November E-News from Viette's                 Volume 8: No. 11

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                         November/2012

Wispy plumes of Miscanthus against the November sky.Notes for November!

Now that a chill is in the air, it's time to get started on your end of the season garden chores.

✔ Finish planting bulbs
✔ Clean & fertilize perennial beds
✔ Keep up with leaf raking
✔ Water perennial beds well
✔ Replenish mulch if needed
✔ Apply an anti-desiccant to
        evergreen trees and shrubs
✔ Roll & store garden hoses . . .
Quick Links
Plant of the Month
Euonymus alatus
Euonymus alatus - Burning Bush
Colorful shrubs for the Landscape

 Euonymus as a group includes many species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs, trees, and vines.
Probably one of the most well-known of these is
Euonymus alatus (Winged Euonymus, a.k.a. Burning Bush). This deciduous species is especially popular for its beautiful red fall color. Other popular species are the evergreen forms, Euonymus
japonicus, Euonymus kiautschovicus, and the trailing Euonymus fortunei. Many of the evergreen cultivars have attractive variegated foliage.

Beautiful in the Garden
Because of its diversity, Euonymus has many different uses in the landscape. Some varieties are planted as stunning specimen plants, while others are used as an attractive living screen or hedge, and still other varieties create a lovely evergreen ground cover or trailing rock wall cover.
Euonymus alatus pruned to tree form.
Euonymus alatus can be pruned to tree form.
Most euonymus grow well in either full sun or light to dense shade, however the variegated evergreen forms generally need more sun to develop and maintain the best color. They prefer moist, well-drained soil but are adaptable to many different soil types.

Some popular types
Euonymus alatus -
Few shrubs in the landscape provide brilliant fall color as reliably as the Winged Euonymus or "Burning Bush". When the temperatures begin to drop in the fall, this beautiful shrub transforms from a deep green to a striking fiery red. It's no wonder these shrubs are so popular in the landscape - many even consider them overused!
Winged euonymus can be trained to grow as a small tree with the right pruning techniques. Plant this species in full sun to achieve the most intense fall color. Unfortunately, Euonymus alatus and another popular deciduous species, E. europaeus, have escaped into the wild and have become invasive in some areas of the country. Some cultivars are fruitless and do not spread. (Zones 3-8)
Euonymus europaeus fruit capsules.
Colorful fruit capsules of
Euonymus europaeus 

Euonymus japonicus -
This evergreen species includes many of the more colorful variegated cultivars. It is drought tolerant but not as hardy as some of the other evergreen species. Plant variegated cultivars in full sun to light shade for the best color. (Zones 7-9)
Euonymus japonicus 'Silver King'
Euonymus japonicus
'Silver King'

Euonymus fortunei -
Wintercreeper Euonymus has a trailing habit and depending on the cultivar, can be used as a ground cover, low shrub, rock wall cover, or as a climbing vine. There are many beautiful variegated cultivars. (Zones 4-8)
Euonymus kiautschovicus -
Spreading Euonymus is a beautiful evergreen or semi-evergreen species with glossy dark green leathery leaves that is often grown as a hedge or living screen. 'Manhattan" is one of the most popular cultivars. These can be prone to winter burn in colder zones. (Zones 6-8) 
Pest & Disease Problems
Unfortunately some euonymus are prone to scale insects and various fungal diseases. These can be controlled by timely applications of pesticides including many organics. See tip at right.
A Great Idea!
The leaves that cover your lawn are full of good nutrients.
Fall Leaves Enrich the Soil!


Don't let leaves build up on your lawn!The leaves that cover your lawn are full of good nutrients.


Your grass can literally be smothered by densely packed autumn leaves! For the health of your lawn, it is important to rake or blow the leaves off the grass.


But don't let this precious resource
go to waste!


Fall leaves are "gold" to gardeners because they provide a fantastic source of "free" organic nutrients for your lawn and gardens.


If you regularly mow your leaf covered lawn before the leaves get too thick, you may never have to rake a single leaf! The mower shreds the leaves into small pieces which will break down quickly in a compost pile. As long as the leaves aren't piled too deeply, a mulching mower makes the job even easier because the chopped leaves are deposited right on the lawn where they will break down over the winter, providing nutrients to the grass and improving soil structure.


Shredded leaves also make a great organic mulch and soil conditioner for your perennial beds and vegetable gardens.



Gardening Questions?
Andre  answers a listener's question during a broadcast of 'In the Garden' 
Listen to Andre on the radio every Saturday morning from 8-11 on  
"In the Garden
with Andre Viette".
Click for a station list or
streamed live from our
flagship station WSVA.
Listen to podcasts.  



Mark Viette  answers a listeners call during a live broadcast. 

Now you can listen to Mark every Sunday morning from 8-10 on  


"Easy Gardening"  

with Mark Viette.

Visit the "Easy Gardening"
website for live streaming and podcasts of Mark's radio show as well as tips and other gardening information.

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When You're in
the Area
Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club. View from the 13th hole.
Got Clubs?

Visit our friends at Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club for a breathtaking round of golf after a visit to the Viette gardens.

Packsaddle Ridge was voted #5 "Best New Affordable Course" by Golf Digest in 2003. This public 18-hole championship golf course is nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and features a challenging course with incredible views of the Appalachian Mountains and the valley below.

3067 Packsaddle Tr.
Keezletown, VA 22832
Phone: 540-269-8188
Heartfelt wishes


On behalf of all of us at Viette's, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to our friends, loyal listeners, and all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  
Our hearts go out to you as the aftermath of this devastating storm continues to be felt in the weeks and months to come. Please know that we will keep you in our thoughts as you begin the rebuilding process.


Viette Front Porch Christmas

Coming at the end of the month -

Holiday Decorating Workshops!  


Tip of the Month
Protect Euonymus from Pests and Disease! 


Yes, Euonymus are prone to certain insect pests and diseases but so are many other plants that we like to grow in our yards. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't grow them, it just means that we need to be a little more vigilant at keeping an eye out for trouble.

Euonymus scale on E. kiautschovicus 'Manhattan'
Euonymus scale encrusts a stem of
E. kiautschovicus 'Manhattan'
Euonymus Scale
Scale is one of the most common insect pests of Euonymus. These tiny insects take up residence on the stems and leaves of most of the Euonymus species, especially the evergreen forms. The winged euonymus (E. alatus) is not usually susceptible to scale.
Many different species of scale infest these shrubs but the most common is the euonymus scale, Unaspis euonymi.

Euonymus scale
Euonymus scale
Males of this species are tiny, narrow, and white. They are generally more abundant than the females and tend to coat both the stems and the leaves. Heavy infestations can make the shrub appear almost white even from a distance. The females are brown and oyster-shaped. They are about twice the size of the males and are primarily found on the stems.

White male scale insects and a few females cover a leaf
White male scale insects cover a leaf. Note the yellowing of the leaf.

Scale insects feed by sucking juices from the plant with thread-like mouth parts. This causes damage to the stem and yellow stippling of the leaves. Eventually leaves are damaged enough that photosynthesis is reduced and in severe cases, leaf drop and the death of infested branches occurs. Heavy infestations may kill the entire plant.

Life Cycle of Euonymus Scale
Yellowing of Euonymus leaves due to feeding by scale insects.
Yellowing of Euonymus leaves due to feeding by scale insects.
Fertilized adult females overwinter on the stems of the plants. They lay their eggs in the early spring under the protection of their hard waxy shell. After the eggs are laid, the females die. The tiny crawler stage hatches from the eggs in April, May, and June. This stage is the most vulnerable to pesticide treatment because the crawlers are not protected by the hard waxy shell of the adult stage. These small nymphs crawl around the leaves and stems of the plant and mate before settling down to feed through mouth parts inserted into the plant tissue. At this point, they become sedentary and secrete their hard waxy shell. There may be up to 3 generations per year depending on the area of the country and at times all life stages may be present on a plant at the same time.

Control Measures -
  • Natural predators like the lady beetle do an excellent job at suppressing heavy infestations of scale insects.
  • If the problem isn't extensive, infested branches can sometimes be pruned out but if a shrub is repeatedly infested year after year, it may be wise to remove it and replace it with a more resistant variety.
  • If chemical treatment is necessary, the timing of the application is important. The best time to control euonymus scale and other species of armored scale is when they are in the crawler stage since at this point they are not protected by a shell. Killing the first generation of crawlers (April, May, and June) provides the best control because at the time these hatch, the adults from the previous year have already died.  
    • Horticultural oil sprays are very effective in killing the crawlers. Bonide All Seasons Oil and Pure Spray Green (from the makers of Clear Choice) are good choices. It is imperative to coat every surface of the plant (all sides of the leaves and stems) in order to achieve the best control.
    • Systemic insecticides such as Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care and Bonide Annual Tree and Shrub also provide effective control of crawlers and will also help suppress the adult stages of the scale insect.  
    • Always read and follow the label directions
      when applying any pesticide.   

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew on euonymus
Powdery mildew on euonymus

Powdery mildew is a common disease of the evergreen forms of Euonymus. It is usually more prevalent in the early summer and mid fall when nighttime temperatures are cooler but daytime temperatures are still warm.

Powdery mildew appears as a white to grayish brown coating on the upper surface of the leaves. It often causes yellowing of the foliage and in more severe cases, can result in leaf drop.


Controlling Powdery Mildew

This disease is very hard to control once it starts so take steps to prevent its occurrence: 

  • Plant euonymus in full sun as much as possible.
  • Keep shrubs thinned to improve air circulation and reduce humidity around the foliage
  • Avoid overhead watering if possible

Powdery mildew on euonymus Unfortunately, this doesn't always protect them from infection. If powdery mildew appears on your shrubs, you will probably want to do some things to prevent its spread. When mildew first appears: 

  • Prune out any severely diseased branches and destroy them or put them in the trash
  • Rake up any dropped leaves and other plant debris from under the shrubs as mildew spores can overwinter in the old diseased foliage. 
  • Spray the shrub and any new growth as it appears with a fungicide such as Bonide Copper Fungicide, Fung-onil, or Infuse.  
  • Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care can be applied at the base of the shrub according to the label for systemic control of powdery mildew. This also helps control euonymus scale at the same time.
  • Always read and follow the label directions! 

