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Question: 160-5201
One of my upright yews is turning yellow and dropping the leaves. My other yews seem fine. Any suggestions? Kevin, Attleboro, MA

Mort's Answer:
If there are rhododendron nearby and they are doing well, then we can eliminate weevil or root grubs. In this hot weather, there is a 99% chance that you have scale. On the needles near the stem, you will see tiny little helmets. Crush them with your thumb and a gray dust will appear. If it is squishy green inside, it is the buds for the new needles. I would spray with Kelthane as directed on package. Another product that has had good results and is organic is Neem. Neem or horticultural oil can be sprayed on in the early spring. Kelthane should be used on the mature scale now.

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Question: 161-5201
My Yucca filamentosa is very healthy but hasnšt bloomed. How can I get it to bloom? Linda, Searcy, AR

Mort's Answer:
Stay away from high nitrogen fertilizers.

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Question: 209-1416
How do I get rid of Yucca?. It is all over my property. Karen, Townsend, MA

Mort's Answer:
Yucca filamentosa and the larger Y. aliofolia can be invasive. Those beautiful creamy white flowers with that sweet soap scent broadcast their seeds far and wide. There is a systemic herbicide called Vine-X that is applied with a brush from a canister. It can be found on the internet. Sometimes called Spanish Bayonet, it can give you a battle.

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Question: 1001-3513
Can I transplant my Yucca filamentosa soon? Dottie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Spanish bayonet or Bear grass is a very hardy plant that can grow in cracks of cement in zone 6. It has an ivory colored flower on stalks that can reach six feet high. You can cut back the stalks now and move anytime in the future. If you move it now, it will have plenty of time to reestablish itself.

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Question: 79-5201
We have a zoysia lawn. When is the best time to fertilize? Mark, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
Zoysia grass is a warm weather grass. Blue, perennial rye and fescue grasses are cool. In the early fall and late spring, zoyzia will appear brown in the north. It stays lush and green in the heat of summer, when the cool grasses go dormant and turn brown. Zoysia is not a heavy feeder and fertilizing once a year will suffice. I would use a 5-10-10 in the fall or a 20-10-5 in the spring. You do not need both.

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Question: 573-2711
My zucchini has been doing well. It has a lot of flowers but they are wilting. I did fertilize them. This is their first year. What is wrong? Paula, Kansas City, MO

Mort's Answer:
Melons, pumpkins and squash are all susceptible to squash bug. When the plant is about six or eight inches, the adult lays an egg inside the stem. As the plant grows,the egg turns into a larvae and eats the inside of the stem. Just as the zucchini is about to bear fruit, there is not enough energy left for the roots to supply the vegetable. You could try to rescue the plant but do not be disappointed. Use a sharp razor knife to cut the stem at about five or six inches perpendicular to the ground. Because the stem is translucent, you will be able to spot a brown or black bug inside. Carefully remove the bug with tweezers. Wrap scotch tape around the cut. Next year plant the seeds in a styrofoam cup that is two thirds full of good soil. Cut off the bottom after the seedlings are ready for outdoors. The cup should be about three inches above the soil line.

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