Good guy to the rescue!

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)September 30, 2012

When they grow up, they'll be ladybugs. I think this means it's time to get rid of the sweet potato vine decoration pots from such close proximity to house plants. I've seen whiteflies on SPV, but nothing else but a few aphids on a Begonia. Not sure why there are so many of these guys around the porch the past week or so, but while all still outside, I'm sure the SPV will lure any yet-to-show-up critters away from the other plants. A little more distance seems like a good idea.

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Purple, that's a ladybug?? Looks so different than our. lol.

What is the plant? It's so pretty.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 4:41PM
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That's how all baby ladbugs look. Pretty weird-looking for sure!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It's sweet potato vine, my "hero" for accent color.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Toni, do you remember back to your school days, learning about insects in science class? We all learned about the egg, the larvae, the pupae, and finally...the adults.

Purple has shown us a nice picture of the larvae of the imported Asian Ladybug. For such small beasties, the larvae can really plow through some scale, mealybugs, small caterpillars, aphids, and other little critters. Many people think that these youngsters eat more than the colorful adults.

Thanks for the great picture, purple.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Summer, they sure are weird-looking.

Purple. Remember, in the other thread I said maybe our plants differ due to zones?

Your SPV is unique..Those sold here are pretty, too, don't get me wrong, but so far I've never seen one like yours.
Colors here are variegated, dark green, pale-green/yellow and I.'Blackie'/purple w/oddly-shaped leaves.. Never once saw light green w/patterns and red edges..

Rhizo...HI!! Haven't seen you around..thought you might be on vacation or busy working. How are you?

Actually, Science was my least-favorite subject...when it came to insects..well.
Back then, in Catholic School there were many subjects prohibited..and we never ever brought insects to school, nor were they around. The only bugs we saw flew in from opened windows, 'remember windows that opened w/a long pole?' or maybe you're younger than I.
I went to a private school HS..didn't have to take dissecting frogs, etc. Thank God. I'd have passed out. :)

The last two years I bought ladybugs from an online nursery..for the garden. Some were really tiny, others a little larger. 500 ladybugs were placed in a burlap-type bag, so I didn't have time to study soon as I opened the bag, they basically ran out, covering my hands. lol.

It's good seeing you again..hope you're well...Toni

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I just went to regular public school but family members nearby always lived on farms, so I was around that kind of stuff from before I can remember. We went camping a lot too. You can get used to critters though. When I moved here I would seriously freak out if I saw a palmetto bug (southern euphemism for really friggin' big cockroach.) But now I sometimes don't even bother trying to go after one if it gets lost here in the house, and understand these kind aren't here because of food, they just live in the leaves and get lost in the house. (And the birds LOVE to eat them!) Totally understandable since the windows are almost always open, and the storm doors aren't secure enough to keep anything smaller than a kitten out. We have this battery-operated fly-swatter thing that's really a bug zapper. It doesn't kill these "palmetto bugs" on the first try but knocks them senseless sometimes. So I like to zap them, then put them near one of the anoles and watch it get eaten. I wear flip flops in the yard and no longer do the freakout dance if one of these things runs across my foot. Compost pile is full of them. I still can't remember to check where I'm going to stand though and if I'm doing a funky dance in the yard, I've stepped on ants. No getting used to that!

Toni, have you had any trouble with ladybugs trying to get in the house for the winter? If your house is not a light color, probably not. I've bought beneficials a few times but was never sure if the plants really needed the help, or if many stayed around long enough to make a difference if so. After getting bit by ladybugs a few times, I lost my interest in paying to get more. I think it's the non-native asian ones that bite, but I'm not counting spots to find out. Have you looked into green lacewings? Also a huge fan of praying mantis although those can probably eat baby anoles.

Hey, that reminds me. One afternoon last week honey came busting in the house and said, "You gotta see this!" As he was driving home from work, he realized there was a mantis on his truck. It's only about 2 miles, and the highest speed limit on the route is 30, so it's not like he was on the freeway, but we thought it was pretty cool. We got the camera, came back out, bent to see it closer, and it took off into the back yard. I hope it's happy here and makes tons of babies!

