Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit questions, email her Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I live on the North Shore and don’t know what to do with my citrus trees. My Satsuma seems to be recovering, but my lemon tree looks very bad. what can you do to help them? — James
Citrus crops were hit hard during the freeze, especially in areas north and west of Lake Pontchartrain. Lemons and limes are the softest and can be lost.
don’t do anything now In the spring, when new shoots appear, prune any branches that do not have new shoots.
See where it comes from. If new growth is only from the base of the trunk, the desired citrus is lost and the only thing left is the rootstock. Remove it and replace the tree. A rootstock does not produce good fruit.
If new growth occurs from the top of the tree above the graft, prune back to the area where the buds are emerging.
Cold damage may appear by midsummer. Spring shoots may suddenly die. If so, prune that growth. Hopefully most of the new growth stays healthy. By the end of summer, we’ll know if the trees have survived the freeze.
There are about 10 large azalea bushes that are always in bloom. However, this year, I noticed that all the yellow leaves have many black spots. When the leaves turn yellow they fall off. How can I save this azalea so that it blooms in the spring? — Alyssa Bennett
Your azaleas probably don’t need to be saved. Azaleas are evergreen and do not shed all their leaves at once (like the leafless trees and shrubs we see today), but those leaves eventually grow old, weary, and fall off the plant.
Not all leaves. The youngest leaves at the end of the branch are retained, but 1/3 to 1/2 of the older leaves may change color (turn yellow, orange, or reddish) and fall off the plant. . This defoliation occurs in Azalea from his late November to March and varies greatly from year to year.
This is probably an unusually heavy defoliation. After the leaves fall off, the plant becomes slightly leggy and less full-bodied, but it bounces back when it gets new growth this spring.
Spots are fungal organisms that attack dead leaves. The fungi don’t make the leaves turn yellow or fall off, they just take advantage of them.
Many other evergreen trees and shrubs, such as gardenia, Indian hawthorn, and holly, shed their old leaves in fall, winter, or spring.
How do I store fully bloomed amaryllis bulbs indoors? Cut back leaves? I hope to plant one in my garden someday. — Jean
After the flowers have wilted, cut the stems where they emerge from the bulb, but do not cut the leaves.
Keep plants indoors and continue to provide plenty of light. Otherwise, the leaves will be weak and droopy. When the weather becomes milder, the pot can be moved outdoors to a sunny location. Water regularly when the soil begins to dry out, but amaryllis do not need to be fertilized at this time.
In April, plant the bulbs in a spot that gets at least half a day of sun in your garden. Amaryllis planted in the garden in the spring enter a natural cycle and bloom the following April.
Bulbs will still be available for those wishing to grow amaryllis. Amaryllis bulbs purchased in the fall or winter should be planted in pots for flowering indoors, even if you plan to eventually plant them in your garden.
Amaryllis should be grown in a sunny windowsill (the more sun the better) and should be watered when the surface of the soil is dry. Flowering usually occurs about 6 weeks after planting.
Trim ground cover: You can prune the ground cover from now until February before new growth appears to remove unsightly foliage, rejuvenate the plant, and control growth. Prune unattractive individual leaves by hand. Liriope, monkey grass, Japanese aldisia, and jasmine can be trimmed by adjusting the mower to its highest setting or using a string trimmer or hedge clipper.
Keep or Discard?: If you buy pots with spring-blooming bulbs, it’s generally best to throw them away after they’ve finished flowering. Some exceptions are amaryllis, paperwhite, daffodils and other daffodils. After flowering, you can plant it in the garden.
Dig and split: Now is a good time to dig, divide, and transplant dormant hardy perennials in your flower garden. Do not dig up and divide currently vigorously growing perennials such as Louisiana irises, calla lilies, Easter lilies, red spider lilies, acanthus, and spring flowering bulbs.
Harvesting potatoes: Plant Irish potatoes in your garden until mid-February. Cut seed potatoes (available in nurseries and feed stores) into egg-sized pieces. Make sure each piece contains at least one eye. Allow the cut seed pieces to heal for a few days before planting them in well-prepared beds about 12 inches apart and 4 inches deep. Red La Soda (red) and Kennebec (white) are generally the most available and both are often produced here.