Stinging and Itching Weeds

Stinging Nettle

Have you ever been weeding your garden and pulled on a weed that bit back? There is a weed that looks common enough that you think nothing of trying to pull it with bare hands. The weed may not have any thorns or obvious weapons, but it does have small hairs with bulbous bases filled with irritant histamines and acetocholines. These small hairs act like miniature hypodermic needles that inject these irritating chemicals when you break the tip of the tubular hair. Intense itching and reddening follows immediately and you may think you grabbed onto a bee or wasp. The reaction usually lasts a day or two, but quick first aid may be required to calm the burning and swelling that some people experience. Wash the affected area and immediately apply baking soda paste to sooth the stinging sensation. Some people may require medical attention.

This plant is a stinging nettle. Different looking than what you may have seen up north, but just as painful. The plant is an annual that comes out about this time to plague gardeners. There are two related similar-looking species found in this area, Urtica chamaedryoides and Urtica urens, but the common name around here is fire weed or burning nettle for the intense burning feeling you get from them. Some stinging nettles are used in herbal medicine and as an edible green when boiled, but not this species. The plant is usually low growing (4-20 inches tall), branching from the base, with plants growing in the shade having the longer stems. The leaves are opposite, triangular to heart-shaped in outline with coarse teeth along the edge. The flowers are not showy, just minute greenish clusters along the stem. This looks very similar to many other weeds in the garden, so it is best to wear protective gloves when weeding.

Poison Ivy
Poison ivy has three leaflets
Poison ivy has three leaflets

Poison ivy is another dangerous weed you may encounter as you work in the landscape. Many people confuse Virginia creeper with poison ivy, but a quick count of the leaves will help with identifying the difference. Poison ivy has three leaflets, Virginia creeper has five leaflets. They are both vines, but one is nice and once has a mean defense system. All parts of poison ivy contain urushiol, the irritating oil that is difficult to get off. Even when the vine has no leaves in the winter time, contact with the stem and roots can still affect you. The oil on your pet’s fur, your clothing, tools, shoes, or other items can cause an allergic reaction, including the smoke from burning plants. That is right – your pet may bring back more than you think from a romp in the woods.

 

People vary in their sensitivity and may become more sensitive with repeated exposure. The itching rash, redness and swelling can last for weeks. Over-the-counter creams with bentoquatam absorb the urushiol oil and can prevent or lessen the reaction if applied before contact. After exposure your best practice is to immediately wash the exposed skin, tools, or other items with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly in cool water. Wash affected clothing separately from the other laundry. Minor reactions may be treated with over-the-counter products that contain zinc acetate, hydrocortisone, or zinc oxide; oatmeal baths; a paste of baking soda; or oral antihistamines. More severe reactions may require medical attention.

Virginia creeper has five leaflets and is not poisonous.
Virginia creeper has five leaflets and is not poisonous.

Gardening can be a fun, therapeutic activity, but sometimes some bad weeds get in the way. Be aware of the potential problem weeds and always wear protective gloves.

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Posted: March 1, 2019


Category: Agriculture, Home Landscapes, Horticulture, Pests & Disease
Tags: Stinging Nettle, Urtica, Weeds


Comments:

Brooke Moffis

March 8, 2022

Hello. You can send photos and samples of pests to your local County Extension Office. https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/ Feel free to e-mail photos to me at burnb48@ufl.edu and I'll see if we can identify the aphids via photo. Another option is to mail a sample to the insect ID lab in Gainesville for a fee https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf%5CSR%5CSR01000.pdf.

Capt NJ Marinaro
March 7, 2022

Is there a site that we can use to identify plant predators? Or post a photo and get help identifying them? I have what I believe is a white aphid, but I cannot find an exact photo of it anywhere.

escaratetreeservice
January 28, 2022

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Myesha Kannady
January 24, 2022

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escaratetreeservice
December 20, 2021

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Jamie Daugherty

November 29, 2021

Thank you! My goal is to educate homeowners in proper tree care.

Donna Castro
November 23, 2021

Great article! Much needed advice for homeowners.

jpopenoe

September 27, 2021

I would seek professional medical advice beyond urgent care. Not all doctors are aware of the myriad potential issues from the environment. This may have been an insect like a stinging caterpillar causing this problem, and not the weed.

jpopenoe

September 27, 2021

Wild blackberries pollinating your cultivated varieties will not be a problem. However, wild blackberries may harbor viruses that can be transferred to your blackberries, so it is best to keep wild blackberries away from your planting.

jpopenoe

September 27, 2021

Stinging weeds would only affect the part of your body that touches the plants. General itching on your legs may be more of an allergic reaction to something in the environment unless the grass and weeds are brushing your legs. I would seek professional medical advice.

jpopenoe

September 27, 2021

Yes! Yaupon holly grows all the way to the Everglades.

Shannon Burke
September 23, 2021

I've seen that this grows best in zone 9b and north. Do you think it'd be possible to grow in zone 10 (Miami-Dade county)?

Tatiana
September 13, 2021

Every time I walk on my back yard I get this feeling on my legs like fiber glass it doesn’t hurt unless I touch it but I don’t see anything on my legs. What can it be ?

Steve
September 11, 2021

We also have wild blackberries growing in the vicinity of our small test plot. What is the risk of cross pollination affecting fruit quality and yeild?

Tori
July 30, 2021

I was pulling weeds out of my grass. This happened a month ago. When I pulled this weed I felt severe pain. But when looked at my hand saw nothing, my hand didn’t bleed. But as days went on the area started to get a lump. It was inside the palm of my hand. Now the pain is radiating up my arm. Not sure what to do I don’t see anything still where the lump grew . Is this serious. I went to and urgent care and they just gave antibiotics and a tetanus shot. I see no improvement. What can I do?

jpopenoe

July 26, 2021

You can learn about propagation of yaupon holly at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/SG172.

