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Wisteria a fine vine, but others are better bloomers
April 29, 2015
By Howard Garrett


Wisteriaís lavender tresses are striking but cannot be counted on unless the plant is purchased in bloom.

Question: What is your opinion of wisteria? I am thinking about putting it up against the fence to provide it a trellis to grow on. S.H., Burleson

Answer: Wisteria is a good, aggressive vine but it does not always bloom. The more dependably blooming vines include crossvine, Confederate jasmine, passionflower vine and Carolina jessamine.

Question: My wife decided several years ago that we needed dark screens for our house. They do keep the house cooler, but do they block out sunlight to our houseplants, too? Our potted palm by the window slowly died. I think it is due to the screens, but my wife doesnít think so. T.M., Fort Worth

Answer: Houseplants cannot grow in the dark. If the screens remain, artificial light or artificial plants will be needed. The ZZ plant is the most shade-tolerant of all interior houseplants, so you might give it a try.

Question: We have a bois díarc tree with two trunks that are about 18 inches in diameter. The root flare probably has been buried since the 1980s, when the yard was graded to build the house. Should a flare be exposed on an old tree? One arborist I checked with said yes. Another arborist told me that bottomland trees and bois díarc may be adapted to accumulation around trunks, but he was clear to say he was not sure about that. P.S., Sherman

Answer: All trees, including old trees and bottomland trees, benefit from having the flares exposed. Removing about 10 feet of soil from around the base of a 150-year-old bur oak in Waco and about 5 feet from the base of the champion pecan tree in Weatherford have resulted in great health benefits for these trees. Thatís just two examples, by the way. All trees benefit from having well-exposed flares.

Question: I have not been able to foliar-spray Garrett Juice because of recent rains. Please let me know how many days in advance of rain I can apply Garrett Juice to foliage for the plants to get its full benefit.R.L., Rockwall

Answer: You can spray the day of the rainfall and plants still would get the full benefit. Organic foliar sprays enter the plant tissue almost immediately. The best time to do organic foliar spraying, in fact, is during heavy humidity or even a light mist. Thatís when pores are open and plant tissue is most receptive.


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