treatment. You can rake the mulch back into place once the treatment has dried. Treat it again the following year to ensure you do not have a resurgence.
During the winter, you can use a dormant oil spray when all the leaves have fallen off the crepe myrtle. This should only be used during the winter and it should be a dormant oil containing paraffin, not some of the lighter oil varieties since they will not kill off the scale.
There have been some success with contact insecticides. Insecticides containing bifenthirin have had limited success. This solution works better on younger scale.
Insect growth regulators as a crawler spray are useful in stopping the crepe myrtle bark scale's life cycle. The solutions will have to be used by a professional since they are restricted use products. Products containing pyriproxyfen or buprofezin have had good success in scale crawler control. Apply when crawlers are active and spray to coat the affected area, this is usually spring.
How to Get Rid of Black Sooty Mold
You've killed off the scale, but the black sooty mold remains. The most affordable, and quickest option is to clean it off. Put a couple of tablespoons of dish soap and warm water in a five gallon bucket. Lightly scrub the affected areas with a soft bristle brush that has been dipped in the soapy solution.
Contact us today to have us get rid of your crepe myrtle bark scale problem.
In the previous few years, boxwoods have been repeatedly damaged by an unknown source. Raj Singh, a plant pathologist from LSU AgCenter, noticed this and identified the cause as the fungus Colletotrichum. It causes random die-back of twigs and a black discoloration of the stem. There are currently no official recommendations for treatment for the fungus. Considering this, take extra care to sanitize your pruning equipment to prevent the spread of the disease to healthy plants. If you suspect your boxwoods have been infected, please contact your AgCenter extension. Removal of infected plant matter may help prevent the spread of this new pathogen.
Landscape Disease Control
It is the middle of the summer and your crepe myrtles leaves are starting to discolor. They are developing brown spots and the leaves change from their natural green to yellow, orange and red. Crepe myrtle leaves will start to fall and your tree will start to look pretty shabby. So what is causing this problem?
Cercospora Leaf Spot
Cercospora Leaf Spot is a fungus that causes all the problems mentioned earlier. While it won't severely damage your tree at first, it will return each year can start hurting your tree. The fungal spores spread from splashing water during warm wet weather. Trees in humid areas with little air flow are more severely affected.
Treating Cercospora Leaf Spot
Buy a fungicide labeled for Cercospora Leaf Spot. Treat your tree as specified on the label starting in early summer when you first notice new spots. Most products have a short control period. If so, you will need to retreat your tree every one to two weeks, depending on the product label. Thinning the branches on the crepe myrtle will lead to better airflow and reduce the chance of Cercospora Leaf Spot recurring.
Professional Tree Fungus Control
GreenSeasons offers fungus control and professional pruning in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you need fungus control or professional pruning, click here for a free quote and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice on fungus control or pruning, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
One day you come outside and notice the oak tree in your yard has white webbing covering most of its trunk and some branches. Your first reaction is, "What is this on my tree and how do I get rid of it?" Well most people would have that reaction, but the good news is it is an overreaction. What you are seeing is the protective webbing of psocids, commonly referred to as bark lice. Believe it or not, this is a good thing.
Bark Lice, aka Tree Cattle
Bark lice show up on trees during the summer and early part of fall. Tree cattle eat algae, mold, fungi, lichen and dead insects that are in and on your tree's exterior. Most of these food sources are plentiful when given heat and excessive humidity which is why southern Louisiana is home to large invasions of psocids. They typically feed on hard wood trees and palms. I personally believe their tree of choice is an oak tree since it is what I have seen bark lice on the most. The good news is bark lice does not do any damage to the tree. By eating these foreign objects on the hard wood trees and palms, they are actually cleaning the tree. Be sure to thank them.
How to Get Rid of Bark Lice
Bark lice will go away on their own. After they have gone, the bark lice webbing will dissolve over the next few weeks. If you just can't stand the sight of the webbing in your tree, a soapy water solution may encourage them to move along. Mix three tablespoons of dish soap per gallon of water and apply it to the infested area. If this does not work, you will have to learn to live with the tree cattle until they move on to their next tree.
