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You’ve Got Questions: We’ve Got Answers

You’ve Got Questions: We’ve Got Answers

You have questions about your yard, garden, holiday plants and houseplants. We’ve got answers! Here are a few that have been posed this week:

Q. Can I plant the paperwhite bulbs after they flower indoors?

A. No, these bulbs aren’t bred for long-term life in this area. Enjoy them indoors, and when they are done put the plants and bulbs in your compost pile.

Paperwhite Narcissus are great winter-enjoyment bulbs indoors, but you’ll want to plant hardier versions of the Narcissus outside.

Q. My peace lily never blooms. How can I get the white flowers back?

A. Although peace lily (Spathiphyllum) plants tolerate low-light for growth, they need some direct sun for flowering. Move your peace lily into an eastern facing window so that it gets sun in the morning. If it’s been in the same pot and soil for more than two or three years, repot it with fresh potting soil, and start to fertilize in February. The combination of new soil and morning sun should bring it into bloom.

This peace lily is in the back of the room but in the winter, when the sun is low, it gets direct sun for about three hours a day. That brings it into bloom every March.

Q. I bought a white Hellebore plant at your store last week. Can I plant it outside now?

A. Yes! As long as the soil isn’t frozen, get it in the ground. The sooner the better, really, since December is fairly mild on Cape Cod.

Jacob, one of our favorite varieties for December flowering, is most often available at Christmas time.

Q. When I was doing some leaf cleanup I noticed that there were lots of little shoots around my Rose of Sharon plants. Is this shrub spreading by suckers?

A. Some Rose of Sharon are prolific self-seeders. What you’re seeing aren’t shoots from the main plant, but young plants that have grown from seeds. You can transplant a couple elsewhere, but don’t try and save them all: how many Rose of Sharon does one landscape need? Also, every one you keep will eventually flower and make more seeds, so you’ll have hundreds of young seedlings to remove in the future. The easiest way to control this plant is to prune the seed pods off in the early fall before the seeds open and fall on the ground. You can get rid of the excess seedlings by either pulling them out or having them repeatedly cut to the ground with a weed wacker.

All the rose of Sharon shoots at the bottom of this shrub are self-sown seedlings.

If you have questions about your yard and garden, stop by Country Garden on West Main Street in Hyannis, and talk with one of the knowledgeable people on our staff. We’ve got information, products, and plants that will help you create a lovely home and landscape.  

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