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Got Gardening Questions?

Volunteers for our Hotline are working via email to respond to your gardening questions. All responses to your questions will be conducted via email.

Email Us at mgbutte@ucanr.edu (preferred).

Call: 530-538-7201 (leave a message)

Help Us Help You

You never can tell what's at the root of the problem. Below are some questions we may ask when you contact us:

  • Name of plant
  • Age of plant
  • Soil type (loam, sandy, clay)
  • Current watering methods (drip, sprinkler, hand)
  • Frequency of watering
  • Sun exposure
  • Evidence of insects or other damage – check on both sides of leaves
  • Recent changes that may effect the plant (watering, fertilizing)

Samples and photos related to your question are strongly encouraged. Drop them by the office any time, or email them to: mgbutte@ucanr.edu

What’s Hot Now?

aphids on manzanita
By Laura Lukes

What are these red areas in my manzanita and how do I get rid of it?

The information below is summarized from the UC IPM website; see the entire report.

Those “growths” on the manzanita are galls, caused by the manzanita leafgall aphid (Tamalia coweni). Per its common name, this gray or greenish aphid feeds only on manzanita, and can produce several generations per year. These aphids, and the galls (a green or reddish pod-shaped swelling on leaves), are generally harmless to the plant, but heavily infestation will slow a plant’s growth.

Since manzanita leafgall aphids are prevalent on new growth, avoid frequently fertilizing, irrigating, and shearing plants (in general, manzanitas do prefer to be left alone). Do not irrigate too frequently or with excess amounts (again, few manzanitas require irrigation). If aphid infestation and gall growth were heavy the previous season, you can apply horticultural oil to lower trunk bark when buds begin to swell but before they burst into new leaves.
For more information, also consult the Pest Notes: Aphids.

Photographer: Jeanette Alosi


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