more about: Trees and Shrubs

Fooled By Fall Color Again!

When you go 70-plus days without rain, you have cause to expect the worst. “Fall color is going to [a verb that means greatly disappoint]¬†this year!” I wailed. “All the leaves are gonna turn brown.” But once again, Mother Nature had other plans — one of many reasons I resent that tired, old biddy.

Read More

When Can I Cut Back Gardenia?

Faithful reader, Andy, asks: “Our gardenia bushes have grown out of control and I want to prune them back. What’s the best time of year to do this?”

Read More

Ever Pick A Pawpaw?

Walk down the fruit aisle at your grocery store. Almost all of the fruits you’ll see — apples, peaches, pears, plums, citrus, figs, cherries, mangoes — come from trees native to other continents that traders and settlers brought here centuries ago. One delicious tree fruit you won’t see is native to the entire eastern United States. The pawpaw.¬†

Read More

Still Too Early To Transplant

Lots of readers are peppering Grumpy these days with questions about transplanting. A common thread is people have a tree or bush that’s too big for the spot it’s in, so is it OK to move it now? Grumpy’s answer — a big, fat noooooo.

Read More

These Palms Take the Cold Hands-Down

Admit it. Every time you visit the beach, you envy the bevy of graceful palm trees along streets and in yards. You wish you could grow palms in your home garden, but think where you live is just too cold in winter. Maybe you’re right, but you could be wrong.

Read More

My Crepe Myrtle Leaves Are Falling!

Your college football team won its opening day game last weekend. A big earthquake hit Oklahoma, but you live in Georgia and didn’t feel a thing. So what’s not to love about this September? Then you walk outside a discover your beloved crepe myrtle is dropping all its leaves. Sacre bleu! Is the End of Days upon us?

Read More

New Threat To Crepe Myrtles

Faithful reader, Charles, writes, “I have a problem with my crepe myrtle that started about three weeks ago. There are long worm-like things of a sawdust consistency coming out from the trunk. The trunks with these things are losing their leaves. I believe they are due to a kind of Asian beetle. I have not seen anything that cures the […]

Read More

Why Red-Tips Die in the South

Jeremy, a faithful reader from Nashville, writes, “When we moved into our house two years ago, our driveway was lined with 6 enormous red-tip photinias. Since they were taking up driveway space, we had them pruned in the early spring of 2015. That summer they were covered by their signature red leaves and looked healthy. However, this summer has been […]

Read More

10 Finicky Plants That Ain’t Worth The Trouble

We all lead busy lives (except for you, you bum, and you know who I mean), so we can’t afford to waste a single minute on something that just doesn’t work. This applies to gardening. How many times have you toiled and fretted over a plant that wasn’t worth a Ramen noodle? You and everyone else need to stop that […]

Read More

The Only Good Place For A Weeping Willow

Courtesy of my friend, Seattle garden blogger and garden designer, Christina Salwitz, you are looking at the only kind of place a weeping willow should be planted. On the banks of a pond or lake. Nothing else around. With the owner’s house, driveway, sidewalk, pool, water lines, septic tank, pet cemetery, and all the neighbor’s houses a zip code away. […]

Read More