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How Do You Plant Cyclamen?


What is the best way to plant Cyclamen? Question from Melba of Texas
Answer: It depends on whether you are planting tender, greenhouse-grown Cyclamen in pots or hardy Cyclamen in the ground. I’ll cover the planting details for both and how to get them to bloom beautifully.
Potted Cyclamen
Cyclamen grow best in well-drained potting mix that is kept just moist, never wet. Water them just from […]

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How Do I Protect My Potted Hydrangea in Winter?


“What am I supposed to do with my potted hydrangea in the winter? It’s too big to move around. I did cover it with leaves and pine needles. It lost all its leaves. Is that normal?” Question from Kriss of Steilacoom, Washington.
Answer: Most hydrangeas are deciduous, which means they drop their leaves in winter. Potted specimens are most often big leaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), particularly […]

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How Do You Keep Spring Bulbs from Rotting?


“How do you keep spring bulbs from rotting?” Question from Pam of Fort Worth, Texas
Answer: There are several reasons your spring bulbs could be rotting. Here are a few possibilities and solutions.
Warm Zone Spring Bulbs
Your USDA Hardiness Zone 8 location is just on the edge of spring bulb-growing country. Most old-fashioned, cherished spring bulbs, like standard crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips, won’t survive in zones […]

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When Do I Start My Garden Seeds?


“How early can I start seeds in lower Michigan? Question from William of Southgate, Michigan
Answer: It depends on whether you are growing, annuals, perennials, summer vegetables or spring vegetables. Here’s what I suggest for your USDA Hardiness Zone 6 planting area. (These suggestions may also apply to other gardeners, based on their own specific seasonal planting windows.)
Spring Vegetables: I recommend starting cool-season broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, […]

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When is the Best Time to Plant Roses Up North?


“When is the best time to plant bare root roses and potted roses?” Question from Deb of Lynbrook, New York.
Answer: In northern climates like yours, the best time to plant roses, bare root or potted, is in the spring. This allows new roses time to become fully established over a season. By the following winter, they will have set good root systems to help them […]

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What is the Difference Between an Annual and Perennial?


“What is the difference between an annual and a perennial?” Question from Christina of Wheeling, Illinois

Answer: These terms refer to the life cycles of non-woody or herbaceous (leafy) plants. Here are detailed explanations of both.
Annuals
Annuals live once a year, meaning they sprout, grow, bloom, set seed and die within one growing season. It’s easy to remember because the word annual means occurring once every year.
Many […]

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How Do I Make My Rose Fuller?


“I had a question about roses. I have a rose bush that blooms by itself every year. I was wondering if there is a way to make it more full or expand it. Thanks!” Question from Lisa of New York, New York
Answer: The best way to encourage a bushier rose is by pruning. Cutting your rose back in later winter to spring will give your […]

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When Should I Cut Back My Ornamental Grasses?


“I have lots of ornamental grasses in my garden. When is the best time to cut them back?” Question from Mary of Raleigh, North Carolina
Answer: Tall ornamental grasses, like Chinese silver grass (Miscanthis sinensis) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) provide food and cover for many birds and other wildlife. Their dry blades and seedheads also tend to look pretty through the winter months. So, the best […]

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How Do I Root Begonia Cuttings?


“How do you “root” begonias?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: Good timing! I root begonia cuttings from my favorite begonia to give to friends, and they just rooted (see photo)! You will be glad to learn that they are one of the easiest plants to root. There are two ways to do it–the easy way and the surefire way. I choose the easy way, […]

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How Do I Overwinter My Fuchsia Baskets?


“How do I overwinter my fuchsia baskets?” Sherry from Camas, Washington
Answer: What a great question! Large, happy fuchsias are expensive, so it pays to overwinter them. You have two overwintering options:
Bring Your Fuchsia Indoors
Clean your fuchsia before bringing them indoors (click here to read how), and maintain them as house plants through winter. Place them in a spot with bright filtered sunlight. If your home […]

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