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Favorite Full Sun Hydrangea with Sturdy Stems

posted by: whaas on 09.04.2009 at 09:49 pm in Shrubs Forum


I only have Quickfire to fit the bill, curious if anyone has additional favorites.


clipped on: 09.15.2009 at 04:26 pm    last updated on: 09.15.2009 at 04:26 pm

RE: yellowing leaves (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rhodyman on 06.02.2009 at 02:52 pm in Azalea & Rhododendron Forum

You have received some good advice.

The plant will tell you what is wrong to some degree. Here of some of the possibilities:

1) Powdery Mildew: Light green or yellowish patches on leaves sometimes accompanies by brown spots on the back side of leaves is a sign of Powdery Mildew (Microsphaera azaleae). One of the puzzling aspects of this fungal problem is the fact that two different affected rhododendrons vary in appearance. Rhododendron cultivar 'Unique,' for instance, shows almost no upper leaf changes, other than occasional very faint lighter yellowish areas, while the underside of the leaves will be completely covered in brown spots. A deep green leaf may begin to show lighter green patches, and these areas will gradually become more yellow. Another cultivar, 'Virginia Richards,' gets brownish purple spots on both tops and bottoms of leaves. This common disease is named Powdery Mildew despite how little the symptoms resemble the familiar fungal disease often seen on roses and azaleas. Usually the disease doesn't produce the familiar white powder-like spores, although late in the summer some may become visible. The disease manifests instead as color changes in the leaves, followed by defoliation toward the end of the growing season. Many rhododendrons, if basically healthy, will coexist with the disease and seem to outgrow or at least survive the symptoms. Last year's leaves, once they have been hit by the disease, will always have it, with symptoms persisting from year to year until the leaves drop off. High relative humidity at night and low relative humidity during day with 70-80 F (22-27 C) temperatures is ideal for the disease to flourish.

2) Chlorosis: Yellowing of a leaf between dark green veins is called chlorosis and is usually caused by an iron deficiency. Many conditions can be responsible for an iron deficiency. Poor drainage, planting too deeply, heavy soil with poor aeration, insect or fungus damage in the root zone and lack of moisture all induce chlorosis. After these conditions are eliminated as possible causes, soil testing is in order. Chlorosis can be caused by malnutrition caused by alkalinity of the soil, potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, iron deficiency, magnesium deficiency or too much phosphorus in the soil. Iron is most readily available in acidic soils between pH 4.5-6.0. When the soil pH is above 6.5, iron may be present in adequate amounts, but is in an unusable form, due to an excessive amount of calcium carbonate. This can occur when plants are placed too close to cement foundations or walkways. Soil amendments that acidify the soil, such as iron sulfate or sulfur, are the best long term solution. For a quick but only temporary improvement in the appearance of the foliage, ferrous sulfate can be dissolved in water (1 ounce in 2 gallons of water) and sprinkled on the foliage. Some garden centers sell chelated iron, which provides the same results. Follow the label recommendations for mixing and applying chelated iron. A combination of acidification with sulfur and iron supplements such as chelated iron or iron sulfate will usually treat this problem. Chlorosis caused by magnesium deficiency is initially the same as iron, but progresses to form reddish purple blotches and marginal leaf necrosis (browning of leaf edges). Epsom salts are a good source of supplemental magnesium. Chlorosis can also be caused by nitrogen toxicity (usually caused by nitrate fertilizers) or other conditions that damage the roots such as root rot, severe cutting of the roots, root weevils or root death caused by extreme amounts of fertilizer. There is a tonic that remedies some cases of chlorosis.

3) Nitrogen Deficiency: Uniformly yellowish-green leaves is often just the need for more nitrogen. This will be more noticeable in the full sun. Some less sun tolerant varieties will always be light green in full sun.

4) Normal yellowing: Yellowing and dropping of leaves is normal toward the end of the second summer on the small-leaved lepidote rhododendrons. These should have dense enough habit that this doesn't matter. The larger-leaved elepidote rhododendrons keep their leaves for 3 or 4 seasons. Like all evergreen plants, rhododendrons and azaleas periodically lose some of their foliage, and the leaves may turn yellow, red, or purple before they fall. Often the only leaves that remain are those that surround the flower buds at the tips of the branches. This characteristic is linked to the genetics of the parents used to breed garden azaleas. The degree of leaf coloration or loss is a function of parentage and not the severity of the winter. In unusually cold winters, certain azaleas may lose more leaves than they would in mild winters.

5) Sunburn: Yellowing of leaves surfaces, often with brownish burned areas, occurring on leaves that are more exposed to sun, is caused by more sun exposure than the plant is able to tolerate. Some varieties need shade, while all plants that have been protected from direct sun will be tender until hardened off by gradual exposure to sun light. Possible solutions are to give the plant more shade or move it to a more protected site. After pruning, rhododendron leaves that were shaded burn very easily.

