more about: Trees and Shrubs

Prune Crepe Myrtle Like Your Dogwood

A reader writes asking a familiar question: “My crepe myrtle grows so huge on the top and blooms like crazy, but the bottom doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the top. It really looks top-heavy. Am I doing something wrong? What should I do?”

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Prune Out Your Dead!

Readers are besieging Grumpy with frantic questions about trees and shrubs that don’t look right. Some have branches that haven’t leafed out. Some have bare branches and are sprouting only from the base. And some show no signs of life at all. “Why is this happening and what should I do?” they ask.

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Growing Rhododendrons in the South

This is a rhododendron in my back yard. Her name is ‘Caroline.’ Isn’t she purty? Unfortunately, growing rhododendrons in the South can be quite a challenge, unless you follow Grumpy’s expert advice.

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Let’s Ban These Stinking Trees!

Grumpy’s tireless campaign against the awful Bradford pear is finally bearing fruit. This tree is now officially banned for planting throughout the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area. If Pittsburgh can do it, why can’t we all?

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Black Leaves, Big Problems

“My poor gardenias are suffering!” writes faithful reader, Sheri Chamblee. “The leaves are black. I tried rubbing the black off, but the black remains. What else can I do?” The answer, of course, is to ask Grumpy, your font of gardening wisdom.

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When Is It Safe To Transplant Nandina?

Faithful reader┬áMelissa Barnhill asks, “Is it possible to relocate small nandina bushes? I know they have millions of shoots, and I didn’t know if cutting away some of those shoots while taking them out would cause a life-or-death issue.”

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How To Fix Crepe Murder

Southerners are fixated on crepe myrtles — mainly because they butchered so many this winter and now want them fixed. Following Crepe Murder 2015, scores of pitiful emails from crepe criminals needing their consciences scrubbed flooded Grumpy’s email box. “Have I killed my crepe myrtle?” they ask. “Is there any way to fix what I did?” No, you probably haven’t […]

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Are Native Plants Always Better? A Grumpy Verdict

People love native plants. They praise their beauty, ease of care, and how gentle and loving they are to the environment. As opposed to evil plants from Europe and Asia, native plants are always well-behaved and a better choice. Or are they?

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Pruning ‘Knock Out’ Rose — When, Why, and How

Faithful reader Mandi Villa writes, “I love my ‘Knock Out’ rose, but it’s getting too big. Can I prune it without killing it?”

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Where Have All The Dogwoods Gone?

If you live in the Southeast, you probably remember all the “dogwood trails” that people followed when our native flowering dogwoods bloomed each spring. Thirty years ago, dogwood was the #1 flowering tree. Sadly, no longer. The trails have steadily eroded until now we see only remnants. Where have all the dogwoods gone?

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