Fox 8 gardeners have questions – AJ Petitti has answers

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — How do you get a hydrangea bush to bloom, can you prune a tree or bush during hot summer months and what is the difference between Miracle-Gro and Osmocote? AJ Petitti, President of Petitti Garden Centers, answers Fox 8 viewer questions.

The Petitti Team provided these tips related to this week’s viewer questions:

Why isn’t my backyard hydrangea blooming like the one in my front yard?

First, check to make sure a deer or other animal isn’t eating the flowers off the plant. Then, consider lighting to make sure it’s getting at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. And, make sure you’re feeding the plant with Holly-tone® by Espoma® Organic®. Revitalize the plant’s bloom cycle by adding a dose of Triple Phosphate to your feeding cycle next spring. For answers to Northeast Ohio gardeners’ top 3 questions about hydrangea shrubs, visit:

What’s the difference between Miracle-Gro and Osmocote®?

Miracle-Gro is an effective, water-soluble fertilizer. It offers plants a quick shot of nutrients and is absorbed very quickly. Because it works so quickly, it also leaves the plant’s system very quickly. Therefore, it should be applied every 2 weeks consistently in order to maintain the ongoing desired result. Osmocote® is an effective, longer-lasting, slow-release, granular fertilizer that you can mix into the soil at the time of planting and sprinkle over top of soil as the season progresses. It works up to 3 months on plants in the ground and up to 6 weeks on plants in containers.

Can I prune trees & shrubs at this point in the summer?

Damaged, diseased, dying, or dead branches can and should be pruned out of trees and shrubs, no matter the time of year. In the heat of summer, it’s okay to trim soft growth to clean up the plant or lightly shape it, but make sure to do the work on a cooler day (below 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Save your severe, hard pruning work for when the plant is dormant. Always make cuts at a 45-degree angle.

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