Inquiring Minds Email Mama

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Peggy asks: The muscadine vine that I planted 3 years ago has grown plenty of vines and leaves but has never had any grapes on it. I have 4 other vines in my yard nearby this one and they all produce just fine. What’s wrong with it?

GardenMama replies: Maybe nothing is wrong with it - a muscadine vine can take 3-5 years to set fruit, depending on variety, growing conditions, and pruning. But if it has bloomed, it’s quite possible that the newer, non-fruiting vine is pollinating the others. Muscadine grapes may have perfect flowers (both male and female parts present) or female-only flowers. Those with perfect flowers can fruit alone and also serve as necessary pollinators for those with female-only flowers. Muscadine grapes are a great example of plant diversity and why it’s important to learn about variety differences - here’s more: http://extension.msstate.edu/publications/information-sheets/fruit-and-nut-review-muscadines.

Vivian is done with Bradford pear trees: I need a nice bush or tree to put on the south side of my home in full sun but the area is under a power line. I have Bradford pears there now and they are getting old, not to mention the power company keeps cutting the top off. Thanks for your help.

GardenMama agrees: Thank you for not wanting more Bradford pear trees! Not only do we have plenty of them around, they have escaped cultivation and their seedlings are pest plants. Beyond those concerns, their trunks tend to split apart and do not tolerate the heavy pruning needed to keep them below the power lines. Consider large shrubs that can be shaped into small trees (less than 12 feet tall) such as loropetalum and glossy ligustrum or mixed hedges of standard viburnum, abelia, and reblooming azaleas you can maintain at 5 feet tall and wide. If the area is large enough, you could combine these ideas to create a lovely view of small trees and large shrubs.

Jim wants GMama’s opinion about plum trees: I live in Pike County, MS and I am planning to plant two Methley plum trees, do you think this is a good choice for this area? Also my local nursery also has Autumn Rosa, Ozark, and Santa Rosa in stock. What do you think?

GardenMama says: Go for a combination of Santa Rosa, Ozark, and Methley, which also pollinates the other two plum trees.

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