Q: I am not sure what is going on with my jade plant since I brought it inside this fall. Leaves got tiny black dots usually on the undersides of the plant. They begin to lighten in color and finally shrivel. I noticed tiny web or two on some of the leave and wipe them away every other day. I don’t want to lose the plant as it was one of my mother’s.
L.K. of Belleville
A: The Jade plant (Crassula species) has problems with warm temperatures in the fall and the air becomes dry with the air temperatures and becomes infested with whitefly, two spotted mites and mealy bugs. You were quite correct to try and clean off the webbing. A whitefly and mealy bug control can be sprayed directly on the succulent leaves on the upper and lower parts of the leaves. This control is found in a small spray pump bottle manufactured by Ortho and should not be sprayed more than once a week.
Q: We have three pecan trees in my yard that I brought back from Arkansas River Valley about 20 years ago. By August, they start to drop nuts, and by October, all but a few remain. It does this during dry and wet years. Any idea?
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R. H. of Collinsville
A: Pecan trees can be a little temperamental as the male flowers produce catkins which hang from 1-year-old branches. While the female pistillate produce flowers are male and female flowers are not produced at the same time. An overly heavy crop can reduce nut set. Growers must thin very heavy crops to prevent this from happening.
A good reference for pecan production is the Fruit and Nut Production by Brenda Olcott-Reid, PhD and William Reid, PhD. Stipes Publishing, Champaign, Illinois, ISBN 978-1-58874-575-0
Q: When is the best time to order vegetable seeds?
D.B. of Collinsville
A: Usually the best time to order is right now in January as you get the best choice before other gardeners find out what are the best choices for disease resistant varieties.
Charles Giedeman is a local contributing writer. Send your gardening questions to Lifestyle Department, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things to do this week
Check the seed catalogs again to make sure, you did not miss anything — for several gardeners this helps them from making mistakes.