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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.


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Ordering Seeds Online

When can we expect an online order form? Downloading, printing and faxing instead of entering info online is more work than some of us can do. I don't have a printer (or a fax machine) but would love to order some of your items. Instead, I must go to the local store to buy them. Any hope of this happening?

 The secure online ordering is up and running. There are links to order for each individual item or you can go directly into the Hume Seeds Store for more of an overview.   You can, of course, still order by FAX or mail.

If you live in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Utah or Washington, it may be well worth your while to check out your local store.  Many of them will put our seeds on sale at some point during the season for as little as half price.  You can find stores that carry our seeds near you here.


Mold? on Jade Plants

I have multiple plants in my home. I have three different species of Jades, an aloe, and 2 other succulents, as well as about 6 cactus. One of my Jade plants has always had this strange white mold-type stuff on it. Today I realized that 2 of my Jades and some of my cactus have this too. Do you know what this is? And how do I get rid of it, or will it not hurt my plants?

That's difficult to answer without seeing the condition. A cottony substance on the leaves can indicate the presence of mealy bugs, cottony scale or cottony aphid. A crystal like substance can indicate the build-up of salts, from fertilizers, chlorine or fluorides. You might want to take one of the plants to a Nursery or Greenhouse firm that specializes in houseplants and has a 'Certified Nursery-person' on staff, so they can make an on the spot diagnosis.


Hardiness of Perennials

I have been searching all the online catalogues for seeds I would like to order but have noticed that almost all of yours (you say) can be direct sowed. Of course I like that, but why are the same plants listed as indoor from seeds in other catalogues. IE: Thompson and Morgan. Oh and I imagine you are in the USA. I am in southern Ontario zone 6b (slight micro climate) would the ones you say are perennial be hardy in my zone?

 Keep in mind there are many types of plants have varieties that are houseplants, some annuals and others are perennial. None of the perennials we list are houseplants. Most are hardy to zero, but do vary by variety. Yes, we are in the United States, but sell tens of thousands of seed packets (every year) in cold climates like Alaska.


Finding Rare Flowers

I am curious about a certain wildflower. In a song written in 1860, "I'll Twine Mid the Ringlets", better known today as "Wildwood Flower", the flower "aronatus" is mentioned. It is described as ".....the pale aronatus with eyes of bright blue". Do you know what that wildflower is?

No I don't. Suggest you send a stamped-self-addressed envelope to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225 (they appreciate a small donation) and ask them. My Hortus, Exotica and wildflower books do not list this plant. They list Aronia, which is 'chokecherry'.

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