Outdoor Flowers and Foliage

Toxins From Sunflowers?

Q: I was told that sunflowers produce toxins in the soil they grow in. Will these gentle giants destroy my surrounding plants? Do the toxins build up over time?  A: When one plant reduces other plant’s growth, it’s called allelopathy....

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Will Ginseng Grow In Georgia?

Q: Will ginseng will grow in Georgia very well?  A: Ginseng grows very well in north Georgia. That’s where shady, moist, rich, well-drained sites under hardwood trees can be found. Wild-simulated ginseng production is the most profitable and ecologically sustainable...

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Keeping Hydrangeas Pink When They Bloom

Q: We have pink hydrangeas that haven’t bloomed yet. When they do bloom we want them to stay pink. I have been advised to keep the soil alkaline. A: If you want to do it right, start by having a...

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Growing Ginseng in Georgia

Q: Will ginseng will grow in Georgia very well? A: Ginseng grows very well in north Georgia. That’s where shady, moist, rich, well-drained sites under hardwood trees can be found. Wild-simulated ginseng production is the most profitable and ecologically sustainable...

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Soil Test First to Keep Hydrangeas Pink

Q: We bought pink hydrangeas and we want them to stay pink. I have been advised to keep the soil alkaline. Is fast acting lime okay? A: I have a group of hydrangeas in the front of my house. I...

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Yellow Flag Iris – Identified

Q: I found this plant growing on the shoreline of the lake in my neighborhood . Can you identify the plant? Can the plant be propagated via the seed pods. A: This is yellow flag iris, Iris pseudacoris. You can...

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Morning Glory Rust – yellow powder on back of leaves – Identified

Q: This yellow stuff is on the backside of my morningglory leaves. When you rub it it seems to be like a yellow pollen. A: It is morningglory rust. Rust disease attacks many ornamental plants. One way to manage it...

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Tiger Lily Bulbils – Identified

Q: What is this flower and what are the black, bead-type things on the stalk? A: It is a tiger lily. The black things are called bulbils and can be planted exactly as you would seed. Lilies, of course, have...

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How To Cut Back My Huge Buckeye

Q: My buckeye lost its shade when two old pines were removed. Now it has absolutely taken over a side of my yard, covering everything in sight: azaleas, nandina, weeds, etc. The buckeye has white flower spikes in June. Should...

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How/Why Kudzu And Chinese Privet Were Brought Here

Q: Could you tell me how and why kudzu and Chinese privet were brought here?  A: Kudzu came from Japan to the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Importers thought it could be a nice flowering vine...

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Snowball Viburnum – Do I Need Another Vibrurnum To “Berry Up”

Q: I have a wonderful snowball viburnum but never notice it producing berries. Do I need another viburnum species nearby for it to “berry up” for the birds?  A: There are two flower forms of snowball viburnum. Viburnum macrocephalum, with...

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Sunflowers don’t inhibit other plants

Q: I was told that sunflowers produce toxins in the soil they grow in. Will these gentle giants destroy my surroundings plants? I have had sunflowers in my garden many times and have not noticed a problem with growth of...

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Glyphosate (Roundup) damage to angel trumpet

When John S. asked about the tiny leaves on his angel trumpet, I told him it sure looked like the damage that glyphosate causes on azalea, rose and crapemyrtle. A few days later he replied that he had sprayed Roundup...

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When Is The Best Time To Trim A Snowball Bush?

Q: When is the best time of year to trim a snowball bush? My bush is ten feet tall and I want it shorter.  A: The best time to prune snowball bush, Viburnum macrocephalum, is after it finishes blooming and...

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Is There A Way To Change Flower Color On Oakleaf And Tree Hydrangeas?

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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Can I Leave Caladiums Among Tulips And Daffodils?

Q: I have an area where I want to put caladiums amongst tulips and daffodils. Can I leave them in the ground all year and expect a nice show?  A: Caladiums rarely survive winter cold in the ground outdoors. I...

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My Witchhazel Never Flowers

Q: I have a spring-blooming witchhazel. It looks healthy but never flowers. I pruned it late fall to see if that might stimulate something.  A: If you pruned it in the fall, that’s the whole problem. Some witchhazels bloom in...

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Rose Sawfly – Most Leaves Damaged and Brown

Q: Any idea what might be wrong with this rose bush? The leaves are very brown and look dead. A: You have rose sawfly damage. Your damage is pretty severe but I can’t think of anything else that would give...

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