Time to prune back our cold-damaged plants

  • Sunday, February 23, 2014

Control small-seeded annual summer weeds now with a preemergent product. Enough said.

Soil test? Bring them to Possum's for accurate testing and an easy-to-follow interpretation of the results.

We are about ready to be able to prune back our cold-damaged plants. Wait about another two to three weeks and see if you can see any new growth emerging. We should be passed the last frost date (no crystal ball here), and your plants should (hopefully) have some visible new growth.

Get ready to mow down the Liriope. Hedge shears or a lawn mower with a sharp blade are great for doing this. Holly fern and cast-iron plant will also benefit from cutting back to remove old, discolored foliage. I do not know why, but I can convince people to cut back their Liriope; however, trying to get them to cut back holly fern and cast-iron plant is not as easy. I see more people pruning individual leaves than just cutting the whole plant back to the crown.

The complete new growth from the cast-iron plant and the holly fern will look as spectacular as the new growth from the Liriope. Get rid of all that tattered, old foliage.

After you have done some “spring cleaning,” SeaHume and Cotton Burr Compost, with their loaded micronutrients and biostimulants, should help your plants and turf come out of dormancy healthy.

Recut and redefine your bed lines. Bed lines are a basic element of landscape design. They define your landscape. Well-defined bed lines with just mulch can be very attractive, even without plants. Bed lines can be defined by a clean trench, with a shovel, wood, brick or steel edging. Plants grow, so bed lines need to be redefined periodically. If you have brick or steel edging, this may require that you remove plants instead of just redefining the bed line.

Do not prune any spring flowering plants unless you want to sacrifice the flowers.

As temperatures allow, spray your trees and shrubs with dormant oil sprays. These products will kill over-wintering insects and keep them from munching on your new spring foliage. Neem oil works great on some diseases as well.

If you have plants like Camellias (scale), Gardenias (white flies), Crepe Myrtles (aphids), Lantana (lace bugs) or any other plant that you know regularly turns black from sooty mold, consider drenching them with Dominion Tree and Shrub for season-long control of sucking insects. This systemic product is awesome!

Any plants infested with scale, consider using Safari and following it up with Dominion.

Safari is a drench product that moves up through the plant very rapidly for a quick knock down of scale and other insects. I have seen it remove scale off of plants that have been treated with oils for more than 20 years. Then treat with Dominion for long-term preventive systemic control.

Always read, understand and follow product labels. The product label is a federal law.


Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum's Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum's has three locations 481 Long Point Rd. in Mount Pleasant (843-971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (843-760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd., in Charleston (843-766-1511).

Bring your questions to a Possum's location, or visit us at PossumSupply.com.

You can also call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic,” Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker).

The Horticulture Hotline is available 24/7 at www.possumsupply.com.

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