Askamastergardenermark250square_medium Penn State Master Gardeners

Do you have a Pennsylvania gardening question? Submit it along with any pictures to the Penn State Master Gardeners.

(This group currently has 9 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Schlumbergera Truncata (Thanksgiving) and Spring (Easter) Cactus problems

Hi, I have several small Cacti and they are not doing well. First, they started with brown spots that looked like Mite damage but even with a high power magnifying glass, I never saw one Mite. I sprayed several of them with Alcohol a few times and I'm not quite sure if it helped or not. I put several of the problem plants outside for the Summer and they are doing better but now I have one with new growth but it has developed red spots on the older clades. Previously, the plant was exposed to too much sun indoors and turned red. They are now outside with minimum sunlight on a covered porch. I'm thinking they could have a virus? Also, I had what I think was a Fungal issue. See pictures attached to see the Fungal, Mite damage and the red spots. Thanks, Cathy

Lackawanna County Pennsylvania Posted 5 days ago

What are these?

Can someone please help me!! I live in a newly built development/apartment and ive recently had an issue with tiny black bugs on my ceilings at night (attracted to light) and have also predominately found them on the window sills and sometimes in the bathroom. They also appear near my ceiling vents and even in my bedroom. My apartment is not that big, it’s 825 sq ft. At first I thought that they may have been fungus gnats but I’ve tried the apple cider vinegar trick to no avail. These bugs do fly and are tinier than an ant. Last night I noticed possibly some larvae in my pantry and now I’m starting to believe that these may be flour beetles and are multiplying. My property management took a glance and couldn’t see anything, that’s how tiny these bugs are but I know I’m not crazy and I’ve now seen what looks like their casts. please help!!!

Lehigh County Pennsylvania Posted 6 days ago

Tree damage

Hi my tree was damaged when another tree was cut down and hit the trunk of this treeIs tree anything I can do to help this tree, or is it damaged to severely. Thank You Doug Hooper

Lancaster County Pennsylvania Posted 6 days ago


YES about 3 weeks ago I purchased a MUSKOGEE Crepe Myrtle. I checked and this should be winter hardy for the PA area. I live in Catawissa. This tree is about 8' tall and was balled where the roots etc were 22"x24" It has started to bloom so I believe it has SETTLED IN WELL. I have not mulched it yet bc I was contemplating what is BEST and have done some research...BUT a friend tells me I should put small 1" river stone around it to help retain some of the moisture and then mulch with SOME peat moss topped off with Pine Straw. Im just reluctant. PLEASE ADVISE !!!

Columbia County Pennsylvania Posted 8 days ago

Watermelon pollen

I planted cucumbers in Late July see if I can get a second crop before snowfly my question is:: can I save the pollen from my watermelons to cross with my cucumbers when they flower I read online at the crossbreeds is really tasty treat and I would like to try. Thank you

Cambria County Pennsylvania Posted 10 days ago

Evergreen Tree

This tree appears to be dying. I noticed the same issue at Homestead and Panorama golf courses. What is reason for this and what can be done to save the tree?

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Posted 11 days ago

Boxwoods dropping leaves on one side?

We’ve had these planted for about 5 years and all of a sudden in the past few weeks they’re losing all their leaves on only one side?? Pics are: fronts, close up of leaves dropped, close up of the back side of the worst of the three bushes.

Chester County Pennsylvania Posted 15 days ago

Back end of plants are dead?

We’ve had these planted out front for years and just about a month ago, they started dropping all their leaves on the backsides. Pic 1, fronts Pic 2, close up of leaves dropped Pic 3, close up of rear of one bush

Chester County Pennsylvania Posted 15 days ago

Sick Apple tree

Hi I just adquiere some land and found 2 apple trees they look very bad. Some branches are dead, the apples are falling, under bark I found some insects that run very fast and can’t take picture others won’t run others are still a cocoon.
It looks like the tree it’s been eaten by moths
How do I help them?

Bucks County Pennsylvania Posted 16 days ago

Article: Parasitoids - Tachinid Fly (Diptera) How to Attract

Hello, I represent some monarch butterfly "growers" in western Pennsylvania. We have been having issues with the Tachinid flies killing up to 90% of the monarch caterpillar population. This is increasing around the state and probably nationally. Please do not promote the attraction or in anyway try to get them to multiple. They are only beneficial in a small way. You have a large audience can you please get this information out there? Dan Giles

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Posted 17 days ago