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Timely Tendings: May is the month for colorful plants

Most people do not feel the love for lovebugs. These insects are everywhere, right on schedule, and their only purpose is to find a mate. The lovebug does not sting or bite but will certainly mess up the windshield and the grille of your car. Lovebugs prefer the warmth of day, so if you are taking a long car trip, plan to travel at night or early morning before they begin to stir.

>> May is a great time to think about adding color to your landscape. Some good annuals that can stand our summer heat and humidity include angelonia, narrow-leaf zinnia, vinca, marigolds, ornamental peppers, torenia and gaillardia. Consider planting large containers that you can move around where color is needed. They are easier to water and use less water than a planting bed.

>> Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.) do well in our summer heat, but they become leggy if not properly pruned. Small-flowered varieties should be pinched when they are 6 to 8 inches high. Unless the growing tips are pinched, plants may develop tall, weak stems that produce few flowers. After you pinch, new branches will develop. Pinch all shoots every two weeks until June 10 for early varieties and July for later varieties. Flowers will not form if you pinch any later than this.

Information from Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek of the Pinellas County Extension Service and from the Hillsborough County Extension Gardening Almanac. For answers to common landscape questions, go to www.askextension.org; pinellascounty extension.org; or hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu.

Timely Tendings: May is the month for colorful plants 05/07/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2011 5:30am]
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