Due to popular demand, Carson is back to answer some of your burning gardening questions. From choosing the right shrubs for your front yard to understanding orchids...make sure to read on to see if your question was answered. If not, please get in touch and send us your gardening questions with photos. Question #1Can you recommend a nice arrangement of easy-to-care-for shrubs or plants I can grow (in front of the porch) on my front lawn that will look nice all year? It's quite shady. - Marianne
Question #2Can a plant be a health hazard in the bedroom? The green graphics under the window, over the bed, under the frame and next to the desk is where we're thinking of installing wall-planters.
- All of North America is made up of several 'zones' or areas where certain plants will and won't grow.
- Tips for a front yard:
- Mix perrennials (flowers every year) with shrubs AND evergreens (balance).
- Best ratio 6 flowers: 3 med-sized shrubs: 1 evergeen.
- Check out your neighbours' lawns.
- Take pictures of what is doing well in your neighbour's garden and take these pics to the garden centre.
- Move garden out from under the eaves of the house.
- Eaves prevent direct sun and rain from getting to plant.
Thank you so much, Aly
Plants in a bedroom are a go! The benefits are many, including increased oxygen and air quality. Bigger challenge here is what type of plants are going to live in those plants with minimal direct sun. Go for Dracena and large-leafed tropical plants that will stay small but absorb the most amount of light. The grasses that they've shown here aren't going to survive because they need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight.Question #3Hi Carson!
Here is a picture of my Hibiscus. I bring him out every summer and in in the winter. I followed your instructions and sprayed him with some water and soap so I think he's bug-free but his leaves never seem to get too large and he doesn't bloom much anymore. What can I do to get him back to his healthy self? Thanks, Laura, Guelph
The hibiscus looks perfectly normal. They should lose all of their leaves during the winter months if you bring them indoors because of the decreased light levels. As far as getting it to bloom...hibiscus need high humidity and lots of sun to create the energy required to produce blooms. Stay away from fertilizers with this plant as they don't do well with 'Bloom Food'.
Ways to bring plants from inside out:
Question #4Dear Carson,
- Less then 20 minutes of direct sun first day (plants will burn).
- 1 hr second day, 2 hours third and away you go.
These are my African violets. They NEVER bloom. Can you give me some advice? Cheers, Miranda
African Violets are tough, tough plants to grow well. A few years without blooms is perfectly normal. They require a lot of energy to generate the flowers and if they aren't happy, it's a no go. Try using rain water instead of tap water; never get the leaves wet; soluble African Violet food is recommended; no direct sunlight; no drafts. Water them from the bottom.Question #5True or False: I recently heard that before you transplant indoor plants, it's a good idea to put the dirt in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to kill any bugs that may be lingering in the dirt? Also how often should you change the dirt in house plants? Thanks, Dede
This is a way to sterilize the soil but its not good for established plants. It kills off the beneficial bacteria in the soil that helps the plant roots in the process of absorbing the minerals. Changing the soil depends on the plant species. Some don't like being transplanted at all. It's best to add new soil to the top every 2-3 years (only 1" at a time) and use water-soluble fertilizers to give the plant more food.Question #6Katie Clunn asked: I have an orchid and the flowers are starting to wilt off....how do I prune it and get it ready to flower again??? I got it from when my grandpa passed away so i really want to save it!
Good Luck! It's very tough to get orchids to rebloom. They require lots of indirect, bright light. You need to feed them. They also require cool temperatures at night to keep them going. Watch the segment for more information on orchids!