Middle South

May, 2009
Regional Report

Divide Daffodils

If your daffodil bulbs have become overcrowded, now is the time to dig, divide, and replant them. While some experts say it is best store bulbs until fall, I prefer to replant immediately, leaving as much soil as possible around the roots as I break the large clumps apart. As usual, allow the foliage to yellow and die before removing. Fertilize in fall.

Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

The best time to prune azaleas, forsythia, weigela, and other spring-blooming shrubs is immediately after their blooms fade. Remember, though, pruning is not always necessary. Prune to reduce size, improve form, remove dead or diseased wood, or rejuvenate a mature plant.

Transplant Annual Flowers

With the average last frost date well behind us, you can now transplant annual flowers to the garden. Look for flowers with only a few blooms, then pinch off the blooms when you plant them in garden beds. Doing so will refocus plant energy on root growth rather than seed production. When transplanting, choose a day that is cloudy and a bit cool, but not windy, so the transplants will have the best possible start.

Move Houseplants Outside

Let's face it, there's really no such thing as a houseplant. All plants, when the weather allows, grow better outdoors. Because they're accustom to low-light conditions, however, place them in a shady location and monitor them carefully. With the increase in air movement and indirect sunlight, as well as more vigorous growth, the plant may need more frequent watering.

Plant for Hummingbirds

Gardeners often add specific plants to their landscapes to attract butterflies and other insects, so why not plant for hummingbirds? Favorite plants of these feathered friends include trumpet honesuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), lantana (Lantana camara), bee balm (Monarda didyma), red salvia (Salvia elegans), red columbine (Aquilegia canadense), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), cigar pant (Cuphea ignea), red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), and butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).

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