As we transition from spring to summer, I've done a round of general clean-up in the garden. Not that gardens here are ever really prepared for what summer's going to throw at them but I felt mine was at least looking fairly tidy. Then, I saw this:
|The leaves of this Yucca 'Blue Boy' were encrusted with dried honeydew|
I assumed that insects of some kind were responsible for the damage but I was unable to detect any sign of the culprits. My attempt to remedy the situation using the hose's jet spray failed to make a difference and a couple of days later I noticed that my largest Yucca 'Blue Boy' was showing signs of the same problem.
|These are the two largest 'Blue Boy' Yuccas in a bed that contains a total of five|
Internet sources generally attribute leaf damage on yuccas to soft scale, mealybugs, or two-spotted mites. Given the crust of what appears to be honeydew excretions and the fact that I couldn't see anything that resembles a mealybug, I guessed the first was the most likely cause. I removed what I could with another jet spray treatment, wiped the affected leaves with alcohol, and sprayed with insecticidal soap for good measure. Then, because I couldn't stand the look of them, I trimmed the affected leaves.
|I'm hoping the plants will outgrow the disfigured leaves but I'm a little nervous they may not. I'm going to spray all the Yuccas here with neem oil in an effort to prevent any spread to the plants that aren't already affected.|
One of my smaller 'Blue Boys' had a problem of another sort.
|I think the white material surrounding the plant's base may be what's commonly known as dog vomit slime mold, which showed up in other areas of my garden last summer|
Fortunately, that was easy to resolve with no apparent harm to the plant.
|Last week's heat cooked the mold and it was relatively easy to remove|
I think of Yuccas as tough plants but no plant is actually care free, is it?
On a more positive note, summer blooms are starting to arrive on the scene. I don't have any dahlia flowers yet but I have ten sprouted plants so I can hope for flowers within the next couple of months. Meanwhile, other plants are standing in the wings, readying themselves to take the stage.
|At last, I have my first Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) bloom of the year, as well as many more buds|
|I used a few ruffled Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) in an arrangement this week and there are plenty of buds ready to take-off|
|One noID lily bloomed earlier this month but I've got 6 lily tree plants with buds. I haven't had much luck with lilies in the past but the fact that the bulbs are preparing to bloom after a year of very low rainfall is a positive sign.|
Hopefully, the good moments will balance the bad ones this summer.
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party