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The Garden Mix

Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!

Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.

Curled Leaves on Baptisia

Blue False indigo is a large shrub-like perennial that provides year round interest in the garden.  Though mostly pest-free this plant may occasionally develop curled black leaves.

The genista broom moth caterpillars are the culprit. These small green worm-like insects can be identified by the rows of black markings and white dots that encircle their bodies.  The damage can vary from irregular trails or pin size holes to large sections missing from the leaf edges.  Injured leaves will often curl and look somewhat scorched.
Damage caused by this caterpillar is minimal and control is usually not needed on established plants.  You may decide to control this pest for aesthetic reasons or on young plants.  Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) sold as Dipel or Thuricide only kills caterpillars.  This eco-friendly product is most effective when the caterpillars are small.  Spray new growth where the caterpillars tend to feed for better results.
A bit more information:  This insect is not a problem every season.  Monitor plants as it is easier to control small populations of young caterpillars.  And consider using the most eco-friendly control method;  knocking the caterpillars into cans of soapy water to die. 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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08/13/2012 12:48PM
Curled Leaves on Baptisia
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