Oh this SPV isn't supposed to have red edges. It's reacting to something going on in the pot. It might be from the runoff from the roof, which is always brown from the leaves (oak and pecan) that get stuck up there. There are several pots of SPV that are hanging far enough out to get runoff, and they all have weird leaves. Some are a powdery purple color. The SPV cuttings all came from the "mother lode" in the yard which is just plain chartreuse. It's called "Margarita."

With fishing line, I managed to get 2 vines across one opening for an "arbor-like effect." I've done all kinds of interesting...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Purple..Before moving here, dh, son and I went camping every wkend. 'About 4-years.' Growing up, there were always insects, some I've never again seen...but when your mother screams when a bug is present, I guess it sinks in. Now I and my siblings fear insects.

Didn't know there were Palmettos in AL. Ug! Flying roaches. lol. Are they related to roaches or just look the same but fly? God, the 17-yr Cicadas were bad enough..when they hit a glass pane, it sound like a rock was tossed against the window/door. I've heard Palmettos were big, like Cicadas. for laughing, but the thought of getting hit by a bug..not funny when it happens.

How long is the handle of the bug zapper? Can it expand? Wouldn't mind getting one to zap spiders, etc. BUZZZZZ!

It might sound sadistic, but I'd rather zap them, than kill w/a shoe..especially my shoe! lol

I thought about getting, what are they called..those sound devices that are supposed to keep bugs/mice out. But, IF they work, I worry the sound would harm birds/dog/iguana ears.

Do you keep Anoles as pets? They're cool-looking.

What type of birds eat Palmetto bugs? They must be huge??

I'd do the freakout dance on a mound of ants. Can't stand them. They're everywhere!!

A few times ladybugs were in our house. Two years, they were living in my plants..I don't mind though..Never been bitten by a ladybug, and better yet, I am not afraid of the little cuties.

Purple, my house is painted w/the brightest, semi-gloss white around. In winter, when plant lights are glowing, and other lamps, according to my brothers, our house looks like a Christmas tree. lol.

I've thought about Lacewings..what type of bugs do they eat?

I'd love to see a Praying Mantis. I didn't know they were hardy here, thought they'd die during winter, but so far my brother, 'works in Chicago,' has seen several in the city and my sister who lives north, has a few in their yard.
What bugs do praying mantis eat? Maybe I'll order eggs next year..if they don't die during winter.

Wow, a mantiss on his truck. Did you save the picture? I'd love seeing it, if you don't mind posting.

The red-eding on your SPV looks natural since every leaf is red edged. It's unique. Whatever you did, keep doing it.
If you hadn't said it was SPV, I'd never have guessed.

Purple, great idea using fishing line. It's almost invisible, heck, I can't even see

Is the SPV growing in water? I don't quite understand..

Anyway, the fish-line trellis looks fantastic. Hmm, giving me ideas for next years garden. lol.

How much does fish line cost, and where is it sold? Can you purchase 'X' amount? In other words, longer than one would use for a fishing pole?

Purple, I didn't know you had a blog. How do I find it? Toni

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:55AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Toni....I have some very bad news for you. Yes, 'waterbugs' are cockroaches, American Cockroaches, to be exact. Here's the bad news....get ready....ALL ADULT COCKROACHES FLY.

Fishing line is sold by the spools, which come in many different lengths. It is sold by the yard. You must also choose a test pound weight. This will determine the weight bearing strength of your line. The smaller the test pound, the thinner (usually) the line. The pounds are an indication of how heavy a fish you'll be able to reel in without the line breaking. Or, how durable your craft or other project will be. I always keep some fishing line on hand. My husband's trouser buttons, for example. lololol

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

For the predatory bug questions, good ole' google is going to do a much better job for you than I can. What's stuck in my head about mantis' is that they are arbitrary predators and will eat about any other critter they can catch that will fit in their mouth. National Geographic indicates their range is huge but I agree, it's rare to see them for most people. I've probably seen 10 in my whole life - that I noticed. Their thing is to blend in. Unfortunately, we didn't get a pic of the truck-riding mantis before it jumped into the shrubs next door.

Yes, I have SPV growing in water, for temporary summer displays, and a lot of it in pots, some in the ground. Yesterday I planted most of what was growing in jars of water in the ground out back so I can dig it up in the spring. It's going to be out of hand next year but there's always the compost pile if I run out of places to put more in pots and jars. I'm going to have some going up the trunks of 2 big trees, that should look cool if it will do that, not totally sure but I think the bark is scraggy enough to get them climbing up. There's always fishing line if not...