Linda vann
July 17, 2021

how to propagate this tea plant ?

jpopenoe

July 16, 2021

Balls of sap will form from any wound to a peach tree or the fruit. Infections will cause this as seen in gummosis, but so will a wound to the trunk from a borer or anything else. As to what might cause the gashes on the trunk, that could be anything from a mower, weed eater, or even deer. I have seen trunks gashed by deer rubbing their antlers that could kill a small tree. The only way to find out is to keep growing the peach tree and see if it heals and recovers.

Heather MacPhee
July 10, 2021

I planted two dwarf variety peach trees last spring. Both are about 5 foot tall. One is loaded with peaches but today I noticed two gouges in the trunk. Both gashes are about 3- or 4 inches long. The wee tree trunk is about as big as an old 50 cent piece or less than 3 inches in diameter. One of the gouges was dry. The lower one had a gob of sap that was approaching 1" round. That had me worried. There are about 30 tiny, golf ball or slightly larger, peaches. My fear is that the gash and the wound that is leaking sap, may mean that the tree is done for. How do I know? And what could have caused the damage?. Suburban half acre with one peach tree in the back yard and one in the front. The back yard tree has many small peaches and trunk slashes. The front yard tree has three peaches and no visible trauma to the trunk. Thank you for your knowledge and advice. Heather MacPhee, Concord, MA

jpopenoe

May 20, 2021

Sounds more like contact with a cactus or stinging caterpillar rather than a stinging weed. Medical assistance is needed in that case.

Lynn
May 2, 2021

My friend was gardening and showed us photos of her forearms, which are covered with what look like tiny transparent glass filaments or shards. They are not painful if they aren't touched. She is trying to figure out how to remove them, and washing and scrubbing have done nothing. Tweezers one by one is what works so far, but it is obviously very slow. Can you tell me what plant might have done this to her, and how best to remove these little spiny things? Thank you for any enlightenment you can provide!

bluegreenguitar
April 6, 2021

Thanks!

jpopenoe

April 6, 2021

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_biochar provides information on biochar use in Florida. This is a hot topic for research so research-based recommendations are sparse.

jpopenoe

April 6, 2021

https://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/oak-extract-shows-promise-in-fight-against-citrus-greening/ is a good article about the research. They ground up green oak leaves and soaked them overnight for the greenhouse study. Research is ongoing with the use of chipped oak wood mulch. Some growers are making a compost tea from the brown leaves, but there are no conclusive results right now. Citrus are naturally an understory tree and research has shown they can take 30% shade and do very well (better than full sun), but no more shade. From what I have seen, to get the effect from growing under oak trees, the canopy of the oak must cover or at least overlap the citrus canopy. https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/irrec/2020/01/21/oak-trees-may-hold-antibacterial-to-help-infected-citrus-trees/ is another resource. However, you can tell that more research is needed to determine just what is happening before we can make real recommendations.

bluegreenguitar
April 6, 2021

Hi, I was interested in learning more about how (activated) biochar might improve sandy soils in North Central Florida for orchards, silviopasture & (especially) timber? Do you have a suggested resources? Thanks again!

bluegreenguitar
April 6, 2021

Hi - I was interested to learn more about how oak trees may help citrus trees (in Florida)? Would you please recommend resources to learn more? I am curious how many citrus trees can be planted near different-sized oak trees (saplings, old-growth, etc), and how near the citrus can be planted (my impression was that citrus can act as an understory tree, especially in colder Northern Florida climates)? Thanks very much!

jpopenoe

April 6, 2021

Eliminating existing wild blackberries may be difficult. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag238 is a fact sheet about how to control them. UF/IFAS also has several fact sheets on growing them: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs104 The blackberry https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1352 choosing the right blackberry cultivar https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_blackberry various topics UF and the State do not sell blackberry plants. We have breeders working on that (https://floridaagexpo.net/ - breeding research and more on blackberries at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center). For the many nurseries providing blackberries, just Google blackberries for sale. You can figure out which cultivars you want to try from the fact sheets above and then look for who is selling them.

Chappy
April 5, 2021

Thank you for your informative response. This leads me to a few more questions. What would be the best and/or most economical method of eliminating the existing wild blackberries?... A chemical spray, or must they be uprooted physically ? If I choose to replant with more deirable thornless varieties, can these be purchased from the University of Florida, or the State of Florida? Once again, I appreciate your time and expertise.

jpopenoe

April 5, 2021

Wild blackberries are not predictably productive. Sometimes you can find a patch that yields well, but it is not predictable, and never as productive as using selected genetics. Many wild plants are infected with viruses or have poor genetics that keep them from producing large desirable fruit. They are also very thorny. Wild ones are weeds and may grow somewhat erect or trailing on the ground. It would not be productive to try and harvest from these. Some type of trellis is needed to keep the fruit off the ground and easier to pick. For agricultural tax exemption you must show that you have put something into the land (costs and labor) as well as getting income from the land. I do not believe that wild blackberries would count. Irrigation will be useful to help size up berries and to keep canes growing if there is a drought. Blackberries, whether wild or domesticated, will survive despite conditions, but will not produce as well with drought. The fact that wild blackberries grow there may be a sign that your land has good potential for growing domesticated blackberries, but in agricultural production we recommend removing any wild berries because they can be a source or viruses that may infect your domesticated plants.

Chappy
April 3, 2021

Looking at a property for purchase near Williston, Forida. While walking the propety, I noticed blackberry sprouts everywhere about 6" tall which I assume are "wild" as they do not appear to be planted in rows. Some appear to have blooms on them (it is early April). The property is 20 acres of flat land and has very few trees. My questions are, is it feasable to try and grow these for blackberries to sell and to provide an Agricultural deduction and would I need to invest in a well for irrigation, or are they somewhat "self sufficient". How much care do they need. Thanks for your blog!

jpopenoe

March 18, 2021

I am sorry that I do not know where you can get Triumph bud wood. You should try a local botanical garden or your local extension office for potential plants or directions on where some are available. Alternatively you can order one from a commercial nursery. Just search for the name and several nurseries pop up.

Akram Mohammad
March 17, 2021

do you have any Triumph persimmon trees, I am in south Texas have not had any luck getting hold of a tree or bud wood to graft my persimmon tree, any suggestions Thank You for your post

jpopenoe

March 16, 2021

The stinging and itching is caused by the hairs with toxins that break off the plant and embed in your skin. The toxins create the burning sensation or contact dermatitis that can last for hours to days depending on the amount of your exposure. If you continue to have symptoms you should contact your doctor.

Linda
March 15, 2021

My did not itch, felt like thorns then after I washed my hands the have been tingling like my fingers are asleep. Does it do any harm?

jpopenoe

February 16, 2021

Wild blackberries will be thorny and the yield is variable because they have not been selected for fruit size and numbers. However, they may be more resistant to diseases and insects because they are wild. You should expect that they will grow vegetatively the first year and flower and fruit the second year. Every year new primocanes (the vegetative canes) will come up and you should cut out the old finished floricanes after you harvest the fruit from them. You may want to make a small trellis to keep them off the ground. You can pinch off the tips of the primocanes when they get long enough that they start to arch over to the ground or reach the height you want. Pinching causes them to branch, providing more flowers and fruit per cane. It also keeps them from touching the ground and rooting out, which is their natural way to grow and produce a briar patch. A briar patch is not so easy to maintain or pick, so best not to let them root out unless you want to increase your plants, and dig up and cut off the rooted little plants.

Raquel
February 16, 2021

I have loved in my home for 12 years. We have a conservation area behind us but we put up a gate.This week I found what seems to be 8 volunteer blackberry trees,they have thorns. I no nothing about blackberries and quite honestly have never bought blackberries either.If it turns out to really be blackberries,how should i care for them? I really hope they make fruit and that they are edible,we live in Kissimmee,Osceola County.

jpopenoe

February 2, 2021

Primocane varieties react a little differently to GA. UF/IFAS specialist Dr. Agehara says that they have tested GA on primocane varieties and it was very effective in inducing budbreak, but it caused flower abortion and reduced yield. Blackberry is still not listed on the product label for GA because of the potential for phytotoxicity (flower abortion) on 'Natchez' and primocane varieties. Its commercialization for blackberry may not happen. In more recent studies they found some defoliants are equally effective in budbreak induction as GA but with no phytotoxicity. Urea was the cheapest and most effective defoliant. More details when that paper is published. A December application was effective in promoting fruit earliness but February application is more effective in maximizing budbreak. The current recommendation for Urea is: Timing: Feb 20th for ‘Natchez’ (or soon before natural budbreak for the variety) Application rate: 10% solution at 200 gallons per acre (167 lbs of urea in 200 gallons of water). As always when trying a new experimental technique, test on a small area first.

Daniel Ebbecke
February 1, 2021

I have 2 acres of u pick Prime Ark Freedom. Could you venture a guess of what rate I should apply to this variety? Since it is a primocane, could it affect yield negatively to try it?

Donna Torrey
January 22, 2021

Thanks for writing about this! I have several different Yaupons and didn't know the pendula variety has the highest caffeine. I will try this. Our native plants are amazing.

jpopenoe

December 17, 2020

In theory that is correct, but the psyllids can fly and be blown a long distance. You are not likely to be able to avoid them completely. It is better to plant cultivars that are currently known to be tolerant: Sugar Belle, Tango, Bingo, Sundragon, or lemons (all are vigorous enough to outgrow Greening). Another option is to try oak leaf compost tea which researchers have found promising and are researching more. Soak oak leaves overnight and apply the water to the soil. This has shown promising results to end Greening symptoms.

Adam Lotyczewski
December 12, 2020

If I plant citrus trees in a an area that is away from any commercial grove will there be less of a risk to get the greening? With fewer citrus trees in the area, wouldn't the likelihood of having the psyllids around be small?

Carol Sigler
November 4, 2020

I’ve enjoyed your Blog contributions today, thanks

Carol Sigler
November 4, 2020

I’m surprised at how my attitude has changed over the years. I’ll start by saying my father was a snake friend though that attitude didn’t spread as far as me! I pulled up the article to “what a pretty snake” so you see there’s a change. I’ve pictures of my Hog Nosed friend on my phone and enjoy chance encounters with the local black racer. Thanks for a fun read..

jpopenoe

October 12, 2020

The blackberry is most likely a wild blackberry because it volunteered in your garden. Wild ones are always thorny. As it came up from a seed, it will not be any specific cultivar because there are two parents involved in the production of the seed. Primocanes are just the first year canes that do not have any flowers or fruit. The next year they will flower and fruit. They will be thorny or thornless depending on the mother plant. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs104 provides information on blackberries and https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_blackberry provides a list of other UF/IFAS publications on blackberries. A new blackberry initiative is beginning with research at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center with demonstration plantings around the state, and we hope to have more information in a few years, including new Florida-adapted cultivars.

Shannon casey
October 11, 2020

I have a blackberry that volunteered in my yard. It produced a pound of berries the first year in late spring 2020. We are located in Baker. We keep it mulched and with compost applied when I think about it. I will water it from our deep well. The temp of that water is 69-74 degrees and keep it deep mulched year round with wood chips. I also has the shade of a large pecan tree to block the heat of the afternoon sun. It has since doubled in size and I was able to get 7 additional plants from the original. It has thorns. My question is what cultivar could this be? Seems to be a primocane but I thought primocanes were thorn less. I would also appreciate any new information on raising blackberries.

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Lori Johnson

July 14, 2020

Carolyn, If using the stove top you will want to use very low heat and stir frequently until the mixture is smooth enough to mix into the oats. There are similar recipes online, some do not have you melting the chocolate chips.

jpopenoe

July 14, 2020

Yes. The rest of the fruit should still be good to eat. You can cut out the bad parts.

jpopenoe

July 14, 2020

You have to protect the fruit before any damage is done to it. That would mean bagging or spraying proactively before damage occurs. Once damage has occurred, there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

jpopenoe

July 14, 2020

This is a difficult issue. Herbicide drift could cause the leaves to curl up and fall off. 2,4-D is a synthetic auxin (plant hormone) that will cause new growth to curl up and be deformed. Leaf fall could follow that. Have you asked the farmer what he sprayed? It could have been a mix or some other chemical. 2,4-D probably would not have been sprayed on beans - it is specific to kill broadleaf plants, which means the beans would have been affected. Herbicide damage could cause gummosis as you describe and some cultivars may be more sensitive than others or some may have been closer to the drift. Borers can also cause localized gummosis - if you pick off the ball of gum there will be a hole underneath it. Different borers attack different parts of the tree - some may be right at the soil line, some on the trunk, and some on the bases of the scaffold branches. A tree that is oozing gum all over is not likely to be caused by borers. Bacteria and Botryosphaeria could also cause this type of gummosis. Is it possible to take a sample in to your local extension office? Botryosphaeria will cause a brown discoloration in the wood and you may be able to see this if you cut off a twig. For your peace of mind it may be better to take the Red Haven out - if it is oozing that much sap it is not a healthy tree, regardless of what caused the problem. You may be able to cut it up and check it out more carefully when you do this to determine the issue.

Jessie
July 13, 2020

I'm in Ohio surrounded by fields and last month the farmer sprayed what I believe was 2, 4 D on the beans. I have major drift damage on pretty much everything in my yard. I have five very young peach trees and two were particularly damaged from this. I have a Flamin' Fury that has lost almost all of its leaves and the new growth is dried and shriveled up, but I also have a Red Haven that is oozing sap like crazy. (There's also a plum that is oozing, but this peach is the one that has me boggled) It may have had issues last year and I didn't actually realize it, but now it is oozing sap everywhere. There are multiple spots on the trunk, the crotch seems to be weeping and even in all of the branches there are little spots of gum. Is it possible that this is a reaction to the herbicide? Or do I have something more serious going on with this tree? It is so close to the other trees that I'm worried to even keep it there in case it is actually bacterial... I'm thinking more and more that it has to do with the spray because I noticed a few small gummy spots on a couple of the other trees (but nothing huge like what is going on with this Red Haven) I've been googling for days, I asked the nursery I got the trees from, I asked another local nursery and basically I can't get an answer for this specific question. One just said 'peach borer' (but I'm not sure what the holes are supposed to look like and... I don't think there are any?) and otherwise I've gotten "we don't know" and either general information about bacterial canker and how to sue for drift damage... :( I just want to know what is going on with this tree and if I need to remove it to protect the other ones...

Beth
July 8, 2020

Native Choice Nursery, 7401 Tropical World Way, Boynton Beach, Fl. 33470. Located inside Tropical World Nursery on Hagen Ranch Road just south of Woolbright Road. Hours: Friday and Saturday's 10-4. Appointments by request. 561-756-4370

Carolyn
July 5, 2020

I do not use a Micro Wave... How do I fix this using stove top? Do you know the Nutritional Value? Thanks so very much! Carolyn O:)

suba suba
June 11, 2020

Superb post here, thought I could learn more from but we can learn more from this post.

Diane
June 10, 2020

Here in Indian River County, if you take a walk along the road, you will see it and then you can ask for permission to dig.

jpopenoe

June 1, 2020

If the gum is already coming out, it is too late. However, in future you may consider controlling for insects or bagging the fruit. See Bagging as an Alternative Insect and Disease Management Tool presentation - it is a pdf, so you will have to Google it to get it, or ask me and I can email to you.

jpopenoe

June 1, 2020

Gum coming out of the fruit is caused by physical damage to the fruit - usually by an insect. Stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs can both cause this symptom from their feeding injuries. You will need to protect the fruit from damage to keep the gum from oozing from the fruit.

Ken
June 1, 2020

How to avoid gum coming out from young fruit?

jpopenoe

May 15, 2020

There are several nurseries that produce this plant. You can just do a browser search for frog fruit plants for sale. A local nursery in Lake County is Green Isle Gardens in Groveland.

jpopenoe

May 15, 2020

There are several products that can be used against Asian citrus psyllids. https://crec.ifas.ufl.edu/media/crecifasufledu/production-guide/ACP.pdf is the chapter in the Citrus Production Guide that provides a list of effective chemicals. Alternatively, you can get the minute Tamarixia wasps to kill the psyllids at https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Bureaus-and-Services/Methods-Development-Biological-Control/Biological-Control/Asian-Citrus-Psyllid-Biological-Control/Biological-Control-of-Asian-Citrus-Psyllid-in-Dooryard-Citrus-and-Ornamentals/Tamarixia-Release-Application.

Jan
May 14, 2020

What pesticides are effective on Asian citrus psyllids?

Muriel OShea
May 7, 2020

Where can I purchase Frog fruit ground cover?

jpopenoe

April 27, 2020

Wearing gloves is the only thing that will work.

Elsie Mason
April 26, 2020

Is there something that can be applied before weeding to resist the inevitable itching?

Elsie
April 26, 2020

Is there something that can be applied to the skin before weeding to avoid the inevitable itching?

