The Q&A Archives: More on Freesias, Vegetables

Question: You said that "July and August are too hot for plant growth." What do I do with my plants then? Do I have to time them to be done by then? Are there any plants that will survive July and August? You also mentioned that "Freesias are hardy in zones 9-10. Plant them in a sunny location in the garden, or one with light shade during midday. Plant them in fall (mid to late September) spacing them 2-4 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of soil. Feed monthly from the time the plant emerges until the buds take on color with a dusting of 5-10-5 fertilizer. Did you plant them too deep? If so, they've been struggling to make it to the surface and have used up all their energy." I planted them in December (still warm here) and I didn't think they would come up until spring. But they did. And I have a ton of beautiful greenage - but like I said they are poopy now. Can I save them? I want to save them real bad. They are my favorite flowers. Also - if I can bother you with one more question....I grew paperwhites that turned out awesome! I kept them in the dark for awile and they had real strong roots and got real tall. Well now the flowers have finished blooming and I don't know what to do with them. Do I cut them back? Where on the stem? Will they bloom again? If so when? Debbie Krimm Spartenburg, SC

Answer: It sounds like you're really having fun in the garden! July and August are good times for going swimming in your area, but not gardening. Take the summer off! Freesias should come back. Give them a shot of a complete fertilizer and hope for the best! The paperwhites unfortunately aren't really worth saving. It would take a number of years to rejuvenate the bulbs to the flowering point again. I'd just compost them!

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