Water – too much or too little – root of problems

Q: I planted six Podocarpus in March, three by the north wall and three by the south wall. Now the three on the north wall have leaves that are turning brown. The three on the south wall are fine. I didn’t realize that the trees would get this much sunscald. Any suggestions on what I can do, besides give them macronutrients and hope for the sun to change course?

A: Judging from the picture you sent, I really do not think it’s going to be a continuing problem for you on the north wall once this is corrected. The south wall will be more of a challenge. I do not think this is sunscald; it is either a lack of water, watering too often or a lack of soil improvement at the time of planting.

Since the problem you are having seems to be on the north side, I might guess that you are keeping the soil too wet or they are not getting water.

The north and south sides are radically different microenvironments. It is much hotter on the south side than the north side. This means plants on the north side should be watered less often than plants on the south side.

Notice that I said less often. The plants on both sides should receive the same amount of water, but the difference should be in how often they are watered. To accommodate this difference, plants on the north side should be on a different valve.

It looks like you have rock for surface mulch. That will be a mistake for these plants in the future. They will be OK for a year or two, but you should consider changing this to wood mulch instead of rock.

If you are going to have problems with this plant, it will be on the south side. These plants will tolerate a little bit of drought and infrequent watering, so treat them like landscape trees and shrubs with deep but infrequent waterings.

In other words, do not water them daily. At these temperatures, as long as you have good drainage, twice a week with about 10 gallons for each plant should be adequate on the south side if they are on drip emitters.

On the north side, once a week would be adequate. If they are on drip emitters, they should have an emitter on each side of the plant. Put the emitters toward the front of the plant.

After mid-October you can cut your watering to about once a week but give the plants the same amount of water. In mid-December you can water the plants about every 10 days.

These are evergreen plants, so damage to the leaves will not disappear until new growth covers it.

Q: We had three healthy palms in our yard for many years. Just recently, we had to have one removed, but were not able to determine why it died. Today I found this frond on the ground, and it looks like a fungus on the back of it. Can our palms be saved with treatment?

A: From my perspective, there are two options. The first is to recognize that white fuzz on leaf fronds of many of palms is normal.

Looking at the photo you sent, my first reaction was that it was normal.

The second option is that it is a disease or insect problem that I have not seen before. We do have mealybugs and scale insects that cause a similar white fuzzy appearance. This normally occurs on palms growing indoors, not outdoors.

I still tend to think that this is a palm with normal white fuzzies on the leaves. What is troubling is that you told me one of your palms died. If the palm is well-suited to our desert climate, death would be rare.

I went searching for diseases that might give the same appearance. I could not find any.

Many people assume that palm trees are low in water use. They are not. Palms survive nicely in the desert near an oasis where they can drink freely. They don’t survive in the middle of a desert landscape with a minimum amount of water.

A telltale sign that they are not getting enough water is poor development of the fronds; they may be smaller than normal and scorched around the margins of the leaves. Eventually the bud in the center of the palm dies, thus killing the entire palm.

Palms can be weakened if they are not receiving enough water, if they go through a hard winter that stresses the central bud, if they are severely pruned in late fall to look like a feather duster or if new palms are planted in the fall instead of spring and summer.

My gut tells me that your palm frond with the white fuzzies is one of the normal palms and that your palm that died was killed by bud rot.

Q: I saw an avocado potted tree at Lowe’s hardware and was thinking of planting one in my backyard. My question is: When is the best time to plant this tree? Is fall OK? I’m thinking of the winter freeze that might occur. I hope to hear from you soon, in case they sell them out.

A: Remember that avocados are very iffy here in the Las Vegas Valley. It will freeze back, so keep it against a hot south or west wall, trellis it near a warm winter wall and keep it draped with some sort of sheet or crop cover at nights when you think it might freeze.

Pick a variety that is more cold-hardy, if you can find one. Any way you cut it, it will be an experiment; so get ready for the possibility of losing it.

You can plant it this fall, but protect it this winter and in succeeding winters.

Wow. I don’t think I ever had so much email regarding a question as I did about my comments concerning rabbits on the west side of the valley (View, Sept. 13). Evidently my joke about planting more carrots was not appreciated by some. Others took it as humorous.

It is nice to know people are reading my column. Stay tuned. Next week my column will talk extensively about rabbit control.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like