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!


When should I cut back my gardenias?

When should I cut back my gardenias?
The best time to prune is right after they flower.

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.

Could you recommend deer resistant plants? Are holly bushes deer resistant?

Recommending deer resistant plants is tough. It seems to depend on how hungry the deer are!

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.

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!

Looking for landscaping help in the front of my house. Must be deer resistant.

Looking for landscaping help in the front of my house. Must be deer resistant.
Deer really know how to ruin a nice garden, don’t they!

I have a sunny spot next to herbs- what would do well there?

I have a sunny spot next to herbs- what would do well there?
There are lots of options! Do I have to pick just one?

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.

I want to use Vintage Jade Dystilium along foundation as a hedge. How should I space them?

I want to use Vintage Jade Dystilium along foundation as a hedge. How should I space them?
That will look very nice!

Does Midnight Magic have exfoliating bark?

Does Midnight Magic have exfoliating bark?
Yes, it does have exfoliating bark!

I'm overwhelmed! Looking for deer resistant plants & trees for partial shade.

I'm overwhelmed! Looking for deer resistant plants & trees for partial shade.
In your area, fall is a wonderful time to plant.

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.

Would Chapel View Cryptomeria do okay with some shade?

Would Chapel View Cryptomeria do okay with some shade?
Such a great plant to have in your yard!

When is the best time to plant creeping phlox?

When is the best time to plant creeping phlox?
Creeping phlox is a tough plant!

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.

My outside potted gardenia never blooms. Help!

I hope we can figure out what the problem is!

Does Midnight Magic Crapemyrtle have a deep root that would destroy foundation?

Does Midnight Magic Crapemyrtle have a deep root that would destroy foundation?
This shrub is smaller and compact.

When is the best time to plant a crapemyrtle?

When is the best time to plant a crapemyrtle?
Good question! It varies between locations.

Is a butterfly bush deciduous?

Is a butterfly bush deciduous?
Yes, butterfly bushes are deciduous.

When is the best time to transplant a dwarf crapemyrtle?

When is the best time to transplant a dwarf crapemyrtle?
It would be best to transplant them in the spring.

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 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?

Are dahlias perennials?

Actually, dahlias are tuberous perennials.

Can I prune Purple Magic Crapemyrtle into a tree?

Can I prune Purple Magic Crapemyrtle into a tree?
Your success will depend on the winters and how much dieback they experience.

Do crapemyrtle's lose their leaves in the winter?

Do crapemyrtle's lose their leaves in the winter?
Yes, but surprisingly, it’s a really good shrub for the winter landscape!

Do barberries lose their leaves in the fall and winter?

Do barberries lose their leaves in the fall and winter?
Yes, but they take their time dropping the leaves.

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.

Is the hardy hibiscus related to hollyhocks?

You have a good eye! They do have much in common and both are in the Malvaceae (mallow) family.

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.

Do you know how to get rid of white substance on crapemyrtle leaves?

It’s probably calcium deposits on the foliage. If so, it isn’t a problem to worry about!

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.

How can I keep Rabbits and Deer from eating my vegetable garden?

Have you tried rabbit fencing? It really does work.

Do fig trees need a lot of sun?

Figs have beautiful leaves, don't they?

Are any hydrangea deer resistant?

Unfortunately, deer really like hydrangeas.

My Yard is being ruined by Chipmunks. How do I get rid of them?

Oh, chipmunks are such destructive little creatures!

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.

WHAT CAN I PLANT IN A ROCKY, SLOPING AREA TO HOLD THE GROUND & KEEP WEEDS AT BAY?

WHAT CAN I PLANT IN A ROCKY, SLOPING AREA TO HOLD THE GROUND & KEEP WEEDS AT BAY?
This sounds like a tough site!

How deep are the roots of spirea bushes?

How deep are the roots of spirea bushes?
I’m curious, are you planning to dig one up and move it? Or, are you planting one in a container?

My ninebark is mildew resistant, but I'm noticing some on my plant. What do I do?

Although plants may be resistant to something, outbreaks can still happen.

Any tips on growing roses?

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

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.

I'm looking for easy care shrubs - what do you suggest?

First Editions has plenty of options for you!

Can I plant Shining Sensation in a container?

Can I plant Shining Sensation in a container?
I love container gardening! It’s fun to try different plants in containers, especially ones that attract hummingbirds.

I HAVE A HILL COVERED IN JUNIPER AND WANT TO RE-LANDSCAPE WITH LOW MAINTENANCE SHRUBBERY. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Sounds like you have quite the project on your hands!

What can I plant for a replacement hedge?

What can I plant for a replacement hedge?
For your replacement hedge, are you wanting something evergreen or a mix of shrubs? And, how tall do you want it be when it is mature? Also, sun or shade?

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.

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.

What plants stay green all winter in a cold climate?

What plants stay green all winter in a cold climate?
A bit of green and hope that spring is coming helps me get through winter!

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.

Should I cut back old growth on my red flame hypericum in the spring?

Should I cut back old growth on my red flame hypericum in the spring?
Great question! I usually wait to see new growth in the spring before pruning.

Does the Limoncello Barberry retain its leaves year round?

Does the Limoncello Barberry retain its leaves year round?
Barberries are deciduous shrubs, meaning they will lose their leaves in the winter.

What birds and insects will be attracted to my Atomic Red?

What birds and insects will be attracted to my Atomic Red?
I’m so glad you have planted an Atomic Red Trumpet Vine!

What are low growing companion plants for Cinnamon Girl?

You have lots of options for shady ground covers!

Are there plants that will attract bees, but not wasps?

This is a great question. Bees are pollinators and are much more interested in plant pollen than in people. Wasps, on the other hand, are predators and can be aggressive.

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!

Can I plant an Azalea in a container?

That’s a great question and a little bit tricky to answer! Azaleas would definitely be best in the ground year round.

How and when do I plant Pampas Grass?

Great question! Some ornamental grasses are a bit particular.

How do I remove invasive plants?

Getting rid of unwanted plants can definitely be a challenge. You might start with your local extension office for plant identification and some options for handling.

How do I landscape the slope in my yard to prevent erosion?

This is such a great landscaping question, and one you can have some fun with!

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 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.

How and When do I prune my Hypericum?

How and When do I prune my Hypericum?
Here's a shout out to Bill in Washington who asked about pruning his Red Star Hypericum.

Which plants pair well with Cinnamon Girl Distylium?

Which plants pair well with Cinnamon Girl Distylium?
You are so lucky to live in a part of the country where it is a warmer zone and Cinnamon Girl Distylium thrives.

I want to add color to my yard, what do you recommend?

I want to add color to my yard, what do you recommend?
Thanks for your question, Alice! I think adding a pop of color to your landscape bed is a great idea.

What shrubs can I plant in the shady areas of my yard?

What shrubs can I plant in the shady areas of my yard?
This is a question I get a lot: knowing how to best landscape the shady areas of your yard.

Do you have tips for planting a Dogwood?

Do you have tips for planting a Dogwood?
Planting a Dogwood in your yard is a great idea!

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.

Where is the best place to plant a hydrangea along a house?

Where is the best place to plant a hydrangea along a house?
I absolutely love hydrangeas! And, I really don’t think you can have too many.

Will the New Diamond Rouge Hydrangea Thrive in my area?

Will the New Diamond Rouge Hydrangea Thrive in my area?
Thank you Karen, for your question about the Diamond Rouge Hydrangea.

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