Lower South

May, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Crinums are perhaps the toughest, most beautiful plants of the South. Their bloom stalks rise 3 feet tall, bearing clusters of blooms that are pink, white, or white and burgundy/pink striped throughout the growing season. Many types are wonderfully fragrant. These "tough as nails" plants survive in sun or shade, wet or dry soil, and are well known to be among the only plants left living in an old abandoned landscape long after the home has fallen down and other plants have succumbed to harsh southern summer conditions.

Clever Gardening Technique

Training Pear Tree Branches
Pears branches typically grow in a very upright direction despite your pruning efforts. One way to direct the branches outward at a more desirable angle is to use slats of wood about a half inch thick with a "V" notch in each end. Place one end of one of these "spreader sticks" against the trunk and the other end against the branch to hold it out at the desired angle. Check the sticks periodically to determine when the branch has adjusted and the sticks can be removed. Orienting pear branches outward at a 45 to 60 degree angle from the trunk will help balance growth and fruit production more evenly throughout the tree.

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