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Citrus in the desert is hit or miss

Question: Do oranges grow in Las Vegas? Also, when is the best time to plant a new tree?

Queen palms require much to survive here

Question: During the excessive hot spell in July, our irrigation failed while we were out of town. As a result, one of our queen palms lost all of its branches. In spite of subsequent life support, it does not appear to be coming back. Is that too much to hope for? Is there anything we can do to help it recover, or should we just mourn its passing?

Decomposing matter best way to acidify soil

Question: Have you ever heard of adding vinegar or citric acid when fertilizing plants in our area?

Winter-tender trees best planted early fall, spring

Question: I have seven fruit trees, including some citrus, that I planted in half whiskey barrels about three years ago. They all have had fruit the past two years. I want to transplant them into the ground in order to get more fruit. Is it best to transplant them in the fall or early spring?

Wood mulch can cause collar rot

Question: I planted about 12 gardenias a couple of months ago, and they appear to be dying. I checked the soil, and it’s evenly damp. They have two, 2 gallon-per-hour emitters, and they were all being watered three times a week for 20 minutes.

Prune flowering shrubs just after a bloom

Question: When is it best to prune crape myrtle? I’ve heard before winter and again just before spring. The last two years, I trimmed back the branches (it is only about 5 feet tall) about one-third of the way in late February. What is right? We live in Aliante.

Be gentle with au naturel trees

Question: This question is regarding our bottle tree. Should we trim and shape the tree? It has grown to a considerable height. The wind, appearance, and health of the tree are our concerns. Does the cracking on the trunk need addressing? And should I wrap the trunk in winter?

Non-desert trees in lawns require deep watering

Question: I had a 3-year-old mesquite tree in my front yard that just blew over in the wind today. The landscapers planted it in the grass without a drip system. I was told watering the lawn would be enough for the tree. Today, the landscapers told me it fell because of the roots being at the surface. Do you recommend putting in the drip line for a new tree?

Pistachios appreciate desert climate

Question: We are considering planting a couple of pistachio trees. Is this a good move? If so, should we plant them in full sunlight or in a spot that gets sun only part of the day?

For a thriving hive, give bees plenty to work with

Question: Do you have any suggestions on fruit trees for the Amargosa Valley area? I have an apiary out there, so I try to plant things that are good for the bees but that will survive the heat and cold.

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