In the gar­den

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JANET CAR­SON

QA cou­ple of years ago we built an arbor and I put trum­pet vines on each side. They grew and grew and got way too in­va­sive, so I’ve cut it all down and will be dig­ging up the roots. What kind of flow­er­ing vine would be good to plant? I’ve thought about clema­tis but am think­ing I need some­thing that will vine up the trel­lis and then re-bloom on the old wood. I don’t want to have to cut it all off ev­ery year.

AWhat about “Ar­mand” clema­tis, which is ev­er­green? An­other op­tion would be five­leaf ake­bia or Carolina jas­mine.

QAre there still dis­ease prob­lems with red tip phote­nia? If so, any other sug­ges­tions for a fast grow­ing and tall hedge row?

AThe leaf spot dis­ease is a prob­lem that is not go­ing to go away on phote­nias, and for that rea­son, I don’t rec­om­mend plant­ing them. Some other op­tions in­clude holly – “Nel­lie R. Stevens,” foster or lus­ter leaf — cley­era, elaeag­nus, “Chindo” vibur­num or “Lit­tle Gem” mag­no­lia.

QI’ve no­ticed that some Ja­panese maples are cur­rently drop­ping seeds. Will th­ese sprout this sum­mer or are they car­ried over un­til next spring be­fore they sprout?

AWhile not all va­ri­eties are equal, most Ja­panese maple seeds will ripen in the fall and ger­mi­nate the fol­low­ing spring. Many gar­den­ers who own Ja­panese maples find small seedlings near their trees and can dig and trans­plant them.

QCan you please iden­tify this plant? The fo­liage is 30 inches tall, and the flower spike con­tains more than 20 bright red, 2-inch flow­ers; each with five petals and sepals.

AThe plant in ques­tion is a sum­mer bulb called cro­cos­mia. Or­ange or bright red flow­ers are most com­mon. In full sun, they are stun­ning. In the shade, they won’t bloom but will spread.

QIs this a but­ter­fly bush? Can you iden­tify?

ANo it is not a but­ter­fly bush but a young or small crape myr­tle.

QCan you tell us what this flower is? How do you take care of it?

AIt is com­monly called but­ter­fly weed or As­cle­pias tuberosa. This is the milk­weed that every­one rec­om­mends we plant for the monarch but­ter­fly. The more com­mon color is a bright or­ange, but there are now yel­low and even pink va­ri­eties. They form a strong tap root and so are not eas­ily trans­planted, but once es­tab­lished are tough, drought-tol­er­ant peren­ni­als. Dead­head the spent flow­ers to keep them bloom­ing longer. They do best in full sun.

Spe­cial to the Demo­crat-Gazette/ RON WOLFE

Spe­cial to the Demo­crat-Gazette/JANET B. CAR­SON

Small crape myr­tles can have big flow­ers.

Spe­cial to the Demo­crat-Gazette/JANET B. CAR­SON

As­cle­pias tuberosa, aka but­ter­fly weed, is one of the milk­weeds that sup­port the monarch but­ter­fly.

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