Dear Violet is Back

Well it’s finally happened. Dear Violet posts are back. This year Dear Violet will have 2 posts a month. The first post will be on garden care for that month. What’s growing and how to care for it. The second Post will be “Color for every Month” What is blooming this month and yes Dear Violet has flowers every month. April is a beautiful month for us. Everything is blooming! I thought DV would start will the bulbs in your yard. Did you know that deadheading tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs help next year’s crop? In fact most plants benefit from deadheading. Pansies, Geraniums and even day lilies (that only bloom for a day-hence the name day lilies). A flowering plant’s job is to flower so the plant will continue to send out signals to form new buds and continue flowering when you deadhead off the old flower. SO BACK to bulbs, after the bloom dies on the bulb stem, the plant is still sending a signal to the bloom. If you cut off just the stem NOT THE LEAVES, the signal then goes to the bulb to start storing energy (food) into the bulb for next year’s blooms adding more bulbs for more flowers as with daffodils. Pansies love to be deadheaded. This is the same principle of sending a signal to the plant to produce more flowers. (As well as the new geraniums you just bought home) But once the temperatures at night reach 65 – 70 degrees, the pansies will no longer make new blooms – it’s too hot for them. Hence the term “you’re a pansy- meaning you can’t stand the heat. June’s Dear Violet article will talk more in depth about deadheading and specific plants and how to dead head them.

May’s Garden Club Meeting will be at Frank’s Perennial where will be learn about perennials and their care. This month’s question… Is it possible to get a day lily to rebloom since a day lily flower only blooms for one day? The answer is yes. If you cut off each stem after it finishes flowering and then give the whole plant a haircut (cut the plant back by half) and fertilize and water(if it’s been a dry June) most times the Day Lily (who’s job is to bloom will send up more flower stems and bloom a second time. You can buy both reblooming day lilies and reblooming Irises now. More to come in June’s articles. There will be a space to write the Dear Violet question and answer at the bottom of your worksheet from the field trip to Frank’s. See you all there.

Why isn’t my Amaryllis re-blooming?

Here’s some instructions to help those not yet blooming Amaryllis bulbs.

  1. DID YOU PRE-SOAK THE BULBS FIRST BEFORE PLANTING THEM? If not, soak it now in the dirt. Place pot with bulb in a deep bowl and add warm water to about 2/3 the height of the pot the bulb is planted in. Check to make sure the neck of the bulb IS NOT submerged! Let soak for 4 – 6 hrs. NEXT  If the bulb has sprouted leaves, (Now this will be hard to do, cut the leaves off to about 3″). This will shock the bulb and signal it to bloom.
  2. BULBS MAY NEED SOME FERTILIZER. Add a 15-30-15 liquid fertilizer (follow directions on box) to warm water and water the dirt around the bulb in the pot, not the bulb. As the dirt completely dries, about 5-7 days water again. If you are pre-soaking, you can add the 15-30-15 water solution to the water that the pot is soaking in. REMEMBER AMARYLLIS BULBS WILL ROT IF OVER WATERED! 
  3. AMARYLLIS BULBS LIKE HEAT AND SUNLIGHT . Make sure the bulb is in a very warm room with sunlight at least half of the day. After they bloom, you can move them to less light and a cooler room to extend they bloom time. We have had several very cold days in the last 2 months.
  4. DON’T GIVE UP! Your’s will probably bloom in January. This summer while the bulb is summering out side, make sure to feed the bulb which will help this problem next winter. Also, remember forcing the Amaryllis to bloom for Christmas only works a couple of years.

Merry Christmas Happy Gardeners.