PERSIMMONS FOR FALL
Many people want to plant a fruit tree that
is easy to maintain yet which produces a good-tasting, nutritious
fruit. In Texas, because of the abundance of pests and pestilence
which enjoy fruit as much as we do, there are few fruiting
plants that can make the claim of being carefree and productive.
The persimmon is definitely a candidate for this category.
Now WAIT A MINUTE! I know I said persimmon
and I KNOW that all that most of you who have eaten wild persimmon
can think of is pucker-spit?and-cuss. I've been down that
trail myself and I know the "qualities" of a wild
persimmon. Don't "throw the baby out with the bath water"
just because you haven't tasted a good persimmon. I speak
with the voice of experience--it took several years before
anyone could convince me to even taste one of the cultivated
persimmons. Now I am a believer in this tasty fruit--a born-again
Of course, it took the foreigners to "show
us the light". The Oriental persimmon is native to China
and has been grown and selected in China, Korea, and Japan
for more than 1000 years. There, it is considered as a favored
food-producing ornamental and orchard crop. There are over
1000 named cultivars, and Japan alone has more than 73,000
acres producing over 250,000 tons of fruit each year. Individual
trees can live up to 100 years and produce up to 400 pounds
of fruit per year. Persimmons are a staple food in the Orient.
The Oriental persimmon is closely related to other persimmons,
which include the date, the Texas persimmon and the American
persimmon. Found throughout the U.S., from Connecticut to
Texas, the native persimmon's fruit is small, seedy, and extremely
astringent. Until they are fully ripe--these are the persimmons
which have puckered possum lips and rolled Tennessee hillbillies
in the dirt (after being overcome with green persimmon puckerdom)
There are 200 species in the persimmon genus
Diospyros. "Dios" means God and "pyros"
means food, thus the name means "food of the Gods."
Obviously, the person who gave this name to the persimmon
genus had confined his eating experience to the oriental types--some
of the wild ones are so puckering that only "the Gods"
could live through the experience of eating one! In addition
to the persimmon's fruit production, the wood in some species
is especially hard and used for making golf clubs and ebony.
Commodore Perry brought Oriental persimmons
to the U.S. from Japan in 1856. Large numbers of the trees
were planted in California and the Southeast during the 1930's.
Almost all of the persimmon fruit sold in America today is
grown in California, where there are only about 700 acres
in production, with average yields of 5 tons per acre.
The Oriental persimmon has a diversely shaped
fruit, coming in rounded, conical, square, or lobed shapes
which are a beautiful yellow to orange or deep red color when
ripe. They can weigh up to one pound each. The trees, depending
on variety, are small-- usually no more than 20 to 30 feet
tall, with a rounded crown and large, lustrous, dark green
leaves. The best varieties for this area are Eureka, Tane-Nashi,
Hachiya, Fuji and Tamopan. In autumn, the leaves often turn
a bright crimson, and with the orange fruit on the tree, is
a beautiful sight. In the Orient, the fruit is often left
to freeze on the tree, and then picked and eaten like popsicles
Oriental persimmons can be divided into 2 classes,
astringent and non-astringent (that's puckering and non-puckering
for us wild persimmon eaters). Astringent varieties gain their
astringency from soluble tannins that disappear as the fruit
ripens and softens. Non-astringent persimmons, however, can
be eaten when still firm, without any astringency whatsoever.
Some varieties are astringent if the fruit is not pollinated
(parthenocarpic development) and are non-astringent if seeded.
Fruit-drop during the first 5 years of a persimmon's
tree life is a common complaint. Fruit drop is caused by excessive
vegetative growth. Persimmons do not need large amounts of
fertilizer. Too much fertilization coupled with optimum soil
moisture can produce excess growth, as can too much pruning,
thus causing more fruit drop than in a slower growing tree.
Young trees drop fruit more, especially under stress, than
older trees. Cutting back on pruning and nitrogen can reduce
this growth and thus reduce fruit drop.
Persimmons generally ripen from late August
until early December. Persimmons are harvested by clipping,
leaving the calyx and a short piece of the stem attached to
the fruit. Fruit is picked when it has attained the proper
color, but is still firm. If picked before fully colored,
the fruit will often ripen poorly or unevenly, and be harder
to market. Careful handling is very important to minimize
bruising (bruising causes brown spots on the fruit). Fruit
may be ripened in a warm environment (60 to 70 degrees F.)
for 1 to 3 weeks. Fruit may be stored at 32 to 34 degrees
F. to extend the storage period for 1 to 4 months.
Persimmons are delicious whether eaten fresh,
dried, or cooked. As a fresh fruit, they are unsurpassed.
