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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    bonsai2This weekend: Beautiful bonsai
    The Nashville Bonsai Society’s Regional Bonsai Expo July 11 – 13 at Cheekwood Botanical Garden. Owen Reich, Jim Doyle and Young Choe are guest artists, and there will be more than 50 bonsai displays, along with workshops, exhibits and vendors. Complete details here.

    Every Thursday in July is “Family Night Out” at the gardens at Cheekwood. Bring a blanket and picnic dinner, and enjoy magic shows, puppet shows, live music and more, beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 3, Magic of America Magic Show; July 10, Dennis Scott: Kids Show; July 17, Nashville Puppet Truck presents The Frog Prince; July 24, Nashville Ballet, Degas and the Little Dancer; July 31, Mr. Greg’s Musical Madness. Find the complete schedule at www.cheekwood.org.

    Now - Sept. 7: Andy Warhol’s Flowers exhibit opens at Cheekwood. Nearly a dozen screen prints from the artist’s original Flowers series, paintings, studio photographs and more. Information: www.cheekwood.org.

    July 1 – 5: The Tennessee Gesneriad Society hosts the annual international convention of the Gesneriad Society at the downtown Doubletree by Hilton. A plant sale, with many unusual and rare plants, will be open to the public 9:30 – 11 p.m. July 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. July 4, and 8:30 a.m. – noon and 2:30 – 3 p.m. July 5. The flower show will be open 2:30-6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.-11 p.m. July 4, and 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. July 5. Information: http://gesneriadsociety.org.

    July 5 – 6: Introduction to Permaculture workshop with Jennifer Albanese and Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge Permaculture and co-owners of New Agrarian Design, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day at Little House Nashville (www.LittleHouseNashville.com). $125; space is limited. To register: www.spiralridgepermaculture.com.

    July 11: Cheekwood’s Annotations: Authors series welcomes Robert Brandt with his book,Natural Nashville: A Guide to the Greenways and Nature Parks, 6:30 p.m. in Cheekwood’s Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden. The summer-long series of author events is in partnership with Parnassus Books. Details at www.cheekwood.org.

    July 12:Introduction To Permaculture with Dr. Alan Enzo and Ben Bishop of Nashville Permaculture, 10 a.m – 2 p.m. at Bates Nursery & Garden Center, 3810 Whites Creek Pike. This introductory course to a full Permaculture Design Certificate course covers the principles of permaculture design and provides ideas you can try immediately in your home and on your land. $50. Space is limited. To learn more: http://nashvillepermaculture.com.

    July 15: Perennial Plant Society meets at Cheekwood in Botanic Hall. Speaker is Nancy Murphy of the BellGarden at BellevueMiddle School; the topic is soil structure and fertility. Refreshments and plant swap at 6:30, the meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. www.ppsmt.org.

    July 24: Warner Park Nature Center presents “Butterflies of Tennessee” with author Rita Venable, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 615-352-6299 to register for this adults-only class.

    July 26: Mid-State Iris Club’s annual iris rhizome sale, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. (or until sold out) at Martin’s Home & Garden, 1020 NW Broad Street in Murfreesboro. All rhizomes marked with variety name, color and price, and prices range from $5 - $15.

    July 30: Harvest the organic garden at Warner Park and create a tasty treat with naturalist Melissa Donahue and Nature Center staff, 10 am. - noon. Registration for this age 6 - 12 activity opens July 15. Call 615-352-6299.





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No-fly zone

QUESTION: Some of the plants I brought in from outdoors seem to have tiny white flying bugs all around them, and are a nuisance. What are they? And what can I do about them?


Schefflera can play host to whiteflies.

These are likely whiteflies, and they often ride in on plants that spent summer outdoors. They’re more than a nuisance; they feed on the plant’s juices and can cause the leaves to turn yellow and die. The insects that are flying are the adults, and if you look at the undersides of the leaves you may be able to see the tiny yellow eggs and larvae.

Whiteflies feed on dozens of plant species and they reproduce quickly, so the problem could get out of hand quickly. To get rid of them, remove the badly infested leaves, then rinse the plant thoroughly and spray with an insecticidal soap. Be sure to treat the undersides of the leaves. Repeat the spraying every week or so.

Next fall, examine them closely to be sure there are no pests hitching a ride. Wash the leaves and treat the plants before you move them indoors. There are several other insect pests that you should watch for:

Aphids: they usually gather in clusters on tender young leaves. They also feed on a plant’s juices. Insecticidal soap, or washing with water or rubbing alcohol, is usually effective.

Mealybugs: You may see white, cottony clusters on stems or leaves, or where the leaf joins the stem. They also feed on the plants, so get rid of them by rubbing them off with water or alcohol.

Spider mites: They are barely visible, but you’ll certainly notice the damage – light-colored, speckled areas on top surfaces of leaves. You may see webbing stretching between leaves if there is a heavy infestation. Wash the plant with soapy water, and treat with insecticidal soap a day or two later. It may require diligence and several applications to control these insects.

UT Extension provides a booklet at its Web site that addresses these problems and more: Insects and Related Pests of House Plants (PB1157).

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  1. [...] the plants that are overwintering indoors for whiteflies and other pests! About whiteflies: http://bit.ly/wW7nFvTwitterFacebook [...]

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