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Garden Reference Desk

Welcome to the "Ask Janet Carson" portion of our website. Here you will find Janet Carson's current "In the Garden" Questions and Answers found weekly in "The Arkansas Democrat/Gazette" Saturday edition. Have fun reading these pages and check back with us weekly. This page is constantly updated and new questions are added on Monday following their appearance in the paper. So stay tuned...

All of the Questions & Answers that Janet writes for all publications are archived.

In the Garden with Janet B. Carson

 

February 25, 2017

Question

Is it too early to put 3 in 1 Bayer on my knockout roses?  They have the beginnings of some new growth at this time

 

Answer

 I do not think we should start using pesticides just yet on our roses—the three in one products also contain fertilizer, and we sure don’t need to speed things up.  A lot of folks have been questioning whether or not they should still prune roses this year, since many have started growing. I still recommend pruning all roses with the exception of climbing roses, which should be pruned AFTER the first flowering.  Late season pruning doesn’t hurt the roses, but the later you wait, the later they may start flowering.  If you don’t prune, you won’t have as many flowers and your plants may be huge.  Wait until mid-March to early April before using pesticides on roses. 


 Question

I have several pink Surprise Lilies in my flower bed.  Four years ago, there was plenty of foliage in the spring that died bank and many, many blooms in late summer.  However, each year since, there has been plenty of foliage, but only one or two blooms.  Is there anything I can do to make sure they bloom this year?  The foliage is already up. 

 

Answer

Everything is ahead of schedule this spring. My foliage is fully up on the naked ladies.   You could lightly fertilize your lycoris or surprise lilies in mid-March.  This variety with the pink blooms is Lycoris squamigera.  They produce foliage in the spring, which grows for about two months and then it dies back and the light pink naked stems come up about two months later.  The red spidery type blooms are Lycoris radiata and the foliage on those comes up right after they bloom in the fall and it lasts all winter before dying down in the late spring.  While the foliage is up on either of these varieties is when they are manufacturing the food to produce the flowers.


Question

I read your article on the scale problem in the LR area.   I have heavy infestation of my Crape Myrtles and my Privet bushes.  I tried to wash the scale and the mold off with soapy water.   It was very difficult and slow going.  I then used my electric pressure washer (1600 psi) and it cleaned the trunks and branches in no time and it was much easier.  The bark seems very clean with no sigh of damage. Next, weather permitting, I will treat with dormant oil and then the systemic insecticide.

 

Answer

Great idea, just make sure when using the pressure washer that it is not too intense to cause damage to the trunks.


Question

Attached is a picture of one of my hybrid rose bushes. I purchased it in NC 4 years ago.  While in the pot, it produced a few white long-stemmed roses. Once planted in the ground, the bush sent out two different types of stems; one produces small red blooms once a season.  The other side has leaves, but does not bloom.  Apparently, the hybrid root-ball has separated. The leaves on each side are quite different. The bloom-less side has a bark like growth as shown in the picture.  I have cut this side to the ground twice.  It regrows again and by mid-season the bark reappears.  Do you know what causes this bark to grow?  How do I stop it?  Although I am not a big fan of roses, the red side is very nice when in bloom and I would like to continue to have it in my garden.

 Picture of elm winged

Answer

I think you have a few things going on.  First, I think your white rose bush was grafted on to a more wild type of red rose bush.  I believe your graft union either died or the wild root stalk came up and took over.  In addition you actually have a winged elm tree growing in the midst of your rose bush.  That corky ridge or extra growth along the stem is a characteristic of that plant, thus the common name including “winged”.  I would definitely try to prune out the tree, or it will overtake your rose bush and shade it out. 

 


 

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