The taste of a fully ripe persimmon is superb, incomparable
to any other fruit. Persimmons can be used fresh in salads,
appetizers, or as a dessert or topping, chilled or frozen.
They are excellent in ice cream, with yogurt, or in smoothies.
Cooked or baked, they are delicious in cakes, breads, puddings,
cookies, cobblers, pies, and pastries. Persimmons also make
wonderful preserves and jams.
Freezing is a popular method of preserving
persimmons. They can be peeled before freezing, then frozen
in plastic containers either whole or pureed. Drying is the
other principal method of storage. Persimmon pulp may also
be spread on foil in a flat pan and dried into jerky. During
drying, sugar crystals form over the surface of the fruit,
creating an appealing product. Dried persimmons are high in
dextrose and similar to dried peaches in food value.
The oriental persimmon is Texas' most underrated,
carefree fruits. The fruit will be noticeable on defoliating
trees from now until Thanksgiving--the trees, laden with colorful
fruit, could be considered a Nature's primer on ornamental
trees of the fall. Try a fully ripened fruit and experience
the "food of the Gods"--you don't know what you're
missing. You may decide to plant a tree in your yard this
fall--there are still some available in local nurseries and
fall IS the best time to plant.
For more information about persimmons, see:
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR
SECOND WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 2002
QUESTION: I have a bald cypress tree approximately 15-feet
tall with a diameter trunk 4-inches in diameter. The tree
experienced good growth the last 2 years and is planted in
Central Texas limestone soil. This season, the tree's leaves
never became green. The foliage appears normal but the yellow
color has continued throughout the season and now the leaves
at the top of the tree are turning brown. I've fertilized
the tree with plugs and applied an iron drench around the
tree and a separate application to the leaves during the season
but to no avail. I see no evidence of insects on the leaves
or trunk. There are 2 or 3 green, ball-like growths about
6 inches from the top of the tree, but for some reason I've
assumed these were normal structural attributes. Any suggestions?
ANSWER: Ball Cypress has a tendency to show
severe symptoms of iron chlorosis in high pH alkaline planting
site. The tree may get better as it ages -- if it lives that
long. You would have had better luck with a Montezuma Cypress,
but what is done is done. I would keep a 3 to 4-inch mulch
around the tree at least 6 to 8 feet from trunk to dripline,
and add iron sulfate (Copperas) directly to the mulch around
the tree several times a year. The iron will adhere to the
mulch and as the mulch slowly decomposes, it will provide
a chelated or slow-release iron feeding to the tree. Keep
the tree as moist as possible -- the thick mulch will help.
QUESTION: Can you help me? We have 4 healthy Bradford pear
trees in our front yard. Do these need to be topped or trimmed?
Our local nurseries have given us conflicting information.
Can you advise me on how to proceed? We live in Southern Missouri.
ANSWER: ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TOP OR TRIM!!! The
natural shape of a Bradford pear tree is why you plant the
tree in the first place. You can thin some branches in early
spring if the branches are rubbing or diseased, but otherwise,
leave it alone and enjoy the beauty of spring bloom and fall
leaf color. It is one of the greatest, most widely-planted
trees in the world.
QUESTION: I have a few questions about how to care for Bermuda
grass. After all the rains we had in the spring, my Bermuda
was overrun with weeds. I was able to control some of the
weeds, but the Bermuda never came in strong enough to choke
out the rest. Is there anything I can do this fall to try
and eliminate more weeds and improve the health of the Bermuda?
ANSWER: The products MSMA or DSMA will kill ALL weeds in Bermuda
without damaging the Bermuda. Read and follow label instructions.
Here are more questions about Bermuda:
When is a good time of year to de-thatch the
In early spring (March - April)
When is a good time of year to aerate?
ANYTIME and OFTEN!!
What type of fertilizer should I use as fall
Use a Winterizer (will be written on bag!) fertilizer with
a 3-1-2 ratio.
Any good suggestions for grass that will grow
in medium to full shade?
