March 1, 2016
I've attached two photos of a plant I planted several years ago in a shaded area at my Little Rock home. I don't know its name, but it was recommended for shade. This is the first time it has put out seed pods, or whatever those things are in the picture. Can you tell me what to do with them? If I plant some, will they grow? How do you recommend planting, and is there something else I should do?
The plant in question is a great shade-lover called Fatsia japonica. We had such a mild and late fall and early winter that they had an extended season and many of them bloomed. While they have the potential to do so every year, some years an early frost or a dry season prevents them from having the time to bloom. In milder areas, black berries follow the blooms, but we usually don’t get to see those here in Arkansas. It is hardy in the southern half of the state, with a few appearances further north, which sometimes get nipped back.
I have several shrubs most people call japonicas (pink blooms and thorns). My neighbor are full of blooms, but mine have only a few. What can I do to get more blooms.
Japonica is the common name usually given to the flowering quince, Chaenomeles japonica. These old-fashioned shrubs may not be blooming as well if they are getting older and overgrown, or again in heavy shade. While they do bloom well in full sun to partial shade, they also set their flower buds in late summer—so don’t prune late in the season. You may want to thin out your plant this year immediately after bloom, fertilize lightly and see what happens next spring. They are easy plants to grow, and usually fairly reliable with blooms.
My flowering quince has several small fruit. Is it best to remove these fruit or leave them on the plant until they fall off?
Flowering quince often sets fruit when the growing conditions are good. This spring is was cool and wet and many plants set a copious amount of fruits and berries. It won't hurt your plant either way to let it keep the fruit or remove it. While it is edible, the quality is not great. Some use it for making jams and jellies since the natural pectin content is high.
What are some, if any, evergreen flowers like gardenias that deer will leave alone?
Deer are definitely a problem in Arkansas gardens. We do have a list of deer resistant plants on our website, but if the deer get desperate for food, they occasionally eat some of these as well. Some flowering plants to try include: butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), forsythia, winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), leucothoe, Oregon grape holly (Mahonia), oleander, flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica) daphne, Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica), spireas, oakleaf hydrangea and mock orange – (Philadelphus sp.).
I have a plant by an old house that blooms about when Forsythia blooms. The flowers are a dark pink. What is it? My sister says that it is a Japonica. I used to call it pink Forsythia. From the books I have, it looks to be Flowering Quince. What is it? Can I dig some of it up and move it now--in the fall? I cannot find Japonica in my books.
The plant in question is a flowering quince. The Latin name is Chaenomeles japonica, thus the japonica common name--since so many couldn't pronounce Chaenomeles. It is a tough old-fashioned plant. You can transplant some now if needed.
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