Coastal and Tropical South

October, 2004
Regional Report

Web Finds

Gesneriads
Just for fun, expand your plant horizons with a visit to this Gesneriads site. Gesneriads are a group of plants that includes gloxinia, columnea, achimenes and the best-known: African violets. But the family is huge and comprises many very attractive, downright fascinating plants. Many are native to Central America, and most can be readily grown as house or porch plants in our region.

Clever Gardening Technique

Make More of Mums
The only disappointing aspect of fall's annual flood of garden mums is that sometimes they are shortlived, or seem to be. Once the flowers fade, you may be tempted to yank them out entirely, but most will adapt to the garden. With a bit of investigation and a pair of scissors (yes, scissors or very tiny pruners), you can rejuvenate garden mums for more potential blooms. Look behind the flowers that are now beginning to fade. Right behind them on the stem may be sideshoots with tiny flower buds you may not notice if you don't look closely. Put the scissors right in the crotch of those buds and snip out the old flowers. If there are not any new buds right under the flowers, don't despair. Peer down into the heart of the plant; often buds are coming up just above soil level on an entirely new set of stems. In that case, cut down the flower stalks that are finished, fertilize and water the crown and look for new flowers in a few weeks.

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