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Why Do My Sweet Alyssum Keep Dying?

Why Do My Sweet Alyssum Keep Dying?
“Every year I try planting alyssum and within 48 hours of planting its dead? I’ve tried many different things but can’t seem to get it to work at this house.  I’ve grown it in other beds and borders just not working here … any thoughts?” Question from Kyla of Oakbank, Manitoba, Canada
Answer: Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is a common […]

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What Tulips Rebloom Year After Year?


“Why is it that some years tulips just grow leaves and no flowers? I’ve planted hundreds of bulbs much to my disappointment to have so many of them never grow flowers.” Question from Linda of Middlesex, New Jersey
Answer: There are several reasons why tulips stop flowering. Many varieties are bred to bloom only for a year or two before their bulbs need to be […]

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What Shrubs Have Year-Round Interest?

What Shrubs Have Year-Round Interest?
“What are some shrubs that add interest and color year-round?  For example, foliage that changes color in the different seasons.” Question from Alecia of Puyallup, Washington
Answer: There are loads of shrubs that remain attractive through the seasons. Here are four great selections for your region followed up by a video of my favorite shrubs that bloom all summer long. Many of […]

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Why Are My Verbena’s Leaves Pale?

Why Are My Verbena’s Leaves Pale?
“Most of the leaves on my verbena have become very pale.  Not yellow, just faded looking.  The plant is still blooming, but the foliage doesn’t look healthy.  Any thoughts on what’s going on?” Carlene of Conroe, Texas
Answer: Pale leaves are often a sign of stress, whether it be stress caused by excess heat, excess water, too little water, poor soil, […]

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What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Garden Designer?


“What advice would you give someone (who has gardening experience) when it comes to redesigning a back yard. My parents recently bought a house that needs a yard makeover. What’s the best advice you can give someone who has only a little bit of experience with garden design and planning?” Question from Cassie of Wilsonville, Oregon
Answer: Before redesigning your parent’s backyard, determine what they […]

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What Are Good Shade Plants for Poor Soils?

Start by improving your soil!
“I have a shade area with poor soil…I need suggestions for plants, when to plant and how to improve the soil.” Question from Patricia of Knoxville, Iowa

Answer: Thank you for your questions.  I encourage you to read a couple of our garden articles that are sure to help you improve your soil and then fill your gardens with the right plants. Any […]

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What Container Hydrangeas Will Grow Well in Partial Sun?

What Container Hydrangeas Will Grow Well in Partial Sun?
“I’m in a duplex, and I only have access to either morning sun or full evening sun for my containers. Which is best for hydrangeas in pots?” Question from Jack of Claremore, Oklahoma
Answer: Several compact, hardy hydrangeas will grow well in both light settings in your USDA Hardiness Zone 6 garden. Here are three tiny hydrangea varieties […]

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When Do You Prune Hydrangeas?

When Do You Prune Hydrangeas?
“When is the best time to cut back my Hydrangeas?” Question from Marlene of Lapeer, Michigan
Answer: When do you prune hydrangeas? It depends entirely on the type of hydrangea you are growing. Some bloom on new wood, some bloom on old wood, and still others bloom on new and old wood. Let me break it down by common species to make […]

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What Garden Plants Grow in Sandy Kansas Soils?

What Garden Plants Grow in Sandy Kansas Soils?
“I’ve tried some plants and flowers that say they grow in sandy soil, but no success. Do I need to stick to container gardening or add something to the soil in my flower beds? Thank you.” Question from Susan of Wichita, Kansas
Answer: If you choose the right plants for your site and improve your soil’s fertility, you will […]

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What Garden Plants Tolerate the High Mountain Winds of Colorado?

What Garden Plants Tolerate the High Mountain Winds of Colorado?
“Our biggest challenge up here in the mountains is the wind. Unless we build a sturdy greenhouse, there’s no way around it as it comes through and over fences as well. (10-35 mph on about 75% of days) Any plant suggestions?” Question from Wolf of Westcliffe, Colorado
Answer: When growing conditions are a problem for average garden-center […]

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