Germinating Paperwhite Seeds — Planting Paperwhites From Seed — 56

Paperwhite narcissus seeds are difficult to germinate

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Q: I forced some paperwhites this year and left the flowers on the stems until they produced seeds. How should I plant them to get new bulbs? — Steve Preston, Decatur

A: I’m guessing you are referring to the green seed pods that formed behind the flower. Seeds are contained within. When the pods are yellow/brown you can remove the dark seeds. You can try planting the seeds but don’t bet all of your lunch money on success. Some varieties are sterile they might have seed pods but the seeds won’t germinate. Hold the seeds until late April. Plant them an inch deep and 12 inches away from a brick wall or large landscape stone (the mass will provide warmth in winter). Mark the spot with a couple of white rocks. Check on the spot in June. If no thin leaves are seen by then, there won’t be any in the future. Even if you do get seed germination and leaf growth, it takes a couple of years before the plants will be big enough to bloom.

Q: I have a bit of acreage and I don’t want to clear all of it, just some weeds and underbrush around my cabin. I want something to make the briars go away, but not destroy the earth. — Lynn Warhurst, Carroll County

A: In my view, glyphosate (Roundup, Killzall, Kleen-Up, etc.) is very safe for exposure to humans, pets and wild animals. I’d mix some up in a gallon sprayer and do a weed-killing landscape walk-about every couple of weeks. Eventually, you’ll have most of your weeds under control. If you’d prefer an organic weedkiller, you could use herbicidal soap, citrus oil or chelated iron. I do not recommend herbicidal acetic acid (extremely concentrated vinegar) it seems too dangerous to use safely. I’ve collected sources for organic weed control at

Q: Is dame’s rocket an illegal plant for Georgia? I read it is banned from some states due to its invasiveness. — Donna Reid, email

A: I don’t know of any plants that are «illegal» in Georgia except marijuana and possibly Oriental poppy. Planting dame’s rocket, Hesperis matronalis, is prohibited in a few states, but that doesn’t mean it is invasive in Georgia. If you want to know which plants are considered bad actors here, the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council ( has an excellent list of invasive plants, divided by their «invasive potential.» Dame’s rocket is not on their list.

Q: There are numerous cedar trees growing in the forests around me that are accessible for transplanting. Are cedar trees or Leyland cypress better for birds? — Roger Edmonds, email

A: I think red cedar is better for birds by far. The combination of privacy and seeds to eat can’t be beat! That said, I hope you are not going to try transplanting anything larger than 3 feet tall. Red cedar is notoriously fickle about disturbance to its root system. The ones you move can be 12 to 36 inches high and will establish readily if you pay attention to watering in summer.

Top 10 Beautiful Cactus Gardens for the Black Thumb

Many people love flowers, house plants, and shrubs to make their homes lush and green, but only a few consider cactus an attractive option for bringing a natural feel to the room. If you don’t have a green-thumb or you are away for weeks on business trips, cacti and succulents might be your best bet.

Even if you don’t have perfectly sunny windowsills or you kill every shrub, these plants are for everyone. Cacti come in many different shapes and colors, and they are real survivors.

The prickly spines are actually modified leaves, and through their shallow root systems, they soak up water that they store for a long time. This makes cactus a very independent plant that suits every condition and every gardener.

Avoid fussy plants, and check-out our collection of beautiful and decorative cactus gardens!

1. Modern Zen Garden

These vibrant and colorful small cactus gardens will definitely brighten up your home or your office desk. Choose a pretty glass bowl and fill it with colorful sand such as fuchsia, yellow, orange, purple, baby blue, black or white.

Drawing into the sand can be therapeutic stressful moments will relax your mind.

2. Indoor Desert

Shallow planning bowls are good for Bonsais and are perfect for creating your indoor desert. Select different types of cacti and arrange them in a decorative way. Plant the shorter ones to the front and the taller ones behind them. As cacti hate to sit in water, make sure to aid drainage by putting pebbles to the bottom of the pot.

3. Terracotta Bowl

Did you buy a beautiful bowl on your summer holiday from some exotic place and not too sure what to do with it? Instead of leaving it empty, get some cacti and in similar sizes and create something extraordinary. This beautiful cacti arrangement looks amazing in bathrooms as well.

4. Cacti and Succulents on Ladder

Get an old ladder, some small terracotta pots, many different succulents, and cacti and create this rustic decoration for your home. It is a great idea to bring some green into your apartment and also to fill up empty corners. Plus you can go on holiday without asking anyone to water your plants while you are away.

5. Glass Bowl Composition

Plant cacti into a larger, see-through glass bowl to create a unique decoration for your home. This way, not only the cacti but the soil itself will add an interesting twist to your interior. The different layers of soil, sand, and pebbles are decorative and beneficial to your plants.

6. Large Cactus in Concrete Pot


We just love the minimalist interior of this living room. The large cactus in the concrete pot placed on a rustic wooden table adds an elegant and clear look to space. Concrete material is one of the latest trends in interior design many designers are now using concrete in unexpected and unusual ways.

7. Succulent and Cacti Mini Garden


If you thought that succulents and cacti are not too decorative, look at this beautiful mini garden. With these small prickly plants, you can create a perfect centerpiece for your dining room table. Make sure to arrange the plants nicely so that it looks pretty from all sides. The largest succulents can be placed in the middle of the pot, and you can put colorful plants around the perimeter.

8. Tall Cacti Centerpiece


How about this tall centerpiece on your coffee table? It is a beautiful decoration that matches the minimalist interior. Every apartment needs some green, but if you are away a lot or not great with plants, cacti and succulents are your best bet. They don’t require any special treatment, only some water every now and then.

9. Large Cactus in Bathroom

Creating a cactus garden in your bathroom is also a great idea. These decorative plants add an exotic look to your space. Of course, not every apartment has this kind of extravagant interior, but it is a good example of using large succulents and cacti in your home.

10. Indoor Cactus Garden

If you prefer an interior design that emphasizes the sleek and clean look and the contemporary concept, an indoor cactus garden might be the best decoration for your home. The elegant, deserted look fits perfectly with the natural stone mosaic floor and the white stone accent wall.

What Causes Peach Gummosis: Controlling Fungal Gummosis Of Peach Trees — garden

Q: What is happening to my plum tree? It finished bearing plums in July and now the trunk is a sea of sap! Should I do anything?

A: I think it’s gummosis, a condition that’s very difficult to control on a single tree. Most often it is caused by bacterial or fungal canker. The peach/cherry/plum tree becomes infected through a wound or a poor pruning cut. The tree tries to defend itself by exuding gum around the damaged area.

Because the infection is under the bark, no spray will control the canker. You have to help the tree be as healthy as possible in order to fight the canker itself.

To that end, in the absence of a soil test, sprinkle 1 cup of garden lime per inch of trunk thickness under the branch canopy every year for three years. This will raise the soil pH, which peaches/cherries/plums appreciate.

Water the tree appropriately in summer so the roots are not damaged by drought.

Gummosis can also be caused by an attack by borers. In my experience this is rare, but examine the gum to see if any wood particles are in it. If there are several small pieces of sawdust in the gum, call your local Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1) for advice.

9. Pot with Decorative Gravel and Succulents

Pot with decorative gravel and succulents

This splendid idea is for your garden, porch or any other outdoor or indoor space. Choose a large pot and grow a tall succulent in it. Also, grow small succulents around the plant and embellish it with decorative gravel.

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