Caran Juui
April 11, 2020

Thank you for sharing such an amazing stuff that keeps us motivated for gardening. It admits of no doubt that gardening has numberless health benefits. For the patients of Blood pressure and heart, gardening is a must-do hobby. I, personally, tested gardening as i was also blood pressure patient.

jpopenoe

March 23, 2020

Check out Poison in the Pasture at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lake/livestock-and-natural-resources/.

jpopenoe

March 23, 2020

It does look very benign. I know when I first experienced one I could not believe it was that little weed that just looked like so many other little weeds in the garden. It is possible there are some pinkish ones. The reaction should be just local and short-lived. Try baking soda paste to soothe it. It quickly teaches you to use gloves in the garden when weeding!

Nancy
March 22, 2020

I was pulling just a few weeds in the yard. When I came inside my hand was incredibly itchy and began to swell. My knuckles disappeared but the itching finally stopped. It’s still swollen but not bothering me. I’m wondering if I’m in danger at all? I think I remember seeing a stinging nettle and wonder if it comes in pink? It looked so benign.

jpopenoe

March 2, 2020

Research on blackberry production in Florida is just starting, so I really only have grower experience to report on. No one has reported problems with Prime Ark Freedom. In fact, that is one of the best cultivars to plant currently according to several growers. The problem is that flowers will not set if temperatures are above 90 F, so we don't get a "fall" crop. However, we do get an early spring one. The growers in Oxford who have this cultivar say they fruit in March and through the floricane season of June, so you get a very long season. Osage is also a recommended cultivar, seeming to have the best disease resistance of the floricane cultivars. I have not heard of anyone using copper to induce dormancy. That is not a treatment that is being tested in research either.

Jonathan
March 2, 2020

I have been experimenting with high-tunnel blackberry production here in FL using both PrimeArk Freedom and Osage. Both were treated with shade cloth to limit the heat index inside of the tunnels and also sprayed with copper in December of this winter to try to induce dormancy. It seems to have worked for the Osage (it has already started flowering), but the Prime Ark Freedom has not even show any signs of new growth yet. Any suggestions for commercial growers like me trying to succeed here? I would really like to manipulate the Prime Ark variety to bear during the spring and fall (winter?), if possible. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

jpopenoe

February 20, 2020

There are things you can do. Mulch with oak leaves (plenty of them on the ground now). Research has shown that oak leaf mulch and oak leaf "tea" applied to the leaves can help with Greening. They are still trying to determine how, but this is a technique that homeowners can use. The other thing you can do is make sure you "spoon feed" your trees with controlled release fertilizer and irrigation. Irrigate small amounts more frequently so that the tree does not experience water stress. Greening-affected roots are much reduced and are not as good as healthy tree roots in finding water and nutrients. You should also try to apply more micronutrients than regular fertilizer supplies. Find a micronutrient supplement with iron, zinc, and manganese to add to your controlled release fertilizer.

Juanita Popenoe
February 19, 2020

No problem with citrus greening replant - the bacteria only survives in living tissue. Dead stumps will not have it.

Frank Lynch
February 19, 2020

I just bought a Clementine/mandarin tree to pollinate my 5year old "Honey bell" tree(Clermont FL)..I was ignorant of the severity here in Florida. In short I have discovered that my tree is severely infected with both ACP and yellow mottled leaves. I believe my tree is now terminal....Is really anything I can do? Thinking of just cutting it down and starting over With the smaller tree. Is there anything I can do to to protect my Mandarin tree?

Amel snv
January 26, 2020

Merci pour l'article

Gina
December 17, 2019

I'd love to receive a copy of your long list of toxic plants for cattle and horses. Gina

Ken
September 25, 2019

Mia ... thank you for knowledge and for keeping us informed. Well-Done!

jpopenoe

September 5, 2019

If the fruit have "gum" exuding from them, it is not gummosis, but a response to damage. Stink bug feeding damage usually results in clear gum oozing out of the feeding site. This may cause a deformed fruit depending on when the damage occurred. Healthy portions of the fruit are fine to eat.

Sonia
September 3, 2019

Most of the peaches are affected by gummosis- can healthy looking portions of the fruit be eaten?

jpopenoe

August 20, 2019

Please check out our events calendar for classes and plant sales. http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lake/ is our home page with calendar and latest blogs. You can "Sort by Interest" to see what is happening.

Judy Bell
August 1, 2019

I am interested in composting and a wild flower class and plant sale. Thank you. Judy Bell

jpopenoe

July 15, 2019

There is not much that can be done at this stage. It may cause defoliation that will impact the quality of your berries, but you will probably still be able to harvest. It needs to be controlled with phosphite type sprays early on as it starts to show lesions on the canes. Make sure you remove all the affected canes as soon as possible after harvest to reduce spores spreading to the primocanes. Prophyt is labelled with 0 days preharvest interval, so you could use this, directing it at the canes, but it is best used before or at the appearance of the disease.

Paul Sharenko
July 11, 2019

Hi! I live in Glenmont, NY just south of Albany. I have six Ouachita thornless blackberry bushes and some of the canes appear to have been infected with Orange Felt. My berry crop is just turning red so ripe berries should be arriving in a week or two providing the disease doesn’t take over all the canes. What would you recommend as a a treatment and when can I start without contaminating the berries if possible. Thank you for your support.

Nettle
July 9, 2019

There is too much premium on “neat and tidy.” We need to change our standards To be a little more tolerant of the jungle that Florida is so that we are not constantly fighting it. Elderly people, disabled people, and people on fixed incomes who can’t afford professional lawn care and can’t do it themselves for one reason or another are literally driven into giving up their houses because they are physically incapable of the constant weeding and trimming that “need to” requires, even with carefully chosen native plants.

jpopenoe

May 22, 2019

Greening bacteria can only be spread by the psyllid insect vector. It does not remain in the soil and cannot reinfect from there. You are safe to replant, but try a more tolerant type like 'Sugar Belle', 'Tango', or 'Bingo' for best results.

Leon J Burke
May 21, 2019

Thanks for the info, I am going to replant after greening and was concerned about replanting in the same place

jpopenoe

April 29, 2019

Greening is not spread by human contact like Citrus Canker. Greening is spread only via the Asian Citrus Psyllid, a small, piercing/sucking insect. It is safe to bring suspected Greening infected leaves to your local Master Gardener Plant Clinic for diagnosis or to send photos to your local extension agent.

Vicky
April 22, 2019

Is there any place it safe to take a few leaves or a branch to have someone look at it and tell you if you have citrus greening disease

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wilchcombe

January 25, 2019

According to the Lake County Public Shelter Registry, all of Lake County’s primary shelters accept pets. Pets must be brought in a carrier that is marked with the owner’s name, address and two phone numbers. Owners must have documentation of up-to-date rabies vaccinations for their pets. Owners are responsible for taking care of their pets. It is recommended pet owners bring minimal pet supplies, such as food and water, to a County public shelter. You can view the document here https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/pdfs/Public_Safety/Emergency_Management/brochures/EM_BR_ShelterRegistry_web.pdf

jo carroll
January 24, 2019

What specifically do you need to have for admission to a shelter that allows pets? What kind of pets are allowed, do you need vet records/tags? Thanks

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wilchcombe

January 3, 2019

Here are the locations of the emergency shelters in Lake County https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/pdfs/Public_Safety/Emergency_Management/Risk_Shelters_for_Public_2018.pdf. Please visit the Lake County Office of Emergency Management for more information https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/offices/emergency_management/.

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wilchcombe

January 3, 2019

Thank you for your comment. If you're interested in learning more about herbs, we have an upcoming program called Cultivate and Create with Herbs on Saturday, January 26 @ 10am. For more information please visit our registration page at UFRootsUp.eventbrite.com or call the office at 352-343-4101.

Patric M Shuck
December 18, 2018

Where is the emergency shelters for people who live off of Dead River RD, in Tavares.

Design veritical Garden
December 16, 2018

I get a new idea form this blog thanks for sharing this with us.

Melissa
November 11, 2018

I have 5 blackberries that I grow. They are the thornless Prime-Ark Freedom. I get two seasons of blackberries once in the spring - April and once in October. They grow very well in Pensacola. They taste very good too.

jpopenoe

November 5, 2018

Your tree may have greening disease, or some other disease that is causing the rootstock to try and take over the tree (the sprouts you have to cut off). Please go to https://crec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/plant_pathology/ to check to see if the problem matches any of the diseases listed there. Please send a photo to me at jpopenoe@ufl.edu for me to try and make a better diagnosis. Take photos of the leaves and the tree in general.

Rosemary Holderman
October 25, 2018

I have a small Orange tree I planted 3 years ago. I notice that trees approx. the same age in a near by orchard have more growth and small fruit. My tree is showing yellow leaves, I have fertilizes every three months and water when there is no rain. I have cut the sprouts from the trunk but the sprouts grow faster and look more healthy than the tree. What do I need to change my little tree into a healthy growing youngster.

jpopenoe

October 16, 2018

Lloyd Singleton, author of this post, has moved to North Carolina. However, you may still contact him at lsingleton@ufl.edu for more information.

jpopenoe

October 16, 2018

Lloyd Singleton, the author of this post, has moved to North Carolina. You may still contact him at lsingleton@ufl.edu for these details.

Anonymous
September 26, 2018

Please link to photos of flowers from Burmann's and native to facilitate identification.

Emanuel Harris
September 7, 2018

Great article! Didn't know heat and humidity in the house was such a huge factor in mold and mildew growth within the home.

jpopenoe

July 6, 2018

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021 is the University of Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide. It has a list of crops and when to plant. Our seasons are very different from the north. Lettuce can get bitter with warm temperatures. You planted everything a little late I fear. Fall planting season will start in August/Sept. Check that link for when to plant what. You can come into the Master Gardener Plant Clinic any weekday 9-4 for any questions. Brooke Moffis will probably have a vegetable class in the fall, but I do not have details now.

jpopenoe

July 6, 2018

This definitely sounds like root rot. The first thing I would do is take (or send) a sample of the roots to the UF plant clinic. https://plantpath.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/plant-diagnostic-center/. They can determine what exactly is the problem. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74133.html provides a good summary of phytophthora. Do you have the plants planted in a hill to increase drainage? I would recommend that. Also the use of pine bark fines to increase organic matter and drainage. http://www.smallfruits.org/assets/documents/ipm-guides/BlueberrySprayGuide.pdf is the 2018 spray guide and on page 31 lists sprays for phytophthora. It suggests Aliette and potassium phosphite (I believe this is also OMRI). Actinovate is OMRI listed and may help with phytophthora. These would be used to protect the plants more than to cure them. Curing is usually not possible, but the plant pathology lab may be able to give you better recommendations based on what they find. http://www.smallfruits.org/assets/documents/ipm-guides/2017/2017BlueberrySprayGuide_organic_final.pdf is the 2017 spray guide for organic production, and they give suggestions for how to avoid. However, it does not list any spray or drench that can be used. “Root rots in organic blueberry systems are best addressed through improving drainage and avoiding re-use of old bark substrate. Though cost is an issue, replanting into old bark where root rot has been a problem is not a good practice. Disease-causing organisms build up in the bark, making reestablishment more difficult. Organic chemicals are not available for root rot disease. Therefore, good site preparation is essential.“

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wilchcombe

July 5, 2018

We do not have one planned, but are working on a curriculum for more classes on this subject.

