Q Could you please tell me the name of those breathtaking shrubs along St. Vincent on South University? They have little tiny red berries on them. I’ve never seen anything as beautiful and eye catching as they are. Do you have any idea if they are sold in Little Rock or the surrounding area?
A The shrub in question is a burning bush euonymus, also called a fire bush. They are spectacular this year, as are many other trees and shrubs. They are sold at area nurseries, and they come in a standard size and a dwarf. They are a deciduous shrub with green foliage all growing season, but in a good season they can be the star of the garden, and this year is their year! Full sun is best.
Q Please identify this vine for me.
A The vine in question is sweet autumn clematis. It has beautiful, fragrant white blooms, but it is highly invasive. Each flower sets seeds, and I do believe every seed germinates. Learn to identify the foliage so you can limit its spread next spring.
Q Could you identify this volunteer plant in my yard. It’s on the north side of my house and has been a brilliant red for weeks. Is it a tree or bush? I live in Fayetteville and read your column every Saturday. Love it!
A It sure looks like a young Chinese pistache tree. They have great fall color. I have never heard of them sprouting up in a yard unplanted before. Interesting. This is a midsize tree at maturity so would need to be moved away from the fence.
Q My lawn man gave me a bag of pre-emergent today. Too late to apply to St. Augustine? I have no idea how to discern between winter or summer weeds. But I clearly have weeds in my yard now.
A 2020 was could be called the year of the weeds in many yards. I have summer and winter weeds growing in my garden. It is really too late for a pre-emergent now for winter weeds. Hold on to the product and apply in early to mid-February depending on the weather. Make sure you read the label to see if it is safe to use on St. Augustine. St. Augustine is a bit more sensitive than other warm-season grasses.
Q Please help. What’s wrong with my hydrangea? Can it be saved? … It’s in our front yard, facing north. Gets adequate sunlight and water.
A I doubt you will find any hydrangeas right now that don’t have some leaf spots on them. Cercospera leaf spot is common on bigleaf hydrangeas, particularly at the end of the season. If you notice spots when it leafs out, that is cause for concern, but this close to natural leaf shed, it is nothing to worry about. After they fall, rake up the leaves and get them out of the yard and start next season out clean.
Q I got some naked lady bulbs. How deep should I plant them?
A Typically, naked lady Lycoris bulbs are quite large. I recommend planting them 2 -3 times their size deep in the ground — so roughly 8-10 inches deep. The pink earlier blooming Naked Ladies will produce foliage in the spring, then it dies back and they bloom in midsummer. The later red spider surprise lilies have foliage now, which persists all winter, then they die back and they bloom in the fall. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t bloom the first season after planting.
Retired after 38 years with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Janet Carson ranks among Arkansas’ best known horticulture experts. Her blog is at arkansasonline.com/planitjanet. Write to her at P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org