Time to start seeds for perennials

Published 3:18pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear gardeners,

Don’t be alarmed if you see “worms” eating your parsley. They are butterfly larvae. Overnight they will devour parsley plants and leave only skeletal remains. Don’t fret over this, let them eat and they will turn into beautiful butterflies and the plants will grow back.

Now is the time to start seeds of perennials (plants that die down and return the next year), for example — Black-eyed susans, dianthus and phox . And biennials( seeds germinate in the summer but don’t bloom until the spring of the next year. After producing seed, they die). Examples are delphinium, foxglove,hollyhock and snapdragons.

Maintenance is always in order when you have plants. Clipping dead blooms, removing ragged foliage from hosta, cast iron plants, elephant ears and banana plants.

Watch out for leaf rollers on cannas. While the leaf is trying to unfurl the worm gets in the leaf and feeds of the foliage. The plants will be full of holes when it does open. Dust with Dipel, Sevin( if you can still find some). Canna leaf rollers overwinter in rolled up leaves, so cut them down in late fall and destroy the plants.

As my Mother would say —  have a good day lily.

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