Q: Your article a week ago described how we can try planting Easter lilies outdoors . Attached is a picture of an Easter lily we transplanted about three years ago. The first year the lily never amounted to anything, but the second year it bloomed beautifully. Unfortunately, it didn’t come back after that. — Jerry and Marlene Olson, Fargo.
FARGO -- Are you up for an adventure? No, it’s not running with the bulls at Pamplona, nor zip lining at dizzying heights off the Matterhorn. Remember, this is gardening, and I get an adrenaline rush just from growing a jumbo watermelon.
FARGO — This past week I trudged out to the toolshed through a few remaining snowdrifts to reminisce with my old friends. I wanted to reassure my hoe, rake and tiller that I hadn’t replaced them with shiny new models, moved away or gone to that big vegetable patch in the sky. It seems like an eternity since we’ve spent time together. April is a month we transition our yards and gardens from winter into spring.
Q: My Thanksgiving cactus has bloomed profusely in November every year. This past summer I kept it in a shaded corner of our screened porch, and then repotted it when I brought it into the house this fall. It bloomed a little less profusely in November, but then it bloomed again in December for Christmas, and again now in late March. The second and third blooms are less than November, but still quite pretty. Is it common for these holiday cactuses to rebloom like this? — Karen Hornseth, Lidgerwood, N.D.
Rabbits have a good thing going. They distract us by masquerading as the cute candy-toting Easter Bunny or Bambi’s buddy Thumper, while behind our backs their kinfolks are devouring everything in our landscapes from apple trees to arborvitae. I’d be more soft-hearted if their never-ending nibbling didn’t cause millions of dollars of damage to trees and shrubs every year. Rabbit damage appears heavier than usual this winter, based on the high number of emails I’ve received, plus extensive damage in our own yard.
FARGO -- There's a Christmas tree battle raging, and we're all in the thick of it. No, it’s not the neighborhood couple who required therapy after putting up their Scotch pine. Nor does it involve tempers flaring while locating the needle-in-a-haystack loose bulb that made the whole string of lights go out.
Q: I was shocked to see our 40-year-old spruce has developed patches of brown, dead needles. Since it's an established tree and it was a wet fall, I didn't water it. Is this caused by lack of moisture, disease or is this tree nearing the end of its life? — Kay Hogetvedt, Felton, Minn.
Q: Our 8-year-old ponytail palm, named Dr. Seuss, has always been quite buoyant. Over the last several months, the leaves have lost many curls and droop downward instead of standing taller. We repotted it a few months ago, but its mood hasn’t improved. We water it two to three times a month, only when it’s really dry since we know the large stem is the water reservoir. Any ideas? — Kat Ramsland.
FARGO — People with houseplants fall into three personality types. First are those who coax any indoor plant into junglelike vigor and turn even sickly rescue plants into room-sized wonders. Second are those who have a minimalist relationship with their plants; the plants appear adequate as they get basic care, no more, no less. Lastly are those who have never met a houseplant they couldn’t kill, but wish to discover the secret to success.
Q: Could you please identify this vining plant that grows on our chain-link fence? It is very invasive, as it originally started two doors down and over the years eventually made its way across our neighbor's fence and onto ours. We all know to cut it back as needed. Are the berries edible? It has lovely fall color when conditions are right, but not this year. — Denice Heiser, West Fargo.