Pushing the envelope

fbiasella fbiasella@watertownsavings.com
Mon, 28 Jun 2004 08:25:34 PDT
>Jim Waddick wrote:

>I have heard of some gardeners in mild climates who purposely
>cut foliage and stems at the onset of winter to 'push' plants into
>moving their metabolism into dormant bud production. Plants that are
>allowed to remain evergreen or nearly so, may not develop the deep
>dormancy regarded to increased hardiness. By removing the foliage,
>the plant goes into full dormancy and increases tolerance to cold.

Hello All,

Sorry to get off the hardiness topic, but this paragraph that Jim wrote
captured my attention.
I have a rather "stubborn" tender agapanthus that has been over wintering in
an unheated porch
for quite a few years. it has evergreen foliage and even puts out lush new
foliage in the spring
when it finally goes outside for the summer, but no flowers (sigh). This
past summer/fall it had
a terrible mealy bug infestation so I cut all the leaves down to the base
and put it outside in the
early spring, but there was still danger of frost in the area. To my
surprise not only did it start
sprouting new leaves but it also sent up a slower scape. Is this what Jim
meant? Has anyone
else tried this?

I also have an xamarcrinum which has also become "bothered" by mealy bugs
and I was
wondering if this technique will work for it as well.

Note...after the foliage was cut down, I did apply a rather potent
insecticide (Diazinon) in
diluted liquid form.


Fred Biasella
Cambridge (Boston) MA
USDA Zone 6b

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