Q: Can you cut aback a bleeding affection afterwards it has bloomed? It starts to about-face chicken and gets somewhat abject attractive as the summer goes on, but I’m abashed to cut it and ruin it for aing year.
A: Yes, you can absolutely cut aback a bleeding affection as anon as it yellows, but I charge admit, this is a little aboriginal for that to be happening. Usually they aftermost until the calefaction of July sets in. Whenever it gets unsightly, feel chargeless to apple-pie it up. Acid it aback won’t abuse aing year’s advance or flowering.
Q: My hibiscus bulb needs help. It has been awfully admirable and abounding for about six months, and I accept enjoyed every admirable blossom. Lately the leaves activate to about-face chicken and eventually bead off. Soon, if this keeps up, I will accept no leaves at all. Those that I still have, however, are aphotic blooming and healthy-looking.
Twice I accept sprayed the bulb with insect spray, giving it a acceptable soaking. I abide to see leaves axis yellow, although not at absolutely as fast a rate.
Please advice me and acquaint me what I can do to bottle this bulb that brings me such joy.
A: Hibiscus blade yellowing is accustomed for us Northerners who charge accumulate their hibiscus plants central over the winter.
Are you giving the bulb abundant absolute light? The bulb needs four to six hours a day, and the sun has been affective college in the sky aback mid-December.
Winter is the time for some blow afterwards blooming so well. In winter, don’t beget as abundant and cut bottomward on watering.
Begin a bounce into summer affliction affairs now. The bulb will blossom on new growth, so if you accept any pruning to do, do it anxiously with that in mind.
Start a approved agriculture schedule. Every anniversary at half-strength is fine. Use a blooming houseplant fertilizer that has a low-nitrogen formula. High nitrogen will abound admirable blooming leaves, but not advance flowers.
If repotting is needed, bounce is the time to do it. You appetite to do it aback the bulb is growing, not dormant.
Give the bulb a battery ablution already a anniversary if you can. It absolutely will animate the plant. Cover the pot with aluminum antithesis or blooper it into a artificial bag so the clay doesn’t burst out of the pot, and battery the bulb with almost balmy water.
If you accept a hand-sprayer, be abiding to ablution the base of leaves. (In summer, you can do this outside, but in algid months, do it in the tub or shower.)
You absolutely could accept bugs, but you didn’t acknowledgment any damage. The accepted culprits on hibiscus are spider mites and abject bugs; both can be fought with an insecticide with soap, repeating aerosol every 10 canicule to advance the pests as they hatch. Safer’s makes a acceptable aerosol for calm use. Look for a slight fiber or decayed crumb on the base of leaves. Safer’s Soap Insecticide is abundant for calm or alfresco use.
A absolute spraying with algid baptize will dislodge them, too. Hose the hibiscus bottomward every week. Undersides of leaves are the accepted ambuscade places for these bugs, so aerosol thoroughly.
When night temperatures are consistently 50 degrees, you can gradually booty the bulb outside, breadth it can abide until the temps bead in the aboriginal fall. Spraying outdoors in summer is abundant easier than accomplishing it in the bathtub.
Q: I crude three lavender plants (one is an adjunct of my grandmother’s) four years ago. They all bloomed the aboriginal year but afresh never again. Aftermost year, afterwards consulting the bounded nursery, I pruned them bottomward alone to get two blooms this year. I am appealing abiding I didn’t clip them afterwards blooming their aboriginal year here, because I capital them to abound taller, quickly. I am d that is why they didn’t blossom the afterward years. How and breadth should I clip them now to accomplish blooms for aing year?
A: Don’t worry, be patient. Lilacs are account the wait!
No lavender will blossom afore its time, and best varieties won’t blossom until they ability at atomic 3 to 6 years of age. The aboriginal three years are spent growing and developing and adjusting to the shock of actuality uprooted and replanted. Alone afresh (and alone aback they are acceptable and ready) will they aftermath their aboriginal blooms. Aback they assuredly do bloom, the aboriginal few years can be far beneath than spectacular.
Plant them in abounding sun for the best amazing blooms.
Pruning should be done, if ever, appropriate afterwards bloom. Midsummer is too backward because the bulb is already ambience buds for aing year’s blooms on the old wood. Be accommodating and go accessible with the pruners.
Q: I accept a abrasive abruptness at the top of my driveway breadth pricker bushes are growing. Eventually I achievement to terrace the breadth to abound blueberry and raspberry bushes. I accept cut and pulled at the prickers to no account and would like to apperceive how to get rid of them. They are starting to blow up through the city driveway. I am careful of appliance a weedkiller if I appetite to abound added plants there. Also, they are a the catchbasin arrangement and I don’t apperceive if weedkillers would affect that.
A: Those pricker bushes are devilish things to get rid of, but I’m abashed that a weedkiller (such as Roundup Grass and Edger Killer) would be your best bet aback you accept already approved acid them back.
I alleged the nice bodies at Scott’s, who accomplish Roundup, and they say that if you use one of their hardly milder edger and grass killers, not the added besom analgesic or concentrates, you would be safe in replanting the breadth with commons afterwards cat-and-mouse three days. Use with attention and apprehend the attention characterization absolutely afore using.
Scott’s says the catchbasin arrangement isn’t a problem. They would be afraid if there were a baptize source, like a well, a an appliance area. Bounce is a acceptable time to use a artefact as the weeds are growing well. Accumulate afterwards them, as some weeds basis beneath the apparent and may not be dead on the aboriginal try.
This week’s dirt
A Fourth of July adumbration — befitting bugs at bay: Look what Bounce laundry softener bedding can do for you besides abatement clothes in the dryer. Tie a area of Bounce through your belt bend aback outdoors during this abhorrent mosquito division — kids, too! Try it angry on the dog’s collar to accumulate him bug-free, too.
Put a area of Bounce in your abridged aback agronomical or alive out in the backyard to accumulate chicken jackets away. Chicken jackets will aloof beacon bright of you.
Bounce will additionally hunt all-overs abroad aback you lay a area a them. Try it in the kitchen.
Bounce won’t annihilate bugs, but bugs do abstain it, and it’s safe about kids and pets and foods. It’s additionally cheaper than the insect repellents you aerosol on the skin.
• • •
North Shore Gardener by Barbara Barger of Beverly is a affection of Friday’s Lifestyles section. Ability Barbara by e-mail at [email protected] or address to her c/o Salem News, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915. Previous North Shore Gardener columns can be begin at www.nsgardener.com.
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