Q. I am tempted by the gorgeous azaleas available now in florist shops. Is it possible for me to plant them in my garden in spring?
Q. My boxwood shrubs turn a dull bronze color in the winter. Are there any varieties that stay green all winter?
Q. I want to remove buckthorn from my yard but I'm not sure what to do with it after it is taken out to prevent the seeds from germinating.
Q. I would like to grow the beautiful butterfly bush that attracts so many varieties of butterflies at this time of year. Any tips?
Q: My children and I want to plant a butterfly garden. Can you suggest flowers that will attract butterflies?
Q: My red-twig dogwood stems don't seem to be as bright red as they used to be. What is the problem?
Q: Please advise on watering techniques during a drought.
Q. When is the correct time to prune evergreen hedges?
Q. My evergreen shrubs did very poorly following last winter. What care can I give them now so they can make it through another Chicago winter?
Q. I grew two small evergreens in containers this summer. Can they remain outside in winter?
Q. Are there any evergreens that will tolerate shade?
Q. What accounts for the different autumn color displays in trees and shrubs?
Q. Is it necessary to regularly fertilize my trees and shrubs? If so, how often should it be done?
Q. I would like to use some of the flowering shrubs on my property and cut branches to force indoors for late-winter color. What is the best way to do this?
Q: Please advise on the best time to prune hydrangeas.
Q. What types of hydrangeas can be successfully grown in the Chicago area?
Q: Why doesn’t my lilac bloom in the spring?
Q. When is the best time of year to prune my trees and shrubs?
Q. What is the best way to plant a rhododendron?
Q. I am looking for some unusual summer-blooming shrubs for my landscape. Do you have some suggestions for hardy and floriferous shrubs?
Q. What shrubs can be grown in the shade?
Q. I have recently installed a soaker hose system throughout my garden. How long do I let the water run in order to water adequately?
Q. What are the current guidelines for planting trees and shrubs in the fall?
Q. Please give me some information on the flowering witch hazel that blooms in March.
Q. When is the best time to prune boxwood shrubs?
A. Established boxwood shrubs requiring little or no pruning. The best time for overall pruning to shape boxwoods is in the early spring. However, trimming stray branches and thinning cuts can be done anytime during the growing season.
Q: How often should I fertilize the roots of my trees and shrubs?
A: As a general rule, it is not necessary to use synthetic fertilizers for trees and shrubs unless the plants exhibit a nutrient deficiency. Good soil nutrition and a two-inch layer of compost, such as leaf mulch, placed around your trees and shrubs on a yearly basis should be sufficient for good plant health.
Q. Should I remove snow from my shrubs?
Q. Should I remove snow from my shrubs?
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.
Q. Is there anything that I can do to prepare my trees and shrubs for winter?
Q. How do I force spring-flowering branches indoors?
Q. When should I prune my mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius)?
Q. I have evergreens planted near a street. How can I protect them from salt damage?
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: