Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Local Dirt -

The "Our Gar­den His­tory" of the Al­berta gar­dener ar­rived today.

I will be read­ing each and ev­ery word of this vol­ume as my first quick look through con­vinced me that this is your best ever edi­tion. Con­grats and keep them com­ing. Tricia

Just wanted to let you know that our edi­tion of Al­berta Gar­dener ar­rived yes­ter­day. My hus­band and I were so im­pressed with all the information. Thank you for this lovely edi­tion and for all the work you and your staff ob­vi­ously put into the mak­ing of it.

El­iz­a­beth & Keith

Dear Chris: I re­ceived your en­ve­lope of plant parts with all their var­i­ous ail­ments. It is hard to be sure but what I think is that you have sev­eral prob­lems.

1. You may be over­wa­ter­ing. Cut back on wa­ter un­til the plant is dry to the touch on the sur­face of the soil. Over­wa­ter­ing can cause your Christ­mas cac­tus to go limp, drop leave and get rust spots on the leaves. Christ­mas Cac­tus like to get fairly dry. Another sign of wa­ter is­sues is crinkly leaves – this will turn up both from over­wa­ter­ing or un­der­wa­ter­ing. Over wa­ter­ing will also cause brown tips and brown spots on plant leaves.

2. You may have aphids or some other suck­ing in­sects on the Pep­per­o­mia (?) plant and they are caus­ing a sooty mold to grow in the leaves.

3. It looks like the mealy bugs may have spread to your rub­ber tree plant.

I would ad­vise spray­ing all plants with neem oil, both top and bot­tom of the leaves and in leaf and stem nooks and cran­nies. Very badly in­fest plants should just dis­carded. Neem will work on the mold and the in­sect caus­ing it.

Care­fully clean the ar­eas where in­fected plants have resided. Wash any con­tain­ers from dis­carded plants with bleach and wa­ter. Neem may also get rid of the mealies – just re­mem­ber to keep spray­ing ev­ery few days to catch new hatch­lings mealy bugs are very hard to get rid of and some­times it is better just to get rid of the plant.

When it comes to wa­ter, here are some thoughts:

Fill the wa­ter­ing con­tainer and leave it a room tem­per­a­ture.

Wa­ter only when the plant s dry and be sure all wa­ter is re­moved from the tray un­der the plant when it has fin­ished drain­ing.

Let the wa­ter run through if you can. Then don’t wa­ter again un­til the soil is dry to a half inch.

At this time of year most plants are rest­ing and re­quire less wa­ter than they did dur­ing the spring or sum­mer when they are ac­tively grow­ing so don’t fret if they take a cou­ple of weeks to dry out. Small plant con­tain­ers need wa­ter more of­ten that larger plants. I hope this is help­ful to you, Chris. Very best of luck to you, Dorothy

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