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Help with Monkshood (and others)

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:47 pm
by dmconnor
I'm pretty new to gardening, and live in the eastern part of Canada. I just planted my first perennial garden late this summer, and I'm not sure what I need to do to winterize the plants. I have monkshood (which just bloomed!!!!!). Do I need to cut them back every year, or leave them? Do they need to be staked?

I also have rhododendron's which I believe need to covered with burlap, but I'd like to confirm that. Thanks for any help you can offer!

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:54 pm
by grandpasrose
Welcome to the Forum fellow Canadian!!
I can help you with the monkshood - you should probably stake them while they are blooming if they get too tall as you don't want them blowing over and breaking. In the fall, cut them off, and they will regrow in the spring! It will bloom earlier than this next year. It's a very easy plant to grow. 8)

As far as the Rhodos, I have only a little experience with them, and it hasn't been that successful, so maybe someone else out there can give you some tips?.............

Feel free to come back to the forum any time, for questions, answers, or just a comment. Best of luck! :wink:

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:47 pm
by dmconnor
That's great! If it ever stops raining, I'll get them staked. Thanks for your help! :D

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:19 am
by grandpasrose
Not a problem! That's what we're here for! I hear you about the rain. I don't remember when it started it's been so long.
Enjoy your monkshood, and drop back in any time! :wink:

Can anyone out there help with the question regarding rhodos? Anybody........

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:42 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
Here I am Val...

Depends on the zone DM is at. Not really necessary for me, but it sure would be for you...

What say you DM? No membership means I have no info on you...


Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:05 pm
by dmconnor
I'm still figuring out how all this works. I have a login - is that the same as a membership? I think I'm in zone 3 or 4..... lots of winter, that's for sure!

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:14 pm
by dmconnor
I just found a site with the zones... looks like I'm in zone 5A.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:12 am
by grandpasrose
Scott, DM is registered, so what more are you wanting her to do? :?

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:33 pm
by opabinia51
Here is a link to a Rhodo site:

I am assuming that the winters in Eastern Canada are pretty harsh and therefore, would recommend piling some mulch over the root area and especially the feeders of your rhodos. The feeders are actually located around the periphery of the plant.

My favourite for mulch is shredded leaves, leaves act as a great insulator and they also contain more nutrients in them (pound for pound) than does manure.

Next Spring, give you rhodo some Kelp Meal (or go to a beach and collect some kelp now, and add it to the mulch. Kelp meal is a slow release organic fertilizer. It will help your plants roots to get established and also provide your plant with any essential nutrients that may be lacking from the soil.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:36 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
I am a borderline 5A/6B myself...

I do not burlap, but do spray with anti-dessicant (I use Wilt-Pruf). Helps with those drying winds (which by dint of location I suspect yours aren't as drying as mine, but it can't hurt...

Burlap is the old school way of handling that and is certainly a viable option; I'd do it soon while you can still do it in relative comfort...