Mid-March and already spider mites have made their mark on Italian cypress and oaks. Since we had a warm fall, followed by a mild winter and no rain in March (so far) the Two-spotted spider mite has settled in and started sucking plant juices earlier in this season than expected. At this point in the season, look for copperish leaf discoloration or overall browning and death of a branch. If populations grow, webbing will start to be noticed, usually starting at the base of the petiole and the underside of the leaf and defoliation may be seen. Spider mites love dusty leaves so hose off your cypress, oaks and rosemary regularly to help keep populations low moving into the summer months. If you need help with a spider mite management program for your properties, please send me an email and we can discuss management strategies ideal for your situation.
Well, I think spring actually starting back in Febrary, but today it is official. What does this mean for our plants? As our days get longer, there are extra hours of sunlight, increased plant photosynthesis therefore plants grow more than they would have a month ago. It also means increased flowering, pollen and seed production plus more mess to clean up on your property. Don’t worry, the flowers will be gone before you know it and then we will be concerned about keeping everything alive in 112 degrees! If you have a chance, this is the best time to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens while our temperatures are still comfortable. Check out their Chihuly exhibit http://www.dbg.org/index.php/chihuly. Stay tuned for more AZ ‘green’ events to be suggested. Enjoy springtime while it’s here… we all know what awaits us in July!