Plant Hotline

Plant Hotline

Call 404.888.GROW (4769) or email planthotline@atlantabotanicalgarden.org with your plant questions. Please include your contact information.

Have a question about your plants or garden? Contact the Plant Hotline and a Master Gardener will return your call or email with an answer.

January

  • Prune summer-blooming shrubs: abelia, althea, peegee hydrangea, St. John's wort, crape myrtle and chaste tree.
  • During dry periods, plant or transplant dormant trees and shrubs.
  • Cut back and clean up perennial borders and top dress with aged manure or compost.
  • Start cool season veggies from seed to set out on Valentine's Day.

February

  • Sow cool-season annuals in beds.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and Liriope.
  • Plant and prune roses toward the end of the month; good varieties for Atlanta include: Mrs. Oakley Fischer, Knockout, and Old Blush.

March

  • Fertilize fescue lawns.
  • Divide and move perennials and groundcovers.
  • Root-prune difficult-to-move woody plants for fall transplanting.
  • Delay planting summer annuals until April.

April

  • Select native azaleas when in bloom early this month.
  • Finish pruning late-season flowering shrubs.
  • Stake perennials before they get too tall.
  • Plant tender summer bulbs late this month.

May

  • Sod or seed warm-season turf such as Bermuda, Zoysia or Centipede.
  • Weed, then mulch to minimize re-growth of weeds and water loss.
  • Weed, fertilize, mulch and water your vegetable garden for big dividends later.
  • Separate and transplant hellebore seedlings and water-in thoroughly.

June

  • Keep annual flowers dead-headed.
  • Fertilize warm season lawns.
  • Prune azaleas after flowering to improve the shape.
  • Divide early perennials that have finished blooming.
  • Discard spent biennials after scattering seed.

July

  • Plant water lilies and lotus in pots of heavy, rich clay soil and mulch with pebbles to keep pond water clean.
  • Aquatic plants are heavy feeders, so push fertilizer pellets into the soil bi-weekly.
  • Take greenwood cuttings of your best azaleas, forsythia and daphne.
  • Replenish organic mulch to slow water loss.

August

  • Order fall-blooming crocus and colchicum this month for blooms in October.
  • Start seeds of choice cultivars of pansies, foxgloves and hollyhocks.
  • Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage and kale for fall harvests.
  • Prune and fertilize roses for the flush of bloom expected next month.
  • Divide iris and daylilies.

September

  • Remove spent annuals.
  • Reseed or sod fescue lawns.
  • Divide and replant spring and summer blooming perennials.
  • Test your garden soil, send to the Cooperative Extension Service in your county, then lime soils as required.
  • Container-grown, fall-blooming perennials such as aster, goldenrod and pineapple sage will add color to the autumn garden.

October

  • Divide and replant perennials.
  • Plant trees and woody ornamental shrubs.
  • Plant pansies now for color throughout fall and winter.
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
  • Restore flower and vegetable gardens by digging in compost before replanting.

November

  • Dig and store tender bulbs and tubers.
  • Continue to plant trees and woody ornamentals.
  • Begin a compost pile with raked leaves.
  • This is the ideal planting time to plant balled and burlapped woody ornamentals.

December

  • Store hoses and cut off water to outside lines before a hard freeze.
  • Mulch all new plantings.
  • Add lime now for great vegetables next spring.
  • Cut back hardy perennials after frost and clean up perennial bed.

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