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Hybrid Crape Myrtle

Extension Gardener

Extension Gardener™ is a statewide horticultural program that provides timely, research-based horticultural information. It helps Carolinians: increase their gardening knowledge, manage their landscapes, and sustain the environment.

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Hybrid Crape Myrtle

Extension Gardener

Extension Gardener™ is a statewide horticultural program that provides timely, research-based horticultural information. It helps Carolinians: increase their gardening knowledge, manage their landscapes, and sustain the environment.

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Subscribe to the Extension Gardener email listserv to receive notification when new editions of the newsletter have been posted to the Extension Gardener Portal .

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Azalea lace bugs make azalea leaves look unsightly and mottled.
©Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

Azalea Lace
Bugs

Azalea lace bugs make azalea leaves look unsightly and mottled.©Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org[/caption] Over 30 different types of lace bugs live in North Carolina. Each species of lace bug specializes in feeding on a specific plant species or plant family. The names of lace bugs typically indicate the types of plants upon which they feed. For example, sycamore lace bugs only feed upon sycamore trees, while lantana lace bugs specialize in feeding on lantana. The lace bug that gets gardeners the most riled up is the azalea lace bug. This common pest does not seriously damage azaleas, but it can make them appear sickly and off-color. Azalea lace bugs (Stephanitis pyrioides) overwinter in the egg stage and hatch in early spring. Nymphs and adults spend most of their time on the underside of azalea leaves, where they use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to remove chlorophyll from the leaf tissue, causing azalea leaves to take on an unsightly, mottled, yellow appearance. If this describes your azalea, check under the leaf for dots of brown or black excrement that are a sure sign your plant has a lace bug infestation. The most effective way to control azalea lace bug is to plant azaleas in the right location—out of direct sun. Planting a diverse landscape also helps reduce the numbers of lace bugs. Chemical control is possible. But if damage can be tolerated, treatment is not necessary because this pest does not threaten the health of azalea shrubs. — Donna Teasley

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Image by Seth Nagy

Fascinating Leaf
Galls

Image by Seth Nagy[/caption] Pest Alert: Leaf galls In the spring you have probably noticed unusual growths and bumps on leaves, especially on maples and oaks. These protective structures are called leaf galls. They form when an insect or mite tricks the plant into protecting the pest’s developing offspring. Leaf galls are a type of abnormal plant growth, typically caused by plant growth-regulating chemicals injected by the insect during egg-laying or produced by the developing insect. Usually the growth is so distinct that the insect or mite can be identified by the resulting gall. More than 2,000 different types of gall-forming insects occur in the United States. Galls can form on any part of the plant, not just leaves. Most are formed by gall wasps, gall midges, or gall mites. Less common gall producers are aphids, psyllids, and gall flies. Some galls are formed by bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. A leaf gall associated with white oak leaves is caused by the small wasp Neuroterus saltarius. The female’s ovipositor inserts an egg into the leaves. A gall forms on the leaf’s underside around the developing wasp. Once the gall has developed, it drops to the ground, where the insect completes development. Two common galls found on maples are eye spot leaf gall and bladder leaf gall—both caused by mites. Although leaf galls don’t cause problems and insect galls can be ignored, some bacterial and nematode galls do cause problems. If you observe weak growth or stress in a plant with galls, try to identify the gall and find the right treatment. Your county Extension center can help. Otherwise, just enjoy the wonder of Mother Nature. — Seth Nagy

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NEWS View All
Tomatoes

Tomato Planting Tips

Soil temperatures have warmed into the 60’s and there is little chance we will see another frost this spring in central North Carolina, which means it is time to plant warm season crops. MORE » – from   Chatham County Center

http://floricultureinfosearch.ces.ncsu.edu/

Floriculture InfoSearch

Floriculture InfoSearch is a powerful, but focused search engine designed to bring you floriculture information from the scientific literature, trade and association magazines/websites, NC State University, and the American Floral Endowment Floriculture Archive MORE »

Porcupine with a sweet potato body and green bean spines.

Veggie Varmint

The “Veggie Varmint” contest, hosted at the Burke County fair each year, is delightful, creative way to connect children with produce. Without the pressure to “EAT IT”, children (and adults) are encouraged to MORE »

Downy Mildew
Image by Gerald Holmes, courtesy of Bugwood

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is here! Look on the tops of leaves for angular, yellow to brown wounds that stop at a leaf vein. Management suggestions: • Plant early in the season so you can MORE »

Greenstriped Mapleworm1398055Bugwood

Greenstriped Mapleworms

Greenstriped Mapleworms Greenstriped mapleworms are found in the piedmont the end of June and early July. As their name suggests their preferred hosts are maple trees, but they are also found on boxelder MORE »

Emerald Ash Borer 
(Image Courtesy of Bugwood)

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer, a beautiful but extremely destructive, exotic insect pest, has now been detected in North Carolina. These beetles kill ash trees by feeding on the trunks. So far Person, Granville, MORE »

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EVENTS View All
Wildflower WorkshopMon Apr 20, 2015
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Where:
Pitt County Arboretum, 403 Government Circle, Greenville, NC 27834, United States
— Tomorrow
JC Raulston Arboretum - Gala in the GardenSun May 3, 2015
3:30 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 2 weeks away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue May 12, 2015
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 3 weeks away
Pollinator Gardening Workshop & Garden TourTue May 12, 2015
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Where:
Pittsboro, NC
— 3 weeks away
8th Annual Pollinator Day CelebrationSat May 30, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Where:
Pittsboro, NC
— 1 month away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue Jun 9, 2015
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 2 months away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue Jul 14, 2015
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 3 months away
NCSU 16th Annual Vermiculture ConferenceMon Aug 10 - Mon Aug 10, 2015 - ALL DAY Where:
James B. Hunt Jr. Library, 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States
— 4 months away
More Events