Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Staghorn Fern – Do Deer Eat This Fern?

Q: We have a very large staghorn fern in Jacksonville that we’ll be taking to an area where there are deer. Do deer eat this fern?  A: I can’t be 100% positive about staghorn ferns but most ferns are deer...

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Magnolia – How To Encourage New Growth From Trunk?

Q: My twenty-year old magnolia suddenly died over the winter; it was totally brown. Just recently it has sprouted new growth from the trunk. What should I do to encourage it?  A: Nature sometimes finds a way back from the...

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Transplanting Mature Azaleas

Q: I have no choice but to transplant some mature azaleas this month. I would really like to cut them back. Can you advise?  A: I remember moving six hydrangeas and ten azaleas on July 4 many years ago. It...

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Hydrangeas – Pinker Than Usual This Year

Q: My hydrangeas are more pink than usual this year. Do you know why? A: A: I could suggest theories but I’m not sure they hold water. Hydrangea flower color is determined by the amount of aluminum present in the...

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Gardenias – Limbs Are Touching The Ground

Q: We have beautiful gardenias flanking our patio. The weight of flowers and leaves has bent the limbs over to touch the ground. What would you suggest? A: After flowering, prune them back by at least a third. Make your...

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Mass Planting Ferns – Which Type To Get

Q: I am looking to do a mass planting of ferns. The least expensive way to go is to buy bare root ferns online. I’m looking at beech fern, autumn fern, cinnamon fern, and bracken fern. A: The ferns you...

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Petunias – White Spots On The Petals

Q: I’m seeing petunias with white spots on the flower petals. There are no spots on the foliage. A: It’s probably gray mold, Botrytis cinerea, a common disease of flower petals. If a petunia flower is kept constantly moist, the...

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Ferns – Deer-Resistant

Q: We have a very large staghorn fern in Jacksonville that we’ll be taking to an area where there are deer. Do deer eat this fern? A: I can’t be 100% positive about staghorn ferns but most ferns are deer...

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Puffball – Wolf Fart

Q: I’m not sure what these white “eggs” are in my yard. They are out in the open, not clutched together. I don’t know if they are an animal egg or some type of fungus. Can you help me identify...

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Peonies – Why Are They Not Doing Well This Year?

Q: Some of us have been comparing notes online and it seems that our peonies are not doing well this year. The plants are not very vigorous and have not produced many blooms. Some think it is because of the...

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Night Blooming Cereus – What To Do With Rootlets

Q: Last year I was given a night blooming cereus. I have to bring it inside for the winter. This year it is sending out long, hairy shoots that I believe are rootlets looking for places to anchor. Since I...

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Knockout Roses – What Is A Safe Distance To Plant Them From A Water Line?

Q: I want to plant Knock Out roses near a water line but I’m worried the roots may break into the pipe. What is a safe distance to plant them from something like this? A: Plant roots do not invade...

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Limelight Hydrangeas – How Much Fertilizer To Use

Q: I am wondering how much fertilizer to use on my Limelight hydrangeas. A: Don’t apply much fertilizer to a ‘Limelight’ hydrangea. My preference would be to apply a slow-release organic fertilizer, like Holly-Tone or Milorganite, instead of 10-10-10. The...

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What To Do With Daffodil Bulbs

Q: A bulb company sent me a catalog with some good prices on daffodils. What should I do with these bulbs after I receive them in May? A: Great question! As you know, fall is the best time to plant...

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Control Whiteflies On Gardenia

Q: What is the downside of using diatomaceous earth in your garden, specifically to control whiteflies on gardenia? A: I don’t know of a downside, except for the fact that it probably won’t control whiteflies on your gardenia. Whiteflies live...

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Knock Out Roses – Alternatives

Q: My Knock Out roses have gotten rose rosette disease and I’ve had to remove them. What are some alternatives that I might replace them with? A: Despite their boring ubiquity, there are lots of reasons to admire Knock Out...

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Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside? A: In my experience florist azaleas are...

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Camellia – Buds Opening And Falling Off

Q: My camellia was absolutely covered in buds but now that they’re starting to open they are falling off. By the time they finish I will be able to shovel all of them off the ground without any of them...

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