Coastal and Tropical South

May, 2005
Regional Report

Keep Planters Draining

If drainage holes in your planters are plugged with soil, rework the potting soil to add bark or sand to bagged mixes to improve drainage. Replace soggy, smelly potting soils with fresh potting mix.

Solving Canna Troubles

Three "monsters" can ruin canna lilies' appearance and blooms. Earworms chew huge chunks from the leaves, and leaf rollers twist them and prevent unfurling. Cut down the affected stems to the ground and dust with diatomaceous earth. No bugs? Canna leaves weakened by lack of fertilizer will rip apart, too.

Replacing Lawns

No time or energy to mow? Devise a plan to reduce or eliminate lawn grass (and its maintenance) by creating a path that winds alongside existing beds and defines the new ones. In the largest areas to be de-sodded, mow to scalp the grass, then overseed or mulch to suppress regrowth.

Curing Azalea Yellows

Yellow leaves on azaleas can mean one of two nutrition problems is present. Lower leaves turn solid yellow and fall off when the plants lack nitrogen. Leaves throughout the plant may turn yellow except for green veins, indicating iron deficiency. Cure both with applications of fertilizer made for these acid-loving plants.

Keeping Ferns Healthy

Soak Boston and other basket ferns weekly to keep them fresh all summer. Use a bucket larger than the container so it can be submerged in a solution of water and fertilizer (20-20-20 works well). Soak for at least two hours, then rehang to drain and enjoy for another week.

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