Today we have a returning question and three new questions. Can you help these readers? If you have a suggestion for any of them, please leave a comment below.
Question #1: Leeks gone wild
All of a sudden, I have wild leeks growing throughout my gardens. Last year they were in one section, now they are everywhere. I have to dig down up to 8 inches to get the bulbs but they still come back. How do I get rid of them?
Note from the publisher: We posted this question before and got no responses. Does anyone out there have experience with wild leeks or with anything similar? What would you suggest? Please help Mary!
Question #2: Antsy peony bushes
Why do my peony bushes have lots of ants on them and how do I get rid of them? I planted the bush in memory of my mother 10 years ago. I want to cut some but there are too many ants. HELP.
Note from the publisher: Ants seem attracted to the flowers on peony bushes; I’m not sure why. I don’t know if there is any way to keep ants off your peonies.
But it sounds like what you really want to know is how you can bring the flowers inside without bringing in a bunch of ants, too.
Here are a couple things I’ve tried. Cut the flowers, then stick them, blossom first, into a bucket of water. Another thing is rinsing the blossoms in the sink. Those methods should get rid of most of the ants, but you may look at the flowers in your vase later and still find a couple of stragglers.
Readers, can you help? Why are ants attracted to peonies? Can you keeps ants off peonies? What methods do you use to get flowers into the house without bringing the ants along?
Question #3: Houseplants plagued by sticky white substance
Thank you for all your info. I have a question. I have been getting a white, sticky substance on my house plants. What is it? and how can I get rid of it?
Note from the publisher: This sounds like another question that was left by reader Dale Nikitas as a comment elsewhere on this site. Could Fran’s problem be the same as Dale’s? Here is Dale’s question:
I have two quite lovely healthy looking schefflera plants, each about 5-6 years old. Have noticed over the past two year much sticky dripping from these pretty plants. Drips onto other surround plants, etc. I have sprayed them on a regular basis with a Dawn,vinegar and water mixture. Not much help with the stickiness but the plants all remain healthy looking. Can I continue to ignore or is it something horrible that will destroy my lake room jungle? HELP!!
Here is a response to Dale’s question left by Sharon Barker, a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County:
Sounds like you have a problem with scale or aphids attacking your schefflera causing the sticky substance. Giving your plant a regular shower will help prevent insects from making your plant their home. Make sure the underside of the leaves are showered since that can be a favorite home for insects to hide.
Now that the insects have found your plant, you need to get aggressive with kicking them out. If the weather remains warm, move your plant outdoors to a shady protected location. Give your plant a weekly shower first with water, then use either insecticidal soap or a homemade version of six tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, a few drops of dish detergent, added to a gallon of water. Spray the leaves once a week making sure to include the undersides of the leaves and soil. This should be done for a few weeks or until they are gone. After it looks like things are improving, you may want to change the soil before bringing the plant back into the house.
Readers, what advice would you give Fran?
Question #4: Fast-growing ground cover
Can you recommend a fast spreading, easy to grow, low ground cover? Looking for something that preferably has a little color at times. Area gets good sun until about 4 or 5 p.m. To cover a large area.
Note from the publisher: This question was posted on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com’s Facebook page. I shared my own ideas and advice from Heimiller’s and Mischler’s. Readers, what ground cover would you recommend for Kristeen?
When you have gardening questions, you can call the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County at (716) 652-5400. These knowledgeable volunteers are available from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are helpful Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in other counties, too. Find contact information here for your county’s Cooperative Extension office.
You can also stop at a garden center to get great information. Check out our advertisers, click on their ad and you’ll be taken to their website or Facebook page to get their hours, address and other important information.
Turning to Cornell Cooperative Extension or your local garden center is probably the fastest route for getting your questions answered.
However, if you have a question and you’d like to get a wide range of opinions, email the question to me and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.