“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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. […]
“I am having the hardest time killing trumpet vines & they have taken over my yard. I use roundup every year, but it’s not killing the root system.” Question from Rosie of Wichita, Kansas
Answer: Red trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a beautiful native vine with giant, trumpet-shaped, orange-red flowers loved by hummingbirds, but as you have discovered, it is best left for roadside fencelines […]
“I have a beautiful pink rose bush, but the flowers are starting to look like they are dying as soon as they open. What can I do?” Question from April of Dresden, Tennessee
Answer: I bet you have had a cool, wet spring because this is when rosebud problems appear. Climatic changes can roses to turn brown on the stem, but fungal disease is the […]
“I’ve tried and tried to find the ID of these beautiful flowers. Any help would be appreciated.” Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: This beautiful, unique bulb is Mediterranean Bells Allium (Nectaroscordum siculum (aka. Allium siculum)). It is native to Southwest Europe and Turkey where it grows in sun-dotted woods, though it also grows beautifully in full sun. It makes an excellent cut […]
“Are there any companion plants to help strawberries grow and produce better? Or to keep bugs away from them?” Question from Amber of West Plains, Missouri
Answer: The true effectiveness of companion plants to ward off pests is argued. That’s because insect pests can detect their host plants from great distances, and/or they overwinter near host plants from year to year. So, if your strawberries […]
“We moved to Jasper, TX from Jefferson City, MO and I am having trouble getting my favorite bulbs, daffodils, to grow. What suggestions might you have?” Question from Betsy of Jasper, Texas
Answer: You moved from a USDA Hardiness Zone 6 location to a USDA Hardiness Zone 8 location. Many daffodils will not grow well in Zone 8 because they need chillier winters to complete […]
“What is the best soil mix to plant my desert rose (Adenium obesum) in?” Question from Sara of National Park, New Jersey
Answer: Plant these beautiful succulents in very sharply drained soil that also retains water and has a slightly acid pH of 6.0. Of course, we recommend Black Gold Cactus Mix for planting, but you might also want to add a bit more perlite […]
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