Jonquil Garden Club, Horticulture Info

Club Guidelines For Submitting Horticulture

1.  Enter your horticulture piece by 10:15 a.m. the day of our meeting. 

2.  Sign Hort entry sheet and write the name of your plant. 

3.  Use transparent green or clear bottles/containers suitable for the height and

bloom width of your flower or piece of foliage. Remove any blemished foliage and

try to find the best specimen you can for judging.

4.  Water should cover the stem with all leaves removed below the water line. 

5.   Proportion of plant to container and balance is very important.

Fall Garden To Do List

                                                                                          (Sources: Walter Reeves, P.Allen Smith, Pikes Nursery)

The pansy planting season has begun.  Plant “six-pack” pansies eight inches apart, larger plants can be spaced ten inches apart. Pansy roots must establish themselves quickly in your soil as it begins to cool. Bed should be at least 25 percent composted material mixed with native soil. TIP: pour 1 bag of soil conditioner over 10 square feet of bed and mix into soil.

Since pansies will be growing in cold soil, fertilizer needs will be different so use any water-soluble, powdered fertilizers (Miracle-Gro, etc.) in the soil around each plant after planting. For winter, switch to a product that contains nitrate nitrogen (Osmocote, Pansy Booster) & fertilize monthly from November through March. Pansies protect themselves during cold weather by temporarily wilting and recovering as temperature warms. If soil freezes, pansy roots are unable to transport water back to the leaves so cover with pine straw to  hold heat in the soil and shelter pansy leaves from the harsh winds.

Apply weed preventer to already-planted beds of cool-season flowers to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. Clean fallen fruit from the ground under pear and apple trees. Remove any fruit that you don’t intend to harvest.
Divide overgrown clumps of perennials, such as Daylilies, Daisies, Hostas, Peonies, Iris rhizomes, and Coneflowers. Replant divisions or give to gardening friends.
Divide older Spring flowering bulbs like Daffodils, Hyacinths and Tulips. Replant and apply light, complete fertilizer such as Espoma Bone Meal or Pennington Bulb. 
Remove faded rose blooms. Clip wayward stems back so the plant has a compact form, ready for winter. 
As chrysanthemum and aster flowers fade, cut the plants back to 6 inches tall.
Rake out and replace mulch and dead leaves under roses and red tip photinia to prevent diseases on next year’s leaves.
Fall is the time to plant or transplant shrubs and trees. Water newly transplanted shrubs thoroughly.
Move patio plants into shade for two weeks before bringing inside to help prevent leaf drop. Bring in tropical flowers like hibiscus and citrus.  Trim back woody plants by one fourth to help them fit inside your home for the winter. Before you bring the plants inside check for insects.  You may need to use an insecticidal soap or a systemic insecticide prior to the big move.
Root cuttings of geranium, impatiens, begonia and other “outside” plants to bring indoors for the winter.

Review pesticide storage procedures. Are they all labeled? In a locked cabinet? In a place where they won’t freeze?


                                                                      IN THE HOUSE
If you want your poinsettia to turn color by Christmas, October 1st is the time to begin giving it 14 hours of darkness and 10 hours of bright light each day. Use a big cardboard box for the dark time. Goal is to trick the plant into forming bloom buds which will lead to colorful bract (modified leaf) formation. Fertilize every 2 weeks and follow the 14/10 regimen until early December. By that time you should see the foliage color you anticipate.

Plant Fescue Seed: Sowing fescue seed in the fall allows the grass to root in and become established before stressful summer heat returns. Fertilize newly planted fescue with high-phosphorus starter fertilizer. Apply pre-emergent to control winter weeds such as poa annua (annual bluegrass), henbit, chickweed etc. TIP: don't apply pre-emergent in early Fall as it will prevent grass seed from germinating.

Lower mower blade height to 2-3 inches for Fescue & St. Augustine, 1-2 inches for seeded Bermuda and 0.5 – 1.5 for sodded Bermuda & Zoysia.

                                                      EASY PLANT PROPAGATION By Angela Green

Recently plant propagation became an exciting hobby for me. At a Jonquil Garden Club meeting, speaker Cliff Brock, Assistant Curator of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, mentioned how easy it was to propagate plant cuttings in a plastic zipper bag placed under a tree. My friend dubbed me a ‘mad scientist’ as I snipped hydrangea cuttings from her garden while pretending to twirl my imaginary mustache and croak, “Heh, heh, heh.” It was so much fun dipping each cutting into rooting powder, placing them in small pots of moist peat moss and perlite and then in ziploc bags. Each bag instantly became a miniature greenhouse with tiny droplets of water sheeting the inside. Cliff Brock did not give a timeline for roots to appear so I peeked often, unable to harness my instant gratification gene.

In about three weeks tiny white roots appeared above the rooting medium as well as below and new leaves were growing. Thanks to Cliff I had created a new plant! Unable to contain my excitement, I planted them in my garden and kept them watered. A few did not make it but most did. See below two of the precious specimens that are thriving six weeks later, after an initial three weeks in the bag. Tip: Label each pot and bag to know what you’ve propagated.




