Wilted leaves have been on readers’ minds. Last month’s cold snap hurt several plants and killed bean seedlings.
Q. Several of my exotic trees suffered leaf wilt after a frost a few weeks ago. Male and female kiwi, Japanese persimmon and a mulberry. Are they a wash for the season? Should I remove the leaves? They leafed out early this year but paid the price. Any suggestions?
— W.B., Monroe
A. You can expect them to produce new leaves, and removing the wilted ones is optional. Those leaves will dry up and drop off eventually, if they have been ruined by frost. Your plants’ flower buds may have been affected but, because they were not open when frost hit, I think they likely will be fine.
Q. About 10 to 12% of my potato plants are showing wilted leaves. I do not see any pests involved but yesterday’s rain may have washed them off. The affected plants are not together, they are interspersed within the rows. They have varying degrees of leaf wilt, with some leaves looking healthy on the same plant. Any ideas?
— J.R., Lynchburg
A. It sounds as though your potatoes got nipped by frost. Potatoes are tough plants, and I am sure yours will make a full recovery.
Q. Some of our old and established daffodils turned yellow last month and may be dying. ... Do you know cause and fix?
— R.C., Lynchburg
A. When daffodil leaves turn yellow and die back in early spring instead of June, you know something must be wrong. It likely is a disease of some kind. The usual ones are basal rot, lesion nematodes and viruses. Daffodils can get white streak, cucumber mosaic, tomato ringspot and tobacco ringspot viruses.
Q. I previously lost more than 100 boxwoods to blight. Now pachysandra in the same area is affected, I believe, by the same fungus. Blight came back with a vengeance last summer. Any reason to evaluate or treat or is this plant also a goner?
— B.R., Lynchburg
A. Your pachysandra probably has boxwood blight. It is in the same family as boxwood and a known host of the blight. Fungicides are available in case you want to attempt control. Perhaps a better choice is to keep an eye on the situation and see what happens. Your pachysandra may be able to grow back and look good again.
Q. I am sending you three photos of a young tree in my son’s yard. Can you identify it? I have been all over the internet and looked in books.
— B.G., Lynchburg
A. Its branching habit resembles that of black gum. So do its leaves but, unlike black gum, they have small teeth around the edges. If you send me more pictures later this year showing flowers and fruit, I may recognize it. You also could try using your smart phone to identify the tree. Several apps are available for Apple and Android, including PlantSnap, iNaturalist, PlantNet and PictureThis.
Don Davis is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.