July Newsletter: Garden Maintenance


• July is the last month to trim your azaleas.  Pruning after July may result in no or fewer spring flowers.

• Plants are growing quickly right now.  Any that have become leggy can be cut back.  Trim and shape to promote fullness.  To create density, lightly trim your shrubs all around.  Only trimming the tops of plants will encourage “flushing” only on the top.  If plants have become thin on the top from trimming- simply trim them a foot lower and let them grow a foot of new growth for a fuller top. However, having said that- few shrubs like constant pruning back to the same height and width.  Consider letting them grow 4-6 inches more and then only remove a few inches.  They may need a harder pruning once or twice a year, but it is easier on the plants.

• Check your trees for problem areas to prevent wind damage.  Remove weak and cracked limbs and consider having a very weak tree removed if it will be a serious problem in a storm.  Always hire an ISA Certified Arborist to inspect your trees or provide input on trimming larger trees.  Topping large trees can make for unstable trees.  

• When it comes to pruning palms, less is better.  You never want to over prune your palms by subjecting them to what is called “hurricane pruning”- where all but a few fronds are cut off.  Palms are naturally able to withstand high winds so removing fronds isn’t necessary.  (IFAS Solutions for Florida Friendly Gardening  https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/pruning/pruning-palms.html

• Speaking of pruning now is a perfect time to prune roses.  If your roses are looking a little worn, prune back about 1/3 to 1/2 and fertilize with 6-8-10 Slow-Release Bloomer.  Keep an eye out for Chili Thrips or Aphids that can weaken your plants.  If the tops of your roses look “stunted” you may have thrips.  Stop by for advice and use Spinosad for control.  If you planted Poinsettias after the holidays, fertilize them now with a slow-release fertilizer and pinch back to create fullness.

• Mulch- check your mulch around all beds.  If the mulch is dry and flaking or is stuck together rake it out to break it up.  If mulch is less than 2 inches thick add more.  Do not mulch over 2 inches.  Be sure mulch is pulled back from shrub and tree trunks to protect against moisture caused fungal diseases.  Do not “volcano” mulch around trunks! Watch for mushrooms growing in mulch.  Break up the old mulch (especially shredded) to allow water and fertilizer to reach the roots. 

• Your friends at VerdeGo would like to wish all our loyal (and new) customers a Happy Independence Weekend and a Safe Summer!  Stop in and see us!  We would love to see you!  

Happy Planting!