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Something about althea

Q:   My althea has seed pods on it and they are covered with a red and black bug. Should I spray them or are they harmless?

 A:    These are called cotton stainers or red cross bugs. They feed on the seeds of the althea. If you cut  off the seed pods, they should go away. Spraying is not normally needed.

Q:    My althea has gotten quite large. When can I prune it back?

 A:    Althea bloom on new wood in the warm season. To not interfer

Q:    Are the berries of the asparagus fern eaten by any animals?

A:    Birds will eat the berries of this plant. Mocking birds especially seem to like them.

Q:   I want to create an arch at the entrance to my garden. I would like to train two plants to create it. What would be some choices?

 A:    You will need to use a pliable plant so I would suggest a podocarpus. Once it grows tall, you can bend the stem by wrapping with heavy wire. Eventually the tops of both plants can be tied together and the arch will develop as they fill out.

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