A: The plant’s botanical identify is Solanum dulcamara, which has a number of widespread names together with purple nightshade and bittersweet nightshade. In the identical botanical household are edibles comparable to potato, tomato and eggplant, but additionally extremely toxic members comparable to lethal nightshade, Atropa belladonna.
Because the outdated saying goes, one individual’s wildflower is one other individual’s weed. Your plant, which we’ll name purple nightshade, is listed on websites comparable to “Minnesota Wildflowers” as a weed, which may be outlined as any plant rising the place it’s not needed, or has the potential to invade or hurt its environment.
Purple nightshade, and related wild nightshades, develop massive vining or shrubby buildings and multiply quickly by seeds contained within the purple fruits. They will shortly overtake their environment, and though the purple flowers and purple fruits are engaging, this nightshade is likely to be thought-about a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Usually, the wild nightshades must also be thought-about poisonous.
A reader’s greenback particular vine bought about 5 years in the past from a house enchancment retailer appears to be what is usually referred to as purple nightshade. Particular to The Discussion board
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Q: I’ve a big silver maple tree in my yard that appears fairly tough. The woodpeckers have additionally accomplished a quantity on it, and I would like enter for cleansing it up or whether or not it must be lower down. Ideally I’d prefer to preserve the tree, which is over 70 ft in peak. — Bob M.
A: One other widespread identify for silver maple (Acer saccharinum) is comfortable maple, which is a basic indication of its lack of sturdy wooden. The department angles are typically slender and weak, and department breakage is a standard drawback.
A standard query of many house owners of growing older bushes is whether or not the tree is “protected,” whether or not the tree is structurally sound, in addition to the chances of the tree’s future lifespan. Sadly, these questions are complicated.
Analyzing a tree’s situation or security issues is named tree threat evaluation. Certified tree threat assessors use their schooling, data, coaching and expertise to look at bushes, and suggest measures to scale back the chance of dwelling close to bushes. Finishing a tree threat evaluation might carry some stage of legal responsibility, which is why it’s greatest to depart such evaluation to those that have the suitable coaching.
Solely people who’ve earned the Tree Danger Evaluation Qualification credential from the Worldwide Society of Arboriculture (ISA) have the coaching required for an intensive evaluation. ISA-certified arborists are educated in tree care and might present high quality service for the house owner. The closest licensed arborist may be discovered at https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist.
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Q: I’m new to houseplants, and I don’t understand how typically they need to be transplanted into a bigger pot. Is there a rule of thumb, comparable to annually, for repotting? — Jenna H.
A: The necessity for repotting is dependent upon how shortly the plant grows, and the way shortly it fills the pot and soil with roots. A simple method to inform is to take away the plant from its pot by inverting the plant, giving a faucet on the pot’s base and slipping the pot from the soil ball. It is likely to be essential to first run a knife between the pot’s inside edge and the soil.
With the pot eliminated, study the soil ball. If your entire ball is tightly coated in circling roots, with little or no soil evident, the plant probably would profit from repotting. Choose a brand new pot solely about 1 to 2 inches bigger in diameter. Crops thrive greatest if the pot measurement is regularly elevated as they develop.
Some crops can efficiently stay in the identical pot for many years, comparable to massive, established Christmas cactuses. Quick-growing houseplants normally profit from repotting each one to 3 years.
When you’ve got a gardening or garden care query, e-mail Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at email@example.com. Questions with broad attraction could also be printed, so please embody your identify, metropolis and state for acceptable recommendation.