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Lets Talk About June By: Pat Cordray

 

With all the rain in May, hopefully, we haven’t all washed away.  One benefit of the rain is June may be an extremely green month.  If your yard is anything like mine, very much the blooming jungle, this rain is causing the plants to grow by leaps and bounds.  I can’t seem to find the time when it is not raining to take the garden loppers, shears and maybe even the chainsaw to it.  It seems impossible to even start, but start I must.  

 

Where to start?  I will be cutting many plants way back; I need to be able to walk on the path in my yard.    Now that it is June, I will not be trimming my azaleas or my camellias back.  Camellias are now forming the flowers for next fall and winter and azaleas are now forming flowers for next spring.  Pulling weeds is also on the list.  Don’t waste garden space on weeds that use up valuable water without any return.  IF the rain stops, we will all have to water.  With the hotter temperatures most plants need more water.  This is especially true for azaleas and camellias and any newly planted flowers, shrubs or trees.

 

Have you seen all the new Hibiscus varieties at The Nursery?  Wow! Is just the start of what I can say about them.  They are so incredible; it looks like someone has been tie dying the flowers.  I had to have the Cherry Appaloosa hibiscus; it has the most incredible red flower with splashes of white.  I added it to my Pink Lemonade and Gold Rain hibiscus.  I have no room left for the other equally beautiful hibiscus like Space Oddity, the double flower of Time for Magic, Big Bang, Yellow Jacket and the never too old, Rumrunner.  

 

With the heat of the summer starting any moment, keep watch for bad critters on your hibiscus.  Mealy bugs are cottony white bugs that congregate mostly on the stems of the hibiscus and feed on the new growth.  Aphids are tiny bugs that are black, greenish or yellowish.  Aphids

can cover the stems leaves and buds on the hibiscus.   White flies are tiny white moths that lay eggs on the underside of leaves.  White flies excrete honeydew that will cause sooty mold on the tops of the leaves.  These pests can be jet sprayed off but that seems to just be a temporary fix.  Triple Action Plus or Neem oil used in the early morning hours, seems to be a longer lasting fix.  Spray the tops and undersides of leaves every 7-10 days.  Don’t spray around or on beneficial insects.  Some will recommend products that contain imidacloprid for problems with pests on hibiscus.  This systemic insecticide product will work but the cost is that it also will kill bees and other beneficials in the garden when they feed on treated plants.  

 

Get outside your jungle awaits,

Pat