The abundant rain we've had this year has contributed to ongoing fungus problems. We recommend treating outbreaks with Bonide Revitalize, an organic product, or Fertilome Liquid Systemic Fungicide II.
Be on the lookout for chinch bug damage in lawns as summer's hot, dry weather sets in. Symptoms include grass that turns yellow, then brown, then dies. Scattered patches can merge into one large dead area. Treat an infestation with Hi-Yield Bug Blaster granules or Fertilome Broad Spectrum Insecticide.
Please read labels carefully before applying any pesticide to prevent injury to people, pets and plants. Have questions? Contact us today...
Zinnias keep blooming when the heat rises.
If your beds didn't turn out the way you'd envisioned this year, it’s not too late to remedy the situation – as long as you choose wisely.
Here’s a list of a few plants that can take the heat of Southern summer:
- Zinnia: These candy-colored annuals light up your landscape. Give them plenty of space to aid air circulation, which helps prevent disease.
- Angelonia: The flowers may remind you of cool-weather loving snapdragons, but angelonias are tough customers that survive hot, dry conditions -- and they don't have to be deadheaded!
- Salvia: It’s not surprising that most perennial salvias are happy when it’s hot: They are native to the Southwest, so heat doesn’t faze them.
- Caladium: Shady areas can seem dark and the variegated foliage of caladiums will light them up.
- Marigold: These heat lovers provide color in summer-appropriate shades of yellow, cream, orange and rust. To keep them blooming, deadhead frequently.
- Periwinkle: Among the few plants that will withstand reflected heat from driveways and sidewalks, periwinkles require well-drained soil.
- Pentas: These butterfly magnets like full to partial sun and will keep pumping out flowers if they are deadheaded occasionally.
- Torenia: Looking for color in a shady spot? Torenia is a native of Vietnam so it's well suited to Louisiana's heat and humidity.
- Sweet potato vine: A great spiller for container plantings, sweet potato vines grow like kudzu when it gets hot. In fact, you’ll probably need to pinch the ends to keep them full and bushy instead of crawling throughout your landscape.
- Lantana: It's never too late to add heat-loving lantana. Know what you're buying, though, if space is an issue. While some lantanas maintain a low, mounding habit, others can reach 5 feet tall and wide in a single growing season.
Gray leaf spot on St. Augustine grass
A healthy landscape is a thing of beauty, but there are plenty of pests and diseases out there that can wreak havoc. Treatment is most effective at the first sign of problems.
The top three we see and our recommendations:
- Lawns: Brown patch (brown to gray irregular to circular patches), gray leaf spot (gray, yellow or ash-colored spots with darker borders on leaves) and red thread (tan or pink circular patches, pink threads upon close inspection) are the diseases we are see most frequently. They can be treated with Fertilome F-Stop, a granular product, or Fertilome Liquid Systemic Fungicide.
- Fungus on ornamental plants: If your plants look like they have been dusted with confectioner's sugar, they have powdery mildew. Leaf spots on plants like hydrangea are caused by another fungus. Treat with Fertilome Liquid Systemic Fungicide.
- Snails and slugs: Wet weather is paradise for these slimy pests. We recommend earth- and pet-friendly Sluggo.
And always remember to read and follow directions on the product label.
Everybody loves butterflies, but not every garden attracts them. Use these tips from Northwest Louisiana Master Gardener Mike Livingston, who is in charge of the butterfly garden at the Randle T. Moore Center, to increase your chances of luring them in.
Butterflies like a sunny spot sheltered from the wind and large swaths of plants of different heights, colors, shapes and species. Provide a "puddling" area where they can get water and salt and at least two host plants.
- Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Passionvine (Passiflora incarnata)
- Rue (Rue graveolens)
- Fennel (Foeniculum)
- Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
- Pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata)
- Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
- Agastache foeniculum (Anise hyssop)
- Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
- Butterfly bush (Buddleia)
- Butterfly penta (Pentas lanceolata)
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea)
- Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium)
- Lantana (Lantana camara)
- Phlox (various)
- Porterweed (Stachytarpheta)
- Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
- Verbena (various)
- Zinnia (various)
One of the keys to choosing the right plants for your garden is knowing your light conditions. Use this guide from LSU AgCenter to help determine yours:
- Full sun: eight or more hours of direct sun per day.
- Part sun: about four to six hours of afternoon sun per day.
- Part shade: about four hours of direct sun in the morning.
- Shade: about two hours of direct morning sunlight or dappled light throughout the day.
