Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Impatiens – Is It Safe To Plant?

Q: For many years, I planted impatiens in my shaded areas. I read that they have developed some kind of disease and weren’t available at nurseries anymore. I saw a packet of impatiens seeds so I bought them and the...

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Autumn Ferns – Best Time To Transplant?

Q: Autumn ferns are blocking my sprinkler heads. When is the best time to transplant them?  A: Autumn ferns can be transplanted any time of the year except during the hottest months of summer. Mid-spring is the best time to...

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Christmas Cactus – When To Repot?

Q: How do I know when it is time to repot a Christmas cactus to a larger pot?  A: I have a Christmas cactus in a twelve- inch wide clay pot where it has lived for ten years. Every spring...

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Invading Honeysuckle

Q: I hate honeysuckle. It invades everything from anise to camellias.  A: I share your dislike. Despite the sweet scent of its spring flowers, this vine grows vigorously in places where it’s not wanted. I think your best bet would...

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Peonies Won`t Bloom

Q: My peonies won’t bloom. They are in mostly sun with a little shade right now. I’m wondering if they need to moved.  A: Three things strike me as essential for success with peonies in Georgia: loose, well-draining soil, protection...

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Protecting Hostas From Animals

Q: Last year rabbits chopped the stems off my hostas at ground level. Is there anything to discourage them from feasting again this year?  A: Like deer, rabbits will eat just about anything that’s young and tender in spring. A...

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Brown Potted Mums – Can They Still Be Planted?

Q: We bought several potted mums this past fall. Our intentions were to plant them in the ground but we didn’t get around to it and they are brown. Can we still plant them?  A: I have been surprised more...

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Indian Hawthornes – Can I Prune Now?

Q: I have some Indian hawthornes that I want to want to prune to keep off the house and sidewalk. Can I prune now? A: You can do severe pruning anytime between January and early March. But keep in mind...

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Pansy Boxes – How To Help Them Recover From The Cold?

Q: My pansy boxes were covered in snow and the plants still look a bit limp. Can I give them some sort of first aid to help them recover and deal with cold again?  A: The best thing you can...

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Snapdragons Damaged In The Cold

Q: My snapdragons look really damaged from cold. Do you think they will come back? Is there anything I can do to help them survive?  A: I have seen snapdragons suffer a beating from winter cold and still look very...

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Is Moving Our Croton And Mandevilla Indoors And Out Detrimental?

Q: My wife and I are having a debate. I take our croton and mandevilla outdoors when the temperature rises above 40 degrees. She wonders if moving them in and out is detrimental?  A: I think your wife is right....

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When Should I Dig Up And Divide Outdoor Amaryllis?

Q: When should I dig up and divide outdoor amaryllis? Most literature says after foliage turns brown. But mine usually does not die down all winter.  A: Do it now, before cold temperatures freeze the bulbs. My garden amaryllis had...

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Blackberry Lily Seeds And Pods – When/How To Plant Them

Q: Someone gave us a basket full of blackberry lily seeds and pods. When and how is the best time to plant them?  A: I planted a couple dozen seed last spring and about half of them came up, which...

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Gardenias Are In Decline – Should I Prune And Fertilize Now?

Q: My gardenias once had large flowers. They have declined and now have small leaves, small flowers and lichens on the stems. Should I prune and fertilize them now to help them regain their beauty?  A: My feeling is you...

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Angel Trumpet – How Will The Cold Affect It?

Q: I have a special angel trumpet I planted this year and I don’t want to lose it. How will the cold affect it?  A: Angel trumpet can sometimes be killed by Atlanta winters. Wait until Thanksgiving to cut the...

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Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Too Late To Plant It Outside?

Q: I purchased an oak leaf hydrangea back in the spring. It’s still in a two-gallon pot, doing very well. Is it too late in the season to plant it outside?  A: There’s no reason not to plant this hydrangea,...

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Cow Udder Plant – Identification

Q: I photographed this odd plant at the NC Charlotte Botanical Gardens recently. Notice the thorns on leaves as well as the odd fruit. A: According to Tammy Blume, Greenhouse Manager at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, you saw a...

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Weak Gardenias – When Should I Prune And Fertilize?

Q: I have some gardenias that once had large flowers. They have declined in the past couple of years. Now they have small leaves, small flowers and lichens on the stems. Should I prune and fertilize them now to help...

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