Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Impatiens – Grey Powder On Leaf Backs

Q: I planted forty impatiens plants in a bed this past spring. The flowers did very well for most of the summer. In early fall, the plants started to drop leaves and flowers, exposing the stalks. There is a gray...

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When do you prune Encore azaleas? 

Q: When do you prune Encore azaleas?  A: This is an understandable question because reblooming azaleas (Encore, Bloom-A-Thon, etc) can have flowers on them for most of the growing season. The answer is to prune, if needed, after the first...

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Camellias – Severe Pruning

Q: My camellias have reached ten feet tall and are getting bare on the lower branches. Would five feet be too low to prune them? Will they re-sprout on the lower bare limbs?  A: If they are healthy, there should...

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Daylilies – Hit With A String Trimmer

Q: Our established daylilies were hit with a string trimmer. They are now little 2″-3″ stumps. What can we do to help keep them alive?  A: If the daylilies were healthy before they were damaged, I would expect them to...

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Orchid – Scale on Stem

Q: What are these on my orchid? A: They are brown soft scale insects on your plant’s flower stem. Scale insects are typically controlled by three means: killing them with isopropyl alcohol, suffocating the adults with horticultural oil sprays and...

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Crinum Plants- When/How Do I Dig Them To Donate To A Habitat House

Q: I have fifteen crinum plants with beautiful foliage but few blooms because they get little sunshine. I really don’t have much sun at all. When and how do I dig them to donate to a Habitat house?  A: I...

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When Can I Propagate My Confederate Rose?

Q: I have a Confederate rose which came from my great-grandmother. I’m selling my house before late fall, which is when I should propagate it. Is there any way at this time of year to save some of it for...

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Hydrangea Flower – Half-pink, Half-blue

Q: Do you have an explanation of why our hydrangeas are split down the middle in color! We know that pH can change the color of the flower, but we’ve never had them split so nicely down the middle! There...

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Spider Lily Bulbs – When To Plant

Q: I just received some spider lily bulbs. Should I plant now or refrigerate until spring? A: Spider lily, Lycoris radiata, blooms in fall. It’s likely the bulbs you have were harvested after their leaves faded last spring. If that’s...

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Rhododendron – How/When Do I Prune?

Q: How and when I can prune back a large rhododendron? A: In late summer, it’s best to split the job into two parts. Remove about 25% of the plant this winter but leave some of the shorter limbs that...

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Fescue Lawn – Getting Rid Of Violets

Q: Violets appeared in my back yard two years ago and have taken over. How can I get rid of the violets and reseed my fescue lawn? A: I’ve had great success controlling violets in a fescue lawn by using...

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Sweetgum – Variegated Leaves

Q: On a bank behind the building where I work grows a sweet gum that has variegated leaves along with regular colored leaves. How does this happen in the wild? Could this be propagated somehow. A: Neat! There’s already a...

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Hibiscus – Something Is Eating The Leaves

Q: My hibiscus is growing beautifully but something is eating the leaves. I can’t see any bugs. A: My guess is that your hibiscus has been chewed on by hibiscus sawfly larvae. These caterpillar-like creatures feed on the bottom side...

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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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