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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How Should I Care for My Fairy Duster Plant?

Q. I'd appreciate some pointers on how to arce for fairy duster plant So it becomes healthier and a better looking shrub. Very little has been done because the bees are usually on it.

Fairy duster and honeybees
A. This plant is native to North and Central America growing in warm desert climates and soils. This tells you a little bit about how to manage it. This should tell you to not water every day. Plants like this are usually very susceptible to root rot so make sure the soil has been amended with compost before planting so that it improves drainage.
Fairy duster in the backyard of reader
It will tolerate desert soils as well as infrequent watering. At planting time I would amend the soil with about 25 to 50% compost and make the whole about three times wider than its container. I realize yours is already in the ground so watering and fertilizer applications are important to mention.

Do not water this plant too often. That will be the biggest mistake people make. Fertilize it lightly once in the very early spring around late January or February with a rose type fertilizer. The plant can get 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall in soils that have been amended with compost.

As long as it's in a sunny location you should see a profusion of blooms in the spring and summer months that attract bees, hummingbirds and night flying moths. Quail like to feed on seed from the seed pods. Rabbits like to browse on new growth.

You can clean up the plant in the early spring by removing dead leaves and stems. You will encourage more blooms if the plant is in a sunny location and flowers are removed before they begin to form seedpods.

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