GreenSeasons is glad to help with any concerns regarding your trees you may have. If you would like for us to come out and perform a tree inspection, tree pruning, tree fertilzation, tree removal, or any other tree work, just click here and we will give your a call.
If you would just like some more advice on trees, please contact us.
Aphids can become a problem before you realize what has happened to your once healthy garden. These tiny bugs sneak into your landscape and basically have a party. They eat and breed like crazy and decide they love the place so they stay. Aphids will suck the sap from your plant while also transmitting pathogens that infect your plant. Additionally, they secret honeydew which grows sooty mold all over your plant and will stop it from photosynthesizing.
How to Prevent Aphids
Look At Your Plants
A big part of prevention of any pest is inspection. This should not be a problem since if you are frequently in your garden, you are undoubtedly looking at it. If you notice a little problem, do not let it become a big problem.
Aphids love new growth, so do not over fertilize. Use an appropriate amount of slow release fertilizer. Quick release fertilizer will promote a lot of new growth which generally isn't what you would want in your plants anyhow.
How to Treat for Aphids Naturally
You have aphids on your plants, now what?
Completely prune away heavily infested areas. Discard them into a bag you can seal and throw away.
Spraying your plant with a water from a pressurized nozzle will knock off a good number of the aphids. Aphids usually will not climb back up the plant after this. Be careful when doing this. You do not want to wash an aphid onto a nearby healthy plant.
A tablespoon of dish soap and a gallon of water will affect the aphids breathing and help fix your problem. If you have a lot of plants, there are water hose attachments that will mix a concentrate like dish soap with water for you so you can just attach it and spray your plants. Make sure to spray under the leaves since that is where most of the bugs stay.
What Pest Control Product to Use on Aphids
There are a lot of different products that can treat aphids. These can be found at any hardware store or the internet. I recommend using insecticidal soap or horticulture oil. These products are less risky than other control products. This is important to think about if you have young children or pets that frequent your garden. Another good control product are ones containing pyretherin or pyrethroid. These will work to kill the aphids on contact.
If you have ever seen something like this on a plant, you've encountered whiteflies. They are very small insects that are not actually flies at all. They are relative of aphids and mealy bugs. The problem with whiteflies is they spread easily and damage rapidly. The adults whiteflies drain the sap from your plants and excrete honeydew. The honey dew attracts other insects the both damage the plant and protect the whiteflies. Then to make it worse, the honeydew usually begins to grow sooty mold. Sooty mold is a black coating to the leaves and stops light from reaching the plant.
While the flies are feasting on your plants, they are also laying eggs. They are laying a lot of eggs. Fly eggs all over your plant. These eggs will hatch and the nymphs will begin feeding on the same plant. This is why it is important to target both the adults, nymph and eggs when treating an infested plant. Now you have developed a deep and growing disdain for these pest and you want to know how to get rid of the whiteflies? Well read on.
Get Rid of Whiteflies without Insecticide
First, remove any infested areas completely. Be sure to cut into a healthy part of the plant, just before the dead area. Throw away any infested material into a trash bag and seal it. Dissolve a bar of soap in up to a five gallon bucket of water overnight. Use a sponge or washcloth to soak the soapy water up and white down the leaves and stems of the plant. Make special care to do this on both the top and bottom of the leaves. Spray a soapy solution on the plant for the next one to two weeks to prevent eggs from being attached again. Buy and release natural predators for whiteflies. Delphastus pusillus eat a lot of whiteflies per day and can stop whiteflies in their tracks. Order them on the internet or try a local college. Finally, sticky yellow traps will catch whiteflies much like fly paper does for house flies and gnats. Place a few sticky yellow traps as a sign to know when your whitefly problem is gone.
