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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.


Other January Links


Repotting Wisteria

Question We live in Hong Kong. Winter is upon us and my Wisteria is loosing its leaves as it should. I have two questions about it; do I water it during the winter months or just let it be?  The rainfall is low here during winter. Also, it needs to be in a bigger pot. When is a good time to re-pot a wisteria?

AnswerFall and early winter is the best time to repot a wisteria, then the plant has a chance to redevelop it's root system over-winter….and take-off again in the spring. If you have prolonged dry spells, you should check the plant, to determine if the soil is bone dry and in need of moisture. If so, water sparingly.


Winterizing Dahlias

Question After the first frost my friends who were taking care of my place decided to do me a favor and cut down all my dahlia bushes which had turned black except for the lower stalks which are still quite green. My question is did they cut them down too soon? I have eighty nine dahlia bushes and my friends and neighbors have admired them for years. I have never cut them down before they have been totally black and have always dug them up before cutting the stalks off. they are still in the ground and I don't know if there is any hope for them. Should I wait until stalks turn totally black or should I dig them up?

Answer They should be just fine. In fact, the Dahlia Garden in the valley where we live just cut and dug all their dahlias. Truck loads of them….and the foliage on the plants was barely touched by frost. Let the tubers condition for a few days before you begin to get them ready for their winter resting place.


Winter Care For A Jade Plant

Question I have a jade plant that is all droopy and some of the leaves are shriveled. Can it be saved and what can I do for it?

AnswerYes. This is its dormant season so water very sparingly and do not fertilize at this time of the year. Jade plants store water in the stems and leaves so they can go for 3 to 6 weeks without water, from November thru early April. It's not unusual if over-watered, for them to lose whole sections of leaves.


Jasmine (and Clematis) Not Blooming

Question I live in Eastern Oregon (Ontario). I have a large Jasmine bush that does not bloom, neither on old growth or when I trim it to approx. 18", this was also the same case with my Clematis when I lived in Bothell WA. I could always depend on your program for answers. Now I'm needing HELP IN OREGON. Do I need to fertilize, trim or start over?

Answer Both bloom on new wood. It would be a good idea to feed them with 0-10-10 (Alaska Mor'Bloom) fertilizer, once a month in April, May, and June. Prune back the clematis to waist height in mid-to late February. The clematis will also benefit from an application of Dolomite lime this winter. Spread about one cup of the dolomite around at the base of the plant.

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