Fishing line is pretty cheap and comes in rolls in the sporting goods section. There's different weights, meaning how much it can hold before it snaps. I get 30-pound. You can cut off however long of a piece you need and it lasts for years outside. So if you do a vine support, it will be there ready to go next year. Also like to hang pots with it since it allows them to spin and move in the slightest breeze. Virtually invisible and strong, really a cool garden tool. I've never understood why they didn't sell some at garden stores. It's much better than twine, which often rots mid-summer the first year. Put a cute label with a pic of a morning glory, maybe a pink plastic roll instead of black - watch them fly out the door!

Amazing how people have different reactions to different bugs. Always funny! Yes, palmettos are about 2" long and if there's one in the room, you can usually hear it. If it notices you noticing it, it can run away faster than you can see. Wish I knew all of the birds here, but mockingbirds and robins are two that I know that spend time picking through the compost. Might be eating some worms too but those are usually at the bottom of the pile.

My blog isn't like others in the sense that it's not something I do on a schedule. It started out as just a thing I was writing to a friend about all kinds of stuff she could put in hanging pots instead of Petunias. It ended up getting kind of big, and my Mom and daughter and honey's Mom wanted to see it, and a free blog spot is a handy way to combine pics and writing and store it in a place where they can access it at their leisure. Then she asked about repotting, so I added some stuff about that. So I'm working on a couple other articles, but that's what's there for now, a lot of plant porn pics in it.

The bug zapper thing looks...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Not a very good photo - praying mantis sitting on my son's hand; there were many flying around (taken in Aug. 2012)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't like praying mantids! I grow so many garden plants to attact butterflies and moths that those darned critters find easy pickins. I've also watched them nab bees. Nope....they're not invited to dinner around here.

Purple, your picture of the baby anole is precious. They are such funny little animals. They are one of the things I miss the most about living in the Lowcountry of SC.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Love your pic, Rina!

Thanks, Rhizo. That little guy was so busy watching my head he didn't realize my hand was behind him (or her.) I can't get enough of these lil' cuties!

That's a good point about mantids (that's the plural of mantis?) Everything has a place though. I just put the plants out there and whatever the critters do is up to them. I stay out of it until it's time to bring potted plants inside. Then I serve whatever evictions are necessary.

Do you think it's a draw if an anole and mantis meet?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:33AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hmmmmm to the anole versus mantid question! I guess it would depend on which was bigger or faster. I've seen lots of videos of a mantid with a hummingbird in its clutches, though. They can pretty much tear apart a large victim. What do you think?

As for the mantis/mantid say toMAYto and I say toMAHto. The plural of mantis would be mantises, I reckon.

Here's a funny story. I had all kinds of temperary and parttime jobs when I was working my way through college. One was a short-lived stint at a church day care. (NOT a good fit, lol.) We were all playing outside trying to wear those little monsters down when a whole bunch of those huge Chinese mantids came flying in like a bunch of buzzards. Naturally, they all had to land on anybody they could find and you should have heard the screeches that those children emitted!

I figured that this would be a good "learning opportunity " and beckoned the kids around me to show them how interesting and beautiful these insects are. You know, trying to break through that fear of bugs at an early age ha ha. The mantid that I picked off my own shoulder for show and tell latched onto the skin between my thumb and fore finger and proceeded to try to devour me....lots of blood was the rapid result.

Instead of teaching the little ones to like insects, I probably scarred them for the rest of their lives!

Well, I thought it was funny! I told you that the job was not the best fit. :-)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wow that is a serious predator, probably good if they're sparse. I guess it's good that the mantis jumped away from the porch where all the anoles are. Being able to tear things apart is a serious advantage. I didn't realize manti (how's that for a plural?) were such "terminators."

...And being able to draw blood like that, I think I'm scarred for life from reading that story!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Howdy All,

Rhizo. I knew Waterbugs were roaches, but had NO idea ALL roaches, including waterbugs flew. That's disgusting!

