If you have a question about gardening in the Birmingham area, ask John. John Floyd has been gardening–and learning about gardening–for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience in the garden, John has degrees in horticulture, plant taxonomy, and plant physiology from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.
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My first guess is that it is in too much shade. They like almost full to full sun to bloom. Like many of our marginal hardy shrubs that we think of as hardy the 9 degrees did a lot of cold damage this past winter. Just keep removing dead branches but also look at the base of the plant and see if the bark is split. If that is the case you might loose all the old branches but it should come back from the roots.
Most sources say they are fine in full sun but in my experience not full sun all day. I perfer to grow them where they get a bit of flitered shade in the hottest part of a summer day.
see answer below
Old camellias have some characteristics that generally leave them with lower limbs bare or dead and are removed. Apparently, yours has grown tall, and from the several different posts I assume you want to cut it back to stimulate new growth on the lower part of the trunk. First, you can radically prune it now if you desire, but I would do it over several years instead of all at once. New growth on the lower limbs will require bright sunlight. So in year one, I would remove enough limbs below the desired height to encourage lower trunk or stem growth. Then in year two, I would take the rest of the plant down. Do this after flowering and make sure the new lower limbs get plenty of sunlight. Also in spring I would, in this case, fertilize it with a high nitrogen numbered fertilizer to stimulate foliage growth. Look for something with a high first number similar to 12-6-6 or 10-5-5. Remember this is going to take years to produce a beautiful looking plant.
A fall application of a pre-emergence should give good control but since it is spring you can direct spray a pre-emergence herbicide containing 2,4-D. Since it seeds and they germinate quickly repeated applications my be necessary to control permanently for this growing season.
Cut your roses back now. As for the ants, any good ant killer should work and not kill the plant.
Spray it now with a herbicide containing 2,4-D and apply a pre-emergence next fall. Once it dies from the 2-4-D application plant as desried.
Really they are easy to prune as they do not need much. Shape as desired and remove any dead or damaged branches. As they grow older you might want to remove a few old canes each year to stimulate new growth.
Se answer on your question in part two of question.
I do wish I could be helpful but I know of no control that works on deer other than tall fencing. I hope the repellant works for you.
More tha likely it is a weed called henbit. It produces lots of seeds so I do not like to put it in my compost pile and neverif the flowers are in full blooms. I suppose you could compost them now as they are just in bud but I probably would not. One thing I do with stuff like this is to paper bag it and send it along with my yard trash which goes into a landfill where the material is being composted on a long term (years) basis. Our community puts this type material with the winter leaves and other natural refuse for future use as compost.
Same to you.
There are really lots of thoughts on pruning Knockout roses. It is not absolutely necessary to prune them but most of them need shaping. I would remove all crossed branches or ones that rub each other first. Then I would shape it to the desired height and width. Any time now is fine to do this up until it warms in the spring but most folks prune at this time of the year and I agree with that.
I am not avoiding you. Since I have never dealt with this problem I have reached out to a friend of mine to see if he has been successful. I am waiting for his response.
Finally, got a response from my friend that has a vegetable garden that had a deer problem. Here is what he did and said it worked. Had a five foot fence put in and added several feet of post to the corners and then stretched colorful cords in several rows around the garden and that deterred the deer. Also he said a dog that is active and lives outdoors is also a great deterrent. He did not find any of the sprays and repellents that worked.
First, let me say that I have never grown them in the Birmingham area from seeds but have enjoyed growing them from transplants. There are lots of types but I assume you want to grow the big oriental poppies. Thompson and Morgan recommend direct sowing in spring or fall but I would sow them in a container in good well drained fine soil where we can see if the seeds germinate. I think it is fine to seed them in early spring here for transplanting in late March. READERS- please comment on your experience in sowing poppy seeds. Thanks- john