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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.

Other August Links

Forced to Move Roses

Another side-effect of the Feb. earthquake -- I have to have my patio torn up to repair my founation -- But I  have several rose bushes "next to" my patio that I will need to "dig up" and transfer to large pots for the duration... Any suggestions to help them "survive"? Should I leave them in the large pots until late winter?

Roses are really quite forgiving. But, when they are in full growth and blooming like crazy it is tough on them to be moved. What you can do is cut them back a bit, spray the remaining foliage with 'Wilt Pruf' and plant them immediately into the pots. Keep them in the pots until late October or a little later then replant them into the garden and winter mulch them with straw or bark. The 'wilt-Pruf' helps lock the moisture into the leaf and reduces transplanting shock.

Bringing Cut Flowers Indoors

I have beautiful dahlia's this year, but when I cut them and bring them in the house they have these tiny little bugs on them. Is there something I can spray on them with ut hurting the flower before I cut and bring them in?

At our house we dust the flowers with a vegetable dust, as most of them are formulated with botanical sprays not chemicals. However, you could also try an insecticidal soap spray.

Moving Hibiscus

I have a gorgeous purple flowered hibiscus tree that has been planted for about 3 years now. It is about 6' tall and about 3' around. Problem is I want to move it to an area where it can grow as big as it wants to. I know they like alot of sunlight and water. When and how is the best way to do this?

The winter dormant season is the best time to transplant hibiscus. Moisten the soil first so you can dig the plant with as much soil attached to the root system as possible. Wrap the roots in burlap or plastic as you move the plant. Of course, do all this on a cool day. You mention you already have this outdoors, so I am assuming you live in an area that is warm enough for hibiscus. (Otherwise, the plant should remain indoors over-winter.)

Wisteria Damaged

The wisteria vine that grew straight up from the ground then along the iron railing of the second floor balcony (about 40 or 50 feet total, maybe more) of our house was recently vandalized. It was completely severed about 8 feet from the base and there are no braches or buds remaining. Will it be able to recover and once again cover the balcony? How fast do wisteria grow? Do you recommend we replant?

Under normal circumstances the plant should come back just fine. With the root system in place the vine will probably grow a good 10 to 20 feet or more next year. It may even try to develop some new growth yet this summer.

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