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Watering & Fertilizing
Plant Questions-General
No Blooms or Slow Growth
Plant Questions-Pruning
Plant Questions-Winter Dormancy, Storage & Care
Plant Questions-Propagating & Transplanting
Plant Questions-Diseases
Plant Questions-Insects, Pests & Animals
I just received my plants. What should I do if I cannot plant them in the ground right away?
When your plant(s) arrive from Roberta’s, remove them from the shipping box immediately. Remove plastic bag and/or sleeve from around potted plant(s). Discard any packing material clinging to the leaves or soil. Pull away any yellow or brown leaves that may have occurred during transit. If you cannot plant into the garden or larger pot within a few days, make sure it stays well watered. Upon planting, water them thoroughly. When ready to plant, do the job as early in the day as possible to avoid extreme soil temperatures that prevent proper water uptake from the roots. Water them in well and whisper a few words of wisdom.
When will my order ship?

The majority of our hardy perennials are zone shipped. However there are a few plants which break winter dormancy late; therefore, they have designated ship dates for when we will begin shipping these plants. These plants are noted on the Shipping/Hardiness Zone page and in the product description area. All orders are shipped within 5-7 days from the time your zone opens up, and often sooner. If you place your order after your zone has opened, then your items will still be shipped within 5-7 days from receiving it, and often sooner.

 

9b to 11                Mid to Late Mar.
9a to 8b   Late Mar. to Early Apr.
8a   Early Apr.
7b   Mid Apr.
6b   Late Apr. to Early May
6a   Early to Mid May
5b   Mid to Late May
3a to 5a   Late May

 

What are the shipping charges?
Shipping is already figured in the price of each item. There are no additional shipping and handling fees applied to each item or purchase.
The plants I received have little new growth?
While a dormant plant may appear to be dead, think of it as just being asleep or hibernating. It is natural that these plants lose all or most of their foliage in the winter. Rest assured that the root system is very healthy. The plant may begin to grow and leaf in just 2-3 weeks after planting. Please plant as soon as possible.
Can I send a gift to a friend?
Yes, you can either have it sent to the recipient’s mailbox or inbox.
How can I redeem my gift certificate?
You simply apply the coupon code located on the gift certificate when you are in the checkout area.
The leaves of my plants are pale green or yellow between the veins; the veins remain bright green? The older leaves remain green?
Most likely the problem is a minor or micro nutrient deficiency. Iron and several other elements (including manganese and zinc) are essential plant nutrients. They are called micro only because they are needed by the plant in small quantities.
How often should I water my plants?
That is actually determined by your plants. Check the soil to determine how wet or dry your soil is. If your care guide states twice a week and you have a really hot summer, then your plant may require more than twice a week. Check your plant to determine. Rule of thumb, plants need 1” water per week.
What kind of fertilizer do I need?
We always recommend using a well balanced fertilizer like our Hawaiian Flower Magic 9-18-9. This has been formulated to use every time you water without burning your plants. We also recommend our new Spray & Flourish. This is a combination of essential Micronutrients which are especially vital to all your plants. It’s similar to providing vitamins to your plants.
The leaves are turning light green or yellow and the leaf edges are turning brown and some of the leaves are dying?
Overwatering is a serious and common problem that often results in the decay and death of plant roots. The ph balance could also be off and you could be deficient in iron. If so use our Spray and Flourish Micronutrients to provide all your plants with the essential and necessary minerals for plant sustainability.
My plants are growing very slowly? The leaves are small, pale green with the older leaves turning yellow and falling off or dying?
Nitrogen deficiency is the most commonly deficient plant nutrient. Most plants need to be fertilized regularly with nitrogen fertilizers. While plants need nitrogen whenever they are not dormant, they need the greatest amounts when leaves are growing most rapidly. For most plants, this is from spring through early summer.
Where is the best place to grow Astilbe in the garden?
Although somewhat tolerant of full sun, the Astilbe is truly a shade lover. It will thrive in partial sun to full shade. Perfect for a rock garden, herbaceous border, or in containers, the Astilbe is fairly easy to grow and is hardy in zones 3-9. Astilbe does grow best in fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. They are excellent low-maintenance plants as long as their soil is moist.
How old are the plants when they are shipped?
Our perennials will be at least 6 to 9 months old when they are shipped.
I am getting long, stringy things on my leaves of my Cactus. Should I cut them off?
