Live Q&A With Our Gardening Experts

Phlox are some of our favorite perennials for cut bouquets.

We recently had a live Facebook Q & A event and couldn't answer all of the (many) questions we received from viewers. As promised, we've answered most of them here in our blog!

What flowers can withstand drought? - Sue

I have Dinnerplate Dahlias in Michigan. How should they be stored in the winter? - Rebecca

 
  • Dig up the Dahlias in the fall before a hard frost.
  • Make sure to dig a big hole around so you get the entire structure of the tuber.
  • Let them dry out before you store them.
  • Store the tubers in a mesh bag, stockings or a milk crate.
  • Store them in a dry area with good air circulation that has a stable temperature, ideally 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let them stay dormant for the winter and in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed, you can plant them outdoors.

What bulbs can I plant at the base of a tree? - Tommy Jo

Caladium and Begonias both have shallow root structures and thrive in shade, making them a great choice for adding color and texture underneath a tree.

Will Zinnias and Dahlias grow well if I plant them in pots? - Paula

Yes, Zinnia and Dahlias can both thrive when planted in containers, as long as you give them a large enough pot to support their root systems and provide good drainage.

Will wildflowers survive if I mow them once per year? - Jim

Yes, we recommend leaving your wildflowers standing tall as food and shelter for birds throughout the winter, and then mowing them down in the early spring to encourage new growth.

I heard you should plant some bulbs with the eyes down. Is this true? - John

 

You should always plant bulbs with the eyes facing upward.

What is an easy-to-grow perennial that blooms most of the summer that I can use for bouquets? - Charlotte

We also recommend planting some annual wildflowers in the garden, such as Zinnia and Cosmos, to offer up more blooms to pair with your perennials for bouquets all season long.

Which fertilizers are best? Which fertilizers are best for a perennial bed?

 

It’s important to ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with this fertilizer? Bigger blooms? More green growth?” Once you know the answer, we recommend researching the best fertilizer for this purpose and following the instructions you’ll find on the packaging. If possible, go organic!

When can you thin out Daylilies? - Jean

 
  • It’s time to divide when your Daylilies have formed a good, strong clump in the garden.
  • The best seasons to divide are spring and fall. Avoid doing it in the mid-summer when it’s too hot.
  • Learn more about dividing and moving plants in our blog.

Do Dahlias and Gladiolus spread like Iris and need to be split after a few years? - Denise

 

If you’re in a frost-free zone, Dahlias will spread and you can divide and re-plant them every few seasons as needed. Gladiolus won’t. In colder zones, neither will multiply as you have to dig them up and bring them indoors each winter.

Thanks again for all of your questions. We’re always happy to talk gardening!

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