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Gardening Questions for Spring Flowers and Trees
Cincinnati Spring Gardening Questions
Cincinnati Spring Gardening is here! The landscape is filled with so many beautiful blooms. This week, we are answering your Cincinnati spring gardening questions about spring flowers and trees.
“What is the tree I’m seeing right now that has the lilac white flowers on them? I see a lot of them planted along the streets.”
That is a lilac! It’s a Japanese Tree Lilacs! Probably one of the most common selections would be ‘Ivory Silk’. It’s a great ‘smaller’ tree for the smaller yard, patio tree, and street tree.
“What was the tree in flower a couple of weeks ago with the long white flowers hanging down from the ends of the branches?”
That is the 2015 Urban Tree of the Year, Yellowwood. It’s actually in the legume family. Grows 30’ plus in height, wisteria-like fragrant flowers (small brown seed pods), and locust-type foliage. Another great tree for our area!
“My Crape Myrtles are starting to grow from the base, but the top branches appear dead. What should I do?”
Go ahead and remove any and all dead branches, and let that new growth come back up to re-establish the plant. Remember; those flowers are on new growth, so good chance you’ll still have some colors by late summer.
“My Roses have already started getting holes in the leaves! How can I stop them? I don’t see anything eating them!”
The best guess is that you have rose slugs; small sawfly larvae that feed on the undersides of the leaves. There are multiple generations so stick with your control methods. Apply a systemic insecticide around the base of the roses, and for your foliar sprays, use Insecticidal Soap, or Horticultural Oil, and spray the undersides of the leaves. When you stop in, we have a tip sheet for you on controlling rose slugs.
“Every year my Autumn Joy Sedums get so heavy on the tops, they just flop over. Anything I can do to help them?”
Yes! You can either place a growing ring over them early and let the ring support the top growth, or cut them back in mid to late May (about 1/3) which keeps them stockier, and will flower just a tad later into the late summer. You can cut back a lot of the floppy summer-blooming perennials like that to keep them shorter and less floppy when they flower.
“I planted a new rose bush about 4 weeks ago and now it’s starting to look like it’s going to die. I used a root starter and have been watering it every day, but it is not looking too good. Please tell me what to do to save my new rose.”
Stop watering it! When planting new plants, soak them well after planting, again the next day, and then once every 5-7-10 days, depending on the soil, root ball size, and weather. ALWAYS check the root ball’s soil before watering to make sure where it is at that stage. For the most part, water thoroughly; let the soil get close to drying out, and then water again. But every day does not work!
“You are always talking about spraying “Sucker Punch” on the suckers at the base of trees, but what if I wanted them to grow like a shrub?” -You don’t, in most cases anyway. For trees and grafted plants, you wouldn’t want those suckers growing up from the base. In many cases, it’s a totally different plant growing from the roots. And if you look closely, those suckers can harbor insect and disease problems. Aphids love those masses of suckers growing at the base of crabapples. So, in most cases, especially with trees and grafted plants, it is best to get rid of and keep those suckers from growing. And that’s what “Sucker Punch” does for the growing season!
“Can I go ahead and cut off the foliage from my daffodils now? Most are turning yellow.”
Yes, you’ve waited long enough. Have at them!
“When can I divide my peonies?”
Late summer is best, and be sure to replant at the same depth they were planted originally. One of the biggest problems is peonies not flowering due to being planted too deep.
“I’m confused; do I need to deadhead my Knockout roses, or just leave them alone?”
Knockout roses are self-cleaning, which means you do not have to deadhead the spent flowers. If you want, you can simply pinch off the spent flower itself, and that will speed up the re-blooming time, but it’s not necessary. But, if you want to, go ahead. However, it’s not needed.
Have more questions about your spring flowers and trees? Ask our garden experts!