Allow hibiscus to rest over winter

My hibiscus that I brought inside is just too big. Could I cut it back by half now?

You would be better off doing that in late February or early March. You want your plant to rest for the winter; if you prune it now, it will try to put on new growth right away to replace that which you removed. That will be hard on your plant. Do what you have to do, but it would be better to wait until February.

My mother has a huge burning bush that was just gorgeous this fall. It looked like it was on fire. I have a spot under my kitchen window that I would like to try one. I wouldn’t want it to be higher than 5 feet and my mothers must be at least 10 feet tall. Could I prune it hard enough to keep it at 5 feet?

Your mother probably has burning bush (Euomymus alata) in a standard size. We do have this plant available in a dwarf size that naturally grows to only 5 to 6 feet that you would likely enjoy.

I am planning a rock garden and am wondering what kind of bulbs would look nice there?


In general, small, even tiny plants seem to look best in rock gardens. Species tulips (only 6 to 10 inches), crocus, tiny daffodils, squills, glory-of-the-snow, snowdrops and drape hyacinths all lend themselves nicely to rock gardens. For the best effect, plant them in groups and avoid rows.

I am composting all of our leaves this year. When they are finished, will they make good fertilizer for our gardens?

No. The resulting compost will work as an excellent soil conditioner, making soil more aerated, lighter and with greater water-holding capacity. Compost contains little or no nutrients; that is fertilizer’s job.

My mother says I can plant sweet pea seeds now and they will come up next spring. Do you agree?

Yes. This can work for larkspur, alyssum, cosmos, portulaca and others as well.

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