By Lori Murray, Cameron County Master Gardener

The flower for September birthdays:  The playful pansy insinuates merriment and thoughtfulness while September’s other flower, the morning glory, represents affection.

POINSETTIAS:  Continue to water and fertilize.  If you have not used a systemic to repel them, rinse white fly off the plants with plain water or soapy water, and pray for the cotton host plant to be plowed under soon.  If the white fly is really bad, drape the plants with bridal veiling (which I’ve been told is available at Walmart)

HOUSEKEEPING:  A lot of the activity this month falls under the province of HOUSEKEEPING as we sit on the cusp of cooler weather:

Destroy all old stalks and leaves that shelter insects.  Prepare beds for fall planting.  Especially add compost or humus to beds around geraniums. Plan to fertilize lawn at the end of the month.

Prune dead stems and branches on all plants.  (Do not prune to produce new growth except on mums)  Pinch back tips of all shoots.  Keep beds and pots well-watered.

Cut geraniums back if leggy and plant the cuttings in pots. (Add one teaspoon each of bone meal and fertilizer to the soil in a six inch pot and mix well.)

Courtesy: Janet Garza

Buy tulip, hyacinth, and narcissus bulbs to refrigerate for about two months.

Fertilize chrysanthemums, amaryllis, and poinsettia.

Divide Easter lilies every three years.  Divide daylilies if crowded.

Plant:  Calla Lilies.  Some vegetables can be planted this month – tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans.  Plant nasturtium after first rains.

Courtesy: Julia Williams

Research trees and shrubs you can plant when the temperatures cool.  (Cedar Elm, Party Pink Crape Myrtle)

HINT:  Use coffee filters in the bottom of pots and hanging baskets to keep the dirt from seeping out when you water.