Landscaping

Lack of flowers on lilacs

lilac

Q. Why doesn’t my lilac bloom in the spring?

A. There are several possible reasons why your lilac fails to bloom. The most common cause is lack of adequate sunlight. Lilacs (Syringa) need to be planted in a location that receives at least six hours of strong, direct sun per day. They are very tolerant of different moisture conditions as long as they are planted in well-drained soil.

Aquatic Garden Preparation

Aquatic Garden

Q. I have a small aquatic garden in my yard. How do I get it up and operating for summer?

A. Performing basic maintenance on your water feature as part of spring startup will enable it to be a source of enjoyment throughout the warm weather. Here are the basic steps.

• Once the marginal plants begin to grow, remove the pond cover and trim back any dead foliage.

• Verify that pumps and other electrical equipment are operating properly and repair as necessary.

• Service any filters according to their manufacturer’s instructions.

Winter Evergreen Discoloration

Juniper in Winter

Q:  I recently noticed that some of my evergreens have become discolored. Should I be concerned?

A: It is normal for the foliage of some evergreens, such as arborvitae (Thuja) and boxwood (Buxus), to change color in cold weather. The different color of the foliage in such species is not indicative of a pathogen or cultural disorder; it is a normal response to winter temperatures.

Species that are known to change color in cold weather include:

Drill a Drainage Hole

Ceramic Pots

Q: I understand the importance of planting in pots with adequate drainage, but many of my pots don’t have holes. Every time I try to drill into the bottom of the pot, it cracks. How do I drill a drainage hole into a ceramic plant pot without cracking it?

A: The following process can be successful, but it is not guaranteed, and it is intended for adults with cordless drill competence.

Materials/Tools: