More Questions Answered! - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

More Questions Answered!

Dear DownEast Gardener;

You mentioned a website for information on Zoysiagrass and I didn't get a chance to write it down and couldn't find it in this site - could you please send it to me.  Thank you. Shelly

Answer: See the Turffiles Website at NC State for all your turfgrass information needs:

Dear DownEast Gardener;

Where is Calloway gardens and Brookgreen gardens? I would like to visit them. Emily

Answer: You really do need to get out more. Brookgreen Gardens is just south of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17. Calloway Gardens is approximately 2 hours south of Atlanta. Both are wonderful gardens; plan to take a full day to visit each. For more information, go to their websites: Brookgreen Gardens ( and Calloway Gardens (

Dear DownEast Gardener;

I would like to move some banana trees to another location. When is the best time to do this? Melissa

Answer: The best time is to move young off-shoots in early spring. You can probably move young offshoots now but keep them well watered. Bananas like lots of hot weather, a well drained soil, and good soil fertility. See attached publication for more information: 

Dear DownEast Gardener;

Can I move clematis and hydrangea now?  Also, is the Snowball Bush in the hydrangea family and can it also be moved or pruned now?  We are adding a car shed and need to move some plantings that will be in the way and I do not want to lose them. Thank you. Love your show and the things you and your students have done at BCC. Brenda

Answer: Plants would have a much greater chance of success if moved in September or October. Clematis can be transplanted in late winter or early spring. That said, plants can be moved any month of the year provided special care is taken to avoid water loss. On a recent trip to the mountains, I observed many beautiful "snowball" plants that were in the Viburnum opulus plant group and not Hydrangea types or related to hydrangeas. Many of the Viburnum types do poorly in eastern NC due to humidity and heat.

Dear DownEast Gardener;

My friends who have a summer home on Oak Island have and old, beautiful yellow rose that typically blooms heavily. The leaves began to spot so they sprayed it with a product designed to clear up the spots. When they returned several weeks later it had shed all the leaves though it is showing a small amount of new growth. How should we treat it to try and save it and did the spray to cure it do more harm than good? J.A.

Answer: If it is an old rose, it is likely tolerant to some defoliation. Roses that are susceptible to black spot must be sprayed every 7-10 days or the disease will defoliate the plant. Consider a new rose cultivar that is resistant to black spot (like the Knockout series or heritage roses). The heat and humidity make traditional rose culture difficult during the summer. Read this publication:

Dear DownEast Gardener;

I have a clivia that is 6 years old. It has always blossomed until this year. I am thinking that is may be root bound as there are many side shoots from the original. Would dividing it be the answer? Gail

Answer: I do not know much about Clivia. However, you may want to read what the Clivia Society says about the subject....see this link.

Dear DownEast Gardener;

I received a tropical bromeliad as a gift. I need some help in the care of this plant. The cone is starting to lose its color; it was a bright pink now it is dull to all most gray color. Help!

Answer: The "cone" is a compound fruit and will eventually is just the way the plant naturally cycles. Go to this link and learn more about bromeliad care:

Dear DownEast Gardener;

I have a problem this year with my blueberries and wonder what might be the cause.  A lot of the largest berries are splitting open about the time they get ripe.  I have seen some of this in years past but it is much worse this year.  Could this be caused by the excess amount of rainfall for the last few weeks?  Any advice will be appreciated...

Answer: Fruit splitting is often caused when the sugar content of the fruit is high and then you have a rapid input of water into the plant (from rain or irrigation). Fruit splitting is considered by most scientists to be, in large part, due to the genetics of the plant. Other factors that may be to blame are low calcium or a combination of essential nutrients. For you, the take home message will be to plant newer non-splitting cultivars. For more information on proper nutrition and blueberry fruit splitting, check out the following publications:

            For the curriculum program and or gardening questions, write Dr. Bruce Williams, Brunswick Community College, PO Box 30, Supply, NC 29462 or email

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