ONLY St. Augustine will tolerate partial to
full shade. Zoysia will tolerate partial shade. See the information
on recommended grasses in the PLANTanswers publication entitled
"97 Promotions for South Central Texas"
Is there a good weed and feed product that I
can use to avoid the attack of weeds next spring, and when
should I apply it to the lawn?
ANSWER: NEVER use Weed-and-Feed fertilizers!!!!!!!
Use a slow-release formulation of fertilizer such as 19-5-9
after the Bermuda begins to green in April. You can use a
pre-emergence herbicide in early spring (February) such as
Balan, Betasan or Amaze to prevent weed germination in sparse
turf. If you fertilize Bermuda monthly and water properly,
NOTHING can compete with it.
QUESTION: How can I propagate crape myrtles?
Can I root cuttings? I have one in my yard that I like, and
want more like it.
ANSWER: Crape myrtles are propagated by rooting
green wood or new growth cuttings as per PLANTanswers instructions
at this site:
Best results are obtained when a mist propagation
bench is used since the leaf surface of cuttings should be
kept moist during the rooting period. For that reason, most
of us are better off purchasing a rooted cutting of the variety
of crape myrtle we like. Take a flower stalk from the crape
myrtle to a knowledgeable nurseryman and describe the height
and age of your specimen. I would imagine he can tell you
what variety you have.
QUESTION: This year the fire ants finally found my raised
vegetable beds. They have not caused too many problems, but
they did seem to nibble on my potatoes. They were also a problem
when it came time to harvest. I rarely use insecticides because
of the lizards and other beneficials. I am hoping someone
might have a suggestion on getting the fire ants out of the
beds with the least amount of pesticides. I used Neem-a-Way
on my aphids, and the fire ants didn't seem to like it, but
that doesn't get to them under ground. I use diazinon granules
around the house, but I couldn't find any informatin on the
bag regarding vegetable beds.
ANSWER: I would recommend you use the Amdro
bait around the landscape and apply according to label instructions
-- that is, sparsely. Do not use directly in the vegetable
garden but only around the outside. The ants, wherever they
are, will come and get the granules of Amdro and take it back
to the mound and to the queen(s). This should eliminate the
mounds without damaging lizards or any other lovely living
things. Diazinon granules can be used in the garden for the
control of wireworms and the like, but unfortunately, you
need to find the main mound of the fire ants and kill it and
its queen to eliminate the problem.
QUESTION: My next door neighbor (a good friend and excellent
neighbor) has a 17-year old patch of bamboo planted along
our property lines. We live in Nashville, Tennessee. I do
not know the type of bamboo, but it easily reaches 20 feet
tall. In the past several years, the bamboo has been migrating
east into a small walking space along my garage. In addition,
much of the bamboo was bending over the fence onto the garage
roof and restricted access to that area of my lot. I asked
the neighbor's permission to prune the bamboo so that it would
not lean over the garage. This week (the first of September)
I pruned most of the bamboo to about 6 feet. The neighbor
was out of town and now is very, very angry with me for butchering
his bamboo. Perhaps I should have asked you this question
before pruning. However, all I want to know now is whether
the bamboo will return to full growth next spring, or does
it need to be cut to the ground?
I know you are not in the business of handling disputes between
neighbors, but I want to do the right thing. If I have done
something terribly wrong, I want to correct it and need your
guidance in the proper pruning of bamboo. I will deeply appreciate
your help. I do not want to lose a good friend/neighbor because
ANSWER: If you have a neighbor who planted bamboo (or as we
refer to it -- DAMNboo!!) and has not been committed to the
nearest psychiatric or penal institution, you should be alarmed!!
There is no way to stop bamboo from spreading. The only way
to get rid of it is MOVE! Deep (3 to 6 feet) impermeable barriers
of metal or thick concrete is the ONLY way to keep it from
coming into, and taking over, your territory. I am amazed
that your neighbors claim to have planted the nasty stuff
-- I have never had ANYONE claim to have planted it -- they
always say it was there when they came. Bamboo SHOULD NEVER
BE PLANTED IN THE U.S.!!!!! It is too uncontrollable. The
zoo horticulturists planted some in concrete containers to
put in the animal cages thinking the animals would kill it
and it could not escape. The bamboo cracked the concrete containers,
established a root system in the cracks in the animal cages
and the zoo is now wondering what to do with the animals --
THE BAMBOO HAS TAKEN THE CAGES!!!!
