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how can I keep beetles off my lily’s

You are likely talking about the notorious Lily Leaf Beetle.  This bright red pest is native to Europe and can completely devastate your lily beds if you don’t keep a close watch.

The adults emerge from the soil early spring and will lay clusters of orange eggs on the underside of lily leafs.  Monitor closely during this period (early morning is best because they are sluggish in the cool weather) and bring a bucket of soapy water with you, wear your garden gloves and get picking!  Look closely for the eggs and squish any that you find.  It is the larvae that are the voracious feeders so don’t let those eggs hatch.  Neem oil can be effective on the larvae and eggs.  Many of the chemicals available may be harmful to beneficial  insects, such as honey bees, and should be used with caution.  The adult beetles are resistant to sprays and hand picking is ultimately the best way to go.

The Cooperative Extension at UNH has a detailed information sheet on the Lily Leaf Beetle.  Visit the pdf HERE.

Hungry cats

Is there something I can put on the leaves of my geraniums to keep the cars from biting them? They have pretty much demolished the potted palm, but it’s coming back.


Our first suggestion would be to try growing something that is okay for your pet to munch on.  Cat grass and catnip are safe alternatives that you can put on the floor near their food bowl and will satisfy their need and desire for fresh greens.  Cats sometimes chew plants because they are lacking specific nutrients in their diet.  Our greenhouse cat Gizzy loves to snack on the fresh cat grass and catnip that we grow and he does not bother the other plants.  If this does not help you may try spritzing the leaves with water and then sprinkling with cayenne pepper to make the plant unappealing.  Best of luck!

purple passion

Years ago I had a plant called ” purple passion”. It has purple hairs on the leaves which gives the leaves a purple look…the edges of the leaves are a little jagged. Do you carry this house plant???

Yes, we do carry the purple passion plant, Gynura aurantiaca.  This is an unusual, old fashioned plant that will vine if you do not keep it pruned back.  It likes a bright, indirect light and can be quite thirsty so you need to water regularly.  One funny fact about this plant is that when it blooms you may want to pinch off the buds before they open, they can be quite stinky!  It is a beautiful plant and is unlikely to flower when grown indoors.  Easy to care for and great in hanging baskets or on a table.

Succulent Questions

Hi, I was wondering if it is possible for succulents such as Jade to do okay in the same room as a wood stove? Also, what is the best way to water them when they are very dry and the soil doesn’t really absorb the water?


Yes, your jade will do fine in a room with a wood stove.  Jades prefer a bright light and will tolerate the dry air.  When the soil becomes so dry that the water runs right through the pot it is best to take it to a sink or bath if space allow and give it a good soak.  Let the water run through and then soak again.  It can take some time for the soil to reabsorb the water.  You could also set it in a water bath for 20 minutes or so.  If you can not move the pot just take your time watering just adding a little at a time so that it does not spill everywhere!  I hope this helps 🙂