Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Should I Trim Back My Lenten Rose?

Q: Should I trim back the long leggy branches on my Lenten rose? They look healthy.  A: Even though they are green and healthy in early spring, those tall leaves will get big black spots by early summer, turn completely...

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If My Azaleas Were Cut Back Will It Effect Future Blooms?

Q: I have (had) beautiful azaleas around my house. However, I hired a new yard man who cut them way back! Will this affect blooms this year? A: I am sad to say the answer is very likely yes, you...

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I Love Mahonia!

Q: I think mahonia is a beautiful, colorful, and interesting plant!  A: The unique foliage and bright yellow flowers in early spring certainly make this a distinctive plant. Spikes of blue berries follow the flowers. Some gardeners don’t like mahonia...

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Red-Flowered Rose Has Peach-Colored Bloom

Q: Why did my rose bush produce 1 rose of a peach color while all the others are deep pinkish/reddish? A: I can’t see where the peach blossom originates in the rose, but it is likely a “sport“. These flower...

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Calla Lily – White Spots on Leaves

Q: Is there something wrong with this plant? It has white spots on the leaves. A: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Some varieties of calla lily are chosen for the attractive white spots on the leaves. The...

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Spiderwort Fading, Yellow Spots on Leaves

Q: What is killing my spiderwort? A: I know the yellow leaf spots are worrisome but frankly your plant looks relatively normal for early May. Spiderwort blooms freely in mid-spring but as the weather heats up, the foliage dies back....

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Can I change Color of Oakleaf or Panicle Hydrangea?

Q: Is there a way to change flower color on oakleaf and tree hydrangeas? A: No, the old-fashioned bigleaf hydrangea is the only one that responds to soil pH to change flower color. Oakleaf hydrangea flowers are white when they...

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Slime Mold on Pine Straw

Q: I have looked and looked trying to see if this fungus is harmful to my roses. A: I am not an expert, but I think this is a slime mold, which is different from a fungus. Either way, it...

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Planting Under Live oak

Q: I need help deciding what to plant around a pet’s grave. Her grave is near a huge live oak tree. A: Your challenge will be competition for light and water. My top picks for dry shade include hellebore, lungwort,...

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Rabbit Eating Hellebore (Lenten Rose)

Q: After ten years, some creature found our Lenten roses. Will they come back? Some have just stems left, some have leaves. A: The 45° angle of the stem cut makes me think the culprit has to be a rabbit....

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Planting Over a Septic System

Q: Any suggestions what we might plant over septic field to add some interest to the blank area? It gets filtered sun. A: Trees and shrubs are risky to plant over or near a drain field. Their roots penetrate more...

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Camellia Wilting After Transplanting

Q: I moved three camellias that were four feet tall because I read it was good to transfer them in winter. Now the leaves are wilting and the white flowers are turning brown. Should I be concerned? A: I was...

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Holes in Ground – Squirrels, Not Voles

Q: I have an evergreen clematis plant on a fence and saw three holes around the base. I think it is probably voles. What are your thoughts? A: I think these are more likely holes made by squirrels. Vole tunnels...

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The Right Fertilizer For Pansies?

Q: The University of Georgia recommends feeding pansies with a soluble 15-2-20 fertilizer in the winter but I can’t find this available for purchase. Is there something else to use? A: University fertilizer recommendations are based on detailed research, but...

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Will Peonies Survive Bloom In A Large Pot?

Q: I have a twenty-year-old bed of peonies. I’m going to be moving in February. Any suggestions? If I can’t plant immediately in my new location, will peonies survive and bloom in a large pot?  A: If your peonies will...

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Christmas Cactus Buds Are Falling Off Without Opening Up

Q: My Christmas cactus had many buds, but lots of them fell off without opening up. What am I doing wrong?  A: In my experience, there are three things that could cause Christmas cactus bud drop. If the plant is...

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Difference Between Roses And Witch’s Broom – Rose Rosette Disease

Q: I was at a nursery and mentioned to a staffer that one of my roses looked like it had rose rosette disease. He asked if I was sure it wasn’t witch’s broom. It’s important to know because treatment for...

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How To Protect New Gardenias And Tea Olives During Winter?

Q: I have an area in the yard that I call my “healing area” where I keep plants I’ve purchased before I decide where I’ll plant them. I now have some little gardenias and tea olives that are not ready...

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