Monday, September 14, 2009

Transplanting Subtropicals Quick Tips For Success

By Keith Markensen

Here are some quick tips for your landscape in the month on August

There's no better time to set out irises than right now. Of course it is possible to get free divisions from gardening friends, but chances are the varieties they have to offer are inferior and have long since gone out of style. Why be content with nondescript old-fashioned irises? Today there are new hybrids in vibrant tones of blue, red, pure white and golden yellow as well as striking bicolors.

The Best Time to Water

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to water the garden. Those plants that tend to mildew should not be wet at night; they are better watered in early morning. Never merely sprinkle the soil surface, for shallow watering encourages the roots to grow toward the surface. Instead, soak the soil until it is wet 6 to 8 inches deep. A soil soaker will make the job easier.

Transplanting Subtropical Plant Materials

Many subtropical trees and plants will transplant more successfully in summer, if handled correctly, than in winter. Jacaranda, gardenia, hibiscus and palm, if moved now, will become established before frosts come. They should be dug with a good-sized, firm ball of earth. Prune the tops back to compensate for any root loss. Keep plants thoroughly wet in their new location until they are well established, then irrigate as usual.

Propagating tender plants Cuttings of tender plants such as heliotrope, lantana and fuchsia taken now will winter over in the greenhouse and be ready to set out next spring. Cuttings of geranium, coleus and browallia can be rooted and kept in a sunny window.

Humidity for tuberous begonias and air plants Don't forget that tuberous begonias and air plants like moisture in the air. Light overhead sprinkling and wetting down the grass or paths near them should be a daily practice during warm weather will do the trick in caring air plants and tuberous begonias.

Preventing bud drop on camellias "If you want to avoid bud drop trouble with camellias next winter, keep the plants moist during August and September. A good mulch of peatmoss will conserve the soil moisture and also keep the soil cool.

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