Southern Coasts

May, 2001
Regional Report

Control Wild Myrtle

I love wax myrtles for their fragrant leaves, gnarly trunks, and general toughness. However, established stands can go wild, sending sprouts up from their roots and becoming weedy. If a thicker stand isn't your goal, cut suckers off flush at the ground and mulch with three inches of pinestraw to suppress future sucker growth.

Make Crape Myrtle Bloom

If your 5-year-old or older crape myrtle grows well but never blooms, you can try the old-fashioned remedy of taking a stick and whipping the trunk or be more scientific and give the plant fertilizer and increase the amount of light it receives. Try both methods and see which works best.

Thin Spirea

Spireas left unpruned for years can become a thicket of wild growth and dead branches. Now\'s the time to thin spirea recreating their natural shape. Prune leafless canes to the ground. Open up the middle, removing thin growth, and tip-prune all other branches.

Grow Stokes Asters

Stokes asters are one of the best blue flowers to grow in dappled shade gardens. They produce small clumps of light green leaves that last most of the year. New growth appears each spring, and the disk-shaped flowers are produced starting now. Divide plants after blooming.

Plant Many Daylilies

Daylilies are great perennials to grow, but don\\\'t stop at just one. They take little care, have few pests, and come in a rainbow of colors. Since the flowers last only one day, plant a selection of early-, mid-, and late-maturing varieties and rebloomers such as \\\'Stella D\\\'oro\\\' to ensure a long season of blooms.

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