Killing wisteria is a long process

Q: How do I kill wisteria? Patsy Brightwell, email

A: Killing the main vine is not hard. Simply sever it completely and everything beyond that point will die. The problem comes with killing all the little sprouts that will come up from the roots over the next couple of years. This job will take persistence. You can either take a weekly tour of the area and chop off any wisteria leaves you see, or you can spray the new sprouts with herbicide. Either way, it will take at least two years to get mastery if the original wisteria vine was large and healthy.

Q: Which plants are the Gold Medal Plant winners for 2017? Susan Patterson, email

A: The director of horticulture at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia says the competitive market for new plants, along with a lack of funds to promote the program, has led to the end of the Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program. Since 1994 this program has promoted superior shrubs, flowers, trees, and vines for Georgia gardeners. The list is an excellent starting point for choosing plants that will have long life and reliability in your landscape. I have the full list of good plants at

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Q: I have ants in the pots I want to plant tomatoes in, so do I have to totally replace the soil? Is there a natural deterrent? Angela Miller, email

A: An easy way to eliminate ants is to dump the soil into a black plastic bag, seal it and put it in the sunshine. After just a day or two it will get so hot inside that the ants will all be dead.

Q: A lawn maintenance company sprayed Barricade® pre-emergent on my new lawn. The grass sod was laid in February. Can I can do anything to minimize the negative impact it will have on my grass? Monica Carey, Fulton County

A: I don't know exactly which Barricade® product the company used, but the label on Barricade® WG says "do not use on sod until it is well-established." The chemical in Barricade®, which is prodiamine, prevents weeds by inhibiting root and shoot growth. That's why it should not be used on newly laid sod. Contact your lawn service area manager, and ask what they can do to make things right.

Q: Last year I was given a night blooming cereus. I have to bring it inside for the winter. This year it is sending out long, hairy shoots that I believe are rootlets looking for places to anchor. Since I can’t let it attach to anything permanent, should those be cut off? Alyce Quinn, Virginia

A: You’re right; the rootlets are trying to find something they can attach to and support the plant. I would not cut them off. Cereus plants become long and lanky eventually, so plan a support system that the aerial roots can use in the future. Small bamboo stakes stuck into the pot soil, with twine loosely strung between them, work well.


Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website,, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at for more garden tips.