Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Hibiscus – Leaves Vainy, Then Gone

Q: Something is eating my hibiscus, the leaves are spider web looking and then they are gone, nothing left but the veins. A: It’s likely the leaves are being consumed by hibiscus sawfly larvae. The adult insect looks like a...

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Hellebore – Encouraging Growth

Q: I have been growing a hellebore for ten years but have not been able to get it to spread. It is mulched with pine straw. How can I get it to multiply? A: Your hellebore’s flowers are fading and...

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Indian Hawthorn – Leaves Brown and Crisp

Q: I am seeing large groupings of dead Indian hawthorns near where I work. The leaves are light brown and crisp to the touch. A: Indian hawthorn is another plant that has confounded me with its behavior after January’s severe...

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Limelight Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: Is it too late to prune back my Limelights? A: It’s not too late but you’d better get started soon. ‘Limelight’ hydrangea is a variety that blooms in late summer from buds that form in late spring. Pruning each...

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Ferns – Sunshine Or Shade Varieties

Q: What are the names of the two ferns you recommended on radio that will “grow anywhere, sun or shade”? A: I love autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora, and Southern shield fern, Thelypteris kunthii. Autumn fern is evergreen. It sends up...

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Marigolds – Nematode Prevention

Q: French marigolds have been shown to control root knot nematodes in small areas. Marigold root extract is available from China. Have any studies been done using it for nematode control ? A: In my view, the research is inconclusive....

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Confederate Jasmine – Surviving Winter?

Q: Each year my Confederate jasmine dies back a bit and I prune it and it comes back just fine. It didn’t survive this winter. Is there a tougher vine that we could put where this one is? A: Despite...

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Gladiolas – Fewer and Fewer

Q: Do you know reasons why my gladiolas would come up fewer and fewer each year? I was expecting them to multiply! A: In my observation, it’s usually it’s because there’s too much competition from new bulblets (technically they are...

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Daffodils – Buds Won’t Open

Q: For the last couple of years, my daffodils have gotten to the stage of showing flower buds but the buds won’t open. What went wrong? A: It sounds like a condition called bud blast. It’s commonly ascribed to severe...

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Daylilies – Help Them Spread

Q: I planted daylilies on a small slope where they get direct sunlight for most of the day, but they haven’t spread in several years. It’s probably due to all the red clay. What should I add to the clay...

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Ferns – Should They Be Outside

Q: When can I put my ferns out on my covered porch? A: Assuming you have Boston ferns, they can go outdoors when night temperatures are reliably above 45...

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Hyacinths – Best Time To Fertilize

Q: I have hyacinths blooming but they are always a little scraggly looking. Is it too late to apply fertilizer or do you think that is the problem? A: You can add a little fertilizer now but it most of...

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Lenten Roses – Self Pollinators

Q: My Lenten roses are blooming, and I am curious to know if they self-pollinate or is there an insect that does so. A: They self-pollinate like crazy! Hellebore flowers have the male and female parts close together so self-pollination...

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Spirea – Pruning Tips

Q: My husband wants to prune our spirea. But he doesn’t believe me when I insist it blooms twice! Our landscaper used to severely prune it this time of year. A: Scheduling spirea pruning depends on which kind you have....

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Canna – Not A Winter Plant

Q: I have a question about when to transplant canna. I would like to move mine but I’m not sure when to do it. A: Canna is not always winter hardy outdoors in the Atlanta area. This winter will test...

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Hydrangea – Droopy Leaves

Q: My wife had surgery and her boss gave her a hydrangea in a pot. It had beautiful blooms but now they are drying and falling off. The leaves look a little droopy as well. A: My observation with florist...

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Peace Lily – Keeping It Healthy

Q: I was given a potted peace lily eight years ago. It’s had a few deformed blossoms but has not bloomed since. It appears healthy, but never increases in size. A: Daryl Pulis (MrsGreenThumb.com ) says to knock the plant...

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Angel Trumpet – Growth Through Winter

Q: I have two large angel trumpet plants that I usually move into the garage during winter. They are getting too big and heavy to move. What are my chances of keeping the plants alive if I plant them outside?...

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