Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Coastal and Tropical South

June, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Milky Way' Aspidistra
Speckled leaves make for a whole new look in the classic cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior). Still a survivor plant that's tolerant of neglect, abuse, drought, and low light, 'Milky Way' makes a sweet addition.

Clever Gardening Technique

Diagnosing Spider Mites
Hot, dry places, such as the underside of a lantana leaf, can make fine homes for spider mites. You'll recognize their dehydration damage by a bronzing on the leaves, which often become spotted, then turn brown and crispy, too. Plain old drought can cause similar symptoms, but you'll know it's the tiny arachnids with this test: hold a sheet of white paper under suspect leaves (or dried up juniper needles) and thump a branch. Look at the dust that falls on the paper. If it moves, it's spider mites. Prune off the damage, remove it from the garden, and spray plain water under the leaves regularly to disturb their environment. For serious infestations, consider sprays containing pyrethrin or neem.


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