San Diego Hillside

Gardening Question From Janet: I live in San Diego, in the mission bay area. I have a huge hill/ slope in my back yard. I have planted Rosemary and ceonothus. Some survived but the side of the hill that didn’t survive there was a pine tree at the top of the hill. We have since […]

Yellow Foxtail

Gardening Question From Reybo: This spring I bought from an online garden center 5 lbs of wildflower seed. It should have gone to a larger site than 15 x 30 but that’s where it went. It’s been more than 60 days and it’s become a weed patch, 98% Yellow Foxtail and the rest Zinnia, plus […]

Wildflower Mix For Steep Bank

Gardening Question From Clare: PLEASE HELP…..we are building our new house in Fallbrook CA .and have a very long and steep bank which has to be stabilized > I do want to do a more long range landscape plan but need to get seed mixture on bank for building inspector …There are so many seed […]

Fortnight Lily (Dietes)

Question from Mari Jon: Hello! Intended to cut back dead leaves from the fortnight lilies. I  pulled on some of them, and they came out easily.  Is this an acceptable way of getting rid of the dead leaves, or must I cut them back near the base?  Seems like I might be freeing up space […]


Question from Yvonne: Is it possible to grow hydrangeas in southern ca, I live in Pico Rivera..not sure my zone #, 3 have died in containers. Not sure what I ma doing wrong. Answer from Pat: Hydrangeas grow wonderfully well here. They love facing east, but they do need plenty of water and good drainage. […]

Poinsettia With Drooping Leaves

Question from Julia: We just moved into our new home with a 7 feet poinsettia in our back yard. The plant doesn’t look good with drooping leaves. I water it every night for a week but nothing changes. Then, I set up a gallon water bottle. The plant seems to drink, then the bottle is […]

Indoor Antheriums

Question from Debbie: Hopefully you know about indoor plants as well…. I am sure you do!!! 😉   I have two antheriums that were beautiful but they are becoming smaller and smaller now 🙁 I have each sitting in the bathrooms, thinking the humidity would be good for them. They each keeping getting brown on the […]

Potted bonsai bouganvillia

Gardening Question from Debbie: I have this pot outside in my garden in a location where it receives morning shade but direct sun most all afternoon. It did well for a while; then all leaves dropped but coming back now as soon as I watered less. How often should I water this pot?? and what […]

Pruning and Training Star Jasmine

Question from Margaret: Hi Pat, My husband and I are not gardeners, but now we have a house with a big yard and we have some very happy star jasmine. They are planted near a wall and we installed some wire trellis above so it could eventually grow up and over the trellis. Basically, I […]

How to Grow TALLER Phaleonopsis

Question from Patricia: What can I do to get my phalaenopsis TALL again? I’ve had one for several years and unfortunately each year it’s become successively shorter.  Even though it produces over a dozen blooms, the stem is just barely six inches above  the leaves!?!  What’s the best time of the year to force the […]