No, do not cut them off! They are adventitious roots. If they appear in numbers, however, this may signal problems such as plant is too moist, too dry or in too much shade. The root could be reaching for moisture, light or even food that the plant in not receiving.
Do you have any plants that can withstand the sand on a shoreline?
Sea Thrift, Gaillardia, Sea Holly, and South African Ice plant
What happens to the Hen within the Sempervivum once she has flowered?
Bear in mind that the rosettes are constantly spreading and don’t bloom all the same year. It is a continuous and natural process. Since Sempervivum is monocarpic i.e. each rosette can only ever flower once and then dies very gradually over time producing chicks along the way. The dead rosette should be carefully removed and the hole filled with gritty compost at the appropriate time.
Why are my Lavender plants not as fragrant as others?
The more sun the more fragrance. Poor, lean soil produces a plant that has a higher concentrate of essential oils which equates to higher fragrance.
What is a Hardiness Zone?
The USDA Hardiness Zones were developed to help gardeners answer the question whether or not the plant will overwinter successfully – that is, will it survive through the coldest part of the winter? Therefore, you should always know what zone you reside in so that you may pick plants that will survive in your garden.
My Plumeria cutting is soft and mushy. What did I do wrong?
After the cutting has been planted water sparingly, just water the soil at most. You only need to water the soil about once the first two weeks. Too much water will cause the cutting to develop stem rot. Let the soil dry completely before watering the soil again. Once it is growing and in full sun water 1 or 2 times per week.
Is the Trample Me Creeping Thyme evergreen or deciduous?
Creeping thyme stays green year-round in mild climates. It forms dense mats of foliage 1 to 4 inches high and is often used as a ground cover. Tiny needle-like leaves cover its stems. In cold winter areas depending on snow cover, they may or may not defoliate. Either way they will come back vigorously the next spring.
Last year I purchased the winter hardy Hibiscus and planted them in the ground. They over wintered and it is now well into spring and they have not begun to grow?
Perennial Hibiscus begin growing very late spring (late May, early June), typically making them one of the latest perennials to break dormancy. The Buddleia Butterfly Bush is another herbaceous perennial which breaks dormancy in late spring.
Will Lavender grow well in a rocky type soil?
These are excellent plants for rock gardens. They will do very well. In fact the worse the soil the better they do.
Do Liliums like the sun or not?
Full sun or partial sun is appropriate for these Lilies. Plants can take intense sun on the flowers and leaves but prefer a cooler shaded root zone sheltered from the sun retaining adequate soil moisture. Use growing plants in front of them to accomplish this if they are in hot sun. Too little light will cause soft, limp foliage without flowers.
Leaves often droop in summer on my dwarf fruit tree?
These like a lot of water in the summer. In pots on the deck in the hot sun, water them every day. Often a late afternoon watering and morning watering is needed. This is when fruit is forming so keep adequately hydrated.
Can I substitute a plant seen on the show for a different plant that I previously purchased which did not do well?
We will replace the original item true to its variety unless it is not appropriate for your climate or out of stock. Typically, brand new items are not available for substitution.
Are all the plants you grow offered here on the website?
No, but close. Some of our items are show exclusive items and they can easily be purchased through the QVC television network or QVC.com.
Why did my plant not bloom this year?
If your plant didn’t bloom this year it, will more than likely bloom like crazy next season. There are several reasons for a plant to not bloom such as: immature plants, insufficient light, improper pruning, severe winters and late spring frosts, unseasonable cool spell, planting depth, spacing of plants, overall plant health and too much nitrogen. Biennials (plants that live for 2 years) and perennials rarely bloom during their first year of growth, even during their normal flowering season.
I have had my Passion Flower for a couple of years and it has not bloomed? What can I do to encourage it to bloom?
Feed it with our Hawaiian Flower Magic plant fertilizer on a weekly basis during the early spring through early fall. This liquid fertilizer contains a well-balanced nutrient ratio of 9-18-9. Also our new Spray & Flourish is highly recommended. This liquid micronutrient formula is specially formulated to contain chelated micronutrients in zinc, manganese, and iron. Although it is only needed once a month for all your plants, it is a vitally essential and necessary.
My plant never took off, what happened?
There are a few reasons why a plant may not get established. The most common reason is improper watering. Be sure to water well at planting and monitor closely afterward. Also the first season the plant has a small root ball and a lot of foliage, it can dry out quickly in hot weather. Other reasons may also include wrong location and excess summer heat.
Why do I only get green foliage and no blooms on my Hollyhocks, Sweet William, and Foxgloves?
This can be the rule but not the norm. The plants will bloom with extra vigor the next year if they contained little or no blooms in the first season. These plants usually bloom the first year because they have had their first winter already. However, if your plants did not bloom they will bloom even more next year.
How do the Papaya pollinate?
That is not known for sure. Wind is probably the main agent, as the pollen is light and abundant, but insects may assist. Hand pollination is sometimes necessary to get a proper fruit set.
My Calla Lily Bulbs are slow to come up?
Make sure that you planted them shallow covering with only about 1 to 2 inches of soil. You might want to make sure that they were planted with the top side up. Pull out one and compare to the bulb picture inside this guide.
Do Lily bulbs need freezing wintertime temperatures to bloom properly?
Lily bulbs must be cool in the winter to produce every season. Consequently, place in the garage or outside where they can freeze or get at least 8 weeks below 50 degrees. In late autumn, cut plants back to the ground. In the garden 4 to 6 inches deep, they can handle temperatures down to a negative 40 degrees below 0. In pots they can handle temperatures to 0 degrees.
When do I prune my Clematis?
As a general rule, if it flowers before the longest day; it flowers on last year’s growth or it’s a Group 1 Clematis. You will need to prune it lightly straight after it flowers or not at all. Pruning Group 1: Flowers appearing in April or May on old wood should be pruned only after flowering but before the end of July. Pruning Group 2: Large flowered hybrids with first flowers about mid-June on old wood, may re flower later on new wood, should be pruned in late winter to remove weak growth and twiggy side shoots. Pruning Group 3: Depending on the selection, they can start blooming as early as late-June on new wood, but most bloom late in the season. Cut back to 2-3 feet in late winter.
How much and when do I cut back my Buddleia Butterfly Bush?
They should be pruned in the fall or very early the following spring before growth starts. Pruning does not have to be an annual ritual; prune them only if they’ve gotten too large or if there is dead wood to be cleaned out. Summer- and fall-flowering shrubs such as buddleia do not make their buds ahead of time and keep them through the winter. They bloom after August and form their buds the next spring on new branches. Tip: If you live in the far West and South, your shrubs will only be partially dormant. If you prune them during the winter, they may be severely shocked because they have not yet finished pulling all their nutrients from the stems for storage in the roots. Instead, prune in early spring just before growth starts again.
When do I prune my dwarf fruit tree?
The objective of pruning a fruit tree is to develop a strong framework that exposes a large amount of the leaf surface to optimum light conditions. Only prune 1/3 of the tree at a time. That way you can have flowers, fruit, and ripened fruit at the same time. Meyers will usually set and ripen the most fruit in the winter. So wait until most of the fruit has ripened before you begin pruning. Then in mid spring or early summer, prune any dead, damaged, diseased or wispy stems right to the base. If your climate is conducive to keep your tree outside permanently and you do, then prune in early spring. Cut any unwanted stems that are smaller than a pencil and above fruit and flower zone.
Why does my citrus fruit tree drop some of its fruit before it has fully developed?
Premature fruit dropping has several causes and are typically attributed to natural thinning due to the fruit tree producing more fruit than it can mature, and stress caused by conditions such as extreme heat, drought, cold, wind, or overwatering or by rapid changes in soil moisture or air temperature. Freeze damage caused by unseasonable spring frosts can lead to fruit prematurely dropping along with the lack of pollination causing the flowers to develop into pea sized fruit that falls off.
My plants are growing slowly and are stunted, and the leaves often turn pale green to yellow? Also, the plants aren’t improving when being fertilized?
You may have acid soil. Acid soils are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest and on the East Coast. Soils that have a ph of 5.5 or lower are too acidic for most plants. To make a soil less acidic, apply dolomitic limestone. This type of ground limestone contains calcium and magnesium, nutrients usually deficient in acid soils. Get a soil test done to be sure.
How do I store my Calla Lily bulbs?
Overwintering Calla Lily bulbs must be done if you do not reside in Zone 9 or 10. Simply cut the plants down to the soil and leave them in containers in a cool, dark, well ventilated location where temperatures remain above 35 degrees. You will only need to water lightly once a month in the winter. Or you can lift the bulbs, brushing off any excess soil and lay them out to dry in the sun for a few days. Store them in paper bags or dry peat in a cool, dark area until re-planting the following spring. Remember not to plant them in the spring until you have cleared your last frost.
How do I store my Begonia tubers in colder climates?
In late autumn, when leaves fall off and stems separate easily from the tubers, the tubers are ready for storage. Cut plants back to the soil. You can leave them in containers in a cool, dark spot where temperatures remain above 35 degrees. Refrain from watering until the following spring. Or you can lift tubers and store them in dry peat or a paper bag in a cool, frost free place until the following spring.
How do I care for my tender perennials like Cannas and Ginger in colder climates
Dig up the clumps leaving some dirt on their roots. Let them dry for several days. Place them in paper bags and store them. If you prefer, you can remove all of them and store them in dry peat moss inside paper bags instead.
Do I need to do anything to my strawberries in the fall?
Right after the last Strawberry harvest, begin to prepare for winter. Fertilize the soil, cut the tops off the strawberry plants, tidy your rows to 6-8 inches in width and leave only 5-6 plants per foot. Feed strawberries again several weeks before the last frost and mulch the plants with 4-5 inches of straw, hay or shredded paper after the first hard frost in the fall, when the plants go dormant.
How do I store my bulbs if it is too early to plant?
Bulbs need to be planted as soon as possible in your area. However if the weather is too cold you may store them in the refrigerator up to 6 weeks. If you live in a warm climate and have bulbs that need to go dormant in order to re-produce, dig them up and store in the refrigerator for 9 weeks to trick them into dormancy. Different bulbs need different temperatures for instance; Oriental Lily Bulbs can be left in the ground in cold areas but Dahlia Bulbs and Calla Lilies will have to be dug up and stored in a warm area such as your garage or basement. Be sure to read your temperatures.
My hardy Chicago Fig froze over winter?
No worries because these extremely hardy Figs are good down to about minus 10 Fº in garden and positive 10 Fº in large pots. If temperatures go below 10F, you will need to prune main stem down until you reach solid wood. You may need to cut as much as four inches above soil. The best time to prune is early spring after the winter rest. They can take a light or hard pruning because fruit forms on both new and old wood. If temperatures dropped below a minus 10F the plant may need to be replaced.
How do I prepare my water lily for the winter?
If submerged in a pond at least 16 inches deep, you need do nothing. Even if the pond freezes over the tuber will be safe at its submerged level that deep. If submerged inside a container, you can leave submerged in water but move inside to prevent the water from freezing. This way the rhizome stays intact as the leaves freeze away. If your container is too heavy to move then lift the pot, cut away leaves and place inside a bucket of water for the winter inside the garage.
What can I do with the seeds that form on my Hollyhocks?
Each flower stem will have upwards to 75 flowers. Each flower will produce a seed pod with 15 to 20 pea size seeds. To encourage new growth in same area, shake the stalks profusely to make the seeds fall to ground. Otherwise remove pods and shake seeds out in other part of garden. This is well worth the effort. The next season a large percentage will grow and bloom the 1st season!
When is the best time to transplant bulbs and flower cuttings?
Spring bulbs are best and most safely transplanted into the ground in late winter or early spring after the ground has warmed and softened. Cuttings are best transplanted in the spring after all chance of frost is past.
When is the best time to transplant lilac bushes?
Spring is the best time. Do not transplant during hot, dry weather. Transplanting affects spring blooms. After 1st season they are back to normal.
How do you propagate?
Fill pots with sterile medium (potting soil). Take cutting early in the day when the plants are full of moisture, using a sharp knife, snip 5 to 6 inch pieces, and remove leaves from the lower half of cutting. Dip the lower cut ends of the cuttings in liquid or powdered rooting hormone. Using the back of a pencil or spoon make 1 - 1 1/2 inch deep holes in the rooting medium spacing them 1 to 2 inches apart. Label them with the plant name and date the cuttings were taken. Enclose the container in a plastic bag and store it in warm temperature with adequate air flow to prevent rotting.
Can you start new banana trees from the sprouts?
It begins to produce pups late in the summer; however, you don't want to remove the pups until the next season. Success increases when they are older, reaching 2 feet high and are starting to develop their own corm or root from their own rhizomes. Scrape away the soil from a pup to get an idea of its root/rhizome structure BEFORE cutting with a spade. Cut as close to the mother corm as you can, in fact, you can actually take a small chunk from the mother corm. You are ready to plant as before.
How do I divide my Lily bulbs?
Lily bulbs can be divided after 3 years of growth. They have multiplied and become too close together. When bulbs become too crowded they cannot create as big or beautiful blooms as they did when first planted. Prepare the area you are moving them to before you dig them up. Then dig up and separate the bulbs. Re-plant the bulbs being sure to plant them 4-6 inches deep.
What is Powdery Mildew and how do you get rid of it?
Appearing as a dusty white or gray coating on plants, powdery mildew can attack peonies stunting them. Powdery Mildew typically appears in late summer or fall, after humid weather or where plants are crowded or in shade. Left untreated, powdery mildew can lead to great decline in the vigor of the plant and could eventually kill it. In order to help prevent powdery mildew, water the soil only and provide better air flow. Rake up and remove leaves in the fall. If powdery mildew has been a problem in that area, the leaves should be burned or thrown away. Giving peonies plenty of room can prevent mildew, as can moving the plant to a sunnier location.
What is plant Rust and how do you get rid of it?
Rust is a group of fungal pathogens and they are dependent upon a living host to complete their life cycle. Although, they can survive on living or dead tissue and can start the disease cycle in the spring. Rust will not normally hurt your plant; however, it’s just not pleasant to look at. To get rid of Rust you need to follow good sanitation practices in your garden by removing debris after cutting down above ground parts and pick up and remove any fallen leaves. Apply a preventative fungicide that is labeled for control of rust or just simply plant rust resistant plants in your garden.
My peonies have dense fuzziness on their stems?
The dense fuzziness on the stems is more than likely Botrytis Blight, a fungi disease comprised of Botrytis species. This can appear any time during the peony growing season, but it's most prevalent when the weather has been cloudy and rainy. Velvety gray fuzz is actually a fungus. Blackened buds may spread rot from the top of the stem down. Later blackened stems may develop brown spots. Treatment: Once plants are affected, prompt removal of diseased parts can prevent the spread of the disease. Fungicides applied after infections are not effective.
What is scale and how do I get rid of it?
Scale attaches itself to the leaf or stem and looks like a scab or scale. It can stunt plant growth and interfere with plant photosynthesis. To rid your plants of scale without using chemicals, you should simply prune and destroy infested plant parts. Otherwise, you can purchase and use Sevin or an insecticidal soap.
How do I get rid of Spider Mites?
Isolate the plant from the rest of your plants. You can mix up a home-made mitecide to try first. Mix 50% Isopropyl alcohol and 50% water. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray on infested plants. Best time to do this is early morning or late in the day. Repeat after 15-20 minutes. If you still have problems, you can use an Insecticidal Soap from your local gardening center. White spider mites are harder to get rid of than red ones. Spray every 5 days. Avid will get rid of white ones.
Will deer resistant plants provide an absolute deterrence to deer?
Unfortunately, in times of scarcity, deer will eat almost anything free, but you can put the odds in your favor, so they will ignore your landscape in search of greener and tastier pastures. So your best bet, if deer are a potential problem, is to select plants that hold the least amount of attraction to deer.
What is eating my Sweet Peas?
The most common pest is the Greenfly, an aphid. These insects suck the sap out of the plants and reduce the growth and can spread disease. You can use vegetable oil, liquid soap and water mixture to get rid of them.
How do I keep my pets from chewing on the leaves of plants?
Mist the leaves of your plants and sprinkle them with Cayenne Pepper. Cayenne Pepper is much better than the chemicals that are sometimes sprayed on plants.
How can I get rid of Squirrels?
1. Nutmeg and Cinnamon 2. Peppermint Oil 3. Capsaicin 4. Jalapeno Peppers (mashed in blender) 5. Serrano Peppers (mashed in blender) 6. Cayenne Pepper 7. Chili Powder 8. Tabasco Sauce 9. Dog Hair Clumps 10. Used Cat Litter (placed around plants)
Is there any good pest prevention for your houseplants?
Year round houseplants are notorious for spider mites that are not seen with the naked eye easily. Monthly misting with a solution of soapy water will insure glossy pest free leaves. Mix one half teaspoon of standard liquid dish soap in quart spray bottle of water, shake, and mist the plant profusely on both sides of leaves. This will suffocate any small pests.
The leaves on my plants seem to have been chewed?
Look for Japanese beetles that are 1/2 inch long with shiny, metallic green and copper-brown wing covers. Their larvae (white grubs) are grayish white worms with dark brown heads. Beetles emerge from the soil or lawn at the end of June or early July and proceed to eat the leaves and/or flowers. They make holes on the edges and in the middle of the leaves, leaving only the veins in some cases. If you catch them early, handpicking them and dropping them into a jar of soapy water will control their numbers. Avoid using Japanese beetle traps because they draw more beetles into the yard, some of which do not fall into the trap and reproduce on your property.