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After the holiday plant care

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Poinsettia’s keeping quality depends on several factors. Many home gardeners have no trouble keeping a poinsettia looking good through the winter, but bringing it into “flower” in subsequent years is a challenge for the best of gardeners. They are still considered actively growing even now and will need water, sunlight, and fertilizing through February.

Pruning Camellias

Camellia japonica can be grown as a large evergreen shrub or a small tree and they can also create an excellent screen. The best time to prune is when the blooms fade—about this time of year on many plants. Remove spent flowers to prevent seed formation. If possible, try to make pruning cuts just above the thickened, rough area on the stem.

Camellia problem

A client called and said her camellia puts on good green foliage and a lot of pretty buds, but they never open and eventually they will turn brown, rot and fall off every year.

This is a common problem in camellia called “bullnose.” It is not known to be caused by a pathogen. It is a physiological or genetic problem related to the specific cultivar and/or weather conditions. No treatment is available. If it reappears consistently each year, then the plant should be replaced. With other plants, the “bullnose” condition may only appear sporadically.

Winter Lawn Care

February will be a good time to evaluate your turf. The lawns that will need the most attention are the ones that are green and brown! The green parts are the cool season grasses and weeds; fescue, bluegrass, annual bluegrass, etc. The brown areas are the warm season grass species; Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia or dead areas. The goal should be to have one or the other, and not both. Consult the Carolina Lawns publication from your local Cooperative Extension Office for complete information on renovating turf areas.

Garden Cleanup

After this recent rain, the soil may be too wet to work, but it’s never too wet in landscape beds to add mulch. Generally, this time of year the beds could stand a late winter touchup. Add a fresh layer of pine needles or bark to the beds.

Evergreen Azaleas, in order of bloom

Many landscape projects are planned and planted in the fall for a great display in the spring. Azaleas are great landscape plants and perform beautifully if planted in the correct microclimate; ideally under tall pine trees in rich, well-drained soil with a sprinkler system. It is possible to have a prolonged season of bloom (two months) from the azaleas if numerous cultivars are used. The following is a list of popular azaleas according to their normal sequence of bloom:

Early: Hino de giri, Sherwood Red, Coral Bells, Tradition, H.H. Hume, Hershey's Red, Snow, Hino Crimson, Delaware Valley.

Midseason: G.G. Gerbing, George Tabor, President Clay, Formosa,

Rosebud, Elaine, and Pink camellia.

Late: Gumpo, Lady Robin, Martha Hitchcock, Harris Purple, Higasa, Pleasant White.