Do four-o’clock flowers really only bloom at 4 o’clock?

Do four-o’clock flowers really only bloom at 4 o’clock?

They may not open exactly at 4 p.m., but it will be pretty close. They often open in late afternoon, flower for the evening and wither by morning. Each afternoon from summer until fall there will be new flowers. The plant grows best in full sun to part shade. They tolerate most soils and heat. Be aware that all parts of this plant are poisonous. Handling the roots can cause dermatitis. If ingested by people, livestock or pets can cause nausea and vomiting.

Our Colorado Blue Spruce is dropping a lot of needles. Is this normal?

Norway, white or Colorado blue spruce are dropping needles and it could be Sudden Needle Drop (SNEED). Trees in Minnesota have been affected. Symptoms include yellow to brown needles that fall off, leaving just the new growth. Affected branches have a black ‘cuff’ where the stem attaches to the main branch. That is fruiting body of the fungus. As more of the tree is infected, it will die. Researchers aren’t sure if the fungus causes the problem or is taking advantage of an underlying problem. Removing the infected branch may help slow the process. You can help healthy trees by watering during dry periods.

What causes irises to become yellow and soft at the base?

Soft rot is a fungal disease usually caused as a secondary problem of the iris borer. Remove rotted portions of the rhizomes and all dead foliage in fall. This will eliminate the egg-laying site for the adult iris borer.

Do I prune rose bushes in the fall or spring?

Early spring before growth begins. Remove all dead or damaged stems to the ground. Prune and shape tips as needed.

What should I do with the young green balls from spent calla lily blossoms?

These clusters contain calla seeds. Let the clusters dry on the plant for several weeks and tear open to remove the 1/8 inch tan seeds. You can start these seeds indoors immediately or store in a cool dry place and plant next spring. New plants won’t bloom until the second year so lift the small bulbs in fall and store with your calla lily bulbs.

I am cutting a pine tree down. Will the soil in that area be too acid to grow anything?

This is a myth. Pines do not dramatically acidify the soil. Actually the tree roots may be more of a problem. If you put in a raised bed you won’t have the tree roots to deal with and can amend the soil.