Field Questions: Why are the leaves of my snake plant curled? What can I do to save my tulips? – In the forum

Field Questions: Why are the leaves of my snake plant curled?  What can I do to save my tulips?  – In the forum

s: Can you give me some advice about my snake plant? I’ve had it for two years and everything was going well, but over the last few months the leaves have started to curl up and fall away from the plant, and won’t stay upright. It is on the south wall with indirect light from the east windows. I water it about every three weeks. He’s still growing and the leaves are all green and strong, but he’s not happy anymore. -Marita B.

a: From an objective standpoint, I think your snake plant looks very healthy! But I see your point, some leaves bend outwards.

The plant seems to enjoy the location, so the light level will likely be good. Snake plants do not need high lighting. Watering a succulent of this type every three weeks in indirect light also seems to be in order.

I first noticed that the plant had grown so well that it seemed crowded. A certain amount of crowding is a good thing, as many plants like the comfort of being a little “sticky to the pot,” and many plants will thrive for years without repotting.

Over time, snake plants can become so crowded that the stems begin to spread outward. Try repotting it in a larger pot that is only 2 inches in diameter, providing an inch of new growth space around the outside circumference of the root ball.

I also notice that the snake plant appears to be growing in a black pot inside the outer white pot. When you repot, check to make sure drainage has been adequate between the two pots. When you repot, it’s often easier to keep an eye on one pot, so harmful water doesn’t collect in the base.

s: With the warm weather we’ve been experiencing lately, the tulips are already starting to appear. I’m afraid they will be killed if the weather gets cold again. It’s only early February! I guess I wasn’t supposed to plant it on the south side of the house. Is there anything I can do? Should I cover them? – Nicole M.

a: The good news is that tulips are cold hardy right out of the ground. Developing leaves harden well.

Yes, it’s too early for tulips to appear, even those grown in southern regions. They will likely face cold temperatures this winter, but unless the temperature drops below zero, your tulips will likely be fine.

It is not recommended to completely cover tulips for a long time, because the leaves need sunlight for photosynthesis. Covering it too deeply will cause the leaves to expand and weaken under the cover.

Alternatively, if you want to give your tulips a little protection, add a layer of straw or shredded wood bark, carefully placing it between the plants and on the surface of the soil, so that the leaves remain extended above the mulch. Mulching the soil will help mitigate temperature fluctuations.

If very cold weather is forecast, temporary covers can be added over the plants, but they must be removed as soon as possible, otherwise the plants will stretch and weaken from lack of light.

s: In one of your previous columns you mentioned the yellow petunia which you said does well in containers. Can you tell me the name of the petunia again? -Jenny S.

a: The yellow petunias that have been great in our containers are an All-America Selections winner from 2022 called Bee’s Knees Petunia. Besides having a fun name, they are probably the best yellow petunias you have ever grown or seen.

The flower color is a deep, rich yellow and the plants are completely covered in flowers. The intense yellow color contrasts well with the deep green leaves, and the pileated habit is vigorous yet elegant.

Bee’s Knees are perfect for hanging baskets, containers and planters. They can be used with other flowers, but we enjoyed placing them in their own container where they created a big mass of vibrant yellow color.

Bee’s Knees is propagated vegetatively, meaning it is not propagated by seed, so you will not find seeds listed in catalogs. Instead, shop for plants at locally owned garden centers.

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at donald.kinzler@ndsu.edu. Broad appeal questions may be posted, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.

    (Tags for translation)Daffodils

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