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Plant Topics:
QUESTION: We just moved into a new house last fall. My neighbor told me the previous owner planted hundreds of crocuses. I've never had crocuses before, what are they like? Donna
QUESTION: I have a Mandevilla plant that has been blooming for the past 2 months. I know plants need a period of dormancy over the winter. Do I need to do anything to be sure it will bloom in the spring and summer months? Gary
QUESTION: I recently discovered bulbs that I meant to plant in the ground last fall, but I never got around to it. Can I plant them in the spring? Denise
QUESTION: Hi Linda, I seem to remember an article you wrote about Poinsettias, I know I cut it out of the paper, but I can't seem to find it. Can you re-run it? Thank you. Rene, Clinton, CT
QUESTION: Would you be kind enough to let me know if I should let the rose hips develop on my roses or should they be cut off? Someone told me that letting the hips develop inhibits the production of flowers in the spring. I always enjoy your very informative articles. Thank you so much. Nan
QUESTION: Hi Linda, I have a Gerber Daisy plant that is still blooming. Do I bring it in for the winter or leave it out? Thank you. Rose  NEW!
QUESTION: How do I prune this rose bush? When is the best time to prune, now or in the Spring? Margaret
QUESTION: For the past two summers my hydrangea bush has not flowered. Last summer I had only 2 flowers. I have noticed that some other neighbors are having the same issue. Is there a problem going on in this area (Niantic) that is causing this? If not is there something I can do to get them to bloom again? Karen
QUESTION: I have had this rose bush since 2004 and now it seems to be getting spiny. Could you give me some advice about what to do with it? How do I go about pruning it? Should I cut it down to the ground for regrowth next spring? Margaret
QUESTION: Linda, could you help me identify this plant? It's leaves fold up at night. Thanks, Malcolm
QUESTION: Linda, could you please help identify this plant? Thanks, Gary
QUESTION: Hi Linda - There are several wild azaleas on my property behind my house in the woods. They are old and a bit spindly as the oak trees around them have shaded them for 40+ years. I have enjoyed the blooms for many years and I was wondering is there any way I can transplant them to a better location where I can see them more easily? Should I prune them in preparation? What time of year would be best to move them? Thanks for any advice you can share. Robin
QUESTION: I have 2 clematis plants. Both had a couple of blossoms several weeks ago, but no new blossoms have appeared. Is this normal? Should I do something to help create more blossoms? Thanks, Gary
QUESTION: I love nasturtiums, however, when I grow them from seed in May, they grow beautifully and when they flower, they get infested with big ants that leave all their excrement on the stems and it is just gross. That not only affects the blooms but the foliage as well. I hose it off but the ants come right back. I have spoken to nursery people who have never heard of this happening. What can I do? Janice
QUESTION: I am hoping you can help with a bug issue I have with my lilies. For the past 4 years I have had this bad infestation of bugs on my lilies. Last year I sprayed almost daily, an all-natural product I purchased. It might have worked for a bit in the beginning of the season but eventually the bugs took over and ate my lilies to the ground. I'm assuming I need to use something stronger. I am open to any suggestions. I love your weekly series! Thank You. Laura, Niantic
QUESTION: I have a Flowering Quince in my yard and every year at this time it bursts into beautiful blooms, but not this year. There are a few blooms at the bottom, but for the most part it's bare. What's going on? Carol
QUESTION: Help! Last Year, I had a few wild onions/chives in my gardens. This year my gardens are full of them. Pulling doesn't seem to help. What can I do? G.D.
QUESTION: My daughter lives in North Stonington and two years ago we planted hydrangeas around her house. They did fantastic for the past two years!!! This year she had a new gardener who, while she was gone, cut down her hydrangeas to about 4 or 5 inches from the ground!!! Are they going to come up as well this year??? We do see some green coming out from the growing area, but will they get as big as before? I thought you had to leave the old wood on it until they started sprouting and then you could cut off the old areas. Mary
QUESTION: I always get confused, what is the difference between Azaleas and Rhododendrons? Marie
QUESTION: My miniature orange tree has dried, yellowing leaves that are falling off daily. I water it twice a week and lightly fertilize once a month. There doesn't seem to be any infestation. Is there anything I can do to save it? Paulette
QUESTION: I bought some yellow onions and brought them home a few weeks ago. I just noticed that they have sprouted. Can I still eat them or can I plant them and re-grow onions? Megan
QUESTION: Now that winter is upon us and my house is closed up tight, I'm wondering if I could use houseplants to improve the air quality? Kathy
QUESTION: I have a snake plant that was my grandmother's, my mom's, and now mine. It's at least 40 years old and I've had it for 6 years now but in the past few months have noticed most of the leaves are bent in half or completely wilted. I know very little about house plants but would desperately like to save this plant! Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much! Terry
QUESTION: I love Poinsettias at this time of year, and I've always wondered if the growers paint them red? Sarah
QUESTION: My daughter bought me an 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea for Mother's Day. I planted it in June. Should I cover it for the winter?
