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Two Questions for the Plant Man


I read your article in the newspaper today, regarding the problem of riding SNAKES from the landscape. You failed to inform us of the answer that you had received from one of your readers. So......HELP................Please tell me what is the secret of keeping SNAKES out of my yard !!!!!! A small one almost got in the house yesterday!!

Also, I recently purchased a plant at a yard sale, which the lady called a "Purple Passion". It is doing wonderfully and has been in constant bloom in our back yard. What is the REAL NAME of the plant, as I cannot find "Purple Passion" in my plant books? It has large "ruffle-like" blooms, which range from purple down to white in each bloom. It also has things that look like "pods", which, I assume, contain seeds. It has large leaves, and stands about 3-4 ft high. It must love the sun, as it gets full sun where it is planted against the privacy fence.

THANK YOU in advance for your assistance. ===========================================


You are the second person that has asked. Its great to know someone is actually reading this stuff.

Just kidding. Here it is.

And now to a message I received from reader E. Stewart, regarding humane ways to discourage snakes from taking up residence on your landscape:

"I read the article regarding snakes and have tried many methods since the snake population around my yard seemed plentiful. I used Snake Away, which I bought at Lowe's as well as turpentine and both seemed OK for a time, but this year I simply planted marigolds.

"At the time I just wanted them because they're so pretty to look at but a friend told me that they are a natural snake repellant and sure enough I haven't seen a snake in my yard yet this season. And for my yard that's amazing since last year they would even be on my porch and I was afraid to go up my steps at night. I put the marigolds in pots along my walk & porch steps and you can believe next year they'll be there as soon as possible." - E. Stewart

ANSWER: So marigolds are making the snakes move on and find a new habitat! That's a new one on me, and I'm passing it on so other snake-infested readers can decide if marigolds are worth trying.

In fact, I've been reading about the benefits of marigolds in controlling mosquitoes, another backyard pest. Some contributors to blogs (Web logs) claim that merely planting marigolds in containers will reduce the number of skeeters in the backyard, so the suggestion above might serve a dual purpose! However, Mark M. Green, a Polytechnic professor in New York, took the idea one step further.

Green and graduate student Jeff Singer chopped up the flowers, boiled them in a pot and dispensed the resulting solution in small containers of water - the breeding habitat of Aedes aegypti. Professor Green said, "the marigold stuff just killed all the mosquito larvae in sight."

Unfortunately the World Health Organization said they thought that Green's experiment was impractical for controlling malaria-carrying mosquitoes on a large scale. You can read the entire report at this web site: http://www.poly.edu/polypress/mosquitoes_and_marigolds.cfm and I have included a hot link from my web site. Go to www.landsteward.org and click on the link in this column under "The Plant Man" heading.

And here is a link I found on the passiflora incarnate


Hope this helps.

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