Coastal and Tropical South

May, 2008
Regional Report

Trimming Rootbound Perennials

Roots need pruning if they're growing all the way to the edges of the pot or worse, growing in a circle inside. Gently pull apart, cut bound ones, or tear off the bottom half inch of root mass. Replant with root stimulator fertilizer to promote rooting.

Keep Hibiscus Blooming

They seem carefree to some, but hibiscus can frustrate gardeners. To keep them blooming, clip the stem below the flower to expose the growing point between the two leaves underneath to encourage rebloom. Trim off any yellowed leaves, too, and fertilize for more flowers.

Evaluate Sun Tolerance of New Plants

Plant labels can be misleading if they aren't specific for our region. It's a rare plant grows as well in sun as in shade, even if labels say it can. Reserve full sun for true heat-lovers, but choose dappled sun or afternoon shade for untested plants so they don't burn up.

Grow Shrubs in Pots

Many gardeners grow everything in containers, including shrubs. Not only are woody plants often more durable, they also provide colorful focal points and instant height, and they can become permanent fixtures of the garden. Choose a large pot and mix extra bark into your potting soil to add extra weight and sustain shrubs.

Remove Hazards

Hurricane and mosquito season is upon us, and that's no time to play ostrich by ignoring potential dangers in the garden. Get trees pruned or removed if needed to prevent serious damage, and anchor swings and other potential flying objects. Remove sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

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