Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Calling All Gardeners

I have a lot of plant questions and y'all are always so helpful so I thought I would throw them out there.  :)  Any advice you have I would love to hear it!

 I planted gladiolas this past spring and I am loving them.  These are the first things I have ever planted from a bulb.  :)  The purple ones are my favorite.  I know I am supposed to cut off the stem once they have finished blooming but do I also cut all the leaves back to the ground?  In the picture above, the plant to the far right by the steps has already bloomed and been cut off.  Do I just leave the leaves?

In the picture above, I have no idea what that is!  My Grandmother sent a bunch of plants in a bucket and I just randomly planted them.  Some have come up as crepe myrtles and some as irises but I'm not sure what this one is.  I'm actually thinking it could be a weed that I have been babying and watering every night.  ;)

This is my snowball bush.  I recently read on line that they are drought resistant and that I shouldn't water it very often.  By not watering very often it causes the roots to go further into the ground looking for moisture and makes the branches thicker and sturdier.  Also, it said to cut it back about 2' off the ground after it blooms.  Does that mean that I should cut it back now?  I want the branches to get stronger because right now they cannot hold the blooms in the spring.


In the picture above are my lace cap hydrangeas.  Is it normal for them to not bloom one year?  They have bloomed the past two years but this year only the far left one has produced any blooms. The leaves are very healthy and they continue to grow.

My butterfly bush is taking over!  It gets so huge each year even though I cut it back to about 2 feet in the winter.  Is there a way to keep it smaller without loosing the blooms?  It is covering up a nandina.  :)


I love knockout rose bushes.  This one started out as a small little plant last spring and has grown so much!  Do you do anything with the dead blooms?  I know they are supposedly "self-cleaning" but it sure looks ugly for about 3-4 weeks during it's "cleaning process."

This might be my favorite.  Our dogwood tree.  These are just SO pretty in the spring!  However, I feel like mine is looking very heavy and full.  Is this how they are supposed to look?  Should I thin it out some?  It is actually starting to block some sunlight in our dining room. 

I know that is a lot of questions.  I would love to hear your suggestions!  Thanks in advance!

20 comments:

Brittany said...

I am no expert, but like to pretend I am a gardener :). Our next door neighbor has a butterfly bush that is out of control huge and they cut it back every year. Parts of it have even died, but that thing keeps on growing and growing. We have tons of huge knock out roses and I cut them back maybe once a year. You can do more, I can't seem to kill mine-- so I doubt if you cut the dead blooms off that it would do anything to hurt the plant. Wish I was more help!

Lauren said...

Let me know if you come up short on some answers, and I'll ask my mom. I know nothing. She knows lots. =)

Mallorie said...

I have no answers to any of your questions...but all of your plants are BEAUTIFUL!!! :-)

The Smith Family said...

I dont know a whole lot about gardening but my MIL and Mother are both amazing gardeners. the one thing I do is I trim off all dead blooms off of all of my plants. especially my knock outs. i have about 7 and they still are blooming and growing bc I continuously trim off the dead blooms. I do this with all my other flowers and it seems to help in keeping them healthy. Of course their are some that you are not supposed to do that with like hydrangea's{mine isnt blooming this year either :(}

Kelly said...

I know you're not supposed to prune dogwoods too much because it just makes them grow in more! You can trim off the bottom branches in the winter or early spring to clean it up a bit but otherwise just let it go :)

Caroline said...

First time commenter here... I have a huge lace cap hydrangea and last year it didn't bloom. I ended up asking a landscaper and he told me that it probably wasn't getting enough nitrates so I started feeding it Miracle Grow regularly and it looks fabulous this year! I also deadhead my knockout roses and they keep blooming and blossoming all summer. It looks so much better when the flowers are blooming. Good luck and I love following your blog!

The Mommy said...

I think that your unidentified plant may be what my family has always referred to as Wandering Jew. The pictures I've found of it online don't look quite like this, but I have some and I've always thought it was a type of Wandering Jew. It likes to wander and will cover the ground. It's easy to transplant and has small blue-ish flowers in the morning.
Or I could be wrong!

Becky Branch said...

Well, I know nothing of plants. But I do want to make some t-shirts like you made Westin those are so cute! Did you use a thick sewing thread for the outside or did you just use regular thread?

Sarah said...

For any bulbs that you plant (spring or fall) you will want to let the leaves remain until they sort of dry up and get a little shriveled. You can cut the stems/stalks back, but the leaves will continue to work gathering sunshine to produce energy that is sen back down into the bulb for next season. They won't look super, but resist the urge to cut the leaves off till they are yellowish and wimpy.
As for the Dogwood Dead and diseased branches should be removed as soon as they are noticed. You can the thin the branch structure of your dogwood by selectively removing crowded branches at the point where they originate from a larger branch or the trunk. You can also remove low-hanging branches. This kind of pruning, which is done to shape and thin a dogwood, is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
You don't "need" to deadhead the roses unless yo just want to clean up the plant a little...but you can, and it won't hurt anything.
Everything looks beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I don'thave any good answers for you, but what is the bush in front of the Dogwood tree? Your house is beautiful inside and out.

Ronda

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

A butterfly bush will grow to be HUGE. I know that. You can't plant them close to anything else, because they will eventually grow over it.

That's all I know! Your yard looks great!

Tami from SD said...

I wish that I had answers for you but I sure enjoyed seeing pictures of your plants. I was watching the first five minutes of "19 kids and counting" this am before I hopped on the computer--and there you were. The mom was speaking at an event and it showed a shot of the audience. It was fun to see you on tv.

Kari Beth said...

You are quite the green thumb! I don't have the answers to any of your questions, but I am impressed with all your pretty plants.

My hydrangea is not as hearty this year. Last year I have about 18 blooms this year 3 :(

Katie said...

Hello, Shannon! You know how I love to look at pretty flowers! With your glads, I'd leave them alone till they turn brown and start "dying" back on their own. It is so tempting to cut post-bloom bulb greens back, but if you do, you will likely lose your blooms for next year. As bad as I hate to, I probably leave them longer than necessary just so I don't forfeit next year's blooms.

Your unknown flower looks a little like a Virginia spiderwort. It's hard to tell. But it's a pretty weed if that's what it is! HA! I have totally discovered that I have been unknowingly pampering weeds at times in the hopes that it is something else... haha! In fact, I found volunteers (or what I think are volunteers) of one of my plants, and I have them potted and am fussing over them .... who knows what I have actually got in there! Time will tell....

"Gardenweb" is a good site to search for problems with plants ... for the mystery of the sudden stop in blooms for your hydrangea. Good luck --- everything looks beautiful!

Kelly said...

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Beth C said...

That mystery plant might be a type of bluebells. I have a plant that looks identical to it in our backyard (it was there when we moved in). We have been told that they are bluebells and they do have little blue flowers on them. So maybe yours will sprout little flowers, too. :)

Anonymous said...

I can only give you some advice on the roses and the butterfly bush, because we do have them in our garden as well. When you remove the dead blooms of your roses it will keep on blooming. As you leave the blooms the plant will form rosehips instead of form lots of new flowers.
When you cut bach your butterfly bush to about 20 cm (approx. 8 inches!) your butterfly bush will be about 1 meter (40 inches) high in sommer.
Regards, Marina C. (Austria).

Mommy Melback said...

Gorgeous gardens!!!

Shannon said...

Hi, the bush in front of the Dogwood is a crepe myrtle.

JuJu and Family said...

Beautiful gladiolas! Our weather is so wishy washy this year that mine didn't even bloom this year :(.
Beautiful blog.