After leaving home, I moved in a Garden Appartment. Every now and then one would linger in the kitchen, nearest the sink. Walking..Thank God one din't fly on me. Once I'd turn on the light, they'd run for safety. Usually one or two. But, they're huge!
I once visited a friend who lived in Chicago. She and I were going out that night so I took a bath at her place. First, a roach (I didn't know what type of bug it was,) crawled up the wall, then another. I screamed. She ran in the bathroom thinking I was drowning. lol. I pointed at the roaches, to inform her, strange insects were in her house..she laughed then said, 'it's only cockroaches.' I was speechless, didn't want to insult her house, but I grew up in a bug-less I said earlier, my mother would have a coniption fit if a moth flew'd be in bug heaven in seconds.
Before leaving to go out that night, roaches were everywhere. Set a drink on the table, and those dam^ roaches would try climbing inside. Needless to say, we left her house hours before planned. Thought the egg sacs would climb in my purse..oh mother would have killed me and the bug. lol.

Home Depot has silver line wrapped around a spool. Wonder if it's fishing line?
As far as I know, there aren't any fishing stores around..Would hardware stores carry fishing line?

I'm happy Purple mentioned fishing line..Next year, 'if everything is okay,' the line will help with several plants.

I have a Wisteria growing alongside the's several feet, and meant to cling. Wonder if there's a way I can line up the Wisteria so it will attach and grow across the garage outer wall.

Fishing line for dh's trouser buttons..ROFL.

I plan on doing a Google search on Praying Mantis/d. Whatever the proper plural name happens to be.

They look big, but I'd rather lift a PM than baby spider anytime. But after reading Rhizo's story!!!

I thought PM ate small bugs like whitefly. Had no idea they'd devour something way larger than their little mouths. Guess they get hungry, too.

Purple, stupid question, but do SPV's have tubors?

How many varieties do you have? Sounds like quite a few. You must have a huge yard, too. You have a good number of outdoor plants and indoor plants, outside. :)

There's a Maple and Smoke Tree out back. Fishing line can be attached to both...SPV would look great growing from tree to tree.
And, using line from the house to the garage. Hanging plants would do fine, get plenty of light, and easy to water..Thanks so much, Purple.

Can you see a Palmetto bugs eyes? Yucky. 'I look at you, you look at me,' Jim Morrison.

30lb line..I'll have to remember next spring. If HD doesn't sell it, I'll phone other stores.

A week or so back, I was checking state birds and flowers. AL's state bird is Yellowhummer and flower is Camellia. Oh Purple, you must add Camellias, too.
Robins are probably looking for Night Crawlers..Don't know what Mockingbirds eat..I have to Google Mockingbird, too.

After I finish writing, I'll check out your blog. Plant porn pics? lol..okay. Two bees flying from one flower to the next?

I'm more interested in zapping spiders..I can use the old-fashioned fly swatter to swat flys.

AWW, the anoles are so cute. Wish they hung around our yard. Funny how you're petting him/her, while he/she allows human touching. I want one..

Rina..that PM is brave..They fly? He/she is cute, too. Gotta love nature.
They're strange looking, but cute, too. If that makes sense.

Rhizo, the PM in Rina's son hand looks like a real killer. lol. Why, in your opinion, would a PM bite/go after you? Let alone draw blood?
Wonder if they detect scents..maybe you touched/rubbed against/ate something the PM thought yummy?

The thought of a PM eating a butterfly doesn't appeal to me, but they're invited to every ant/spider around.
The government is already doing a great job killing beautiful insects like butterfly's, spraying chemicals in the air. There isn't half as many butterfly's, lightning bugs or bees as they're once were.

Rhizo, you're correct..those children decided they dislike bugs since the day of your attack. lol.

Who said GW wasn't informative.
Today I learned about:

Roaches, waterbugs, anoles, zappers, killer and non-killing Praying Mantids, fishing lines and more.

Actually, the subjects are very interesting.

Thanks for the info, everyone..Toni

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The PM in rina's hand is a baby compared to the mature Chinese Mantids. They can get to more than 5 inches long. I can't imagine any but infant mantises going after whiteflies. They (the whiteflies) would simply be too small. How about grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, butterflies and moths, bees, wasps, etc.? Aphids and scale insects probably don't interest them much because those guys don't move. Oh, they are also cannibals, especially right out of their egg case, when hundreds of them begin charging around with their little chops snapping, lol.