jpopenoe

July 5, 2018

There is a free "virtual field day" on primocane-bearing blackberries if you are interested. Registration at https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XQeD0lTGQdmUIWWCkl-v8g. This is a webinar type of field day and is not produced in Florida. Florida blackberry production will be different, but there is a lot to be learned from growing up north. These primocane-bearing blackberries may have potential here, but they will not produce flowers above 90 degrees F, so we may not get a fall crop. Some growers I know who are trying them get a crop in March. Of the current cultivars (floricane bearing) being grown here, I hear the best producer is Osage. You will need to keep a close eye on orange felt disease - the early stem lesions do not look like much, but need control before it grows too much. The UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma is now doing a cultivar evaluation and will be working on breeding cultivars for Florida. Keep an eye on them and their field days - https://gcrec.ifas.ufl.edu/.

jpopenoe

July 5, 2018

We do not have one planned, but are working on a curriculum for more classes on this subject.

Yusuf
July 4, 2018

Hello I have a question: I have some stunted plants due to too deep planting and also overwatering. We are talking about over watering of one month period (approximately 3 liters/day per plant, my soil is not sandy but a little on the clay side. plants are about 2 years and their first summer in the ground) I have dug up some plants and can see dark almost black roots easily getting ripped or falling appart. Also small root system. Is this root rot? If so does this necessarily mean we have Phytophthora pathogen 100% Another question: if I get rid of these plants and replant brand new ones can I get rid of the Phytophthora? Would it effect the new plants? I am an organic grower so my choices are very limited. I feel cornered. Please help. Thanks a million for your help Best Yusuf

Mary Ann Kocolowski
June 20, 2018

I am so sorry that I missed the class. Will you be having it again?

Carmen M Pomales
June 20, 2018

My husband recently built me a above ground garden. I planted tomatoes, lettuce, egg plants, cucumbers, green peppers, and collard greens and in one of the corners I planted the herbs. The plants are huge. Lots of tomatoes (not very tasty, actually very bland), no egg plants, but the plants are very tall with flowers on them. Not sure any will produce eggplants! No cucumbers, tons of collards, the lettuce was a little bitter and the green peppers were tiny. Only got 2 so far. Planted this garden in April! Have a timed sprinkler to water them. I'm thinking I need a class to plant a garden properly. Any classes soon. Before planting season?

jpopenoe

June 19, 2018

There have been reports that "Sugar Belle" is slow to fruit on certain rootstocks - Cleo or UFR-4. UFR-17 is a good door-yard option for colder areas, as it makes a small cold-hardy tree. 3 year-old door yard trees crop on this rootstock. An option for larger trees not flowering is to girdle them in October.

George G. Shepherd III
June 12, 2018

Good day, My name is George Shepherd and I recently purchased property in Lake Wales, FL to start a blackberry farm. The property is on the east side next to Tiger Lake and is roughly 7 acres. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Mary Mukite
May 29, 2018

Will you be having this again in the near future

KaylaWildflower
May 24, 2018

why can't dayflower and perennial peanut co-exist?

Vivian Black
May 21, 2018

I have a cousin who has recently taken up gardening as a hobby and she mentioned to me how much better physically she has been feeling since starting. In addition to the exercise that gardening can provide, I like that you mentioned how gardeners often plant and later eat, edibles such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables that can be great sources of nutrition. Thank you for the information on gardening.

rob montgomery
May 17, 2018

growing up in central florida, my sisters and i used to call this FAIRY GRASS. i finally know what it is thanks to this article. i was NOT aware its considered the worst weed ever!

Millie Hue
May 14, 2018

It's interesting to know that gardening also burns calories due to raking, digging, and pulling weeds. This is a good reason to convince my sister to do some gardening when she moves into a house with space outside. I might even accompany her to buy garden decorations when the time comes. Thanks!

jpopenoe

April 27, 2018

The bacteria in a greening infected tree cannot be transmitted except through the Asian Citrus Psyllid vector, and they only attack new growth. There is no problem with chipping and mulching the tree, it will not spread the disease.

Don
April 27, 2018

When you cut down or remove a greening infected tree, what do you do with the plant material being discarded? Can you simply put this out for plant refuse pick-up or does it have to be handled in a special way?

jpopenoe

April 17, 2018

Send a photo to the extension office or bring in a sample for ID. It is probably a broadleaf weed that can be treated with a selective herbicide that will not harm the grass in the lawn.

jpopenoe

April 17, 2018

There is no one alternative crop for Florida, only lots of options.

Susan Howard
April 17, 2018

What is the alternative crop for central Florida

Karen Mergner
April 16, 2018

How can I get rid of a weed taking over the lawn, that looks like a wild version of alyssum, a common bedding annual? I live in Lady Lake FL.

jpopenoe

April 16, 2018

We do not recommend digging the hole any deeper than the pot because loose soil under the plant will cause it to sink into the ground and become too deep.

jpopenoe

April 12, 2018

Check your Extension office in Erie County.

Martha Irwin
March 31, 2018

I raise Monarch butterflies. Where can I find milkweed in Erie County?

Stephen Van Dellen
March 24, 2018

We planted a 200 sq ft, bed surrounded by a block wall with Perennial Peanut 4 years ago. They filled in wonderfully and were really pretty. But then Dayflower appeared. I pulled it up, dug it up and painted it with glyphosate but it just spread and spread until it had taken over. We finally just pulled up everything in the bed and started over with plants that leave enough bare space between them that we can see weeds getting started. Last spring we planted 100 sq ft on a bank in the yard with Frog Fruit. If they did well, we intended to transplant cuttings all over the bank. They also filled in well and looked vigorous. But then Crow's Foot grass invaded. Again I tried to dig it out and paint it with glyphosate but it eventually took over. We see reasonably weed free ground cover around commercial buildings so it must be possible. Can you point us to information about how to control weeds in ground cover? Thanks.

jpopenoe

March 12, 2018

We have two plant sales a year - Spring and Fall. Those are the only times you can purchase plants grown by the Master Gardeners. We do have a Landscape and Garden Fair coming up on March 24 and 25 when we will have all kinds of garden-related vendors. The Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale is coming up in April.

hendersond

March 6, 2018

Online chess can certainly benefit those who might not be able to meet in person. Thankfully we have technological connections available for those that might not typically have access to a chess board or other players.

Carol A Saylor
March 5, 2018

Can I wander thru the ag center gardens and purchase plants, or is the fall the only time to purchase plants?

Khorae Olivier
February 27, 2018

I like how you talked about playing chess improving students in concentration, planning, and creativity. I think if a person cannot play in person, using chess software might able be of great help to them. You did a great job of explaining how playing chess teaches children skills essential for the progression into adulthood.

Kleah
February 13, 2018

Is there any information on how it's propagated and how prolific it is... Could it be contained somewhere in a landscape at a distance without popping up everywhere?

jpopenoe

February 5, 2018

Soil pH can easily be increased with the use of lime. I suggest you send a soil sample to the UF Soils Lab (http://soilslab.ifas.ufl.edu/ESTL%20Home.asp) and have an analysis done to determine the buffering capacity of your soil. They will tell you how much lime to add to achieve the desired pH.

Marilee
February 4, 2018

I know you all feel confident about applying elemental sulfur to reduce soil pH to the desired range, but what should you do if your soil pH drops below 4.

Betsy
February 4, 2018

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension outreach is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public.

Jacobi
February 4, 2018

Dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times as deep as the container the avocado tree has come in. Making a large hole loosens the soil adjacent to the new tree making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil.

Mariel
February 4, 2018

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension outreach is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public.

Demiti
January 31, 2018

Let’s first understand why soil pH keeps decreasing every season with fertilization in blueberry fields. We all know blueberries prefer ammonium-based fertilizer — among the largest percentage of cations taken up — as their nitrogen source,. This actually is the primary reason your soil pH keeps decreasing every season.

Dallas Daniels
January 30, 2018

Dan, I am so glad to hear that your son enjoys chess. It is a family favorite in my house. Unfortunately, there are no chess clubs to date but it is in the works. Hopefully, it happens soon. Heather, my hope is that all children develop those qualities. The beauty of 4-H is that concentration and problem solving skills can be developed through the majority of projects that youth in 4-H complete. Thank you both for posting.

Havana
January 30, 2018

But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Dan Fahey
January 16, 2018

My son enjoys playing chess and is looking for a club to get together with.

Karen Chann
January 12, 2018

Hi Brooke, I attended your presentation today, Jan. 12,2018 at Hawthorne today. I liked it very much. We are having a new house put in Hawthorne & would very much like to do a small Native plants 3 or 4 season garden in when it is finished. I am not even sure there is such a thing down here in Florida. Could you give me some suggestions of plants to think about. We had a 4 season garden in Kentucky and really enjoyed it. It was low key & maintenance free which is what we need but beautiful at the same time. Also container plants would be great. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.

Margaret Powell
January 12, 2018

What are the rules for removing a Water oak tree? The one we have was planted too close to our house. Thanks!

Marc S. Frank
December 20, 2017

The non-native species Oplismenus burmannii (Burmann's basketgrass) is now increasingly common throughout Central Florida. It looks very similar to the native Oplismenus setarius. The two species can best be distinguished by examining a flowering sample under a microscope (O. burmannii has flowers with awns that have downward pointing sharp hairs, while the awns on the flowers of O. setarius are hairless). Note that not only is skunkvine (Paederia foetida) at FLEPPC Category I invasive, it is also on the Florida noxious weed list, which means it is so invasive that it is prohibited by law. Early intervention is really helpful in getting this aggressive noxious weed under control. Marc S. Frank Extension Botanist UF/IFAS Plant Identification and Information Service University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS)

jpopenoe

November 13, 2017

Only those that feed off infected trees. However, that is most of the trees.

errol fogarty
November 5, 2017

Are all Asian Psyllids carrying the bacteria or only those that have feed off infected trees?

jpopenoe

September 25, 2017

You may go to http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/professionals/BMP_overview.htm to learn more about Green Industry Best Management Practices.

Harper Campbell
September 12, 2017

It's good to know that when it comes to a kid playing chess that there are a lot of different benefits that can come from it. I like how you mentioned that this game helps them develop skills that will help them progress into adulthood, like concentration and problem solving. One of my boys has taken an interest to this game, and it would be great to see him have these types of qualities.

jpopenoe

August 21, 2017

Yes, you can replant in the same place a tree died of citrus greening. The bacteria only survives in living tissue and is only transmitted by the psyllid insect.

Kim
August 19, 2017

Can you plant a new citrus tree in the same location a tree died of citrus greening? If so, how long do you wait to plant?

Thomas
August 16, 2017

Great post! Have nice day ! :) 8ak1m

jpopenoe

August 7, 2017

There is a new parasitic wasp that can help to control the insect that spreads citrus greening disease. They are too small to hurt people, but do a great job on psyllids. You can apply to get some from the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services to release in your citrus at http://bit.ly/2vfcI5V. This is a great way to help reduce the disease without having to use any pesticides.

Diana
July 28, 2017

Thank you for these tips. It is very important to keep track of your spending and to know exactly what you're spending your money on. Learn to categorize your purchases so that at the end of the month, you’ll be able to quickly see where your money was spent.You can always compare this list with the budget that you created at the start of month to see the difference between your actual budget and your projected budget. You can manage your money successfully only when you are honest about it with yourself.

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