Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Satsuma Sprout, Pollinator Gardening, and Overheated Vegetables

Satsuma sprout.

A sprout of hope for this satsuma. Photo: DeWayne Thibodeaux, DeRidder, LA

Satsuma Sprout

DeWayne of DeRidder wanted to recuperate a damaged satsuma tree, “Prior to the freeze of Dec. 2022, this Satsuma tree was flourishing. It even mended itself after Hurricane Laura, so she is a survivor. We did not properly prepare it for the extensive freezing weather (lesson learned), and we tried minimally pruning early 2023 spring, but the tree has continued to die back. There is new growth sprouting near the ground, should we cut back to the trunk? Any advice is greatly appreciated. ”After examining your image, AHAthinks your satsuma is sprouting above the graft, so it is trying to make a comeback. If your tree sprouted below the graft then you would get a mock orange with thorns and seedy, bitter fruit. Mock oranges are used as a rootstock for grafting citrus. In general, grafted fruit trees bear fruit in about five to ten years sooner than trees grown from seeds. Yes, you can cut the trunk down to the living part of the tree to rehabilitate your satsuma.

Pollinator garden.

A new garden for pollinators. Photo: Dr. Christof Stumpf, LSU/A Professor.

Pollinator Gardening

The Cenla Master Gardeners (MGs) partnered with LSU/A to create a pollinator campus. The MGs advised the faculty and staff of LSU/A about the most suitable native plants for improving habitat for native pollinators.If a gardener wants to have a pollinator garden, here is the plant list for reference. This environmentally friendly garden includes:

Common NameScientific Name
Indian blanketGaillardia pulchella
Rattlesnake masterErygium yuccifolium
Texas coneflowerRudbeckia texana
Golden tickseedCoreopsis tinctoria
Crimsoneyed rosemallowHibiscus moscheutos
Scarlet rosemallowHibiscus coccineus
Seashore mallowKosteletskya virginica
Yellow false indigoBaptisia sphaerocarpa
WinecupCallirhoe papaver
Swamp milkweedAsclepias incarnata
Butterfly milkweedAsclepias turberosa
Missouri ironweedVernonia missourica
Muhly grassMuhlenbergia capillaris
Purple coneflowerEchinacea purpurea
Blue salviaSalvia azurea
Blazing starLiatris pycnostachya
Slender blazing starLiatris acidota
BeebalmMonarda fistulosa
White mountain mintPycnanthemum albescens
Indian pinkSpigelia marilandica
Black-eyed SusanRudbeckia hirta

Eggplant in the garden.

Eggplants do not like hot weather. Photo: Dan Gill, retired AgCenter horticulturist.

Overheated Vegetables

Gerald, a Master Gardener of Alexandria, sent this message about his garden, “the peppers and eggplant in the garden bloom and produce fruit but they did not get large, meaning the normal size. Is there a reason you can think of or something to look for?” He also added, “The drought has been rough although there is a sprinkler system. I have gone after the garden was watered by the sprinklers, but most evaporates before sunset. The plants flower and produce fruit, but these do not get bigger in the usual amount of time for that type of plant.”Dan Gill, a retired AgCenter horticulturist, shared his thoughts in a column, “Lack of production on large-fruited eggplant varieties is common when temperatures are hot. Keep the plants in decent shape and they should produce prolifically as the weather cools in fall.

The long, narrow Japanese types of eggplant (Ichiban, Tycoon and others) produce more reliably in mid- to late-summer heat.

Red and yellow bell peppers are just ripe green bell peppers. They start out green (and this is the stage when most bell peppers are harvested), but if you leave them on the plant long enough, they will ripen and change color (red, orange, or yellow depending on the variety).

Bell peppers also do not like the heat and tend to drop their flower buds to late-March or early April so they will have a chance to produce a nice crop before the heat.

Like the eggplants, the pepper plants should be kept healthy, and they will produce prolifically when the weather cools down.”

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

8/3/2023 6:56:20 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture