Ask the Gardener: Jade, salvia and key limes

Posted on: February 28, 2020 | Written By: Doug Oster | Comments

Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody.

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(The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.)


Question 1: Jade

Michelle: I have a lovely jade plant that is being eaten alive by brown, scale-like parasites that also make a terrible mess with their “honeydew.” Any suggestion how to get rid of them without tossing my plant?

Doug: That scale is a tough one to deal with, but don’t worry, if you stick with it you’ll win the battle and save the plant.

The first line of defense is to take a soft cotton swab and dip it in some isopropyl alcohol. Dab each one of the scale insects with the swap. I would do that twice in as many weeks. Keep after it and your jade plant should be fine.

Question 2: ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia

Ann: I’ve heard you mention that you like ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia. When I looked it up, it states that it’s for zone 9-11. I’m in zone 6. How are you able to raise this in your Pittsburgh garden? I know you put it in a pot. Do you do something with your pot?
Doug: I grow it as an annual, mostly in containers, and the plant is done in the cold weather. You might be able to limp it along during the winter, but I don’t bother. ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia is a great plant to attract pollinators and I’m telling you, hummingbirds love the flowers.

key lime tree jade

Question 3: Key lime tree

Jan: I have a small key lime tree that I purchased in the spring of 2019. I’ve had a nice crop of key limes with it. We keep it outside during the summer. After that, it’s inside on top of the dryer under the fluorescent lights, which is where we’ve got our first few limes! What’s the best way to propagate to get other plants from the seeds or cuttings?

Doug: Taking softwood cuttings would probably work best. It’s not easy though. You’ll have to do a little research. Here are the basics for something easier like a succulent. Softwood is new growth before it hardens off.

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