About Amy's Answers

Amy is not afraid to get her hands dirty. As a self-taught gardener, she takes on her fair share of landscaping projects, picking up a ton of knowledge as she goes. If you have a plant care or landscaping question you’ve been too afraid to ask, you’re in the right place!


Can hydrangeas grow in southern Florida?

Can hydrangeas grow in southern Florida?
Great question!

How do I deadhead hydrangeas?

How do I deadhead hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas are beautiful in the winter!

How should I prepare butterfly bushes for winter?

How should I prepare butterfly bushes for winter?
Aren't they beautiful bushes?

I won't be home in early spring- can I prune Amber Jubilee & Purpleleaf Sand Cherry now?

I won't be home in early spring- can I prune Amber Jubilee & Purpleleaf Sand Cherry now?
This time of year, it’s best to back away from the pruners!

How do I winterize my hyndrangeas?

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite plants!

How should I prepare my weigela for the winter?

Fortunately, weigelas are tough plants and don’t require much pampering!

Where should I place my potted Cool Splash during the winter?

Where should I place my potted Cool Splash during the winter?
You have a couple of options!

Does Little Devil need to be protected during the winter?

Does Little Devil need to be protected during the winter?
Snow is a great insulator.

My weigela is green and healthy, but it has never bloomed- what should I do?

My weigela is green and healthy, but it has never bloomed- what should I do?
It’s interesting that you haven’t had any flowers.

What are the best conditions for Ninebark? Is it deer resistant?

What are the best conditions for Ninebark? Is it deer resistant?
Ninebark is a tough plant and can handle hot days.

When do I prune Sapphire Surf Bluebeard, and how far down do I prune?

When do I prune Sapphire Surf Bluebeard, and how far down do I prune?
Caryopteris is a little bit tricky when trying to figure out how much to prune!

How do I prepare my new plants for winter? Do they need to be trimmed?

New plants, especially, need some TLC in the fall and winter!

How should I take care of Vanilla Strawberry in the winter?

What a beautiful plant!

Just planted Vanilla Strawberry- What kind of care does it need heading into winter?

Just planted Vanilla Strawberry- What kind of care does it need heading into winter?
I’m so glad you are adding a Vanilla Strawberry to your landscape!

How much pruning does Vanilla Strawberry need in the spring?

How much pruning does Vanilla Strawberry need in the spring?
How much pruning depends on how much space you have for it to grow.

When should I cut back my hibiscus?

When should I cut back my hibiscus?
I love the huge flowers of hibiscus!

My Strawberry Sundae never bloomed after I planted it. Now it has spots on the leaves. What should I do?

My Strawberry Sundae never bloomed after I planted it. Now it has spots on the leaves. What should I do?
I wonder if the flower buds got trimmed off and that’s why it never flowered.

Do you recommend fertilizing Vintage Jade for the fall?

Do you recommend fertilizing Vintage Jade for the fall?
You really don’t want to encourage new growth this time of year.

Should I prune my newly planted White Diamond?

Should I prune my newly planted White Diamond?
Hydrangeas are kind of tricky when it comes to pruning.

Should I cut back my Summer Cascade wisteria?

Should I cut back my Summer Cascade wisteria?
Knowing the type of wisteria helps with knowing when to prune and how often.

What could be the cause of one gardenia dropping yellow leaves, while the other is just fine?

What could be the cause of one gardenia dropping yellow leaves, while the other is just fine?
I hate it when this happens!

I planted Sky High Juniper too close to a light. Can I prune, or make into topiary?

I planted Sky High Juniper too close to a light. Can I prune, or make into topiary?
Ugh – I hate it when I plant things too close to something!

How should I get my roses ready for the winter?

How should I get my roses ready for the winter?
Preparing for the winter is key for survival.

Care instructions for mini roses only mention spring care. What should I do in the fall?

Enjoy the flowers while they last!

My Rainbow Sensation is brown and dry. Is this normal for fall?

My Rainbow Sensation is brown and dry. Is this normal for fall?
It could probably use a good drink of water.

My weigela is in a mostly sunny spot, but is not doing well. What could be wrong?

My weigela is in a mostly sunny spot, but is not doing well. What could be wrong?
Does it look like there is still potential to save it?

How do I prepare my Above and Beyond Rose for winter?

How do I prepare my Above and Beyond Rose for winter?
I suppose it is time to start prepping for the colder months!

Would hens and chicks be okay if left outside in the winter?

Are they in the ground or in a container?

My Blue Puffball Vitex hasn't grown or flowered since planting. What could be wrong?

My Blue Puffball Vitex hasn't grown or flowered since planting. What could be wrong?
Frustrating! I’ve had that happen with shrubs, too.

When is the best time to move Strawberry Sundae to a sunny spot?

When is the best time to move Strawberry Sundae to a sunny spot?
You can definitely transplant it this fall!

Is it normal for Amber Jubilee to lose their leaves this early in the fall?

Is it normal for Amber Jubilee to lose their leaves this early in the fall?
Usually, ninebarks hold their leaves well into fall.

Can you tell me about Amber Jubilee- when it flowers and when is best to prune?

Can you tell me about Amber Jubilee- when it flowers and when is best to prune?
Absolutely! Great questions.

There are straggly branches on my weigela. Where should I trim and when?

There are straggly branches on my weigela. Where should I trim and when?
If there are a couple of branches driving you crazy now, go ahead and trim them back.

When is the best time to deadhead Vanilla Strawberry? Is this a limelight or mophead?

When is the best time to deadhead Vanilla Strawberry? Is this a limelight or mophead?
Such a beautiful hydrangea!

My weigela plants are not spreading, and have little white spots on them. What can I do?

My weigela plants are not spreading, and have little white spots on them. What can I do?
With shrubs, it seems to take a year or two to get them established before they really put on growth.

What should I do to get my Campfire Roses ready for winter?

What should I do to get my Campfire Roses ready for winter?
That is a great question, and I'm glad you asked!

Can Strawberry Sundae survive in full sun for half of the day and full shade the other half?

Great question!

I've had my hydrangea for three years, but it never flowers. What am I doing wrong?

I've had my hydrangea for three years, but it never flowers. What am I doing wrong?
Have you tried giving it extra protection in the winter?

When is the best time to plant Little Devil Shrubs?

When is the best time to plant Little Devil Shrubs?
September is a great month to plant!

Is it safe to transplant potentilla in September?

Potentilla is a very tough plant and can take a lot of abuse.

My ninebark doesn't have much direct sunilght and the leaves are wilting with dark spots. What should I do?

My ninebark doesn't have much direct sunilght and the leaves are wilting with dark spots. What should I do?
It sounds like your ninebark needs to be moved to a different spot.

Would magnolia trees do well in zone 9A?

Would magnolia trees do well in zone 9A?
Although there are some magnolias that really like the heat, most all need water and good dirt.

Where is the best spot to cut gardenia flowers?

Where is the best spot to cut gardenia flowers?
Your question reminded me of a gardenia corsage from long ago!

My outside potted gardenia never blooms. Help!

I hope we can figure out what the problem is!

One of my Above and Beyond Roses is growing faster than the other, but neither are showing signs of budding. What do you suggest?

One of my Above and Beyond Roses is growing faster than the other, but neither are showing signs of budding. What do you suggest?
Sometimes, gardening is such a puzzle. Here’s a few things to look for when comparing the smaller one to the larger one.

The flowers on my Vanilla Strawberry are too heavy for the stems. What do you suggest?

The flowers on my Vanilla Strawberry are too heavy for the stems. What do you suggest?
I’m glad your hydrangea is happily flowering! Now, we need to get it grow sturdy stems.

Can I grow Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea in a container?

You definitely can!

I put fabric and mulch around Hawaii Hibiscus to keep out weeds. Should I remove them to fertilize?

I put fabric and mulch around Hawaii Hibiscus to keep out weeds. Should I remove them to fertilize?
Hawaii Hibiscus is so pretty and easy to care for!

Will Polar Joy survive the harsh Minnesota winters?

Will Polar Joy survive the harsh Minnesota winters?
We have found that Polar Joy is extremely cold hardy and will survive zone 4 winters without tipping and burying.

How should I prepare my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea for the harsh winter on a lake?

The thought of an icy cold winter wind blowing across the lake just gives me the shivers!

How do you prune and train bittersweet for the best results?

How do you prune and train bittersweet for the best results?
I'm glad to hear you are looking out for your bittersweet!

There are yellow leaves on my newly planted Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea. Any recommendations?

It is probably just pouting!

The flowers on my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea are weighing down the branches. Should I be concerned?

It sounds like you have a very happy hydrangea!

I planted several Atomic Red Trumpet Vines 2 ft apart and they're very tall. How should I prepare for winter?

I planted several Atomic Red Trumpet Vines 2 ft apart and they're very tall. How should I prepare for winter?
It sounds like they are planted too close together!

I can't plant my hydrangea outside yet. What do you suggest?

I would find a safe place outdoors, perhaps on a front porch or under a tree, to keep the hydrangea until you can plant it.

The California sun has killed our yard. What can we do?

The California sun has killed our yard. What can we do?
That sounds brutal!

Should I prune off the dead flowers on my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea?

Should I prune off the dead flowers on my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea?
It's frustrating when a new plant doesn't look the way we want it to.

How do I get rid of small black spots on my Limoncello Barberry?

How do I get rid of small black spots on my Limoncello Barberry?
There are a couple reasons why this could be happening, but good news, I have solutions!

My new Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea looks dried up. Can I plant this inside during the winter?

It sounds like it is stressed and needs some extra TLC.

Is the Psychedelic Sky Butterfly Bush a sterile plant or the invasive variety?

Is the Psychedelic Sky Butterfly Bush a sterile plant or the invasive variety?
Some areas of the country have a bigger problem with butterfly bushes reseeding than other areas.

It has been very hot and my Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea receives a lot of sun, resulting in brown leaves. Should I move it to the shade?

It has been very hot and my Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea receives a lot of sun, resulting in brown leaves. Should I move it to the shade?
You are right, it probably is too much sun and heat and that’s why the flowers are turning brown.

I fertilized and watered my hydrangea diligently, but it's wilting. What do you suggest?

I fertilized and watered my hydrangea diligently, but it's wilting. What do you suggest?
Good question and I hope we get it figured out in time!

My Moonlight Magic has green spots on the leaves and they are dropping rapidly. What can I do?

My Moonlight Magic has green spots on the leaves and they are dropping rapidly. What can I do?
Did it recently get hot and dry where you live?

One Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea is thriving, while the other is droopy and shriveled. What could the problem be?

One Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea is thriving, while the other is droopy and shriveled. What could the problem be?
It’s always strange when one plant does well and another struggles. Especially, when the conditions seem to be the same.

What can I plant among my lilies to keep the feet cool?

Great question! I’m new to growing lilies and wondered the same thing.

I'm losing a rhododendron. It's in partial shade with southwest exposure. Would a weigela do better in this spot?

I'm losing a rhododendron. It's in partial shade with southwest exposure. Would a weigela do better in this spot?
What a bummer!

My Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea has bloomed white in color and has yet to turn pink. What can I do?

My Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea has bloomed white in color and has yet to turn pink. What can I do?
Give it a little bit of time for the magical transformation to take place.

Will Amber Jubilee become more dense and full if I prune the tops?

Will Amber Jubilee become more dense and full if I prune the tops?
You can definitely bulk up a plant by pruning it.

Can I prune ninebark in mid July?

Yes! July is a good time to prune a ninebark.

Should I fertilize my newly planted Delta Blues now or wait until spring?

Should I fertilize my newly planted Delta Blues now or wait until spring?
Once we get into hot, summer weather, it’s best not to fertilize.

The leaves on my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea are turning yellow. What should I do to fix this?

The leaves on my Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea are turning yellow. What should I do to fix this?
The yellow leaves are telling you that it needs a drink of water!

How can I prepare my Moonlight Magic for winter?

How can I prepare my Moonlight Magic for winter?
There are some things you can do but much of it depends on the winter.

I planted a Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea for my summer home. What is the best way to get it through severe winters?

I planted a Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea for my summer home. What is the best way to get it through severe winters?
What a great flowering shrub for a summer house!

I am looking for a dwarf tree that would do well in harsh afternoon sun. Would Amber Jubilee Ninebark do well?

I am looking for a dwarf tree that would do well in harsh afternoon sun. Would Amber Jubilee Ninebark do well?
That is a great suggestion!

How do I get rid of bugs that are eating my hydrangea leaves?

Battling bugs can be such a pain!

I want to keep my First Edition Purple Magic Crapemyrtle as small as possible- how can I achieve this?

I want to keep my First Edition Purple Magic Crapemyrtle as small as possible- how can I achieve this?
Great question! The mature size of a crapemyrtle can depend on how cold or warm the winter temperatures are, and the early spring weather.

My Autumn Revolution Bittersweet looks more like a vine than a bush- where is the best place to plant it?

My Autumn Revolution Bittersweet looks more like a vine than a bush- where is the best place to plant it?
This plant is actually a vine that produces fruit. Although it looks good, it is not edible!

The Above and Beyond Rose is covered in blooms. Should I deadhead the earlier blooms or let it be?

The Above and Beyond Rose is covered in blooms. Should I deadhead the earlier blooms or let it be?
It won’t hurt to let it go and let the old flowers and petals just fall off.

I have an Autumn Revolution that is now in mostly shade. I want to move it to a sunny spot, will it be successful?

It will definitely be happier in the sun!

When deadheading roses, should the stem be cut at the old bud or the next leaf?

Good question! You could deadhead at either part, depending on your preference.

Little white spiders with webbing are on several of my plants killing the leaves. How do I get rid of them?

I wonder if they are wooly aphids.

Can I plant a perennial in an 8 inch deep pot? Should I bring it inside when winter comes?

You should be fine. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and water as needed.

My Snow White Fantasy bloomed a couple weeks ago but now the petals are falling off. Should I prune it?

My Snow White Fantasy bloomed a couple weeks ago but now the petals are falling off. Should I prune it?
Mockorange flowers in the spring and then again in the summer!

My Gardenia buds drop off before opening. Is this normal?

My Gardenia buds drop off before opening. Is this normal?
Gardenias are really intended for zones 7-9.

My Miss Kim Lilacs are over 8 feet tall. Can they be pruned down to 4 feet without killing them?

Miss Kim Lilacs are supposed to mature to 6-7’. You must be giving yours lots of love!

Do weigelas require a lot of water when in direct sunlight?

Anything newly planted will get wilty when the summer sun comes on and the temperatures rise.

Why does the hypericum stem decay?

Stem decay can happen when the soil is just too wet, waterlogged, or there is poor air circulation.

What is the reason the hypericum plants leaves become black?

The black leaves are probably caused by a fungus – too much water and poor air circulation.

Could too much rain be the cause of yellow and brown leaves on daylilies?

Definitely, it could be too much rain.

I have hydrangeas that bloom very little, while others don’t bloom at all. What can I do?

I have hydrangeas that bloom very little, while others don’t bloom at all. What can I do?
That can be frustrating. But good news, I have some helpful information!

CAN I CUT MY VANILLA STRAWBERRY DOWN FOR A FULLER LOOK WITHOUT PREVENTING FLOWERS?

CAN I CUT MY VANILLA STRAWBERRY DOWN FOR A FULLER LOOK WITHOUT PREVENTING FLOWERS?
Great question! Fortunately, Vanilla Strawberry flowers on new growth, so spring pruning is okay.

All the rain is turning my tomato leaves yellow. What can I do?

It sounds like Mother Nature isn’t cooperating!

MY NEWLY PLANTED BLOOMSTRUCK HAVE WILTED WITH THE RECENT HEAT. WILL THEY COME BACK?

I bet that spike in temperature caused the wilting as it took the plants by surprise!

MY GARDENIA LEAVES TURN YELLOW AND THE BUDS TURN BROWN BEFORE FALLING OFF. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

MY GARDENIA LEAVES TURN YELLOW AND THE BUDS TURN BROWN BEFORE FALLING OFF. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?
Great question! It depends on which part of the plant you are watering.

How do I trim my azalea bushes?

How do I trim my azalea bushes?
One of the great things about azaleas, is they need very little pruning.

Do you have a home recipe for plant pest, vegetables and flowers?

Actually, I do! I really try to avoid using lots of chemicals.

Why do my shade perennials only come back one season?

It could be a few things - here’s a few ideas.

My plants keep turning dry and brown. How do I keep them alive?

When plants are at the garden center, they are watered frequently and get used to being pampered.

My azalea have a lot of dead branches on them, is it lack of rain last summer?

My azalea have a lot of dead branches on them, is it lack of rain last summer?
Lack of rain could be one of the causes. Plants really need regular watering through the season.

Can I grow hydrangeas indoors?

It can be done but will need just the right conditions!

What can I do to make my clematis Bloom?

Finally, I have one that the rabbits haven’t found and it is growing and flowering!

My Light-O-Day Hydrangea plants aren't blooming this year. What am I doing wrong?

My Light-O-Day Hydrangea plants aren't blooming this year. What am I doing wrong?
You know, I love the variegated foliage so much that I sometimes forget about the flowers!

Can you help me prune my healthy growing shrubs to keep them neat and small?

I try to keep pruning at a minimum by planting the right size shrub in the right size place.

Can branches be pinched back on water melon and cantaloupe plants?

That’s a great question. I’m still learning about growing fruits and vegetables.

My Boston Ferns are Dying. Help!

Uh oh! You may not be watering enough or too much.

How do I get my flower bed to drain?

It sounds like you need to amend the soil with organic matter!

How do you keep weeds out of the garden?

How do you feel about digging up weeds? That’s one way.

Do I need to protect my Sweet Cherry Pie tree from Deer?

Do I need to protect my Sweet Cherry Pie tree from Deer?
That would be a really good idea! Deer and rabbits seem to know which plants are favorites and those are the ones they go after.

Do First Editions Plants need a lot of sun and water?

Thanks for writing! Actually, there are dozens of First Editions’ plants – trees, shrubs, vines, roses, fruits, perennials.

My Arborvitae Emerald Green is turning white - Any help?

That doesn’t sound good! Is this a new plant or one that has been in the ground for a while?

Are there any Hydrangeas that can take full sun?

This is a great question! Sun and shade symbols can be confusing.

How do I maintain the large blooms on my Funky Fuchsia Buddleia?

How do I maintain the large blooms on my Funky Fuchsia Buddleia?
I’m glad you like Funky Fuchsia butterfly bush! Aren't the flowers incredible?

How do you trim a Weigela Shrub?

How do you trim a Weigela Shrub?
Weigela is such a pretty plant! And, fortunately, if you make a mistake pruning, it’s forgiving and will grow right back and fill in again.

Any tips on growing roses?

Any tips on growing roses?
Roses are such beautiful flowers and I’m glad you are trying it out!

Can you tell me more about the Standing Ovation Serviceberry?

Can you tell me more about the Standing Ovation Serviceberry?
You are off to a good start on your landscape with Standing Ovation Serviceberry!

How do I keep my roses healthy & insect free?

How do I keep my roses healthy & insect free?
Did you know insects are less likely to go after healthy plants?

My Crape Myrtles looks brown and weak this spring - What can I do?

My Crape Myrtles looks brown and weak this spring - What can I do?
Great question! With crape myrtles, you have to be patient.

Is it okay to move my tulips after they are done blooming?

Absolutely! When you move them, it’s important to still keep the green leaves on (you can cut back the stems).

Why isn't my Autumn Revolution producing orange berries?

I’m really stumped on this one! Bittersweet is usually such an easy plant to grow.

How do I get my Wisteria plant to bloom?

How do I get my Wisteria plant to bloom?
This is a great question! I hate it when a plant doesn’t flower like I think it should.

Why aren't my plants coming back this Spring?

It can be hard after winter waiting to see what will leaf out and what doesn’t, and with a new plant, it can be iffy.

How do I care for my plants in a hot climate?

How do I care for my plants in a hot climate?
Don’t be dismayed! We have some plants for you to try and suggestions on how to get them off to a great start and keep them alive.

How do I get more blooms on my Endless Summer Hydrangea (macrophylla)?

How do I get more blooms on my Endless Summer Hydrangea (macrophylla)?
It’s so frustrating when something goes wrong with a plant. I think it could be one of many things.

How much should I trim my Lagerstoemias?

How much should I trim my Lagerstoemias?
I usually wait to see new growth in the spring before pruning.

I'm moving - How do I transplant my plants to my new house?

This is a great question! It would be best to dig them up now while the weather is still mild.

Why are the berries drying up on my Pumpkin Hypericum?

Why are the berries drying up on my Pumpkin Hypericum?
Such a bummer to hear your berries dried up!

Why isn't my healthy plant flowering?

If your healthy plant isn't producing the blooms it's supposed to, there are a couple potential culprits.

How do I prune my thyrallis?

I love sunny, yellow flowers!

How do I shape my Vintage Jade?

How do I shape my Vintage Jade?
Thanks for your question, Judy! I’m envious that you live in an area where you can plant distylium!

I spotted yellow leaves on my plant, what does it mean?

There are a couple of things that may be the cause your plant's new look.

What do you suggest for a Rose Garden?

What do you suggest for a Rose Garden?
I’m so glad you asked this question! It is important to start with your hardiness zone to ensure a thriving rose garden.

How and when do I plant Pampas Grass?

Great question! Some ornamental grasses are a bit particular.

How do I prune Spirea?

How do I prune Spirea?
When you start seeing leaves and the forecast looks like spring has really arrived in your area, it’s time to prune.

How do I grow blueberries in containers?

Blueberries fresh from the garden sounds delicious!

How can I help my gardenia thrive?

How can I help my gardenia thrive?
A few things to think about if your plant isn't thriving.

When do I fertilize my Azaleas?

When do I fertilize my Azaleas?
Great question - It’s best to fertilize azaleas after they flower, before the first of June.

Is Sweet Tea Gardenia deer resistant?

Is Sweet Tea Gardenia deer resistant?
In general, gardenias are deer resistant.

How do I get my hydrangeas to change colors?

How do I get my hydrangeas to change colors?
Some hydrangea flowers will change colors.

How much should I prune Amber Jubilee?

Thanks, Lynn, for your question! Knowing how much to prune – if at all – depends on how much space you have.

What does "Full Sun" really mean?

Full sun usually means direct sun during the summer months for six hours or more a day.

Do I need to cover my plants in early spring?

Do I need to cover my plants in early spring?
The highs and lows of Spring weather can be hard on plants. Whether or not to cover the plant, depends on how far along the new leaves are.

Can I grow an Orange Tree in my Sunroom?

I was so excited to answer this question from Janet in West Virginia.

How much should I water my shrubs?

How much should I water my shrubs?
Young root systems can easily dry out while they are just getting established, so pay close attention!

How do I winterize my plants in the Fall?

I'm glad you asked because this is something many people forget to do. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, certain varieties should be covered and protected from the cold winter.

What kind of fertilizer do I use for my hibiscus?

What kind of fertilizer do I use for my hibiscus?
This is a great question! Usually with flowering shrubs, they need phosphorus. Not hibiscus!

How do I prune my Hydrangea (Paniculata)?

Such a bummer to hear your hydrangea isn't blooming like you hoped. Lucky for you, we've created a video to give you the care advice you need to get those blooms back.

How do I use fertilizer in my garden?

What’s the old saying? Spring forward, fall back? The same applies here.

How do I know if my plant needs fertilizing?

Good question! There are so many reasons a plant can look like it’s lacking nutrients.

How to Split Perennials

Splitting perennials, like hostas, is super simple! It’s best done in the springtime right after the plant emerges from the ground.

How do I prune my rose bush?

How do I prune my rose bush?
Ready to play in the garden? Me too!

Have a Question?

Send it along and we’ll get Amy to answer it. There are no dumb questions.

Send Amy Your Question