Southern Coasts

August, 2004
Regional Report

Fertilize Pale Impatiens

If the top cluster of leaves under the flowers of impatiens turns pale green, it\'s time to clip off the flowers and an inch or more of leaves. Fertilize with nitrogen for good, green leaf color, and phosphorus and potassium for the flowers. You\'ll find them all in a 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 formula.

Flirt with Hostas

With good drainage in a shady spot, hostas can be a garden staple in our region. Common problems include holes in the leaves (slugs and snails), excavated plants (voles), and shredded crowns and leaves (deer). Their dramatic green or variegated leaves add tropical flair. Blue leaved hostas are less successful here.

Caring for Naked Ladies

Those tall, leafless stems with pink, trumpet flowers popping up across the region this month are naked ladies (Lycoris squamifera). They are related to our beloved red spider lilies, so treat them the same: fertilize the green clumps that follow the flowers and wait until they die back before disturbing the bulbs.

Digging Daffodils

Dig up overgrown daffodil clumps, clip off the browned leaves if you haven't already, and shake the dirt off the bulbs. Separate bulbs and replant in pots or in the ground. Use a bulb fertilizer at planting time and keep the bulbs watered weekly if fall weather is dry.

Clean Up Early Fallen Leaves

Trees like crape myrtle and dogwood that have turned red or yellow and perhaps lost leaves may look sickly but they're likely not in serious stress. Some years a fungus attacks the leaves and causes this; other times it's just the weather. Clean up leaves as they drop, and spray new growth next year with a fungicide.

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