Horticultural Updates

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

December 2017

Asian Multi-colored Lady Beetle
Asian Multi-colored Lady Beetle. Photo: OSU

NEW PUBLICATION: Lady Beetles: Should we buy them for our gardens?
(Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Home Garden Series FS268E)

As cities get bigger, gardens get smaller and large trees no longer make the cut. No worries. The plant world teems with appropriately sized trees
(Kym Pokorny, OSU; source Chris Rusch, OSU MG, OSU Gardening Tips.) http://bit.ly/2AkgTA8

Eleven new and exciting AAS winners, including a Canna, Tomato, Peppers and more have been selected by All-America Selections (AAS), the 85-year-young non-profit plant trialing organization.  Each of the varieties was trialed throughout North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges who grew them next to comparisons that are considered best-in-class. (All American Selections) http://bit.ly/2mOVlWh

Your house is a gigantic bug habitat, and there’s nothing you can do about it! In a recent study, each home sampled had an average of 100 species living in it, regardless of how often the residents cleaned or how many pets they had! (Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2jOQIL2

Nutritional Symbionts: Why some Insects Don’t Have to Eat Their Vegetables- “While many animals, like humans, consume a varied diet to get these nutritional components, some insects have learned how to cheat the system and can extract nourishment from a nutritionally poor food source through symbioses with bacteria. A symbiosis is a long-term interaction between two different species.” (Laura Kraft, North Carolina University for Entomology Today.) http://bit.ly/2jwr6Ci

Learn the benefits and drawback of using ‘rubber mulch” in the home landscape.  (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU, Home Garden Series FS163E) http://bit.ly/21ll8h0

What are the garden designs trending for 2018? Each year these designers highlight topics of growing importance in the gardening realm. They emphasize the concept of providing pleasure to people in their gardens—whether it’s growing new foods, providing a refuge for wildlife, or creating a relaxing place to share a meal with loved ones. Fun read! (Garden Design Magazine) http://bit.ly/2zou41X

Wisteria growing on trellis surrounding house porch.
Wisteria. Photo: Neil Bell, OSU

Wisteria care: Get out your clippers twice a year and go to town. (Kym Pokorny, OSU; source Neil Bell, OSU)  http://bit.ly/2A1k5xs

“Native trees provide more food — caterpillars — for birds than their non-native counterparts, according to a new study with Carolina chickadees in the Washington, DC, metro area. (Adam Thomas, mphys.org) http://bit.ly/2B3kRcu

Tired of Poinsettias? A new take on the Holiday plant!Whether you’re looking for a host/hostess gift that’s a little bit different or you want to add some living cheer to your holiday decorations, check out these houseplants.” (Meghan Shinn, Horticulture Magazine) http://bit.ly/2gEauVz

The nibble of a green leafhopper is the secret to the sweet flavor and honeyed aroma of an oolong tea known as Oriental Beauty. The bug’s bite sparks a chemical response in the plant, enhancing flavors that delight tea drinkers. “..Getting precisely the right balance of beneficial insects can be tricky. Changes in pests—too many, too few, too early, too late, the wrong ones—is just one of the areas being studied…” (Clare Leschin-Hoar, Tufts University) http://bit.ly/2eiWbnA

The Efficacy of Horticultural Oil and Insecticidal Soap against Selected Armored and Soft Scales study-Overall, horticultural oil killed a greater percentage of armored scales than soft scales, whereas insecticidal soap gave greater control against soft scales. They suggest that differences were driven by chemical properties of both insect integuments and insecticides.” (Carlos R. Quesada, Clifford S. Sadof, Hort Technology) http://bit.ly/2zW542a

A new set of fossil discoveries show that the evolutionary arms race that are forests started with plants that literally had to rip themselves apart in their battle for the canopy. (Indefenseofplants) http://bit.ly/2hIxJxj

It’s veggie harvest time on the International Space Station. (Linda Herridge and Amanda Griffin,NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center) https://go.nasa.gov/2mQkRug

Plant colors are not all about pigment. (Paula Rudall, Kew Science) http://bit.ly/2zjSqtO

Photo of house plant, Sanservaria
Sanservaria. Photo: Debra Ricigliano University of Maryland

Houseplants for Low Light Conditions. (Debra Ricigliano, Maryland Grow, U of MD) http://bit.ly/2BaMvFB

Old pest makes a return to Northwest fruit, nut trees. Pacific Flatheaded Borers can kill young trees that are stressed or damaged. (Eric Mortenson, Capital Press) http://bit.ly/2iCzjl8

Monet the Gardener: Life, and art, grow at Giverny. (Susan Stanberg, NPR) http://n.pr/2hSMmBR

The hidden world of seeds. (Adrian HigginsMay-Ying Lam, Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2AkOmdE

Some plants grow bigger – and meaner – when clipped. (Diana Yates, U of Illinois) http://bit.ly/2BaCKax

VIDEO: Overwintering Plants in Containers. (U of Illinois Extension, Youtube) http://bit.ly/2hKEnDl

The century long quest to save the American Chestnut may soon be over. (Nick Malawskey, PennLive, Penn State College) http://bit.ly/2A0QOmB

Simple Bacteria Offer Clues to the Origins of Photosynthesis.  Studies of the energy-harvesting proteins in primitive cells suggest that key features of photosynthesis might have evolved a billion years earlier than scientists thought. (Jordana Cepeleqicz, Quantamagazine) http://bit.ly/2gCYN4b

Cultivating American Gardens.American garden-making has evolved over time, shaped by history, social attitudes, the environment and new ideas.” Take this special visual tour. (Smithsonian Libraries) http://s.si.edu/2BbSny8

Why is it so hard to swat a fly? (Rory Galloway, BBC News) http://bbc.in/2z8SN7h

Why Insects Make Great Ambassadors for Science Education: “…Sensory experience gets visitors in learning mode and piques their curiosity about science.” (Entomology Today) http://bit.ly/2gFH0WV

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