Look up fishing line, Toni. It's sold in spools of different sizes. Sometimes the spools will be in a box so that they can hang on the display hooks. Look for fishing line any where sporting goods are sold. WalMart, for example. The small test line is what I keep on hand for sewing thread. Works great for attaching buttons that have to handle more stress than they used to, if you know what I mean. Fishing line will NEVER be silver. You want to catch a fish, for cryin' out loud! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinese praying mantid (mantis)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:29PM
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You guys really scared me now...didn't know that PM is so hungry.
And eating a hummer??? That's too bad, I was actually quite happy to see them - beneficial predators. I hope they will find enough bugs/flies/grasshoppers and such and leave beautiful hummers alone.

Didn't see any bigger than one in the photo, and they fly around pretty fast. My granddaughter was trying to catch them too...

Toni, btw, make sure you get really good strong support for your wisteria. They really need it, will wind around anything and you will never get them off. Weak structure could be demolished. But they are just beautiful when blooming - did your have flowers yet?
(Hope I am not telling you something you alredy know).


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:56PM
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birdsnblooms other words, PM won't kill house plant bugs?
I don't want to harm bees, butterflys, etc. Guess PM are out.

Via a plant catalog, either MI Bulb or Garden's Alive, I could have sworn it read PM eat certain house plant bugs, 'mentioning the type,' but it's been a few years since reading the article, so I can't recall which bugs were listed. Of course, the PM were for sale, so the company could have sworn PM eat anything so they sell. lol.

I also read PM's can reach 7"...perhaps size difers by type/location..possiblity?

Rina's PM is all green, while the Mantis on your link is brown and green..Wonder if they change colors like Chameleons or when mature.

Rhizo, if everything is okay, I plan on buying fishing line next spring.
Hey, I never fished in my life..don't know the color of
I've seen ppl fishing, thought their lines were silver..What is the correct color?

Yep, I know what you mean about attaching buttons due to added, 'stress.' lol

Rina, it's sad about the hummers. I wouldn't want to see let alone harm a humming bird.
Since a hungry PM eats hummers, butterflys and a few other wildlife species, I've decided to pass up hatching eggs.

Rina, I Wisteria branch is heavy; attaching remaining stems would be like lifting weights, so it'll need heavy/strong line.
Purple mentioned 30..I'll have to see what's available.

Actually, this summer was the first time Wisteria bloomed. Two, long, purple I know it's not much consider its size, but after all the years it's been around, I would have been happy with one

I'm happy this thread is still active. I have a question, not related to preditors...but wildlife.

The last couple weeks, something has been lurking in the yard..Our dog must have ESP because he could be sitting on the couch, then suddenly run to the back door and start barking.

Anyway, last night dh and I looked out the back door to investigate. What we saw was unbelievable.

It had to be an opposum, but if so, he/she was the largest ever. Coco, our dog weighs 19lbs. Opposum had to weigh 25-30lbs. His/her head is huge..its face looked like a baby Panda Bear, but the body was that of opposium. Only, much larger than any we've ever seen. It looked like a baby Panda on
Short fur, long tail. Its tail was thick. Anyone ever see an opposum that size? I Googled, but the largest read was 13lbs..this animal is 2.5 sizes higher.

I tried snapping a pic through our glass door, but it didn't take, came out blurry..tonight, around 9:30, I might sneak out back, wait for it to return. Then take a picture.

I swear to God, this opposum was the largest we'd ever seen, and we've sighted many opposum in the woods, and while camping. Any ideas? Toni

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I wouldn't try growing Wisteria or any woody perennial vine on fishing line. You need something much stronger, and permanent. Fishing line is made out of nylon I think, so it will last for years but eventually the elements will degrade it. Might want to post a pic on the vine forum for ideas.

Aside from hitting it with the car (accidentally, of course,) I don't know what one does with a 'possum. I think you were right on with the 'take a picture' idea. What do you think it's eating out there?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Purple, any suggestions on materials to hang Wisteria?
When it was a baby, it was held upright by a wooden stake. Didn't think it'd live since it was buy one for 1.99 and a second for a penny.

I don't have a pic of the entire plant..Think the only two pics were taken this year when it bloomed.

Since it has several stems, that go every-which-way, there wasn't any reason to take a pic..looked boring.

Heck, that thing is so big, it'd dent my car..
Can you imagine me phoning the insurance company. 'I was trying to run over an opposum, and.....' lol.