6) Low soil moisture: Yellowing of leaf edges has been noted in gardens where sandy soil conditions or root competition with other plants caused insufficient soil moisture and nutrients. Usually incorporating organic material in the soil and removing the plants with the competing roots solved the problem. Care must be taken not to disturb the roots of the rhododendrons and azaleas. Hence it is best to prepare the soil adequately before planting. The tops of most competing plants can be removed leaving the offending roots in the ground and the offending roots will simply decay and pose no problem.

7) High soil moisture: Small yellow leaves and stunted growth are signs of water stress brought on by water-logged soil or wet/dry fluctuations in soil moisture.

8) Insect problems: Yellow mottling on the upper surface of leaves and black sooty mold and transparent insects on the bottom are symptoms of Azalea Whitefly (Pealius azaleae.) and Rhododendron Whitefly (Dialeurodes chittendeni.). These may also cause the following symptoms:

Small white spots on the underside of leaves and small white flies on under-surface of leaves is also an indication in infestation of Azalea Whitefly (Pealius azaleae.) and Rhododendron Whitefly (Dialeurodes chittendeni.). They are more prevalent on certain varieties and on plants grown in protected areas. These small white flying insects look like an aphid with wings and suck on the underside of foliage, leaving white spots where it has been. Heavy infestations cause the margins of terminal leaves to cup. These infested leaves will eventually turn yellowish and appear wilted. The lower leaves become covered with honeydew, followed by sooty mold (a black coating). To check for the presence of whiteflies, shake the terminals of white azaleas to flush out adult whiteflies which look like tiny white moths. Examine the lower surfaces of leaves for the presence of nymphs, which are flat, yellowish green, and resemble scale insects. All stages occur on the under sides of leaves. This whitefly is usually limited to varieties of the snow azalea, Rhododendron mucronatum. If the infestation is light, little or no plant symptoms are evident, and if beneficial insects are present, spray the undersides of leaves with insecticidal soap or a horticultural oil at the 2%summer rate. If the infestation is heavy use a registered residual insecticide such as Malathion, Diazinon or Orthene. Dick Murcott had a simple remedy to control the numbers of white flies. He would hang pieces of stiff plastic or 12" square metal sheets painted with a bright yellow/orange paint and then covered with petroleum jelly or any clear, sticky material. The white flies will fly to the colored material and get stuck in the sticky stuff!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rhodododendron problems and solutions


clipped on: 06.11.2009 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2009 at 05:07 pm

RE: pruning old rhododendrons (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rhodyman on 06.09.2009 at 01:23 pm in Azalea & Rhododendron Forum

If they are healthy and have a moderate amount of sun, they can be drastically pruned back. This means cutting back to the height you desire and they will fill out.

Cutting back severely does stress a plant. A healthy plant will recover. Experience shows that plants in deep shade are less likely to come back than those with moderate sun.

If you want to be more prudent, cut back about 1/3 each year until you get the size you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow rhododendrons and azaleas.


clipped on: 06.11.2009 at 05:06 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2009 at 05:06 pm

bird feeders in the garden

posted by: lcdesign on 03.05.2008 at 02:54 pm in Perennials Forum

Hi Everybody
I'm wondering if anyone can suggest some low-growing perennials that might be able to survive under birdfeeders. I feed safflower, thistle, suet and yes, black oil sunflower seeds. The hulls have decimated the grass under them. I know about the toxins in them but I thought maybe either a woody perennial or small shrub might be able to survive and I might gain a pre-cleared, automatically mulched bed. Too much to hope for? It's a pretty sunny area . . .


clipped on: 02.23.2009 at 06:44 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2009 at 06:44 pm

Expanding / Adding to Existing Pond

posted by: tomfranc on 11.16.2008 at 11:36 pm in Ponds & Aquatic Plants Forum

I currently have a 1000 gallon pond which I built 8 years ago. I am interested in expanding the pond. I do not want to remove the pond because the Koi are to large to keep out of the pond for the new construction and I don't want to risk loosing them. I am considering building an adjacent pond about 1 foot higher.

Has anyone done this? Would it be possible to create a spillway or 1 foot falls that would be 6 to 8 foot wide connecting the top pond from the bottom.

Any links with pictures would be helpful.



clipped on: 02.23.2009 at 06:37 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2009 at 06:37 pm

RE: How's everybody's winter? (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: steve1young on 02.14.2009 at 02:57 pm in Ponds & Aquatic Plants Forum

Here are the pics, finally.

You can see that the urn has really taken it share of abuse through 5 winters, but it's still doing its thing.

Obviously, everything looks a lot better with the plants all around the perimeter and the urn looks especially cool when the pond plants are all around the base. It then really does get a kind-of floating quality about it.

I've also been filling the urn with water lettuce/hyacinth in recent seasons and that looks kind of cool, too.


clipped on: 02.19.2009 at 05:48 pm    last updated on: 02.19.2009 at 05:48 pm