Garden Questions of the Month: October 2008

It's time for October's Garden Questions of the month! These are questions people have asked the search engines and found The Home Garden and hopefully they have also found the answers. 

Silver MoundQ. Can you prune silver mound in the fall?
A. It's better to wait until spring. The foliage that remains above the plant will help protect it over the winter months from the cold. I've found that when in doubt prune dead back plants in the spring just when new growth is starting to emerge. I've done this with mums, Russian sage, and most of our other perennials and they have done great!  You just have to be able to tolerate the dead branches through the winter months.

Q. Can you start impatiens from cuttings?
A. You sure can! Very easily too. If you have a couple of impatiens started you can get a few extras going very quickly. Just take a cutting with two nodes and two leaves and treat in rooting hormone then place it in your potting medium. It won't take long at all before more impatiens are ready to plant.

Q. How long do catmint cuttings take to root?
A. 5 days, 3 hours, 24 minutes and 11.3 seconds on the nose. OK I confess I didn't time it but I've had them root in anywhere between 5 days and 2 weeks. It all depends on growing conditions and the cutting itself. Bottom heat will speed up those cuttings. I've found that the older the cutting is the slower it tends to root. Cuttings of new growth taken in spring root much faster for me than cuttings in the summer or fall.

SalviaQ. How much salvia is enough?
A.  I still haven't found that answer! I picked up a discount salvia the other day and I'm continuing to propagate them when I can. I transplanted an 'East Friesland' salvia into my mailbox garden the other day and the clump just fell into two sections. Don't you just love extra plants!