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February is one of the best months for planting. The soil is moist and temperatures are generally moderate in Laguna.
These conditions are ideal for growth, ensuring a good start for trees, shrubs and lawns. Don’t forget to complete rose pruning this month and to send a dozen red ones to your sweetie this weekend.
Q. Is it too late for bulbs?
A. Spring bulbs, like callas, gladiolus, lilies and Lily of the Valley are available. If you can find them, there is time to plant daffodil, ranunculus and narcissus.
Q. What flowers look good now?
A. Delphinium, English primrose, foxglove, Iceland poppy, pansy, snapdragon, stock and viola.
Q. Is it safe to prune roses if the rose bush is still leafy and producing flowers?
A. I would wait until the “flush” of flowers ends and then prune. Remember, you have until the end of February to prune your roses in Laguna.
Q. Could you recommend a few floribunda roses for my garden?
A. Second in popularity to only hybrid teas, floribunda roses are quite floriferous. They are well suited massed alone or combined with other shrubs. My personal favorites include angel face (wonderful mauve-lavender blooms), iceberg (pure white and arguably the finest rose available) and playboy (bright orange).
Q. Do I have to use a special mix when I plant my azaleas?
A. Azaleas prefer an acid soil, whether growing in the ground or in pots. I recommend that you plant azaleas in nine parts azalea mix to one part garden soil or potting soil. Mulch plants frequently during the year with azalea mix or peat moss.
Q. When I replanted my amaryllis this fall, all I got was leaves. Could you tell me what I’m doing wrong?
A. After planting flowers, it is important to keep it watered and fed so the bulb can store energy for the following year’s bloom. If you forgot to do so, that might explain why you were rewarded with only leaves. Although a very sturdy bulb, amaryllis has tender roots and must be handled carefully. You may have inadvertently disturbed the roots. If so, it may not bloom again for several years.
Q. When is the best time to prune olive trees — especially if you want to reduce fruit?
A. Olives should be pruned when the small, white flowers appear in late spring/early summer. This will help to reduce or eliminate the fruit.
See you next time.
STEVE KAWARATANI will be going on a hike this weekend. He can be reached at (949) 497-8168, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .