Posted on: February 10, 2020 | Written By: Doug Oster |
Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody.
There are three ways to send in your questions:
(The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.)
Christine: During a recent nice day, I was out front looking at my hydrangeas. Two of the three bloomed beautifully last year. The one closest to me literally had one sad bloom all year and currently has green “buds” on the sticks. Question is, should I move that one, or cut back the sticks to try to stimulate flowering? I think I trimmed the flowers/sticks of the other two last year but left that one alone since it had buds on the end. Any advice is appreciated!
Doug: You don’t want to trim the one at the bottom of the photo, as you would cut off the buds, which in turn means cutting off the flowers. As long as the buds don’t get eaten by deer or frozen, your hydrangeas will bloom for you.
Rob: I have a number of pachysandra patches around my house, garage and veggie gardens. This spring I plan to expand one area considerably. They’re rather costly. Could I take cuttings now and start them inside? What’s the best way? Then, to completely cover the new area, how close should I plant them?
Doug: If you have experience taking cuttings, you could make more plants. With pachysandra though, I think it would be easier to divide the clumps you have, digging them up from the edges and moving them to the spots you want them.
Mark: I have two new hellebores that I planted last spring that are sending up buds now. When should I remove last year’s growth? They’re coming up through the leaf mulch I put down in the fall, and I don’t want to damage them by moving the mulch or cutting the old growth back too early. Also, I put in two autumn ferns last spring and they’ve stayed green all winter thus far. I usually cut back the dead growth from my ferns in late February or early March when I put down the first spread of compost and mulch. Do I leave the green on these and just let them fill in with newer fiddleheads, or should I cut these back like the rest?
Doug: I leave the foliage on my hellebores alone, but it’s common practice to remove it as the buds start to open. That’s when I would do that job. As far as the ferns are concerned, as long as they are green, let them be.
See also, Tips On How To Grow Succulents Indoors