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Renewal pruning will reinvigorate hibiscus

Renewal pruning, cutting deep inside the shrub and removing larger wood, results in a flush of sucker growth from the remaining stubs that will be succulent and produce lots of leaves and flowers.

Bird pecking can indicate fruit is ready to harvest

Plums and pluots improve in flavor when they are kept on the tree longer and harvested closer to their mature date. These fruits are normally harvested from the end of July to the first or second week of August in our climate.

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Trees normally grown as shrubs tend to sucker a lot

Sucker removal and how often it’s done depends on the plant, how old it is and how the suckers are removed. Trees sucker more if they don’t get enough water.

Garden roses struggle when temperatures rise

Some plants don’t grow well in rock, and roses are one of them. Nearly all landscape plants in the rose family like soil improvement and a moist environment when planted in desert soils.

Watering cactus too often can lead to plant death

Be careful when putting cactuses on an automatic water or irrigation timer. They are watered so infrequently that it sometimes makes sense to water these plants manually with a hose rather than automating the task.

No simple way to prevent tree suckers

Some plants grow suckers at the base of the plant and others produce suckers, or new growth, a distance away from the plant. So far, the only practical way to eliminate them is to slice the roots and remove these plants, roots and all.

Italian cypress grows too tall to be used in residential landscapes

Q: I have just about reached my maximum frustration level with my 35 Italian cypresses. Between spraying them down weekly in the summer to keep the mites off and them not standing on their own without staking and guy wires for 2½ years, I am ready to give up. I am thinking about replacing them with 5-gallon dwarf golden arborvitae because they are smaller and easier to spray.

Agave weevils damaging cactuses this time of year

Cactuses, particularly agaves, are rotting and dying from damage by the agave weevil, which that lays its eggs at the base of agave leaves. As their young hatch from the eggs, they burrow into the stem of the agave and all through it, including the roots.

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