I googled opposums after seeing it last night. They're anything. We place bird and squirrel food outside, so it's possible he/she is nibbling on that. I sometimes throw veggie/fruit peels in the compost so that's another possiblilty.
I know squirrels knock down citrus and eat the fruit...opposums can be following suit. Especially from Kumquat which is/was packed w/fruit. I find it knocked down even when there's no wind...assumed the culprits were squirrels,...not so sure anymore.

I wonder where it lives during the day. Thought possums live up trees? This guy would be quite obvious.
Because of his size, he's slow..but I don't want Coco outside when he/she is in the yard.

This is awful and graphic, but we found a few dead birds/actually feathers in the back of the yard..However, someone in the neighborhood allows their beautiful, long-hair dark and light gray cat outside. I see him day and night. He sits by our bird feeder, but I shoo him away..don't want to find dead birds.
Since opposums eat carrion, she/he could be eating the courpes..we find feathers.. It could also be the cat, even though he looks well-fed.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Look what wisteria will do...I made a mistake by planting it next to old TV tower/antenna. It is a very good support-you'll need something as strong as that; but it can't be moved unless I dig out that antenna...It's been growing there for about 7yrs:

And here is a photo of what 'masters' will do with wisteria (again, see the strong supports-they look like metal to me):


BTW, the prying mantis is a beneficial, but it will eat other 'creatures', including their own.
Very interesting behaviour, you can read about them here:
about mantis

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Rina, my eyes aren't what they used to be...I clicked on your first pic, a second page opened, but the pic is smaller. :)

Is that a 'stem' growing around the cable? My goodness!!
Cable is thick to begin with, your stem? is what???, 2-3 times its size.

How much sun does your Wisteria get? You said yours is about 7-yrs.

Is that your tree in the bottom, right-side picture???? It's beautiful!!! WOW!!

One question...Are there two or more types of Wisteria? In other words, can one be a tree, another a vine?

Mine was sold as a vine. The picture showed a trunk, 'not too thick,' growing up a building..stems/leaves were hooked across the building, with huge, purple clusters of flowers hanging side by side. The pic in their catalog and online site was and still is a drawing. lol.
Direct Gardening in IL.

You're so right..Fishing line isn't going to do the trick.

Thanks for the link, AND the pictures..That tree is amazing..Wish I had the Wisteria tree instead of our non-attractive Maple. Hate that tree..

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I am not sure why the photo is small, I thought that it opens in photobucket.
First 3 photos are of my wisteria, and the support is actually old TV tover made of metal pipes 1" diameter. Trunk is growing around the pipes, actually the pipes are slowly disappearing. Wisteria trunk must be 3" or more in diameter. It is growing in full sun.

There are few species (8?).
Here something I read (Wikipedia) about the size they can grow to:
Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems either clockwise or counter-clockwise round any available support. They can climb as high as 20m(65feet) above the ground and spread out 10m(32feet) laterally. The world's largest known Wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre, California, measuring more than 1 acre (0.40 ha) in size and weighing 250 tons, planted in 1894 of the Chinese lavender variety.

Two photos are from a Japanese gardens (Ashikaga Flower Park), that's why I said what 'masters' can do with them
I can only wish I had such a beauty in my garden.
I think they are all sold as vines, but by careful pruning they can grow into a beautiful tree.

What kind of maple do you have growing? If you plant wisteria next to it, it will probably grow all over the maple...??? The tree could serve as a good support, and maple may eventually disappear.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It's not hard to train Wisteria to be a tree instead of a vine and I think American Wisteria is usually used most often for this. My Mom planted one about 6 years ago and we kept pruning it to the right shape. After the first year, it didn't need support to hold itself up. Wisteria trees are ubiquitous in this area.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:54AM
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I re-clicked on the took me to PB, but pics are the same size. I then tried clicking on the PB pic, but it won't open.
It says to sign in...Maybe one has to be a member to expand pics???

However, I can see the Wisteria tree, and it IS beautiful.

So, the thing I assumed cable is metal piping? Oh Lord..

Some species really get big. Hope mine isn't like the vine in CA....DH would kill me. lol. The garage would cave in. lol.

