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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.

Other February Links

Damaged Gladiolas

I've had great success raising gladiolas. The last two years some of the gladiolas come up green and then die, also something is eating them, but don't see any bugs. how do I solve these problems? Gladiolas are my favorite cut flowers.

The problem is an insect called 'Thrip'. It is very difficult to see. Spray the foliage, starting when it is about 6 inches high, with an insecticide like 'Orthene'. Apply according to label instructions.

Growing Wysteria

Recently my grandfather passed away.  He had a beautiful wysteria growing in his backyard. I took several seed pods in hopes that I could grow my own. But how? I would really love to grow this beautiful tree in memory of my grandfather. I live in Connecticut. Thank-you for any advice you may have.

Actually, Wisteria is easiest to start from either cuttings or by layering the lower vines in the soil. If you want to try the seeds, freeze them for a couple of days in the freezer. Then sow directly outdoors in late May.

Rhododendron Cuttings

About 2 weeks ago you talked about starting rhododendron now. I was told that you should do it in July so I wasn't totally tuned in. Now I want to know more. I have a rhododendron that my father gave to my mom for her birthday to bloom then - April 7th. It is a dark red, with white staymen and is beautiful so early. I wish I knew its name. Anyway I would like to start another plant or two. Could you put your instructions on the internet?

Rhododendron cuttings can be taken in July or August. Or, they can be taken during the winter dormant season. I like taking them during the months of November; December; January or February. The reason is they take root better, and you only have to care for them in the house until spring. If you take the cuttings in the summer, you have to try to keep them alive indoors all fall; winter and early spring, before you can set them outdoors. We will put the basic directions for taking cuttings on the web-site soon.

Mildew on Lupines

What can be used to control the mold that seems to form each summer on my lupine? They look so beautiful in the iris until they get diseased.

You need to use a fungicide to help control the mildew. "Funginex" is one of the fungicides often recommended for mildew. Apply according to label directions.

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