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What Are Some Good Hardy Succulents for Colorado?


“What succulents will grow outdoors in Colorado ZIP 80021, Growing Zone 6?” Question from Joe of Westminster, Colorado.
Answer: I love hardy succulents and have written about them extensively because they are beautiful and easy to grow in many areas of the country, with good bed prep. I see that Westminster has an average rainfall of 17-inches per year, a good bit lower than the […]

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What Can I Plant in Midsummer For Fall in New Jersey?


“What can I plant now – mid-July – to avoid having empty sections in my garden?” Question from Glenda of Sewell, New Jersey.
Answer: Choose cool-season vegetables and flowers that look good until frost. These perform the best as fall temperatures drop. Most even withstand frost. You probably won’t start to see frosts until mid to late October, depending on the year, so these should […]

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How Do I Keep My Coleus Looking Its Best?


“I always grow coleus in containers in the summer.  They are beautiful and usually do wonderfully well. This year I have wide-leaf coleus in my large, rectangular containers.  I have two questions.  1) How often do you recommend fertilizing them?  2) They are producing large purple flowers.  Should I clip the flowers to make the plant grow better, or is it okay to leave […]

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What Plants Deter Insects from the Vegetable Garden?


“What are the best plants and/or flowers to deter insects from a vegetable garden?” Question from Vesta of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Answer: Research has shown that some companion plantings will reduce the number of insect pests that attack specific vegetable crops. These companions fall under two categories: trap crops and insect-repelling companion plants. Trap crops are plantings that attract insect pests, luring them away from […]

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How Do I Get Lavender to Grow Up North?


“How can I get my lavender plant to grow? I bought it last year and it’s still the same size and hasn’t flowered. I put it this spring and it’s thriving, just not growing. Does it need to be planted in the ground to be happy?” Question from Cassi of Plymouth, Minnesota
Answer: Lavender is truly an outdoor plant, though plants can be container-grown and […]

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Can I Plant Annuals and Vegetables Together?


Can you plant annual flowers and vegetables in the same raised bed? Question from Diane or Newark, Ohio
Answer: Sure! In many cases, annuals can be beneficial to vegetables by warding off pests (click here to read about the protective power of marigolds) and/or attract pollinators. Compact flowers that will not compete for too much sunlight or water are best.  Here are some of my […]

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How Often Should I Replace My Window Box Soil?


“The rainfall this year has been incredible and my window boxes are showing it. I usually take off the top of the soil each year and replace it with new soil but this year there is a lot of moss. I would like to know if I should just remove all of the soil and treat the containers or if I can just scrape […]

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What Are the Best Hanging Basket Flowers For the High Desert?

 
Flowering purslanes are drought-tolerant, tough, succulent, and have ever-blooming flowers in a wide variety of brilliant colors.
“What are the best flowers to plant in hanging baskets for high desert? We have lots of wind also?” Question from Jill of Greybull, Wyoming
Answer: There are several options for you. All of the plants I will mention are tender in your area. Some can be brought indoors to […]

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I Live in California and Some of My Bulbs Didn’t Bloom This Year. Why?

Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
“Some of my bulbs didn’t flower this year. Is it something I did or didn’t do? The bulbs were paperwhites and another I cannot remember the name of. ” Question from Jamie of Paso Robles, California.
Answer: Paperwhites are native to Mediterranean regions and quite tender. They grow and flower best in areas with winters that don’t dip below 20°F, and summers are quite […]

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What is Chewing on My Brugmansia Leaves?


“I have a Brugmansia, and something is eating at the leaves. I have tried soapy water with oil, and I have tried broad-spectrum herbicides. Please Help!” Question from Lizzy of Ocala, Florida
Answer: Your pictures came through! The damage is caused by chewing pests and there are several that will attack Brugmansia. Cabbage moth caterpillars (cabbage loopers), snails, and slugs will all chew on Brugmansia. […]

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