                                       PROPAGATION FROM CUTTINGS by Shirley Priest

There are several types of vegetative propagation, leaf cuttings, stem cuttings & layering. Our focus today is on softwood, semi-hardwood, & hardwood cuttings.
Materials & conditions you need for all cuttings:
1.    Clean Pots
2.    Rooting medium - use half peat/half perlite, sand O finely ground bark
3.    Rooting hormone
4.    Sharp, clean needle-nose clippers
5.    A small dibbler
6.    Small ice chest (if you're doing a flat of several cuttings
7.    Shady potting area
8.    Protected, shady area for rooting or a cold frame, greenhouse, or cool indoor area with a mini greenhouse effect.
9.    A healthy shrub you wish to reproduce
10.    Morning hours are best for your task
11.    Markers for your cuttings

Softwood cuttings - taken in summer through early fall when shrubs are still growing; cutting will come from soft new growth just as it starts to harden or mature; stem needs to be snapped easily when bent; look for graduation of leaf size.

Cuttings - Make a slanted 2" - 5" cut just below a node where the stem snaps easily instead of bending under pressure. Dip in root hormone & shake off the excess. Dibble hole & insert cutting 1 -2" in the medium. Do not compact medium tightly. Water thoroughly. Rooting time will vary according to the plant. Place in shade, keep moist but never soggy. Use the "TUG" test to determine whether your cuttings have rooted. Pot up in regular potting soil & place in protected area over the winter.

Semi-hardwood cuttings (greenwood) - taken mid-July to fall, wood is firm & leaves are mature. Many evergreen shrubs & conifers can be propagated this way as well as rhodys, asmanthus, holly, euonymus & junipers. Take 3-6" cuttings & remove 1/2 of the lower leaves.

Hardwood cuttings - are taken from deciduous, broadleaf & needle evergreens in late Fall through early Spring when plants are dormant & wood is firm. Forsythia, privet, holly, photina, cypress, fig, grape & spirea may be propagated this way.     Collect 6-20" cuttings & treat as other cuttings. If left outdoors, place under a poly tent, in a cold frame, or in a greenhouse. Tops must stay cool so roots will appear before leaves.

Needle evergreens - (arborvitaie, false cypress & yew) Root these in late Fall under greenhouse conditions as rooting my take 3 months. Cuttings should be 4-8" long. Strip needles off bottom & treat with hormone, place in medium. Place cuttings under mist or in enclosed poly tent with or without bottom heat. Keep in shaded area.

Note: All cuttings should come from non-flowering shoots. Stick them as soon as possible after cuttings. Most shrubs root in 3-5 weeks, longer over winter. Uneven moisture distribution is the biggest cause of plant death.

Helpful Sources:    Propagating Shrubs from Cuttings (UGA Bulletin 641). M.A. & C.W. Heuser Jr. 1987 The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture. Varsity Press. Athens GA. Websites:  UGA Extension Service, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, University of Florida. There are many other helpful websites.
              Amaryllis & Christmas Cactus: Encouraging Repeat Performance by Shirley Priest

The robust, colorful blooms of an amaryllis or a Christmas cactus, dripping with red, pink, salmon or white blossoms, enhance the holiday season with cheer and beauty.  With appropriate care these favorites will give stunning repeat performances for many years. Potted amaryllis should be placed where it will receive four hours of sunlight daily. Normal home temperature of 65-75 degrees will encourage more bloom, but flowers last longer if home temperatures stay five degrees cooler. As flowers increase, water the amaryllis more frequently.  Allow soil surface to become slightly dry to the touch before watering. Fertilizing during the bloom period is not necessary. With care, the amaryllis will bloom for three weeks. When blooms have finished, cut the flower stems back to 2 inches above the bulb.  Continue to water, allowing the strap-like leaves to continue to grow, ensuring that necessary energy will be stored in the bulb.

In mid- spring move the amaryllis pot to a shady area outside. Eventually move it to where it will get good morning sun. Because the amaryllis bulb enjoys crowded conditions, just leave the amaryllis in the same pot, or plant the bulb outside in a sunny or partly sunny area in well-drained soil.  Only the tiniest tip of the bulb should show above ground. Provide water and fertilizer throughout summer months. With the right conditions, bold blooms should appear the followingSpring and for many springs to come. For potted plant bring inside in September and place in a cool room. The amaryllis must then rest, without water or fertilizer in order to rebloom indoors. Begin watering and fertilizing in late November and move pot to a sunny, warm location. Flower stalks will appear first, followed by amazing blooms during the Christmas season.

Christmas cactus, another beautiful holiday favorite, will provide longer-lasting blooms when placed in bright, indirect light at home temperature of 65-75 degrees. Place away from drafts and heating vents to avoid bud drop that can occur with extreme temperature changes.  Remove spent blooms and keep cactus slightly moist to the touch, making sure it does not sit in water. After blooms have finished, move cactus to a sunny window and water moderately. Fertilize with a regular houseplant solution. To encourage branching, prune by pinching off a few sections of each stem and place these in water or in moist vermiculite to root.

In late spring, the Christmas cactus will enjoy a semi-shady site outside. Because this tropical plant sunburns easily, keep it out of direct sun. Continue to water and fertilize. Before frost, bring inside to a cool room. In early December move the cactus to a sunnier and somewhat warmer location.  By Christmas, the cactus leaves will produce a cascade of color.
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Jonquil Garden Club Smyrna Georgia


Angela's Ziploc Propagation Technique & End Results