Make sure when you spend your hard earned money- you buy plants proven to perform!
Some gardeners adore euonymus. It looks great in the pot, especially the golden variety. However, I recommend you leave it right there – in the pot. Unless, of course, you like to spray pesticides and fight insects. Scale insects and powdery mildew love euonymus also. You can push the branches apart, look inside the plant and see the scale all over the leaves. The tops of the leaves get speckled and the small hard scales will be on the bottom often covered with a white powdery substance.
What is the cure? Buy some other plant. Consider dwarf yaupon, Carissa or rotunda holly. If you want a plant with color, consider pygmy barberry or India Hawthorne.
Of course, I would not say never plant euonymus, but remember that you will have problems. In fact, one euonymus, the burning bush, seems to have less of these problems and may be a better plant than its near relatives.
Another ‘love at first sight’ plant that deserves a closer look is ‘Helleri’ holly. This is a great, small-leafed low growing holly for foundation plants. You can prune its dense foliage into a low mound to go around porches, front doors and under windows.
The courtship often ends though when the weather dries out! Helleri hollies prefer well-drained sites with regular watering. As rainfall diminishes, they begin to die. What should we do? Do not place them in hard clayey soils or where they will not be watered. Also, avoid wet sites. A much better plant for these locations is dwarf yaupon holly which is very similar, but a little taller. Plant helleri only in good locations with irrigation.
Watch out for azaleas. They do best in shade in well-drained, moist sites. They also like being mulched and watered once or twice a week very deeply. This is especially important now, since they are setting flower buds for next year. Stop pruning them now and water them regularly for the best flower show next year.
For more information on any gardening topic, visit UGA Extension’s website at http://www.columbusga.org/cooperative_extension/coop_ext.htm
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