Now that you know your conditions, here’s a list of some of the most popular bedding plants:
Sun to part sun:
- Sweet potato vine
Part shade to shade:
- New Guinea impatiens
If all the spring green that's glowing around town has your green thumb itching, drop by to check out our premium plants. Our greenhouse and nursery are full of fresh color with new shipments arriving weekly.
Not sure what to plant? Consult a member of our knowledgeable staff for assistance.
And if you'd just like to turn the work over to someone else, ask about our landscape services.
We can help you make this spring your most colorful ever!
Crape myrtle bark scale
Spring weather brings beautiful flowers -- and pests and diseases.
Here's a look at problems our customers are seeking help with and our recommendation for treating them:
- Scale on camellias and sasanquas. Check your plants for infestations by looking for small sucking insects attached to the underside of the leaves. If they're present, treat with either Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural Oil for an organic approach or Fertilome Systemic Insect Spray.
- Crape myrtle bark scale. Look for black, sooty mold on leaves, trunks and limbs, as well as white felt-like patches on twigs, branches and trunks. Treat with either Fertilome Tree and Shrub Insect Drench or Hi Yield Systemic Insect Spray. To remove sooty mold from limbs and trunks, use a soft-bristle brush, water and a little dish-washing soap. Or use a power washer, making certain the pressure isn't so high it damages the bark.
- Fungus on Indian hawthorns, red tip photinias and roses. Apply Serenade Disease Control or Fertilome Systemic Fungicide.
- Weeds in lawn. Take care of them before they take hold with Fertilome Weed-Free Zone or Fertilome Weed Out.
Don’t you feel sorry for gardeners who live where there are no winter flowers?
Camellias are the super stars of winter garden in the South, lighting up the landscape with lovely flowers in red, rose, pink, white and bicolors. Plant now and you'll be able to enjoy them for many weeks.
Both Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, the two varieties most often planted here, prefer a partial shade location. A well-drained spot where they will receive about four to six hours of morning sun with afternoon shade is ideal. They also thrive under the high shade cast by pine trees. Like azaleas, camellias do best in acid soil. If your soil pH is above 7, add an acidifier at planting time and feed your plant with fertilizer labeled for acid-loving plants.
Here’s a look at a few of the popular varieties Akin’s usually has in stock:
- Nuccio’s Gem: a strong upright grower that bears loads of perfectly formed, pristine white semidouble flowers with a rosebud center in early to mid-season.
- Cotton Candy: an early-season bloomers that bears masses of clear pink, semidouble flowers.
- Kanjiro: a vigorous upright grower with early, rose-pink, semidouble flowers shading to rose-red on the petal edges.
- Shishi Gashira: a compact, low-grower that bears early rosy-red, semidouble flowers. Named a Louisiana Super Plant.
- Setsugekka: a moderate upright grower with masses of early, white, semidouble flowers bearing golden stamens.
Adding one, or more, of these camellias will give your eyes something beautiful to rest on during winter’s grayest, dreariest months.
It just wouldn't be Christmas without poinsettias, paperwhites, amaryllises and cyclamen.
Keep them looking their best with these tips:
Poinsettia: Place the plant where it will get some sunlight and won't be exposed to drafts. Water with warm water when the soil surface is dry to the touch, but don't let the plant stand in water. Avoid getting mist or water on the colored bracts.
Paperwhite: For best flowering, leave the bulb pot outside if temperatures will stay above freezing. When grown in warm temperatures and with low light, foliage and flowers tend to flop. Once the flowers open, bring the pot inside but move it to an unheated location at night to extend flower life.
Amaryllis: Put the pot near a sunny window, and rotate it a quarter turn every few days once the flower stalk emerges to keep it growing straight. Too little light will result in a weak, spindly stalk. Keep soil evenly moist.
Cyclamen: Keep the soil moist, but don't water from above. Place the pot in a shallow tray of water and let the roots take it up. They prefer temperatures in the 60s and like bright light.
Cooler weather is on the way and that means fall veggies. Cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, kale, collards and more thrive in our climate.
Here's a list from LSU AgCenter of vegetables from that can be planted in September:
- Beets, broccoli (transplants or seeds through September)
- Brussels sprouts (transplants or seeds)
- Cabbage (transplants or seeds)
- Chinese cabbage (transplants or seeds)
- Cauliflower (transplants or seeds)
- Collards (transplants or seeds)
- English peas
- Snow peas
- Garlic (late September)4
- Onions (seeds, late September)
- Snap beans (early September)
- Swiss chard