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Category Search Results for:
Flowers

Question: 782-2812
When is a good time to split up my irises? They are finished blooming. Carol, North Windham, CT

Mort's Answer:
Irises should be split every three to four years. You could do it now. It is best to wait until early fall. You can cut them back by half now to allow strengthening of the roots. Add a little lime after you have cut them up and replanted this fall.

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Question: 811-3512
Can I cut my single flowered rambler rose now and when can I transplant? Ruth, Lisbon, CT

Mort's Answer:
You could cut now or wait until you transplant. Deciduous plants need to start defoliating before digging them up. You might try some cuttings at that time for new plants as well. Cut your roses back to a foot from the ground. This will make it easier to transplant. No fertilizer near the root. Some 5-10-10 on the surface will help.

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Question: 715-1112
What is a good way to keep out grass and weeds in my perennial beds? Linda, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Early and often cultivation is the best way. Putting cornstarch down at this time is an effective organic approach. Preem is another organic powder that works well. Synthetic compounds are also effective but some will inhibit growth of shallow rooted trees.

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Question: 9-5201
We have 13 Amaryllis bulbs from larger bulbs that have not bloomed yet. Any suggestions? Terry, Beckley, WV

Mort's Answer:
Amaryllis need rest periods in between blooms. A cellar with temps between 60-70 degrees will suffice. If they bloomed indoors last winter and were allowed to run the cycle, they will eventually bloom. An annual cycle will include allowing the flower to dissipate on the hollow stem and letting the strap like leaves mature before resting the bulbous root for the summer. In central and south Florida or southern California they will do well outdoors and can be left through the winter. You need not wait for bulblets to form each spring. You can cut the bulb in half. Be sure to include some of the stem and root material in each section. Very large bulbs can be cut in quarters. If you put them outdoors in the summer after they have bloomed in the winter indoors, they may not have enough energy left to run a cycle. A prolonged resting period would be best, if you had a winter and summer bloom. Remove all but an inch of the stem before resting them in sawdust or sphagnum moss for the summer.

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Question: 846-4412
I took your advice this spring and planted my amaryllis outdoors. The blooms were spectacular. I noticed that the bulbs have fleshy roots on them. Should I remove them when I dig them up this fall? Bob, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
Be careful not to injure those tender roots. Store them in a cool dry place until spring. You can try repotting some of them in January to have Easter blooms. Next year you can dig up the larger flowers and bisect the bulbs at the end of July to produce more bulbs. This will mean keeping the directed bulb in 60 degree temps until they have developed new roots and a new bulb. It may not be possible in August to find an area that is cool enough other than a cool basement. All new soils should have a third sand.

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Question: 854-4712
I put my Amaryllis outdoors this summer and had a super abundance of large flowers. I want to bring it indoors. It has not split but has a large mass of root under the bulb. I would like it to bloom indoors this winter. What should I do? Patty, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
It will need a rest. Cut back the leaves to an inch from the top of the pot. You will need to transplant to an eight inch clay pot and allow the plant to be in a cool well-lit spot. If you want to wait until spring to plant outdoors, cut the root off the bottom and store the bulb for the winter. You can store it in kitty litter, cedar chips or dry peat in a brown paper bag to keep out light.

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Question: 870-5112
I have eight amaryllis in storage. Should I wait until spring to plant them outdoors or can I raise them indoors as houseplants? Vivian

Mort's Answer:
As you probably experienced, you get a lot more flowers as an outdoor plant. I would get one of the bulbs that seem to be splitting and plant it in a six inch clay pot and leave the rest for outdoors in early May. Use good potting soil and a third sand for drainage. Put the amaryllis in strong filtered light. Once it has sprouted, you can feed it with soluble fertilizer every other time that you give it water. It will probably bloom around Valentine's Day. As time goes on and you continue to have more and more in your garden, you might consider trying more houseplants.

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