Northern & Central Midwest

February, 2006
Regional Report

Gently Remove Snow From Evergreens

After a heavy wet snow, take a broom and gently lift evergreen branches from below to knock off the snow. Don't be tempted just to start whacking or you may injure the plant. Branches are still partially frozen and may break. If the snow becomes ice-covered, let it thaw by itself.

Keep Deicing Salt Away From Evergreens

When selecting evergreens to use in the landscape, keep in mind that they are easily damaged by salt. Place them where they will not receive salt spray or runoff from roads and drives. As the ground thaws, water them well to help leach any salts away.

Don't Worry About Peeping Bulbs

In periods of unseasonably warm weather, bulbs tend to show themselves, especially those planted on the south side. They send up their leaves first so there is usually nothing to worry about. A little damage to the foliage will not hurt them, and the flower bud is usually still deep in the ground.

Save Drooping Roses

If your Valentine rose starts drooping prematurely, it may have an air bubble trapped in the stem. Float the entire stem in a sink of warm water. Trim an inch off the bottom and leave it in the water for at least half an hour. Gently straighten the flower head and then put it back in the vase.

Control Mealybugs

Have cottony fluff in the leaf axils of houseplants? Sounds like mealybugs. If you have the time and patience, take a cotton swab and dip it in alcohol or vegetable oil and rub off the cotton. Otherwise, spray the plant with horticultural oil to get rid of the pesky bugs.

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