QUESTION: My mother always forced paperwhite narcissus bulbs to grow indoors for fall/winter enjoyment, but I remember that they grew tall and fell over. I recently heard that alcohol can be used to stunt their growth. Is that worth a try? Carol
QUESTION: I planted my bulbs in early November and now with the warm weather some of them are sprouting up! What should I do? Will they grow in the spring? Gary
QUESTION: I have several vegetable boxes that are now cleaned up from the summer veggies we grew - mainly tomatoes. Being a relative greenhorn in terms of vegetable gardening I was wondering what, if any, tips you have with regard to winter protection for the soil. This year despite new soil and fertilizer being added at the beginning of the growing season, the outcome was not quite as good as the previous year. I am wondering what I could do to protect and improve the soil. Should I feed the soil some type of fertilizer or just wait till spring? Should I cover the boxes? Appreciate any advice you may offer. Michael
QUESTION: Attached are photos are of my euonymus. They're all about ten years old. Until the very cold winter of 2010-11 they grew happily, but that winter the deer and rabbits ate them from the ground up. It's taken them since then to recover and I haven't trimmed them at all. This year they're finally getting new growth inside. The older outside stems are leggy, with growth only at the tops. I'm thinking of cutting them all back to the height of the new inside growth to encourage more new leaf growth all around. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I let them be and merely trim them a bit on the tops? These are slow growers as it is but I'd love to see them fuller and filled in. I'd appreciate your advice. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Ann
QUESTION: This is a picture of one of my pachysandra beds. I have 3 beds the other 2 are healthy, I will admit that I've fed the other 2 once this year with Miracle Grow and they are watered every other day with my irrigation system. We have had a drought this summer, maybe a little worse than last year (this bed does not get direct water from the system), but I'm not sure that was a problem; it's always survived. Is this dying or is it in some molting stage? What should I do? Nick
QUESTION: In the fall, I usually dump the contents of my annual planters and pots into a pile in the woods, then store them in my shed over the winter. Is there anything I should be doing to my pots before I put them away? Connie
QUESTION: I was given a Hibiscus as a gift this year and I planted it outside. Now that cooler weather is approaching, what do I need to do? Mary
QUESTION: The warm weather seems to be holding on this year. Do you think it's still too warm to plant my spring bulbs? Kristin
QUESTION: Something is happening to my ground cover. This took me several years to fill in and now it's dying. Help! Wendy
QUESTION: Several plants that were planted earlier this season are struggling. There are a lot of bare branches and black leaf tips. We have been diligent about watering. Any suggestions? Bob, Mystic
QUESTION: Whenever I go to the nursery or look at an online plant catalog, I'm confused about plant container sizes. For example, I see plants sold in "1 gallon" pots, but the pots certainly don't look like they would hold "1 gallon." I also see pots labeled with numbers like #1. Can you help straighten this out for me? - Sarah
QUESTION: Linda...I would not even open the newspaper if it did not contain your articles. Thank you for all your information and advice! Earlier this year you posted an article on Knotweed and I agree completely. This is horrible stuff. I've literally spent weeks manually digging up each individual one, on 1-1/2 acres. The Knotweed just takes over and kills everything in its path. But, progress was achieved after all that labor! To remove Knotweed, I use a big, flat-blade screwdriver for individual scattered ones. For groups/clusters, I use a pitch fork to loosen the entire group and they pull out easily - then tamp the ground with my boot. After I removed the Knotweed, in the late spring after we had gotten some rain, I used a weed and feed product. The combination of removing Knotweed and adding the fertilizer has shown remarkable results. I know you don't approve of weed and feed, but it worked for me. To remove Knotweed, it required me to be on my hands and knees and the one danger is catching Lyme Disease. I recommend using a spray, like Deep Woods Off, on footwear, pant legs, and arms. Ray A., Salem
QUESTION: I have small fleshy white things growing on the outside of my azalea bush branches. Is this a fungus? What shall I do? April B., Groton
QUESTION: When I buy plants at the nursery and take them home and plant them, they never seem to do well where I put them. I'm tired of spending money without real success. Can you help me?
QUESTION: Last week I wrote about the dire decline in our bee population, and this week I'm addressing what you can do to help all of our pollinators.
QUESTION: The condo complex I live in just did a large "bee kill" with pesticides. You can help tremendously by publishing facts about the extreme importance of NOT killing bees, and the critical population decline there is in Connecticut and everywhere... S.K.
QUESTION: I have a house at Black Point Beach in Niantic and need help with plants that the deer won't EAT...At the present I have daylilies across the front of the house on the south side and they (deer) are enjoying the Salad Bar. We have sprayed, and currently have fish line going across and somehow they are getting at them. HELP...What can I plant there that they won't eat? Fran
QUESTION: My boxwoods look terrible with spots all over them and some of the leaves are brown and falling off. What's going on with them and what can I do?
QUESTION: I have a two-fold question: (1) how does English Ivy spread? Over 20 years ago we were told it was alright to allow the English Ivy to be on a magnificent tree that was as tall as a 2-story house. The tree died, and I keep finding the Ivy all over our almost 4 acres. (2) Is there a good way to kill it? I have been pulling it up, but it keeps getting ahead of me. KC
QUESTION: I am getting ready for "weed season" and I am wondering about using a product like Roundup®
QUESTION: I faithfully read "Ask The Landscape Professional" every week and I want to thank you for taking the time to write it. I am excited and so happy to be working in my garden again with all of this new-found knowledge. Amy
QUESTION: My neighbor attended one of your recent lectures where you talked about the problems caused by using landscape cloth. Could you go over that again?
QUESTION: Now that the snow has melted, I see that my evergreen Daphne has been crushed by the load of the snow. What can I do to save it?
QUESTION: My husband and I have an annual "discussion" – he likes to mow daffodils down right after the blooms pass and I think that's too early. So far he's won! Who's right?
QUESTION: Last week, you wrote about crocuses that will be blooming soon. What's another plant I can look forward to?
QUESTION: The snow is covering most of our plants-particularly the short hellebore and azaleas. Will this cause any harm? Kent H. – Gales Ferry
QUESTION: I've noticed that you are giving lectures on native perennials, trees and shrubs, and I also see on your website you specialize in native plants. What exactly is a "native" plant?
QUESTION: I have a large number of azalea bushes in my yard; they are well established and exhibit a great variety of color and show every spring. I have started to notice a fungus showing up on branches throughout most of my bushes. Any idea what this fungus is and how may I protect my plants from additional fungus spread? Dave G. – Groton
QUESTION: I recently ate a seedless watermelon and I got wondering. How do seedless fruits like watermelon and grapes reproduce if they don't have seeds?
QUESTION: Fall: Should I be fertilizing my plants now?
QUESTION: This time of year, I see Mums for sale all over and I love them, but for some reason after I plant them in the ground, I never can get them to survive the winter.
QUESTION: I have an inkberry hedge that is out of control; it's quite large and leggy. I would like to know if I can prune it at this time of year to get it back into shape.
QUESTION: I planted several rhododendrons in my garden this spring and now there are black spots on their leaves and a number of leaves are turning yellow. Do they have a plant disease?
QUESTION: My hydrangea never bloomed this year. Did I do something wrong?
QUESTION: We lose this flower bed every mid-Summer. I weed whack the remains and it comes back. Do you have any ideas to keep it from dying each year? Ed
QUESTION: What can you tell me about the Praying Mantis in our area?
QUESTION: The other week when it was bitterly cold, my Rhododendrons looked terrible. The leaves were droopy and all curled up. I thought they were dead. Now that the weather is warmer, the leaves look normal. What's going on?
QUESTION: Every year I worry about the effect that snow and freezing conditions will have on my garden plants. Is there anything I need to do or can do?
QUESTION: We rent our house and back in the spring our tenants hired someone to "prune" our beautiful azaleas like you can see in the picture. What's your reaction?
QUESTION: My Hostas have holes in the leaves, what's going on with them?
QUESTION: I have this plant in my yard that is spreading every year. What is it and what do i do to get rid of it?
QUESTION: My neighbor was told by someone to keep watering potentially dead arborvitaes and they would come back next year. Is that true?
QUESTION: In previous "Ask the Landscape Professional" articles, you mentioned that Sprigs & Twigs uses a lot of native plants. Just what is a native plant?
QUESTION: Several months ago, I wrote about the serious dangers of having bamboo in our community. On May 24, 2013, the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association issued the following report about action being taken at the Connecticut State level regarding bamboo.
QUESTION: My neighbor has Bamboo plants that have spread rapidly. I am worried they are coming my way. What can be done?

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