Wilted Plants, Dead Plants – It’s Avoidable

GardenWise – Container Plants that Don’t Defy Odds

We love a quick Q&A, especially when the question involves some- thing a gardener sees with their eye that actually doesn’t match with what’s really happening.  Here’s the question:  

Q. I have a dracaena spike plant that is in a porch-railing container outside. I am amazed that it’s still alive and looking great. I read an article that said it will stay evergreen in zones 9-10, but I live in zone 5, and we have had some very cold weather.  I have the plant facing west and I haven’t watered it since late fall. Do you know why it’s still alive?

 

It’s so important to remember that the best way to avoid wilted plants and dead plants duirng winter is to bring ’em in, which we wrote about earlier.  We’re afraid that the  Dracaena is frozen and just appears to be alive. Once warm weather returns, it will start to deteriorate.  Many folks have had this happen with dracaenas and many other  plants left outside during winter.  They looked good, and as you observed, appeared to be alive. But in spring the plants wilted and turned to mush once they thawed.  

Now is a good time to think about how you want to fill that container, and do yourself a favor . . . add a note on your November 2011 calendar reminding you to bring in your containers!

 

The Solution is…Containers!

An Instant Garden Solution

You’ve planned your landscape, spent months choosing your plantings, and something doesn’t take.  What to do?  
 
A bare area in a garden space can be fixed by dropping in a pot of blooms, fruits or vegetables.  Pots allow for a more fluid and adaptable gardenspace, making it easy to change to seasonal needs and aesthetic choices. You can place potted plants in places where the soil is unsuitable for a particular variety,  and if you have a small  terrace or balcony, you can add scale with potted climbers such clematis.   The options are endless.
 
To keep your potted plants healthy, even if they don’t need replanting, remember to replensih the soil each year.   Remove 2-4 inches of soil and avoid harming fragile feeder roots.  Refill with fresh soil mixed with slow release fertilizer.  

AOL and GardenWise on Winter Curb Appeal

 

AOL’s DIY Life and GardenWise offer up tips and ideas on how to improve Curb Appeal during winter in a January 20, 2011 feature story.  We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with  DIY Life writer Francesca Clark,  and below are our tips and ideas from AOL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can read the story in its entirety at AOL – http://aol.it/dQMuPi 
“Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean it’s time to stop maintaining the front of your house. Winter curb appeal can take on its own delightful characteristics; you just need to know what you’re doing and be deliberate about it.  
 
Who better to guide us on landscape design and curb appeal than J. Mark White, Landscape Architect and President of DC-based GardenWise, Inc. who appears on HGTV’s Curb Appeal.       
 
Frame your garden. Use clean and attractive borders. According to Mark, “landscape borders play an important role in a home’s curb appeal — whether we’re talking about the whole yard or just a planting bed; a defined area catches the eye more readily than one that is indistinguishable.” Various curbing materials such as concrete, brick, stone and slate add definition to your garden area and help it look tidy even in the winter months. 

Utilize Outdoor Lighting – Lighting is always important, but it is even more crucial on dark winter nights. Landscape lighting is practical, as it extends the use of your front yard into into the evening hours, and allows for safe passage for you and your guests. It is also a very purposeful design choice.  Mark suggests that new LED lighting focused on some of your front garden accents can significantly change your home’s evening appeal. The right lighting will make your house a warm gem that stands apart from the others on chilly winter evenings. ”                                                                      
                                                                                                                  .  Tip: Mark says, “Repeated use of rock salt to melt ice will damage and kill plants, and ruin an important part of your curb appeal. Salt will also change soil structure. If you (or your city) uses a lot of salt, be sure to thoroughly water your lawn, front flower beds, and landscape in the very early spring.” Click here for eco-friendly alternatives to rock salt.”