Groundcovers

1. Q: How do you keep honeysuckle in a confined area?

A: It is practically impossible if it is common Hall's Japanese honeysuckle. Use Coral or Purpleleaf honeysuckle.

2. Q: How do you transplant Asian Jasmine?

A: Can dig up and transplant anytime of the year but best to do in early spring.

3. Q: Can you plant Asian Jasmine now from one gallon containers?

A: Yes. Basically year around if in one gallon containers. 2 inch containers should be planted in the spring and 4 inch containers could be planted year around if not a severe winter.

4. Q: What is causing brown spots on English Ivy?

A: If the spots are circular, it is probably fungus Alternaria. Wait until spring and spray with fungicide Daconil. Could also be bacterial leaf spot in humid location with little air movement. Use a Bordeaux mixture every two to four weeks or as needed. Clean out and destroy fallen leaves. Spray with Captan or Benomyl at 7 to 14 intervals.

5. Q: Can English Ivy be started from runners?

A: Yes. Cuttings from juvenile stems root easily but mature stems are difficult to root. Cut 4 inch runners with a sharp knife or razor blade. Dust cut with a rooting hormone containing a fungicide. Insert cutting into good rooting medium such as a mixture of 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 coarse sand, 1/3 vermiculite. Keep lightly damp while roots form. The runners can also be woven in and out of the ground keeping the runners attached to the mother plant. After the segments root, remove and replant.

6. Q: How do you get rid of honeysuckle in a bed of English Ivy?

A: Dig it out or very carefully apply a broadleaf weedkiller by painting individual leaves. Do not spray. Anything you use could also damage the English ivy if sprayed.

A: Yes. Set mower on the highest setting so it removes only the upper surface and does not disturb the lower branches and root system.

7. Q: What is the difference between dwarf and regular mondo grass?

A: Texture and size of the blade. Dwarf only grows to 2 or 3 inches and regular grows to 6 to 12 inches.

8. Q: What fertilizer do you use on Asian Jasmine?

A: One with a 3-1-2 ration the same as used on lawns.

9. Q: When should vinca be planted?

A: Mid-May - One gallon container size can be planted year- round; four inch containers can be planted year-round except if severe freeze expected; two inch or less is best planted in the spring.

10. Q: How close should ground cover plants be planted to provide fairly rapid cover?

A: If using 4 inch pots, can be planted on 10 to 12 inch centers, if using smaller pots, close up the distance to 8 inch centers. Consideration should also be given to the individual plant characteristics; Asian Jasmine can be planted on 2 foot centers.

11. Q: How should soil be prepared for a ground cover?

A: Till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches and add a good quantity of organic matter such as compost or peat moss to equal approximately 1/3 of bed composition.

12. Q: How do you start ajuga?

A: Plants can be started from small runners just like strawberries. Root while still attached to the mother plant or remove from the parent plant and root in well-drained soil.

13. Q: What is causing Liriope that is 10 years old to die out?

A: Most likely cause would be overwatering. Result of all the spring rains is beginning to show up, probably with crown rot appearing. Area should be drenched with Benlate. Watch watering closely; Liriope is very drought tolerant and will not take wet feet.

14. Q: What would cause Ajuga grown in flats to slowly decline in the Summer?

A: Ajuga decline is usually a result of a multitude of environmental adversities such as alkaline soil, hot day and night temperatures and foliage disease attacking a stressed plant. You will have best luck growing ajuga in a morning sun - afternoon shade (or complete shade in a really hot locations) location which has been well prepared with large amounts of organic matter (spaghum peat moss, compost, etc.). Guard against foliage pests such as spider mites and aphids which can be inconspicious but damaging. If foliage disease (dead spots on leaves), treat with Ortho Daconil every week for a month after infected leaves have been removed. Do not overwater; ajuga should be kept moist -- never wet -- never dry.

15. Q: The ivy in my well-shaded back yard is starting to die. I water all my yard by automatic sprinker once a week. The ivy is well established. Any suggestions?

A: English Ivy, especially old, matted plantings, tend to get a fungus disease in it. We used to recommend thinning the stand and raking out all matted leaves and dead stems and spraying with the best soil fungicide named Captan (also sold as Orthocide). I don't know if this product is still available on the market; you should check. I would think a terrachlor product such as Turficide would work as well. This fungus is also a function of wetness so you might want to keep your English Ivy on the dry side. Because of our water conditions and since you would have to look at a torn up mess of an English Ivy planting, I would recommend you do this procedure next spring. You could try the terrachlor product in the badly effected areas.

16. Q: My wife and I have recently purchased a home in North San Antonio which has approximately 12 small to medium oak trees. The previous homeowners had some sort of ivy as ground cover, which is now climbing on about half of the oaks (The ivy is especially heavy on one tree in particular). Many friends and family members have commented that the ivy will not harm the tree, yet others say that we need to cut the ivy or else the tree will eventually die. Although we think the ivy looks rather nice, we are definitely more interested in a healthy tree. What would you recommend we do?

A: English Ivy is just climbing on and attaching to the tree with aerial roots which do not penetrate the tree and "suck or feed on" the life blood of the tree -- English Ivy IS NOT parasitic. If you want to limit the vines height, simply cut the stems at the height you desire -- the top part will soon die and eventually all of the dead leaves will fall off or can be pulled out. The only way English Ivy or ball moss (another tree hugger!!) can damage its host tree is to so cover the tree that photosynthesis is interrupted to the leaf surface. I have never seen such a case. Enjoy your landscape; you have one of the best ground covers available in English Ivy and very drought tolerant.



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