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North Dakota

Fielding Questions: Hoya troubles, overwintering mandevilla, potato storage – InForum

Q: I’ve a big Hoya that has been nice for over 10 years. Leaves have been falling off recently and look dried up. I’m attaching a picture that I hope offers you a clue as to what’s taking place. Normally, this plant is simply superior. It’s in an east window the place it is accomplished so properly. – Elizabeth P

A: Hoya make nice houseplants, and once they attain a sure age, they reward the grower with aromatic blooms. Your plant appears prefer it has been rising properly and delightful for a few years.

I discover a number of issues that could possibly be inflicting dried and falling leaves. Over a interval of years, bugs equivalent to spider mites, mealybugs, and scales can search out outdated vegetation and construct up their populations, finally inflicting issues. If I enlarge the picture I might even see indicators of bugs. Treat with insecticidal cleaning soap, neem oil or systemic granules.

When was the plant final repotted? When I see vegetation with issues, I at all times discover a “headspace” that’s deeper than really helpful, the space between the sting of the pot and the floor of the soil. Instead, a headroom of solely about half an inch provides better vertical soil depth, and gravity helps pull water down, creating higher drainage and root well being.

I’d recommend eradicating the plant from its pot and including contemporary potting combine beneath so the plant is ready up with only a half inch of headroom, permitting for contemporary soil and improved drainage. Please preserve us up to date.

Q: I’m attempting to overwinter a Mandevilla plant. In mid-October, I lower the stems again far and positioned them in our laundry room subsequent to a north-going through window. I assumed it could be “dormant” till spring, nevertheless it’s sending vines from all sides! Should I let these develop? How do I preserve pruning it in order that subsequent spring it is going to be full and blooming? – Connie G.

A: Mandevilla winters splendidly indoors and my spouse Mary and I convey ours indoors each fall too. Mandevilla is a tropical flowering climber that’s properly tailored to containers and is ideal for pots on decks, balconies and planters. A trellis inserted into the pot helps it develop vertically.

If the pot is just not too huge, the pot and all will be introduced indoors within the fall, or repotted if the outside container is simply too huge. Stems ought to be pruned again so far as you might have accomplished and they’ll shortly begin new tendril progress as you might have discovered.

Mandevilla would not actually relaxation in the course of the winter, however retains rising, which is okay. They develop greatest in direct daylight, making a south or east window a more sensible choice than a north window the place progress can be weaker.

Let the mandevilla develop like different houseplants. Mandevillas are vulnerable to spider mites and mealybugs, so deal with preventively with insecticidal cleaning soap, neem oil, or systemic granules.

In March, reduce winter vine progress much like autumn, begin fertilizing each two weeks, transplant into contemporary soil when wanted and provides loads of sunshine and the Mandevilla can be able to go outdoors later in May .

Q: The potatoes have accomplished nice in our backyard this yr and we’re questioning what’s one of the simplest ways to retailer them. We have saved it cool in our storage however it’s unheated and now we have to convey it inside as a result of the storage often freezes over. Where is the most effective place to retailer them and what temperature ought to they be? – Josh L.

A: Potatoes ought to be saved in what is called “cool humid” situations, which implies cool temperatures and a damp ambiance. In the previous, most houses had unfinished basements, together with a root cellar, or a room used to retailer greens that stayed cool and damp, good for potatoes.

Today’s households generally is a problem for storing homegrown greens, however with a bit ingenuity it’s attainable. In our own residence, we sectioned off a nook of our basement to construct a small root basement that shuts out warmth from the remainder of the basement. Some houses have areas underneath basement stairs or in a utility room which may be cool sufficient.

The best temperature for storing potatoes is round 40 levels Fahrenheit. Most fridges are too cool for greatest potato storage, being round 35 to 37 levels Fahrenheit. At these cooler temperatures, potato starch begins to transform to sugar, affecting the flavour and cooking properties of the tubers.

If you might have a backyard or garden upkeep query, e mail Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at

[email protected]

. Questions with broad attraction could also be posted, so please embody your identify, metropolis, and state with a view to obtain correct recommendation.

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