GUELPH-WELLINGTON
MASTER GARDENERS

 





GARDEN FAQS



Perennials


Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)


I have a Butterfly Bush in my garden, but have needed to replace it every two years. What is the proper care for a Butterly Bush? Are they only supposed to last two years?


Answer:

Buddleia is marginally hardy to Zone 5. While it is evergreen in warmer climates, it dies to the ground in most of Canada where temperatures go below -7°C (20°F). Be sure it is dead and not just dormant before digging it up. It has a better chance of surviving our weather with a good layer of winter mulch. However, wait until the first hard frost before putting down the extra mulch. There is another species, Buddleia alternifolia, that is reportedly cold hardier than Buddleia davidii. You might give that species a try.


Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica)


When is the best time to dig up tender bulbs such as Calla Lilies? I’ve already dug up my Cannas as they were clearly getting mostly brown, but the rest (my cutting garden bulbs) are still green. I know I should do it now but wonder for next year when the ideal time is.


Answer:

Calla Lilies are beautiful and make a wonderful summer display in the garden. Calla Lilies grow from a tender rhizome. In areas where the winter temperature drops below -7°C (20°F), the rhizomes should be lifted in the fall, usually before the first frost. You should not remove the green leaves, but let them die back naturally as this allows any nutrients to go back into the rhizome. The rhizomes can then be stored in a cool, frost-free area in peat moss or potting mix until early spring.


In March you may pot up the rhizomes and keep them in a bright area in your home. They will then be a good size by the time you are ready to plant them out in the garden after last frost.


Crocosmia 'Lucifer'


Robust, cormous, perennial bearing pleated, mid-green leaves. Upward facing, bright red flowers, to 2 in (5 cm) long, are borne in bold, slightly arching, sparsely branched spikes in midsummer. 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) in height. Zones 6-9, sun.  






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