The Home and Garden Education Center is an informational resource for the residents of Connecticut. The Center is designed to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated audience by providing accurate, thorough and timely information on a wide variety of issues.

The Home and Garden Education Center works closely with the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory (SNAL) and the UConn Plant Diagnostic Laboratory (PDL). The UConn PDL is funded, in part, by grants awarded by the USDA (USDA-NIFA-CPPM-008055).

Connecticut residents can call us toll-free at (877) 486-6271 with all their home and garden questions. They will be answered by our horticulturists or directed to the appropriate University of Connecticut department. All others can visit to discover the resources we have available or for contact information.

UConn Floriculture Greenhouse


13 Responses to “Who We Are”

  1. Jan Belair Says:

    Hello, I am trying to keep some hibiscus plants alive through the winter. There are aphids on the plants, especially the buds. Can you recommend a solution to this problem? Thanks, Jan

  2. uconnladybug Says:

    Hibiscus plants are great with their large, cheerful blooms but they are quite attractive to aphids. Often they get aphids either after being outdoors during warmer weather or upon exposure to other plants that have aphids. If you can pick up the plant and pot I find just bringing it to the sink and washing off the aphids with a moderately forceful spray of water works well. You may have to do this 2 or 3 times. If the plant is very large and needs to stay put you could use an insecticidal soap. Because you would spray the aphids directly with the insecticidal soap, some drops might fall to the floor. I’m not sure if it would stain carpets or wood floors so you might need to put down some old towels or something to absorb any excess. Insecticidal soap is quite safe to use. Going up a step in toxicity would be a pyrethrum based insecticide. I think many name brand houseplant insecticides have this as an active ingredient. The good thing about aphids is that they are relatively easy to kill with a little persistance unlike scale and mealy bugs which are much more problematic. DP

  3. Brian Truskowski Says:

    I’m beginning to think about spring pruning of shrubs. What pruning resources do you recommend (books, websites, etc.)? Thank you.

  4. uconnladybug Says:

    As a general rule, prune spring flowering shrubs right after they bloom. All others should be pruned while in a dormant state which is in winter and very early spring. Late summer and fall pruning encourages new tissue growth that may not harden off before freezing weather arrives, effectively killing that new growth. See factsheet from Virginia Cooperative Extension System on pruning.

  5. Nancy Harper Says:

    What are your suggestions to eliminate voles from my lawn areas?

  6. uconnladybug Says:

    Hello Nancy,
    Voles are Vegetarian eating plant roots.
    Moles are insectivores that eat Meaty insects like grubs and earthworms.
    Controlling the grub population in lawns will reduce the food source of moles but will nothing to deter voles. Reducing the earthworm population is not recommended.

    Control can be had for both with traps and poisons.
    Various traps are available commercially. Regular mouse snap traps set right nest to a hole and covered with an upside down bucket will work for whatever made the hole.
    Other traps are placed inside the tunnel after you remove the top of a tunnel. Replace the sod after circular trap is placed inside the tunnel. Plunger type traps stab the animal as it runs through the tunnel.
    Poisons are available to place down holes and in tunnels.
    Commercially prepared and sold repellents, mostly containing castor oil, are used to spray on areas to repell, not kill rodents.
    A good hungry cat patrolling the area will reduce numbers significantly.


  7. Eve Mauger Says:

    I have swarms of big black flies all over a holly near my front porch. Any advice?

  8. uconnladybug Says:

    Hello Eve,
    Check the holly for scale insects on the underside of the holly leaves. Scale insects excrete a rich sugar substance called honeydew. The flies may be attracted to the honeydew as a food source. If you have scale insects, treat with a pesticide. Once the scale has dead, the flies should leave. Also check to see if there are flowers on the holly. The flies could be a pollinator of holly, attracted by the nectar in the flowers. The cold weather will stop the flies also.

    Carol Quish

  9. Eve Mauger Says:

    Thank you! I sprayed the hollies with insecticidal soap and it seems to have sent the flies packing! I’ll spray again in a week as they were full of scale and the leaves black with honeydew.
    Eve Mauger

  10. Keith Thompson Says:

    Is there anything better for the home orchard to control plum curculio than malathion? I’ve been spraying with perfect timing this year and an estimated 90% of my apples are infected with plum curculio damage. I am very precise with my measurements and thoroughly coat each tree. Malathion and captan have been used together since the green tip stage. How long does it take for malathion to kill the insect? How much damage can one insect do? The Bonide company didn’t seem to know to much about how the insect was controlled. Now that it is soon apple maggot season I am fearful all of my apples will be damaged. The pears have fared much better,maybe only 50% are hit and the peaches seem to be perfect so far. Is there an effect hormone trap for the plum curculio? Would putting down a grub killer in the fall be a good idea? Maybe the over wintering larvae would be killed and my damage next spring would be minimalized.


  11. Ricki Hellner Says:

    The first pic showed as the lead into article on interveinal chlorosis is not accurate. Pics shown further into the article but first pics are not.

  12. M.M. Says:

    Hello! I have recently moved from the Deep South to the middle of Connecticut. There is no red clay and everything seems to grow! It is magical and I am asking myself why I didn’t move sooner. Plants I only fantasized about growing, like Dahlias and ferns, are here and thriving. Many of the plants in my yard are a mystery to me though they “feel” familiar in some way, i.e. leaf shape, flower, form, etc. I am thrilled to find this post as I am eager to learn all I can and simultaneously begin planting native species in my yard. My first point of concern are the evergreens in my yard. They are all of the cedar variety and conical in shape. They average 6 to 8 feet tall and all of them have extensive dying off of branches on the lower third of the trees which seems to start as a browning at the tips. I pruned away as much of the dead growth as possible without leaving the tree looking like an upside-down spinning top. Please advise. Thank you!

  13. uconnladybug Says:

    Welcome to Connecticut! The trees/shrubs are most likely arborvitaes. They might have an insect call bagworm feeding on the foliage. Or it could be a fungal disease on the needles. Please see link for more information.

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