I HOPE that I am not understanding your question
correctly: Are you being accused of "butchering"
bamboo?!? Are you seriously asking me "is whether the
bamboo will return to full growth next spring, or does it
need to be cut to the ground"?!?! You could have pruned
that bamboo with a bulldozer and it "will return to full
growth next spring" and MORE!! The stalks you cut back
may sprout near the points of cutback --if you want a straight,
long cane, you should completely remove the trimmed-back canes.
You should also begin construction of your bamboo underground
restraining wall. I would also re-evaluate your relationship
with your neighbors. Anyone who knowingly plants bamboo is
capable of any type of behavior from mass murder on up.
I am afraid your statement of " I do not
want to lose a good friend/neighbor because of bamboo"
is too late; I know of numerous friend/neighbor relationships
that have been destroyed because of bamboo, and those friend/neighbors
DIDN'T EVEN ADMIT TO PLANTING THE NASTY STUFF -- they just
couldn't keep it in their own back yard!!!
More on bamboo at PLANTanswers site:
Here is the response we received to the above
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. No,
my neighbor actually did not plant the bamboo. A previous
owner planted the stuff about 17 years ago, but I have not
had to battle the stuff until the last 3 or 4 years when it
started migrating east onto my property.
QUESTION: I hope you can settle an argument for me. I have
some questions about leaves turning colors. I say that the
leaves turn colors because of the temperature, and that the
tree cannot survive if it continues photosynthesis. My cohort
says that the reason they turn is the tree realizes that the
daylight hour is becoming shorter and turning dormant.
We have come up with this procedure as a mock experiment.
Take a maple tree, and place it in a refrigerator. Give it
the equivalent of a summer day, but at the same time, begin
dropping the temperature in the reefer. Would the leaves turn
color?? Or would they just die from exposure???
ANSWER: THIS IS NOT A GOOD EXPERIMENT!!! You would NEVER live
to see the completion of such an experiment before your wife
or significant other would KILL YOU for putting a tree in
the refrigerator!!! Besides, where would you chill the beer!?!?!
I want you to send me your boss's e-mail address so I can
inform him to either increase your work load or begin commitment
Please see the information at:
QUESTION: Will the weather affect what little fall color the
local trees display? My family is from New England and we
severely miss fall color of trees.
ANSWER: Forget ever having anything close to
the fall color of New England in Texas! Trees change colors
according to complex chemical formulas. Depending on how much
iron, magnesium, phosphorus or sodium is in the tree, and
the acidity of the chemicals in the leaves, the trees might
turn amber, gold, red, orange or just fade from green to brown.
Scarlet oaks, red maples and sumacs, for instance, have a
slightly acidic sap which causes the leaves to turn bright
red. The leaves of some varieties of ash, growing in areas
where limestone is present, will turn a regal purplish-blue.
What prompts the change? Although many people
believe that a mischievous Jack Frost is responsible for the
color change, the weather has nothing to do with it at all.
As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, a chemical
clock inside the trees starts up, releasing a hormone which
restricts the flow of sap to each leaf. As autumn progresses,
the sap flow slows and chlorophyll, the chemical that gives
the leaves their green color in the spring and summer, disappears.
The residual sap becomes more concentrated as it dries, creating
the colors of fall.
As the leaves die and fall to earth, the forest
begins a winter-long slumber. The leaves, which through the
warmer months convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, now take up
another task, enriching the soil and providing nutrients for
future generations of trees. And by the time this year's leaves
fall, next spring's leaves are tightly wrapped in buds ready
to unravel in the soft colors of spring.
QUESTION: With the price of coffee and tobacco being what
they are these days, I was wondering why these aren't grown
as a garden crop?
ANSWER: Coffee comes from a tropical, tender-to-cold
shrub that cannot be grown in Texas. Tobacco plants can be
grown in Texas as well as its relatives-- tomato, pepper,
eggplant and Nicotiana sanderae (a flowering annual). The
nicotine is extracted from Nicotinana tabacum. Nicotiana bigelovi
is called Indian tobacco of the Southwest, and was similarly
used by the Indians. Below are sources of the nicotine-producing
types, BUT, PLANTanswers takes no responsibility for the health
damage which might occur if you start smoking and chewing
Nicotiana tabacum sources are:
Heirloom Garden Seeds
P O Box 138
Guerneville, CA 95446
Ontario LOC 1A0
Far North Gardens
Livonia, MI 48154
P O Box 328
Fort Calhoun, NE 68023
J. L. Huson Seedsman
Star Route 2, Box 337
La Honda, CA 94020
QUESTION: I purchased an evergreen "Breath of Heaven".
I do not know the Latin name of this plant. However, when
we returned to Nashville (summer temps were hot and humid),
and transplanted them into large pots from the 6-inch pots
and placed outside, the plants did not do well. They began
to wilt. I brought them inside within the first 7 to 10 days.
They have since begun to turn brown and are brittle. Two of
the 4 plants are slightly green, mixed w/ brown, but the stems
are brittle. The potting mix is moist. Very recently, there
appears to be gnats associated with these plants. Is the climate
in Nashville to harsh for these plants (please tell me the
correct name for these plants)? Or did I simply shock them
with the immediate climate change. Are the gnats now a sign
that the roots have disease? I watered them very well upon
transplant and then 2 times a week afterwards. The dirt never
dried out and the water draining had a funny smell and a white
film on it (there are drainage stones in the bottom of these
pots, from which I thought the film might be coming). I cut
back on the water, waiting for the soil to dry. It had not
after 2-1/2 weeks and I gave in and watered again. I am now
watering about every 10 days. The rate of deterioration of
these plants does not seem to be changing.
ANSWER: I am not familiar with the Breath of
Heaven plant. However, from the information that I was able
to find on the Internet, I suspect that they are suffering
from 2 things-- too much water and too little light. I don't
know that you are going to be able to save them. Also, they
should remain in containers because they are not hardy below
10 degrees F and I think that you can expect lower temperatures
than that in Nashville. In the larger containers, there is
a tendency to over water before the plants get their roots
established and I fear that most of the roots may have rotted.
You can try to revive them by cutting them back severely,
washing the soil from the roots and repotting them. See the
information on this plant at this web site:
This is what it says:
Coleonema pulchrum; Pink Breath of Heaven, Family: Rutaceae,
Origin: Native to South Africa
Coleonema album; White Breath of Heaven, Family:
Rutaceae, Origin: Native to South Africa
Hardiness: Hardy to 10 degrees; Zones 8-9-10;
Growth: Medium rate of growth to 5 feet or more; Form: Mounded
shape with equal or greater spread; thin arching stems; Leaves:
Tiny needle-like leaves on wispy stems; distinctive odor;
Flowers: Tiny 1/4 inch pink or white flowers in the winter
and spring; Exposure: Full sun to part shade; Water: Low water
requirements; Soil: Any well drained soil; Fertilizer: Spring
or fall in sandy soils; Prune: Prune out old canes in the
spring; often sheared to keep small; Problems: Few problems
Coleonema is often sold as Diosma. Coleonema
alba is smaller, though otherwise very similar, but it has
white flowers. These plants are often sheared to keep them
small, but it takes a month or more for them to regain a natural
look after shearing. Use very sharp hedge shears if you want
to keep this plant compact.
QUESTION: HELP! My butterfly bush looks terrible. Black leaves
(if any). Do we hack it back and hope it returns?
ANSWER: Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is
somewhat drought tolerant. However, I suspect that yours is
showing its extreme displeasure with the exceedingly hot and
dry weather it has been suffering through. Scratch the bark
with your fingernail and if you find green, it will probably
survive (with moisture). If you do not find green, prune out
all of the dead material and hope that it returns from the
See this web site for more information on the
QUESTION: What is the best way to protect all of my cactus
plants from winter rains. All 40 of them are in pots. Most
of them need little or no water from December through March.
ANSWER: Build a small greenhouse out of PVC
pipe and cover it with sheet plastic 6 mil. thick. You can
get rolls of sheet plastic at most home improvement centers.
Or, you can put them under the carport or garage and keep
the car outside. The Houston cactus show and sale is Sept.
12-13. It a good place to get information for your area.
QUESTION: I have caterpillars on my hackberry
trees that consequently end up all over the deck. They are
approximately 1 to 1 ½ inches in length and are beige/buff
in color with chocolate brown ends accompanied by long fuzzy
antennae. They are completely hairy in body structure. What
are they and what is the best method of control? What does
the butterfly or moth look like? Thank you. I have searched
the Internet and found lots of information on hackberry trees
but no information on these caterpillars? Are they poisonous?
ANSWER: I think that your caterpillar is the
larvae of one of the tussock moths. I could not find a picture
of the moth but an image of the larvae can be seen at this
Clemson University web site:
Several of the caterpillars can inflict painful
'stings' by contact with the hairs on their body. See the
information at the following 2 web sites:
These caterpillars can be controlled by spraying
the foliage of the plants they are eating with a product containing
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This is an environmentally safe
product that only affects caterpillars. It can be found at
most garden centers that sell pesticides.
QUESTION: I recently purchased a weeping fig tree for my home.
I have it in filtered light and I repotted it 2 weeks ago.
It is losing leaves. What can I do to prevent this? Also,
can you recommend a plant food for this tree?
ANSWER: The weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is
very sensitive to any environmental change and will drop leaves.
It will normally adjust to those changes and re-leaf quite
rapidly. It does best in bright filtered light, but can adjust
to darker conditions. Fertilize it with one of the soluble
plant foods such as Peters House Plant Food (20-20-20) each
time you water it. Use the most diluted rate that the instructions
recommend for continuous feeding. Water the plant when the
growing medium feels dry to the touch when you insert your
index finger up to the second joint.
See the information at this PLANTanswers web
site for more information on growing the weeping fig:
QUESTION: I have three beautiful crape myrtles in my backyard.
They did well all summer but now the leaves have started to
turn yellow and fall off. Is this normal for the time of year?
Or do they need to be fertilized or pruned?
ANSWER: It is normal for this time of the year -- there is
nothing you can do to "salvage" the situation.
QUESTION: My ficus plant has a powdery residue that feels
gummy to the touch. I was wondering what this is and if it
is poisonous or dangerous to domestic animals.
ANSWER: If this residue is on the top of the
leaves it is the excrement (honeydew) of some sucking insect
such as aphid, mealy bug or scale. You need to identify the
insect so that you will know how to control it.
Aphids are small green, yellow or brown insects
that are normally clustered in groups on the back of the leaves
and on the stems. Mealy bugs are like puffs of cotton, normally
found in the area where a leaf is attached to the branch.
Scale (and this is probably what you have) will appear as
oval shaped, raised areas on the stems or on top of the leaves
along the veins. Aphids and mealy bugs can be controlled with
most houseplant insecticides. However, scale are more difficult.
Once they become adults and form the hard upper surface, topical
insecticides are of little value. The plant will need to be
sprayed with a good quality horticultural oil which will smother
the scale. The use of a systemic insecticide, incorporated
into the soil, such as DiSyston will help prevent recurrence.
You can also meticulously remove them from the plant using
a cotton swab (such as Q-Tip) and alcohol.
See this University of Vermont web site for
more information on the culture of your plant:
QUESTION: I have gardenia cuttings rooting in water. I need
to know where they should be planted s well as their care.
ANSWER: Gardenia aren't easy! The soil in which
they grow is one of the most critical factors, and since I
do not know the soil characteristics of the islands where
you live, I am going to refer you to the Michigan State University
article on growing gardenias that can be found at this web
This is what it says: "Gardenia has very
exacting growth requirements and numerous problems develop
due to an unfavorable environment. Grow gardenia in sun during
the winter and partial shade in summer. Use an acid soil with
a pH between 5 and 6. Keep the soil moist and use an acidifying
fertilizer twice monthly from midwinter to early autumn. Proper
temperatures are necessary to force gardenia into bloom. No
flower buds set at night when temperatures are above 65 degrees.
Keep small plants growing by providing night temperatures
above 65 degrees. Night temperature above 65 degrees causes
a drop of buds already formed. Ideal forcing temperatures
are 65 to 70 degrees during the day and 60 to 62 degrees at
night. The flowering response requires 14-hour nights. The
plants require high humidity. Repot gardenia in late winter
or early spring.
The flower buds drop due to low humidity or
a sudden environmental change. Flower buds fail to form if
day temperatures are higher than 70, or night temperatures
are less than 60 degrees. High soil pH causes chlorosis and
lack of flower bud formation. Leaf drop, possibly delayed,
can be caused by cold drafts, improper watering, excessive
fertilization or several consecutive dark cloudy days.
Propagation is by cuttings of half ripened
wood taken between November and March. Rooting is better with
QUESTION: I would like to take some geranium cuttings and
prepare them for use in next year's garden. How do I do this?
ANSWER: Geraniums are propagated using tip cuttings.
Follow the directions at this PLANTanswers web site:
Also see the instructions given at this web
site for rooting geranium cuttings: