'After the Storm'…
The following three handouts--on pruning, evicting invasive plants and embracing native plants--are available at the CHS booth at the 2012 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show. Included are links to more information about each subject.
Pruning promotes healthy growth, good looks and flowering. A general rule is to prune flowering plants after they bloom.
-- Use clean, sharpened tools.
-- Cut away any dead material.
-- Remove crossing, rubbing or wounded branches to thwart pests and infection.
-- Thin crowded stems to promote new growth through increased light and air circulation.
Invasive plants are species that lack the natural controls on growth and reproduction that would be found in the plant’s native location. Invasives squeeze out native species, changing the biodiversity of their non-native landscape.
-- Become familiar with local invasive plant problems. Identify non-native plants (autumn olive, multiflora rose, Oriental bittersweet, burning bush, Japanese honeysuckle, loosestrife).
-- Remove invasive plants by digging out roots, smothering colonies and/or spot-treating with herbicide in worst cases.
-- Pull plants while they’re small and before they seed.
Native plant species
-- require fewer resources to stay healthy;
-- have the best survival rates;
-- feed and support native microbes, insects and wildlife; and
-- support a broader range of life than non-native species from Asia and Europe (the Kousa dogwood from China supports no insect herbivores, while the native Cornus florida supports 117 insect herbivores, which in turn feed the birds).