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Gardening Q&A

Ask the Master Gardeners: November 2013




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Disclaimer:
Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

November 1, 2013 | 1140 views | Post a comment

Q: My oxblood lilies have finished blooming and I now have big clumps of leaves. When can I move them to different spots in the yard?

A: Judy Barrett, in her November Homegrown newsletter, says they can be planted anytime you can find them, but now that the blooms have faded is a great time to transplant. She adds that the bulbs should be planted at a depth approximately three times the height of the bulb. She adds, "If you are transplanting clumps, plant at the same height at which they were growing or just a little deeper." After that, water them in.

I've had mine for several years and it is always a joy to see the first one open. Barrett says they are also called schoolhouse lilies because they bloom about the time that school starts in the fall.
Q: I am going to put in trees and shrubs that have fall color. What are my choices?

A: According to the San Antonio Landscape Care Guide, tree planting season begins in mid-November. I would drive around to the various nurseries near you and see what is available and look at the different colors. We bought dwarf nandina (Heavenly bamboo) nine years ago thinking that all nandina turns burgundy in the fall; ours does not. Someone has since told me to pick out the plant in the nursery that is already showing color. (I do not suggest nandina. It is spreading everywhere and is considered an invasive in many areas.)

Cedar elm trees turn a nice yellow. Our Chinese pistache is yellow red (make sure you have a male). Flameleaf sumac is a real pretty red. The Texas red oak is red to yellow. Another tree is the chinquapin oak which will develop a yellow, orange-brown, to rich brown fall color. Crepe myrtle turns yellow orange in the fall.

Several of my favorite plants that look great in the fall are the yaupon holly, Burford holly, and that gorgeous grass Gulf Muhly, which is really on show right now. Possumhaw has red berries, but has no leaves in the winter. It would have to be an accent plant. Actually, many of our trees that have fall color lose their leaves in the winter.

Q: This year I want to give plants as Christmas gifts. Any suggestions?

A: I think amaryllis are beautiful and you can plan ahead for when the bloom appears. Different Internet sources give anywhere from 5 to 10 weeks once the bulb is planted until it has a bloom. You could buy several bulbs and start them a week apart to be sure. The amount of money you spend would depend on how expensive the pot was. Another plant that would be a great gift is a rosemary shaped as a Christmas tree or as a topiary. You could even shape the rosemary yourself if you are so inclined. After the recipient enjoys the plant during the holidays, it can be transferred to the yard.

Clara Mae Marcotte is a Texas Master Gardener with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. If you have a question to be answered, call the Master Gardeners at 830-379-1972 or leave a message to be answered. The website is guadalupecountymastergardeners.org. The Master Gardener research library is open Mondays from 8:30 to noon, at the Mary B. Erskine School in Seguin at the corner of E. Krezdorn and North River St.
 
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