Mid-October and 44 degrees sent me out into the landscape to scout for camellia blossoms, but instead I was mesmerized by the azalea flowers. My front yard is about a half-acre, requiring an adventure with a slope, so I am often failing to do due diligence not only with maintenance but photography, too.
I don’t know what surprised me the most...Read more
Q: Back in the spring, we planted several 10- to 15-foot-tall trees around our new house. We tried to keep up with the watering, but the trees looked a bit wilted all summer long. Now that they are going dormant for the winter, is there anything special we can do to help them?
A: You did not say if the trees came from a pot or if they were ...Read more
ColorBlaze El Brighto Coleus will make its debut in 2022, and make no mistake about it, award-winning color scheme opportunities await as you select your flower partners. At the Young’s Plant Farm 2021 Garden Tour in Auburn, Alabama this summer it made a memorable impression on The Garden Guy.
The last 30 years I have fancied myself as a guru...Read more
For gardeners in the northern two-thirds of the country, the fall is a time to clean up the leaves, plant a few bulbs and pack things up for the winter. Even in the south, the fall is a good time to reflect on how things looked over the summer and begin the planning process for next year.
For those of us who enjoy the great American hobbies of ...Read more
Naming a petunia "Picasso" gives clear indication this plant is something special. That is precisely what I thought the first time I saw Supertunia Picasso in Purple in plant trials. I actually felt a little intimidated as I started thinking what would I do with this beautiful flower in containers or in the landscape.
Oddly, my opportunity came...Read more
Diagnosing Plant Problems
many lawns in our area suffered through. We had army worms. One day the grass was green and the next day it was dead-looking.
A: I tell people all the time that there are only three things that affect plants: insects, diseases and everything else. Dead grass looks like dead grass, but we often have to be detectives ...Read more
Perennials for cool season containers may seem like the proverbial horticultural oxymoron, but that is exactly what I have been planting the last few days in my zone 8a landscape. My favorite pansy pals are Goldilocks lysimachia, Lemon Coral sedum, Ogon Japanese sweet flag and Burgundy Glow ajuga.
The kicker is I’m not planting pansies yet, ...Read more
Q: Last week you answered a question about removing fungus from houseplant pots before bringing them in for the winter. My plants always seem to have whole armies of crickets, pill bugs, ants, earwigs or worms. How do I get rid of them?
A: I am glad you asked, because I have an update to my answer from last week, but first let's talk about your...Read more
Choosing to name a variety of lantana "Cosmo" may seem quite strange. While there are numerous definitions of the word cosmo, it largely means a peaceful and harmonious system and/or universe. So let’s apply that definition to the award-winning Luscious Royale Cosmo lantana.
If you asked me if you could use this lantana in a monochromatic ...Read more
Question: Fall is coming, and I need to move my houseplants back indoors. I noticed that some have a fungal type of growth on the soil surface. Is this condition harmful?
Answer: There are several types of fungi and algae that can grow on the soil surface in potted plants. I even found some rare liverworts growing on some nursery plants one ...Read more
Panicle hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata varieties, have skyrocketed in popularity, largely thanks to producers that have given us more varieties than we could have ever imagined. The Garden Guy is here to tell you the panicle partnerships for the landscape are only limited by your imagination.
If you find yourself asking "What panicle ...Read more
Q: I have an old oak tree. During the recent cicada invasion, this tree took a mighty hit from those insects. Numerous small branches began to fall. I assumed they were falling because of the cicadas having made slits in the branches to lay eggs.
Then, later, the tree began to literally dry up. The moss on part of its bark began to fade and dry...Read more
When I was asked to trial the new Luscious Citron lantana my first thought was: Why in the world do we need another yellow lantana? But six months later, I know the answer. It has to do with butterflies. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Let’s start by looking at the color orange. There is a huge group of gardeners that think orange is too ...Read more
Q: All of a sudden, half my lawn grass died. It is mostly on the sunny side, with some in the shade. This doesn't look like the grass has simply gone dormant with the usual hot, dry summer weather. When I pull up on the grass, it just comes off by the handful without the roots. Any ideas on what happened and what to do next? The lawn is many ...Read more
No color stirs the passion in serious gardeners like blue. Sure, we like orange, yellow, red and pink, but blue is the must-have color for mixed containers and baskets. It is like having sapphires in our pocket plantings by the front entrance to the home. It is for this reason The Garden Guy was eager to put Superbena Imperial Blue verbena to ...Read more
Q: I read your column and want to add to your answer to the question of why the rose plant hasn't bloomed again despite new branches. You mentioned that it could be the variety of rose or the lack of fertilizer.
I also had this problem in New England and found that I had a midge (tiny flying insect you can't really see) that enters the newly ...Read more
The biggest surprise in The Garden Guy’s testing this year comes courtesy of the Soprano impatiens. I cannot remember the last time I planted what we call bedding impatiens. I sure I had dark hair and was still helping children with homework. All I can say is, holy wow.
If you have forgotten about impatiens, these plants will give ...Read more
Q: A circle of mushrooms suddenly appeared in my lawn, which has never happened before. The mushrooms are about six inches tall and almost orange in color. How do I get rid of them, and are they harming the grass?
A: Your lawn has a fairy ring, also known as an elf ring or pixie ring. It was once believed that one of these creatures danced in a...Read more
The Garden Guy is boldly going into August with geraniums blazing. I could also say I am going into August with Boldly geraniums blazing. It wasn’t too long ago that August and geraniums in the South would have been the definition of a garden oxymoron. Boldly geraniums have changed all that.
You might be wondering how that could have happened...Read more
Q: Our new house has a few apple and pear trees. They are older trees, but they don't have a lot of fruit. How do we tell when they are ripe?
A: The first thing to know about apple trees is how many days it has been since the tree was in bloom. The length of time from blooming to harvest is listed in information about every apple tree variety, ...Read more