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Why Won’t My Dahlias Bloom?

Why Won’t My Dahlias Bloom?
“I have tried everything to grow Dahlias. They come up sometimes to about 1ft and never bloom.” Question from April of Dresden, Tennessee
Answer: I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your dahlias flowering. There are several factors that impact dahlia blooming, including light levels, fertilizer, and dahlia type. First, provide them with full sun–eight or more hours […]

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Does Mulch Along a Home’s Foundation Attract Termites?

Does Mulch Along a Home’s Foundation Attract Termites?
“I’ve heard that its not a good idea to place mulch too close to a house’s foundation. I was also told to mulch or plant shrubs around my house’s foundation to prevent my kids from getting lead poisoning from the old chipped off paint in the soil. What should I put near my foundation, bricks? Also, how far […]

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How Do I Divide German Bearded Iris?

How Do I Divide German Bearded Iris?
“When dividing iris bulbs, how many should remain in the original site, which is around 2 x 2 feet? The iris’ are of the tall, bearded variety. They are a solid royal blue. I am uncertain of the exact variety, but they have to be an heirloom species as they were transplanted in 1950 from a family member’s garden […]

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What is the Best Time to Divide Perennial Hibiscus?

What is the Best Time to Divide Perennial Hibiscus?
“When is the best time to divide Hibiscus?” Question from Melanie of Holton, Michigan
Answer: Mid-spring is the best time to divide perennial Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos and hybrids, USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9), especially when you live further north. Remember that this hibiscus requires warmth to sprout from the ground, so […]

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How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?

How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?
“I have roses in containers. What is the best way to overwinter them in zone 6b? I have a Winchester Cathedral, a Young Lycidas, and a Jubilee Celebration. There is another one that looks similar to the Young Lycidas, but the flowers and scent are a bit different. It is also a David Austin rose, but it was unmarked […]

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What Rosemary Varieties Survive in Southern California?

What Rosemary Varieties Survive in Southern California?
“Will rosemary plants survive a mild winter in Zone 9?” Question from Linda of Fresno, California
Answer: Yes! Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a drought- and heat-tolerant Mediterranean shrub made for California growing. Here are my top four favorite rosemaries that will grow beautifully where you live. Each is unique in its own way.
Top Four Favorite Rosemary Varieties

‘Blue Boy’ dwarf rosemary […]

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What Spring Bulbs are Good for Bees and Hummingbirds?

Bees live the little blue flowers of Siberian squill.
“Which bulbs are good to plant for bees and hummingbirds?” Question from Shonda of Ore City, Texas
Answer: I will list bulbs that grow well in your USDA Hardiness Zone 8 garden. Here are some of the best bee- and hummingbird-pollinated spring bulbs for your area.
Spring Bulbs for Bees
Daffodils of all kinds are pollinated by bees, and you […]

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Should I Cut My Chives Back in Fall?

Should I Cut My Chives Back in Fall?
“[I] have a question regarding my chives. They have flowered. Should I cut them back now this time of year or leave them be?” Question from Jeanne of Coldwater, Michigan
Answer: The foliage of edible chives (Allium schoenoprasum) will remain attractive and clippable until the first frost causes the strappy leaves to flop. You can cut them back at […]

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Why Does My Pilea Have Black Spots on Its Lower leaves?


“Why is my Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) getting black spots? It’s almost always the lower leaves.” Question from Katherine of Las Vegas, Nevada
Answer: There are several reasons why the semi-succulent Chinese money plant gets black spots. First, consider what it needs to grow. The South China native naturally grows in shaded forests in well-drained soils among damp rocks at higher altitudes. It likes […]

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How Do I Repot and Care for My Plumeria?


My Plumeria needs repotting. What is the best soil and pot type?  What amount of sunlight is best – morning, noon? Watering schedule? Question from Jean of Diamond Bar, California
Answer: Frangipani or Plumeria (Plumeria species) shrubs are tropicals that are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. There are many species that have been bred to create a fine array of colorful varieties–nearly […]

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