Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Landscaper Chopped Off A Third Of My Encore Azaleas

Q: The community landscape crew used a hedge trimmer to chop off about a third of my healthy, newly-planted Encore azaleas. I presume the spring blooming will not happen but I’m wondering if they will survive this butchering?  A: If...

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Which Plants In My Landscape Are Poisonous?

Q: I have young children and would like to know which plants in my landscape are poisonous. A: Many landscape plants and houseplants are “poisonous” to one degree or another. It is always important to remember that “The dose makes...

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Getting Rid Of Black & Blue Salvia

Q: Several years ago, I planted ‘Black & Blue’ salvia. It has now spread across the entire back of my house and I want to get rid of it. Other than pull it up, a tough job due to the...

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Should I Leave My Tropical Hibiscus Outside?

Q: Is there a alternative to leaving plants like tropical hibiscus outside instead of bringing inside? I recently moved and do not have the room I once had in the garage.  A: Trying to get a tropical hibiscus to survive...

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Do Coleus Belong In The Shade Or Sun?

Q: I planted coleus in my garage flower bed last year and they all died. I read somewhere that direct sun would be an enemy to coleus. But my neighbors grow them in sunshine despite this.  A: Once upon a...

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When Can I Plant The Bulbs Of My Yellow Tulips?

Q: Someone gave me blooming yellow tulips in a pot for Christmas. They have stopped blooming and shed the petals. When can I plant the bulbs?  A: I don’t have much hope your gift tulips will ever bloom again. The...

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My Paperbush Flowers Were Very Small This Year

Q: My paperbush (Edgeworthia) flowers were very small this year. I think the cause was the long, hot, dry summer at a time when they usually set their flowers for winter.  A: I think the problem was caused by cold,...

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Deer Have Chewed Up My Azaleas

Q: Deer have left my azaleas alone for thirty years but this year a young buck has completely defoliated my plants. What should I do with them now?  A: Deer have incisor teeth in their lower jaw but not in...

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Can I Bring My Elephant Ears Inside?

Q: I have elephant ears that flower every year for me. I love their sweet smell. Can I bring them inside? I was told by a friend that they smell horrible once cut.  A: You possibly have fragrant elephant ear,...

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Methods To Kill Bamboo

Q: I heard you say on the radio that no herbicides will kill bamboo. I have had reasonable success killing bamboo by cutting every cane a little above ground level, just below a joint. I then fill the cell, which...

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Wild Ginger, Little Brown Jug, “Piggies”

Q: As a kid, we would hunt what we called “piggies” in the woods. As I remember, the leaves were sort of heart shaped and when we found them we would bend away the leaves so the little piggies could...

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When To Prune Confederate Rose Plants

Q: I have five Confederate rose plants and the stems are not yet dead. Should I prune it down anyway? A: I did an experiment a couple of years ago. I left my stalks in place all winter. To my...

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Can I Transplant My Hydrangeas To Zone 9?

Q: Can I transplant my hydrangeas to Zone 9, Florida? They are about three feet tall and wide.  A: Hydrangeas will grow in zone 9 if you give them light shade all day long and if they are watered properly...

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Hibiscus And Mandevilla – Greenhouse Tents

Q: I purchased a small tent-type greenhouse to overwinter my hibiscus and mandevilla in. Is it better to place the plants into pots or buckets and put them in the greenhouse tent or to actually relocate them to a single...

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DIY special rose soil recipe

Rose growers can be divided into three classes: lackadaisical, committed and fanatic. Those in the first class dig a small planting hole, shove the rose in place and hope it survives. Committed rose growers follow the tips listed here. Fanatic...

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Coneflower rosette mite identification

Q: Why are there not any petals on my coneflowers? The plant right next to it is beautiful, full of cones with petals. A: You have coneflower rosette mite. Here are the typical symptoms: > cone has tufts, flower petals,...

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Should I Cut My Lenten Roses Back

Q: We have lots of very healthy Lenten roses and autumn ferns. My husband wants to cut off all the leaves and fronds from the plants. I think they look great just the way they are. Is there any reason...

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Why Are My Peace Lilies Dying?

Q: Many leaves on my 20-year-old peace lily are turning brown. I repotted it ten years ago. It stays in the window of a cool room and I water it once every other week. How do I make it healthier? ...

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