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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 May Links

Mock Orange Not Blossoming

I have a mock orange, which I planted about 6 yrs ago. It has never blossomed. Any advice?

Yes, sometimes the plants get too much attention and bypass their flower buds. Feed the plant in March, April and May…once each month with a Blossom type fertilizer. Read and follow label instructions.

Brown Blooms on Camellias

I planted camellias last year. They wintered well and put out lots of blooms, but they quickly turned brown on the edges. What happened?

Brown edges are usually caused by frost, rain, lack of moisture during the winter or fertilizer burn. However, a disease can also cause it. Give it another year and see how it reacts next year. In the meantime, be certain the plant gets enough moisture over winter…as the broad leaves tend to shed rainfall to the sides and the plant often gets bone dry underneath.

Storing Bulbs?

I dug up my daffodils and tulips and replanted most of them immediately but had no place for the rest of them. By the next day, the roots were all dried up but the leaves are still attached--they were already all wilted and dried out when I dug them up. So now what to do with them...let them dry with the leaves still attached and wait until fall to put them in the new flower bed which I will make this summer or what? Husband says to cut the leaves off and I say not until they are totally dried out. What do you say?

In research done by the bulb growers in Holland, they say you can cut off the leaves of Daffodils and Tulips, 21 days after they finish flowering. The best thing for you to do is heal in the bulbs you have dug. They are apt to dry out even more if you try to store them until this fall.

Cutting Back Peonies

Is it okay to cut peony stalks to the ground after blooming, or do I have to wait for the plant to dry out as you do bulbs?

You should wait for the stalks to begin to die back, before cutting them.

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