Caring for Marigolds


TheGardenLady received this question from Sammy.

I am trying to grow marigolds on my balcony. They were already partially grown when I got them and were already flowering now they are starting to get lots of  flowers and the leaves are starting to fall off. I need some advice on pruning  them. Is there anything else I need to do to care for them? Also I kept one of the  dead flowers that fell off because I was told they hold the seeds of the plant that I can then replant.  Is there anything special I need to do before I plant  them.

Some people think that the marigold is the easiest flower to raise.  See here.   However, that being said, they do need lots of sunshine – the more the better. Marigolds like continuously warm or hot weather – not cold and hot weather – after all most of the marigolds we have in the US come from Mexico. They like to be watered but don’t like to be over watered – water twice a week in dry times. Too much rain can be bad for them so be sure the pots have good drainage. And though marigolds generally don’t seem to have many problems, they can have problems.  See here.  Your leaves falling off may be a sign that something is wrong.

Continue reading “Caring for Marigolds”

Rhododendron Blues


TheGardenLady received this question from Abe:

I have this Rhododendron in my front yard that is not blooming, and seems sick, and I don’t know why.  My neighbor says that it has a fungus on it.  Do you have any ideas about how to cure an unhealthy rhododendron? 

There are many good sites on the web that talk about typical rhododendron problems.  Here’s one good site about  rhododendron problems that might be of help.

However the best way to find out what is happening to your rhododendron is to take in a good sized sample of your rhododendron WITH the dying parts of the plant to your local Master Gardener Extension office to have your specific problem identified. The MGs will tell you if your problem is a typical problem and if it is, how to handle it. They will recommend solutions. The MGs prefer a non chemical solution. Without seeing a sample, TheGardenLady can just guess what is wrong.

Continue reading “Rhododendron Blues”



TheGardenLady received this question from Kevin:

I have a very small front area,very small,2’x25′ with very little sun.  I was thinking about some kind of ornamental grass for height and some other colorful flowers. Any ideas?

For a shaded, narrow, long garden, foliage interest might be what you are looking for. Hostas are definitely a plus for any shade garden.  Hostas have many leaf sizes. They are designated as tiny, dwarf, small, medium, large and giant. The leaves have a broad range of different green  colors-some of the leaves are yellowish and blueish as well as dark or light green or white with green, etc.- to make an interesting cool color palette. Many hostas send up flowers that are butterfly attractants and are fragrant. The hostas used to be considered in the lily family because of the flowers.  Check out the Hosta Library site for all the different hostas.  Or look at another Hosta website.

Continue reading “Hostas”

Romeo and Juliet Pansies


TheGardenLady received this queston from Samantha.

How do you grow (Romeo & Juliet mixed color) pansies? Are they a shade pansy?

Plant these fragrant pansies in the  Autumn/Winter.  They like cool weather to bloom. They hate hot weather.  In cool weather they will give you two seasons of bloom – first in the fall and then again in late winter.

They have high Frost tolerance- +++ (high)

Position them in full sun to part shade

Usage: Ideal for bedding, borders, rockeries and containers

Available as: seedlings

A good link that tells about planting Romeo and Juliet pansy seeds is this.