Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lichen Can Be Sign of More Serious Problems

Lichen on plum branch
As the leaves fall from trees and shrubs you may notice the stems of some of your plants covered with a grayish green crusty or mossy looking growth known as lichen (pronounced “liken”). Lichens will grow on anything that sits still long enough, including slow growing plants, tree trunks, rocks, fence posts, fallen logs, tombstones, and even the ground.

When lichens are found growing on trees or shrubs, it may simply be a sign that a plant is naturally slow growing, such as Japanese maple, or that it is an older plant that is not growing at a vigorous rate. Lichens do not harm the plants they grow upon, but often plants that are struggling will be covered in them. When lichens are found growing prolifically on a plant that also has lots of dead twigs and branches it is usually a sign that something more serious is wrong. 

To learn more about lichen and the problems they are often associated with, read the rest of the article on the Pender Extension website, http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+163.

If you have questions about what is wrong with plants in your lawn, garden or landscape contact your local Cooperative Extension office. In Pender County, call 259-1235, bring samples to our office at 801 S. Walker St. in Burgaw (Mon –Fri, 8am – 5pm) or visit us online anytime or visit us online anytime at http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=askanexpert, where you can post your questions to be answered by email using the ‘Ask an Expert’ widget!

Learn more about lichens on trees and shrubs from this Alabama Extension fact sheet: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0857/ANR-0857.pdf

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome Winter with These Great Plants!

Weeping Yaupon
While few plants actually bloom in winter, there are many other characteristics that add interest at this time of year. Bark, berries, foliage, and plant form contribute color and texture to the landscape at a time of year when they can best be appreciated, without the competition of flowers that may have overshadowed these more delicate features during the growing season. Through careful planning, you can have a landscape full of beauty and interest all year around. 

Start your all-season landscape this year by adding plant such as weeping yaupon to your yard. With its glowing red berries lining gracefully arching stems, weeping yaupon is a plant made for the winter landscape! For more suggestions of great plants for winter interest, read the whole article on the Pender Extension website, http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+162.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Amaryllis - A Gift that Keeps Giving!

Amaryllis are hardy outdoors in SE NC.
Amaryllis bulbs are extremely easy and fun to grow, making them a wonderful gift for gardeners of all ages and experience levels. Bulbs purchased and potted now will bloom in three to six weeks, but the enjoyment does not end after the flowers fade. Amaryllis are hardy bulbs in our area, which means they can be planted outside in the landscape in spring, to multiply and bloom for years to come. 

Many garden centers currently have specially prepared bulbs or kits in stock. Kits usually include potting soil, a container and a bulb and make a great gift. Individual bulbs may also be purchased. When purchasing amaryllis bulbs, make sure you purchase a large, firm bulb free of cuts or bruises. Bulb size is important because the flowers the plant will produce are already inside the bulb. Larger bulbs will have larger flowers and will produce more flowering stalks. 

To learn more about growing Amaryllis, read the rest of the article posted on the Pender Extension website, http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+161.



Friday, December 9, 2011

Poinsettia Pointers

With over 100 different varieties of poinsettias available in a diversity of colors including white, pink, rose, coral, salmon, and every tint of red, crimson, and scarlet imaginable, it should not be difficult to find the perfect one to match any home d├ęcor or holiday theme. Variety does not stop just with color either. Poinsettias can be found with leaves edged and frosted in white and with petal-like bracts that are marbled, dusted, or splashed in multiple colors. Bracts of the ‘Winter Rose’ series of poinsettia are pleated and incurved so that they actually do resemble rose flowers. 

Whether you stick with a traditional red variety this Christmas or try one of the newer color creations, the tips in this Pender Gardener article will help you get the most out of your poinsettia during the holidays and beyond. Read the article on the Pender Extension website: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+160.

 
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Weekly updates on what to do and plant in your landscape and lawn!
  • To subscribe to the Pender Gardener email listserve, send an email to mj2@lists.ncsu.edu. Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the message put: subscribe pendergardener

Food Gardener
Weekly updates on what to do and plant in your vegetable and herb garden!
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Buy Live and Local This Christmas!

Red Cedar Christmas Tree
Keep the holidays real this year and support North Carolina farmers by purchasing a North Carolina grown, live cut Christmas tree! From the adventure of picking the perfect tree to the fragrance a live tree brings into your home, you cannot beat the lasting memories and enjoyable experiences real trees create for the entire family. There are a couple of options when it comes to buying a live tree. These include purchasing a pre-cut tree that has been shipped from the NC mountains or visiting a local tree farm and choosing your own.  

To find out more about the types of trees grown at eastern NC Christmas tree farms as well as NC mountain grown Fraser Firs, read the rest of the article on the Pender Extension website: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+159.


More information about Christmas tree care and varieties, as well as the NC Christmas tree industry, is available online from the NC Christmas Tree Association at http://ncchristmastrees.com/.

A directory of eastern NC fresh cut Christmas tree farms is available online on the Eastern NC Christmas Tree Growers Association website: www.nc-chooseandcut.com.

OR visit the the NC Department of Agriculture's NC Farm Fresh Website to local farms where you can buy Christmas trees as well all types of vegetable, fruits, and farm produce: http://www.ncfarmfresh.com/farms.asp.


To find out more about Christmas tree care, or any aspect of lawn, garden, and landscape care, contact your local Extension office. In Pender County call 259-1235, Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm, or visit us online anytime at http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=askanexpert, where you can post your questions to be answered by email using the ‘Ask an Expert’ widget!