Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Remove Leafspot-Infected Hibiscus Leaves

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Remove Leafspot-Infected Hibiscus Leaves

Article excerpt

Byline: CAMILLE HUNTER

Q: Last year, the leaves on my hibiscus developed spots and a few holes. New leaves and buds are coming out now. What can I do to prevent this from happening again?

Hibiscus shrubs sometimes develop leafspots. Pick off and destroy infected leaves as soon as you see them to keep the infection from spreading. A copper-based spray or an appropriate fungicide can be used if removing leaves does not keep it under control. Holes in leaves are usually a sign of beetles. If it is just a small problem, try to tolerate it. Otherwise, spray early in the morning with insecticidal soap or Sevin.

Q: I have English dogwood bushes. They have beautiful flowers in spring. When do I prune them?

English dogwood (Philadelphus spp.) is also commonly known as mock orange. These are large, vigorous shrubs, and the white spring flowers are fragrant on some species. Prune every year just after blooming. Rather than shearing the shrub, cut out the oldest branches to the ground to rejuvenate it.

Mock orange will take full sun but grows best with partial shade in the hottest part of the day. Buy plants that are blooming to check for fragrance, which varies among species.

Q: I will be pruning red maple and other trees. What is the word on pruning paint? I've heard it doesn't help.

Painting tree wounds is no longer recommended. Research shows trees heal best if proper cuts are made and the wound is left to heal on its own.

Q: I have a lot of hydrangeas. They are just sticks now, though some are getting green buds. Should I prune or leave them alone?

Leave them alone. Pruning would reduce flowering. When they begin to leaf out, you can cut out any dead branches, but wait until they finish blooming before doing more pruning.

Q: Do you have any ideas on how I can protect a rose garden from deer? …

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