Garden Answers

/Garden Answers

About Garden Answers

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Garden Answers has created 1431 blog entries.

Crested Euphorbia Lactea

Your plant will need filtered sun or very bright indirect light and wait until the soil dries before watering again. Do not allow the plant to sit in water and handle with care. All parts of the Euphorbia lactea are toxic if ingested and the white sap can cause burns to the skin. If contacted wash immediately with soap and water. The E. lactea is often grafted onto another plant, Euphorbia neriifolia. This is done with crested versions of cacti and succulents as the crested versions are more prone to watering problems and fungal and bacterial problems if grown directly in contact with the soil. This raises them up above their "problem zone", and the stock plant on the bottom furnishes all the necessary water and nutrients.

By | 2016-04-11T23:18:44-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Succulents|1 Comment

Lucky Bamboo

This appears to be a "Lucky bamboo" - an easy care houseplant that isn't a bamboo at all. It can survive in many indoor conditions, but indirect lighting is best as direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn. Water when the soil starts to get dry but before it's completely dry, and fertilize once a month with the fertilizer of your choice used according to directions and/or use a slow release pelletized fertilizer made for houseplants. When the plant
gets too tall and "leggy" it's easy to clip off some of the tops, cutting off about 8" pieces, and
rooting them in a glass of water. The remaining stems should leaf out lower down on the plant and the rooted cuttings can either be put in the same pot around the original plant or in a new pot.

By | 2016-04-11T19:56:57-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Iron Cross Begonia

The leaves of this New Guinea species sport thick, chocolate-brown markings which radiate to the leaf margins, resembling the German Iron Cross. This beautiful coloration is set against solid green with an overall coarse, pebbled texture. It's not uncommon for this begonia to go dormant in winter. While it's tempting to overwater a withered plant -- stop watering during dormancy. What this handsome begonia really craves is high humidity. Cover the plant with plastic or a glass cloche and keep the plant around 60°F/16°C for 6-8 weeks. You'll see new leaves appear. When the plant is not dormant, water thoroughly, allowing the top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid getting water on the leaves because they spot easily and are prone to mildew.

By | 2016-04-11T16:37:52-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|2 Comments

Chameleon Plant

This looks like chameleon plant, aka fishwort. Easily grown in humusy, consistently moist to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Variegated cultivars develop best foliage color in full sun. Plants spread invasively by rhizomes and may need to be restrained by soil barriers or planted in areas where fixed structures such as sidewalks or buildings will restrict spread. In water gardens, grow in containers as marginal aquatic plants. Plants tolerate up to 2” of standing water over the crowns. In natural ponds, plants are also often grown in containers sunk into the mud to maintain control and to avoid unwanted invasive spread. Grow as a ground cover in moist, boggy areas but beware: this plant wants to take over the world.

By | 2016-04-11T14:36:46-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Perennials|0 Comments

Pitcher Plant

These are pitcher plants, one of several exotic and fascinating carnivorous plants whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with liquid known as a pitfall trap. You also have a Sarracenia, they grow best outdoors as a container or potted plant. It makes an excellent addition to any sunny deck or patio. You may also grow it in a pond or fountain, but keep the crown of the plant above water. Because of its specific soil requirements, avoid planting it directly into the ground, unless you have created a specific type of bog garden. During the growing season, grow your pitcher plant outside in full sun. Provide 6 or more hours of direct sunlight for vigorous growth. For more info, see:

By | 2016-04-11T14:27:08-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Perennials|1 Comment

Elm Tree Leaking

This may be slime flux, often called bacterial wet-wood, is a bacterial disease found in many different types of trees. In some trees, particularly willow, this disease results in a white to gray foam that bubbles out from under the bark. In other cases, as with elm and cottonwood, infection results in wet gray to brown areas on limbs and trunk.

This appears to be a good sized tree, and you said more than one is doing this. We've included a link to in depth information from your local extension office and suggest you call them, or a certified arborist to discuss the best way to deal with this. While it may not kill the tree, it may make it unstable.

By | 2017-09-11T15:48:59-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Trees|0 Comments

Center Stripe Agave Thorncrested Agave

Native to Texas just in the Rio Grande Plains in South Texas, where it grows on gravelly limestone and on cliffs and rocky outcrops. Its leaves are dark green with a lighter green central stripe, and the flowers are a light gray-green to yellow. Like all agaves, it only flowers once after which the original plant dies. Typically most plants are replaced by a number of young "pups" that form around the base. It is hardy to about 10 degrees F. This is a highly variable agave in terms of the leaf color and the striping. There is also a lot of confusion in identity with another species, Agave univittata, which looks similar and comes from the same general region. Likewise there are many brilliantly colored named cultivars of lophantha like Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor'.

By | 2016-04-11T12:44:43-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Succulents|0 Comments

Flaking Bark On Kousa Dogwood

What you are seeing is a natural part of how Cornus kousa trees develop. One of the reasons we love these plants as they age is that they develop what's called exfoliating bark. Overt time you're likely to see this tree wearing it's own version of "camo" or camouflage, with patches of green, brown, tan and gold.

Flaking can sometimes be accelerated on the south sides of a tree as this side freezes and thaws during the winter. The cold air freezes tissues at night while especially in February the warmer sun thaws it during the day. But even when you see this more predominately on one side, you don't have to be worried about it. See a photo of typical mature kousa dogwood bark here:

By | 2016-04-11T12:15:55-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Trees|0 Comments

Ficus Problem

The white "speckles" you see are special cells called lithocysts, a type of cell in the epidermis of certain plant leaves; these are normal in Ficus species. The red/yellow spots at the leaf tip (although difficult to tell from photos) could be a disease symptom, possibly cercospora leaf spot, caused by a cercospora fungus. Avoid overhead watering of plants to minimize wet foliage and avoid spreading the disease. Water the soil only. You can wipe non-infected leaves with a clean cloth to keep them free of dust, but don't put water on the leaves. Provide good air circulation in the canopy (among the leaves); you may want to thin them out just a little. Carefully dispose of infected leaves and/or fallen foliage to keep the fungus from spreading.

By | 2016-04-11T10:44:49-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Trees|0 Comments


Mussaendas are members of the Rubiaceae (Madder, or coffee family) and are native to West Africa through the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia and into southern China. There are more than 200 known species of Mussaenda, of which about ten are found in cultivation and three are widely used in cultivation. The plant requires full sun to produce abundant sepals but some afternoon shade can be beneficial. Mussadendas can suffer nutritional deficiencies on high pH soils. They are not drought tolerant and will benefit from regular irrigation during the dry months.Enriching the growing site with organic material
helps to conserve soil moisture and provide nutrients to the plant. Remove faded flowers and sepals to prevent possible fungal infection.

By | 2016-04-11T08:33:29-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments