How to Plant Canna Lily Bulbs

Few plants can match the tropical appeal and spectacular presence of Canna Lilies. Growing from three to over six feet in a single season, these trouble-free beauties originated in South America and the West Indies and have become a favourite here in North America. Starting Your Bulbs in Pots Indoors: March is an excellent month to start your Canna Lily bulbs indoors. Follow these simple … Continue reading How to Plant Canna Lily Bulbs

Ornamental Garden Calendar for April

April is traditionally a busy month in the garden. Spring cleanup begins and there are a host of other tasks to tend to. Following is a list of tasks and things to look out for, in your ornamental gardens in April. Note: these times are approximate and can vary depending on the weather and on your specific hardiness zone. The zone I write from is a zone … Continue reading Ornamental Garden Calendar for April

Spittlebugs and Frog Hoppers

There are approximately 2500 spittlebug species world wide (Deitz  L. L. et. al., (2008)). Most of these live in the tropics with only about 60 species living in North America (Missouri Department of Conservation, (n.d.)). In Canada they are mostly found along the very southern end of the country. The nymphs are referred to as spittlebugs because of the frothy, spittle-like substance they produce and … Continue reading Spittlebugs and Frog Hoppers

Boxwood For Ornamental Gardens

Boxwood (Buxus) have been a popular choice for ornamental gardeners, world wide, for 1000’s of years. These versatile evergreen shrubs have graced the homes of royalty, large public gardens, commercial properties and home gardens of all styles and sizes. They are relished for their slow growth, compact size, and ability to handle tight sheering, making them popular choices for hedges and topiary. Read on to … Continue reading Boxwood For Ornamental Gardens

Iris Borers and Bacterial Soft Rot 

Iris borers (Macronoctua onusta), are a species of cutworms that bore through iris leaves down into the rhizomes, causing browning and wilting. Their feeding damage can also cause a disease known as bacterial soft rot, aka. root rot. This bacterial disease, caused by the bacteria Erwinia carotovora, causes the rhizome to rot and become mushy, emitting a foul odour. Iris rhizomes infected with this disease … Continue reading Iris Borers and Bacterial Soft Rot 

Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

What is dormant oil? Dormant oil is an oil based, low-impact insecticide, that is sprayed on vulnerable woody plants during their dormant season, to kill the overwintering stage of pest insects. The oil used is typically a highly refined mineral oil to which an emulsifying agent has been added, which allows the oil to mix with water. Sometimes cottonseed oil or soybean oil are used … Continue reading Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

Gardening Naturally With Clematis

There are few flowering vines that command as much visual appeal as do Clematis. Many varieties offer near diner plate size blooms on plants that can bloom for weeks on end. Growing these amazing Clematis vines naturally, without the aid of chemicals is not only do-able but from the plants point of view preferable. For big beautiful blooms on healthy low maintenance Clematis plants try these all … Continue reading Gardening Naturally With Clematis

Leaf Spot Diseases of Iris

There are several potential causes of leaf spots on Iris including fungal infection, bacterial infection, various viruses, insect damage and various environmental factors. Of these factors fungal leaf spot is the most common and widely spread. Leaf spot diseases greatly mare the appearance of Iris plants and can kill whole leaves and eventually plants if not brought under control. Fungal Leaf Spot of Iris Iris … Continue reading Leaf Spot Diseases of Iris

Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Verses Root-Knot Nematode Disease

In order to understand the difference between root nodules, that are caused by nitrogen fixing bacteria and root-knot disease, caused by nematodes, one must first have a clear understanding of what each is. Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to transform atmospheric nitrogen (a form the plants cannot absorb) into fixed nitrogen (a form plants can absorb). There are 2 main kinds … Continue reading Root Nodules Caused by Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Verses Root-Knot Nematode Disease

The Many Faces of an Aphid

Many gardeners are familiar with the little green soft bodied insects that feed on the growing tips and flowers of many of their favourite garden plants. Aphids however are actually a very large and diverse group of insects with between 4,000-5,000 species world wide. They come in a range of colours including green, black, brown, red, yellow, purple, gray and white. Size wise they vary … Continue reading The Many Faces of an Aphid

Beneficial Insects In Home Gardens

By: Kimberley Pacholko Jan. 25, 2021 What Are Beneficial Insects? Beneficial insects are deemed beneficial from a human perspective, for their ability to either pollinate plants or to control pest insects. Creating an environment that is hospitable to beneficial insects usually involves refraining from the use of insecticides and other chemicals in the garden, providing a variety of plant material including brightly coloured pollinating plants, … Continue reading Beneficial Insects In Home Gardens

Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Box tree moths (Cydalima perspectalis), BTM for short, are an invasive species new to Canada in 2018. The first case was found in Toronto. Since that time they have been gradually spreading. The United States reported it’s first cases in 2021. Several government bodies, universities, nursery and landscape trades have banded together to try to monitor and control it’s spread. Why all the concern? Since it’s … Continue reading Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

There are 90 or more plant nutrients, 17 of which are essential to plant health. Nickle was the newest to the list in the 1980’s. Without these nutrients plants cannot complete their life cycle. For a review on the role each of the nutrients plays in plant health visit 17 Essential Soil Nutrients For Plant Health. Silicon, cobalt and vanadium are also important nutrients to many plants … Continue reading Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens

When we hear the word topiary it usually conjures up images of grand old castle gardens or botanical gardens and the such. However topiary has also long been used for the ornamental home garden, albeit with less grandiosity. Topiary plants do have a more severe look about them and are typically more work but they make excellent feature plants and can lend a tone of … Continue reading Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens