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Preview: Gardening Q & A

Gardening with George Weigel



Answers to your gardening questions and other tips by George Weigel.



Last Build Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 13:06:35 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



This interesting "evergreen" tree really isn't an evergreen at all: George's Plant Pick of the Week

Sat, 09 Sep 2017 13:00:35 UTC

2017-09-09T13:07:58Z

This week's final plant pick of the 2017 growing season is the bald cypress, a native tree that looks like a needled evergreen but that turns color and drops its foliage in fall.

Here's PennLive garden writer George Weigel's Plant Pick of the Week for this week:

* Common name: Bald cypress

* Botanical name: Taxodium distichum

* What it is: A large, fairly slender and fairly fast-growing conifer (cone-bearing tree) with soft, flat, green needles that turn a beautiful russet color in fall before dropping. It's a U.S. native tree usually found in swampy areas. In wet areas, it will develop knobby growths called "knees" coming up from the root zone.  

(image)

* Size: 50 to 60 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide in 25 years.

* Where to use: Bald cypress will grow in standing water, so it's one of the best trees for a wet area or rain garden. But it'll also grow in dry soil, so any sunny to lightly shaded area with adequate space will do. Just be aware it drops its needles in fall in case you're looking for an "evergreen" that screens a view in winter.

* Care: Water deeply once a week in lieu of rain for the first two years to establish, then soak every few weeks in drought conditions. Usually doesn't need fertilizer, especially if the tree is growing in a lawn that's being fertilized. Don't panic when the needles drop in fall... it's supposed to do that.

(image) Bald cypress needles turn color and drop in fall. 

* Great partner: Underplant with a colony of dwarf Virginia sweetspire or summersweet - native shrubs that tolerate damp conditions. Cardinal flower is a native red-blooming perennial that pairs well and tolerates wet soil.

See the archive of hundreds of past plant picks under George's Plant Profiles

George's 170 most recommended plants for Pennsylvania gardens are profiled in his "Pennsylvania Getting Started Garden Guide" book


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24 of the best low-care plants to replace your too-big lawn

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 09:01:13 UTC

2017-09-07T09:07:40Z

Tired of all of that mowing? Consider reducing the size of your lawn with one of these 24 low-growing, low-care plants.