Get Rid of Whiteflies with Insecticide
First, remove any infested areas completely, just like in the section above. Second, buy an insect control product containing either permethrin or bifenthrin which is also labeled for your target plant. These can be found at a local hardware store, some grocery stores or the internet. This will take care of the adult and nymph whiteflies. Buy and apply a horticultural oil mixture the affected and surrounding plants. Horticultural oil is great at suffocating insects that move very slowly. Be sure to follow all instructions on the label for the insecticides. These steps should solve your whitefly problem.
knockout rose gets knocked out
You are outside admiring your landscaping when you notice something different about your knockout roses. New, long, red shoots are protruding out from your otherwise normal looking plant. The flowers have bloomed and appear gnarled. What you are looking at is the effects of the virus known as rose rosette disease. The disease will continue to spread to all other parts of the plant. The knockout rose's health will continue to degrade and it will die.
...but wait, there's more! If that wasn't bad enough, the virus is spread by eriophyid mites. These mites are about the size of dust and simply go where ever the wind takes them. You read that right. Wherever the wind blows is exposed to the risk of rose rosette and all of their knockout roses dying. If the mites, which you can't see, land on your knockout roses and feed, they transmit the virus and your roses chance of survival drops substantially.
how to treat rose rosette
Well the short form of it is you can't treat it. Once the virus has entered the knockout rose, its there to stay. Your only chance of saving the plant is to catch it early remove the infected part of the plant by cutting well below the infected area, cutting into the healthy part of the plant. If you didn't notice the disease until it has infected the entire plant, here's what you do. Uproot the plant and dispose of it. Sorry, but there is no other options to save it.
Unfortunately, knockout roses are not exclusively the only rose the rose rosette damages. There are many other varieties susceptible to the virus so keep an eye out. All roses with the virus will display the same symptoms as the infected knockout roses.
WHEN TO FERTILIZE A TREE?
The best time to fertilize a tree is in spring with the next best time being late fall. Trees are actively absorbing nutrients and moving sap through their trunk during the spring. The tree will perform better if the nutrition it needs is in the soil. We do recommend a soil test so you will know what your soil is lacking. Be sure to mark down the type of tree before sending your test off so you can get proper recommendations on what should be added to benefit your tree to most.
how often to fertilize a tree ?
Smaller and younger trees can be fertilized every year. Normally older large trees only need to be fertilized every two years. They typically do not need to be fertilized more than that unless they show signs of damage. Damage would usually be caused by insects, fungus or a severe drought in previous years. If you are currently in a drought, please do not try to fertilize your tree back to health. If the tree needs water, fertilizer will actually cause your tree to get worse. Think about what would happen to a human who was severely dehydrated and ate to cure their dehydration.
HOW TO FERTILIZE A TREE?
First we need to discuss where the fertilizer is going to go. This may seem like common sense, but this is an area where most people mess up. On a large tree, the area from two to three feet from the trunk of the tree to one to two feet past the drip line is the place you want to apply fertilizer. On a small to medium tree, stick to the whole area from two inches from the trunk to the drip line. The drip line would be the place on the ground the water would drip from the tips of the branches furthest away from the tree trunk.
WHAT TYPE OF TREE FERTILIZER
Organic fertilizers and amendments are naturally occurring Examples are peat moss, compost, saw dust, bone meal, manure. These will not only increase the nutrients in the soil, but will help reduce compaction and allow water to be held better. These fertilize the soil as they decompose so it is less of an immediate effect. The good news is they will be there for a while so your tree will continue to benefit from them for much longer than alternatives. They also contain less salts than inorganic produced fertilizers.
Inorganic fertilizers are cheap and scientific so you know exactly what you are getting. These are the most widely used for tree fertilization and get the job done.
Three things we recommend are nitrogen, mychorrihizal fungi drench, and a systemic insecticide labeled for your tree. Aside from that, you should rely on the soil test results. Be sure to retest the soil near your tree every four to six years to see how you need to adjust your fertilization plan.
*If your tree has a fungus problem, treat the fungus before fertilizing as fungus will thrive on nitrogen.
If you live in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans or anywhere in Southeast Louisiana, please feel free to call us at 225.752.2333 and have us help you in person.