The maple was here years before we moved in, probably before we were born..It's nothing fancy..not like the pretty, compact purple-leaf Maple across the street, or those w/silver-ish foliage..just plain, green boring leaves..In spring 50 zillion seeds drop, (grow 50 zillion maple seedlings,) then in autumn, 50 zillion leaves fall to the ground. All which need raking, then put in paper bags. Burning leaves is illegal in IL.
My DH works for the EPA...if he got caught burning leaves, he'd be in a hellofa jam. lol.

Not sure I know what 'Masters' mean..Was going to ask you yesterday.

Orientals have a knack for growing plants..Their Bonsais are incredible...ever see a Wisteria bonsai? Oh, they are something else!
Or their Azaleas? They're beautiful.

I just wanted to one of my plant books, the author talks about a 150-yr-old Azalea that has been growing in the same pot, bost Japanese regard an Azalea of that age a mere stripling.

Rina, my Wisteria is too big, 'not like the pics,' to move near the maple tree..roots are established...wish I'd talked to you before planting the little Wisteria vine before the garage...planting a hardy vine near the maple is a great idea, but it'd take years covering that big, old tree. Too bad though, I really dislike it. Want it down. Wish there were fruit trees instead. Apples, pears, whichver fruit trees are hardy here. Oh well...

Hey Purple..Your mom has a LOT of plants..she must have a giant yard..lucky her.
Has her Wisteria yet flowered?
Do you know if it's grafted?

Rina, forgot to is the diameter of a trunk measured?

Since I mentioned the monster opposum, we haven't seen him/she but he/she is out there..we've placed moist meals outside..they're gone the following day..

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, my folks have a huge yard. About time to make some new beds, she's got the existing ones pretty packed. Her wisteria is not any taller than me and has bloomed the past few years. It was just a little stick when she planted it and we kept tangling the vines all together at the top, then cut them all off in the fall. Did that a few years and now it seems happy just being a little tree. It smells horrible though. I would want to smell any wisteria before planting it. Some have too light of a color too, a washed-out look I don't prefer. I like the darker purple one that smells good, probably the invasive Japanese kind.

Toni, here's what we did with this week's coating of leaves at our house. The flower beds are pretty full of leaves already, from doing this twice already, so when we moved yesterday, they all got dumped on veggie patch (to the left,) and a few around the base of the vines on that pole. Actually only a small part of the veggie patch pile is showing in that pic. The big pile at the back is about finished, we're going to use it to start a new veggie patch between the first one and that far compost pile. If your mower has a bag, mowed-up leaves are awesome stuff you should want to keep, especially when mixed with some grass!

There are 13 big trees along the fence, most deciduous, another big oak tree and GIANT pecan tree in the back, and another oak and pecan out front, and a dumb little Bradford pear and buckthorn somebody before me planted, so LOTS of leaves! I love every one of them. My Dad blows their leaves into the beds, but it's the same thing, they just decompose quicker if the mower shreds them first.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:40PM
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I realize why some photos stay same size - they are in private album...others in public.

You can calculate diameter using this formula:

circumference divided by PI (3.14)
(diameter of my wisteria is 9.5"; divided by 3.14 = 3.02")

When I mentioned 'masters', I was thinking of master gardeners, not amateurs like me, lol.
I got that wisteria at least 12yrs ago. It was in pot for about 2, then I planted it in a garden. Moved it around so many times, I thought it's going to die. But it is still here, and in the same spot for abt. 7yrs. I prune it 2x/yr, it is very vigorous. It only had flowers first time this year - some are very 'finicky' with blooming. Grown from seeds, they may take even 10yrs to bloom.
You actually can move it if wanted; I found out that serious root pruning stimulate flowering (and that's what I did last fall and it finally had flowers). Just dig deep with showel in a circle about 2feet from trunk, slicing/pruning roots.

I don't get rid of any leaves unless they are diseased.
I do as purple said - run them over with mulching lawnmover. I use some for mulching, the rest goes in large black plastic bags mixed with grass clippings. When full, I tie the bag, poke few venting holes & store. I found that this way I get composted leaf mulch much faster. If I have some manure, I mix in small amounts for even faster decomposing. Great to spread around garden beds in spring.

I am moving to a larger property, with no gardens and just few evergreens around the house. I have ben planning this for couple of years, so I kept lots of perennials in pots. Started to move them, so far 7 trips with a trailer...They have to stay in pots one more winter, since there is no time to plan/prepare the beds. (Not taking the wisteria thou...) More to go.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:55PM
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