Holiday Decorating Workshops! 

Friday, November 30 - 10:00am  

Saturday, December 1 - 10:30am  

Artistic Christmas Designs with Jef Naunchik 

Jef Naunchik teaches how to create beautiful della robbia wreaths.Jef has 35 years of experience in creating beautiful artistic arrangements and displays for the holidays. Come to this great workshop and Jef will teach you some unique techniques for decorating at holiday time including a demonstration of how to flock greens. New this year, he will discuss incorporating the beautiful new battery operated LED lights into his arrangements.
Learn how to make:
Della Robbia wreaths, topiary trees and miniature Christmas trees, swags with fresh greens, boxwood balls, candle rings, and more!
Learn the art of gilding, how to use a glue pot, and how to make beautiful ribbons.
After this wonderful workshop, Andre will take you on a personal tour of his beautifully decorated home and gardens.

Sunday, December 2 - 1:30pm
Wednesday, December 5 - 10:00pm

Christmas Decorating  

Andre demonstrates how to flock greens.
Andre demonstrates
how to flock greens.

     with Andre Viette     
Andre will demonstrate the basics of decorating for the holidays including working with greens to create attractive wreaths and table arrangements. He will also show you how to flock greens to create a glistening snow covered look. New this year, Andre will demonstrate some easy, 5-minute decorating tips for swags and the best way to preserve magnolia leaves and branches.
Learn about:
Preserving greens and Christmas trees, live vs. cut Christmas trees, basics of wreath making including how to make a giant 6 foot wreath, making kissing balls, creating swags and arrangements, making fresh roping.


Read about these fun workshops in my blog! 


After each workshop, Andre or Mark will give you a personal tour of Andre and Claire's beautiful home and gardens all decorated for the Christmas season. 

Andre's beautiful This Christmas wonderland takes Andre a full two weeks to complete and includes: 
  • A live Christmas tree with snow and colorful ornaments
  • A live Christmas tree with crystal, pearls, and crocheted ornaments
  • Loads of beautiful arrangements with live greens
  • Gold mantle arrangement
  • Antique, hand-made ornaments
  • Bell collection and colored glass collection
  • Santa collection with over 100 Santas
  • Beautiful manger arrangement
  • Old Christmas card collection, and lots more . . .
  • Plus, many wonderful outside arrangements with beautiful greens and colorful berries combined with antique farm tools, sleighs, and sleds!
Viette Front Porch Christmas
Sign up early - space is limited!
    Sign up by November 11th for a 10% discount!

Each workshop is only only $40.00
       ($36.00 if you register by 11/11/12).

Each participant will take home: a bundle of mixed evergreen boughs, 3 wreath rings (8", 10", & 12"), 1 spool of floral wire, 1 large oasis block, a 6" design bowl, 15 floral picks, 18 assorted spruce & pine cones, a $10.00 Gift Certificate for Viette perennials to be used next season, and loads of great ideas for your holiday decorating!

Pre-registration is required.
Call 800-575-5538 for more details & to register.

On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog
Heavenly Blue morning glories 10-26-2012 18:20:51 PM

My mother-in-law was a wonderful gardener. She planted the most amazing gardens around their beautiful stone home in Chestnut Hill, PA, just north of Philadelphia. Of course I didn't really appreciate them until I started working at Viette's and began learning more about plants and horticulture. I had always had a vegetable garden but until [...]...�


Needle shedding on white pine 10-17-2012 17:49:36 PM
Help! A lot of the needles on my pine tree are turning brown and falling off. What's going on? Should I be worried? Is my tree dying? We often get questions like this in the fall. The keyword here is "fall". Everyone is used to the deciduous trees coloring up and dropping their leaves in [...]...� 

edible mix cover crop 10-12-2012 16:02:41 PM
Planting a cover crop after harvesting your vegetable garden is a great way to replenish soil nutrients (especially nitrogen), loosen the soil, rebuild soil structure, reduce weeds, and control erosion over the winter months. They also add some often much needed organic matter to the soil. Wow! What a lot of benefits! The practice of [...]...�
Andre's Next AAA Trip

February 18 - March 1st, 2013


View from the Viette home in St. Thomas.
View from the Viette home
in St. Thomas.
11-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise


Mark your calendar to join Andre and Claire Viette on Holland America's Noordam for an 11-day Southern Caribbean Cruise. 


Explore the unspoiled natural beauty and tropical beaches of the Caribbean. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy diving around colorful reefs, snorkeling in crystalline waters, or sailing on a catamaran. If shopping is your sport, you'll find plenty of places to splurge on duty-free treasures.  


You'll visit 7 beautiful islands of the Caribbean and have the opportunity to enjoy private shore excursions including the fabulous 5 acre hilltop home and gardens of the Viettes.  


Hurry! Time is running out to sign-up for this exciting trip. Beat the winter blues in the sunny Caribbean!  


Click for more information   


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