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Category Search Results for:
Flowers

267 Total Found

Question: 628-4111
Can we make our own baskets with our annuals? Mike, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
It is an easy task at this time of year to make up baskets for hanging or planters for the winter months. A number of annual plants are good candidates for winter color indoors. Coleus. begonias and patience are excellent specimens for mixed or straight pots. I am partial to the runts that did not flourish outdoors. They still have a lot of untapped energy for winter blooms. You can mix coleus with either begonia or impatience. I like to remove the spike of blue flowers from the coleus but they are a good contrast to some of the various colors of other plants. You can put four or five plants in an eight inch pot. Ivy geraniums should be in hanging pots. I take in some tender perennials like geraniums each year. I have had some last five years. Usually, wax begonias will only last two years. Patience are too large after two years. Be sure to use a good sterile potting mix and put them in a south facing window.

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Question: 954-2413
Can you recommend some annuals that will grow in the sun? My impatiens require too much water in the sun. Susan, Mashpee, MA

Mort's Answer:
Calibrochoa has been a recent substitute for petunias. They are thicker in the stem and have a smaller flower than petunias. Both have a wide range of colors. I had the opportunity to see the test plot at UMass for Purple Wave petunia. I could not see leaves for the flowers. Wave petunias are used extensively in hanging baskets. I love the slight scent of petunias at seaside communities. Both start to bloom a little later than marigolds, which also do well in sun.

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Question: 1179-4114
I have been using water from my fish tank on my annuals. They have been superb. Can I use this on my seeds? Cindy, Willimantic,CT

Mort's Answer:
Seeds do not need any fertilizer at all. All the nutrient that it needs are in the seed itself. It is best starting seeds in a sterile environment. This means they can be started in sand. I prefer a good sterile soil and a third sand. I recommend putting a thin layer of sand over the starting soil. This discourages damping off. When the plants have been transplanted to second stage in peat pots, you can water with your magic mix after they are rerooted.

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Question: 276-5201
Last year my Asiatic lilies bloomed prolifically. This year they were pink. What caused this change? Shirley, Old Saybrook, CT

Mort's Answer:
The torrential rains that occurred this spring and summer probably deleted most of the minerals that give the soil its acidity. Colors are definitely affected by mineral elements in the soil, as is the taste of fruits and vegetables. New England soil is iron rich and the balance will return next year. You could add some 5-10-10 granular fertilizer with trace elements to lower the PH.

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Question: 331-5201
What are some of the Award winning new flowers for 2002?

Mort's Answer:
Cleome , Sparkler Blush, Geranium , Black Magic Rose, Pansy , Ultima Morpho, Petunia Tidal Wave Silver, Rudbeckia, Cherokee Sunset, Vinca, Jaio Scarlet Eye and the Ornamental Pepper, Chilly Chili, are the All -American Selections for 2002. The Pansy is the first with blue and yellow bicolor blooms. This F1 hybrid Pansy is heat tolerant and will bloom in extreme heat. The pastel blue and yellow against a green foliage is a treat for the eye. Ultima Morpho will take 80 days from seed to flower. Chilly Chili has two inch fruit, is not pungent and is edible. Peppers are yellow, orange and red. This sweet pepper will thrive in hot temperatures. Cherokee Sunset Rudbeckia is an annual with yellow, bronze, mahogany and orange 4 inch flowers. The flowers are double and semi-double. Plants will grow to 30 inches. Cherokee Sunset will flower in 20 weeks from seeding. Jaio Scarlet Eye Vinca has a white eye on a Scarlet/ Rose two inch flower. This vinca grows to a foot and flowers in 70 days. One of the latest Wave etunias, Tidal Wave Silver has a silver-white flower can grow to 3 feet high, if planted 8 inches apart. It also can spread three feet apart, if planted two or more feet apart. Like all the Waves, it makes an excellent hanging plant. It takes 90 days from seed to bloom. Black Magic Rose Geranium has dark chocolate leaf centers with green edges. This zonal geranium is easy to grow and an excellent candidate for containers. The flower is bright rose with a white eye. It takes 80 days to flower and grows 10 inches high and 14 inches wide. Sparkler Blush Cleome is a pink that does not need staking. It grow to three feet high and three feet wide. It only takes 11 weeks to flower and will bloom in a small six inch pot.

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Question: 277-5201
My azalea did not bloom this past spring. What could cause this problem? Barbara, Wheeling, WV

Mort's Answer:
A late frost will nip many flowers in the bud. Early blooming azalea need protection from the north wind. Often times, the wind will dry the buds. The best location for these early bloomers is on the east or west side of a structure with an evergreen plant or fence as a buffer from the north side. If the azalea is on the south side, the heat of the sun may cause the buds to swell prematurely. When the late frosts hit, the tissue is destroyed. Deciduous azaleas with heavy bud shells and PJM can often survive in unprotected areas but they should be planted in the partial shade with shelter.

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Question: 1128-2114
Can I transplant my ballon flower now? I want to give some away. Joanne, Plainfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
Platycodon grandiflorum, like most perennials, can be separated and or transplanted in the spring. Division is not advised in the fall. It has a pale or dark blue or white bell shaped flower and grows to about 18 inches. P. grandiflorum mariesi is the dwarf form and P.grandiflorum japonica has 10 lobes and looks like a star.

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Question: 469-311
When is the best time to force forsythia? Charlotte, Narragansett, RI

Mort's Answer:
As soon as the buds are large, they can be forced open. If you pick them as small buds, you can watch the bud swell indoors. You can have bigger blooms, if Mother Nature does the swelling outdoors.

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Question: 853-4712
What is a better house plant, wax or tuberous begonia? Nate, Verdun,IL

Mort's Answer:
I like both. Tuberous are more elegant and larger in bloom and leaves. Rex tuberous begonia have spectacular leaves and flowers. Rieger tuberous are also stunning with rose-like flowers. Wax begonia will bloom continuously all winter with a much smaller flower. Charm Glow wax begonia has a white margined leaf and a pink flower. Both types need temps above 65. Some folks feel that the debris from fallen wax flowers are a nuisance. I am willing to pay the price for constant blooms,especially at my donees' houses.

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Question: 1324-4515
Because my Angel Wing and Wax begonias are so large, you suggested on your radio show that I might consider making cuttings. Can I start them in water? Jean, Willimantic, CT

Mort's Answer:
Yes you can, but success is more likely in peaty, sterile soil or straight sand. Leaf cuttings can be made without a small stem by laying them flat on a bed of coarse sand. Be sure the shiny side is up. The petiole is recommended if you insert the leaf into the peaty soil or sand. I prefer the straight sand without the petiole and lying flat. Mist them every day. Too much water will rot the leaves. Roots will develop from the veins under the leaves.

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Question: 409-3410
What is the best way to get Bird of paradise to bloom? Catherine, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
It needs dormancy for a month before January. The best way to do this is to stop watering and lower the temperature to 40.

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