Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

February, 2001
Regional Report

Plant the Last Bulbs

If winter caught you off guard before you got all your bulbs planted, go ahead and set out spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips whenever the weather warms up to 40F to 50F and the soil thaws enough to dig. They'll probably still bloom.

Clean Houseplants

Plants breathe through their leaves, so it's important to dust off houseplant leaves occasionally - particularly for broad-leaved houseplants such as dracaenas and rubber plants. But avoid using leaf-shine products, which can clog pores in leaves. It's better to improve leaf appearance by wiping leaves with a damp cloth.

Ready Seed-Starting Supplies

It\'s time to clean or purchase your seed-starting equipment. Except for the most tender of annual flowers, seeds should be started about mid-February to early March for transplants to be ready to set in the garden by mid- to late April. Self-watering seed-starting kits make it easier to keep seedlings healthy, and a heat mat is also a good investment.

Plant Primroses

Spring-flowering primroses are available now through Web sites and locally. These plants feature rosettes of bright green, wrinkled leaves and round, five-petaled flowers in a wide variety of colors, both plain and mixed. Plant them in bright light when temperatures warm - usually in March - and keep the soil evenly moist.

Check for Mealybugs

Mealybugs are cottony white insects that are often found on the undersides of leaves and in leaf crotches. When numerous they can cause leaf dieback and dropping. To control mealybugs, wipe them off leaves with a cotton swab drenched in rubbing alcohol or spray with insecticidal soap.


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