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Various Colours of Sunflowers

Yearly sunflowers (Helianthus annus) are sturdy plants, valued for its cheerful blooms that appear in summer and fall. Sunflowers, that are simple to plant from seed directly from the garden, remain lovely all season with little upkeep. Traditionally, sunflowers are bright yellow with brown centres, but varieties include hues of bright yellow, copper, red, brown, orange and bi-colored.


Although yellow is the original color, it ranges from light, custardy colours to eye-popping yellows. “Valentine” is an attention-getting sunflower with light yellow cones which contrast with deep brown centres. “Tohokujhae” displays shaggy, double blooms of bright yellow and greenish-yellow centres. “Pacino” has petals of medium yellow, and unlike many varieties, the center is also yellow. “Sunrich Lemon” is a lemon-yellow sunflower surrounding a black core.


Even though sunflowers in hues of red are less common, the colors are striking. “Moulin Rouge” is among the most unusual, with deep, deep ruby red petals surrounding a dark core. The petals of “Velvet Queen” are soft-textured in hues of deep red around a brown center. “Autumn Beauty” displays clusters of reddish-orange blossoms with light brown centres. “Floristan” is a stunner with reddish brown petals radiating out of a dark brown middle.


White sunflower varieties few and far between, which makes them particularly distinctive. Although it isn’t pure white, “Italian White” displays ivory-colored petals with brown middles. The petals of “Coconut Ice” appear as a creamy shade of vanilla, eventually turning almost pure white that contrasts with the dark middles.


“Inca Jewel” is a flexible variety available in many colors, such as bright yellows, bi-colored or banded gold, orange, bronze or burgundy. “Music Box” displays flowers in hues of gold, yellow and gold-bronze. “The Joker” has deep red centres surrounded by yellow-tipped reddish petals. “Sundance Kid” is marked with uncommon yellow or bronze petals radiating from a coppery brown center.

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Orange Trees That Grow in Cold Climates

Mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata) varieties of which are known as mandarins, tangerines or satsumas, are far more cold-hardy compared to the common orange (Citrus x sinensis), a fruit with subtropical and tropical origins. Mandarins cannot be grown in mountains or regions with continental winters, but with precautions against sudden drops below freezing, they can typically be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b through 11.

Cold Hardy Mandarin Oranges

Temperatures of 26 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit will damage standard orange species. If they’ve become acclimated to the cold, the most cold-hardy mandarin oranges, Satsuma (C. unshiu) and “Changsa” (C. reticulata “Changsa”) can endure temperatures as low as 15 F. A plunge in temperature to 20 F after a period of low temperatures can cause less damage than a drop to 25 F subsequent to warmer weather. Trees less than 2 to 3 years old are much less cold-hardy as those bearing oranges.

Satsuma Mandarin

The Satsuma mandarin, also referred to as the Satsuma tangerine is the most cold-tolerant mandarin cultivar grown commercially and might be the wide variety of choice for those in USDA zone 8b. Mature Satsuma trees have survived winter temperatures of 14 to 18 F with no severe damage in southern Alabama, northern Florida and northern California. They may be grown from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley basin of California, in northern Florida and the Gulf Coast.

“Changsa” Mandarin

The “Changsa” mandarin is maybe most cold-hardy of all sweet orange species. The “Changsa” orange returns sweet, but insipid and seedy oranges which are an excellent orange-red. It has survived temperatures as low as 4 F in Arlington, Texas. “Changa” mandarins are most cold-hardy if they’re grown from seed.

Growing Mandarins in Marginal Climates

Orange trees are evergreen and can bear both fruit and flowers at precisely the same time. Since they store food reserves in their leaves, they still have to be protected from temperature drops that can cause their leaves to drop. Small changes in distance from the shore or at elevation can greatly influence minimum temperatures for growing mandarin oranges. With caution, you can develop them farther inland, farther north and at higher elevations than standard orange cultivars. If you reside at the edge of the area acceptable for growing mandarin oranges, then plant them in hot areas on the sides or hills or around buildings. Mountain foothills often contain small protected areas appropriate for growing mandarins.

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Weed Killers to Zoysia 'Palisades'

It’s been said that a weed is any plant growing where it’s not wanted. When annoying weeds mar the look of “Palisades” zoysia grass (Zoysia japonica “Palisades”), weedkillers help restore its pristine beauty. But if you aren’t a zoysia lover, “Palisades” could be as undesirable as weedy intruders. Whether you are maintaining a “Palisades” zoysia lawn weed-free or moving on to new turf, knowing zoysia-safe and zoysia-deterrent herbicides is essential.

Understanding “Palisades” Zoysia

The same features that attract individuals to “Palisades” influence its answer to grass killers. Hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10, “Palisades” is a drought- and also shade-tolerant, warm-season grass. Its active growing season in Mediterranean climates runs from April through October. As the weather cools down, so does “Palisades” dense growth — it still spends winter dormant and visibly red. “Palisades” has greater cold hardiness and endurance than many zoysia grasses. It bounces back early and greens up fast come spring. “Palisades” bears several seeds. Instead, it spreads aggressively through both above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes.

Using Pre-Emergent Herbicides

To work, pre-emergent herbicides must hit bud seeds before they germinate. This happens when soil warms to 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for several consecutive days. In Mediterranean areas, this frequently occurs right as spring starts. Limit pre-emergents to well-established “Palisades” lawns, and never apply within 90 days of seeding. They stop grass seed from sprouting as well as weeds. Choose herbicides labeled zoysia-safe and aimed to particular weed pests. For example, pendimethalin products safely fight annual crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) When applied to zoysia at rates of 1 ounce per 1,000 square feet, or according to the label instructions. Water “Palisades” with 1/2 to 1 inch of water immediately after pendimethalin applications.

Fighting Established Weeds

In warm desert and interior spaces, healthy “Palisades” out-competes most weeds, but cooler coastal zones sap its advantage. Regular mowing helps prevent new grass seeds, but once weeds emerge, zoysia-safe choices are restricted. Most postemergent herbicides require licensed professional applicators. Nonselective herbicides — that destroy all plants — are readily available to spot-treat weeds. Wait till “Palisades” goes completely dormant and green weeds stick out against hangers. Dormancy helps protect zoysia from absorbing herbicide. Utilize a ready-to-use grass and grass killer with 2 percent glyphosate, and carefully spray weeds until wet. Be precise, so the weedkiller does not touch the “Palisades” or other plants.

Eliminating Zoysia Grass

When “Palisades” wears out its welcome, killing the grass isn’t simple. Glyphosate-based products timed to coincide with zoysia’s active growth period deliver the best results. Because its extensive roots reach around 30 inches deep, killing zoysia might take several applications. Water “Palisades” well to support active development, and leave it unmown for more leaf surface. Mix 13 ounces of 41 percent glyphosate focus on 1 gallon of water for an optimal-strength solution. Spray unwanted “Palisades” thoroughly and carefully; avoid all contact with desirable plants. Wait one or two weeks, then water well, and re-treat any grass that reacts. Repeat two to three times, as required.

Using Weed Killers Safely

Zoysia’s tenacious temperament pairs having some sensitivity to common herbicides. Always check product labels for zoysia security to get rid of weeds and maintain your grass. When handling zoysia itself, equal care is necessary since nonselective herbicides kill all plants that they touch. Spray herbicides on quiet, wind-free days, with no rain in the forecast. Wear protective eyewear, chemical-resistant gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves and shoes when using grass or grass killers. Keep the places clear of kids and pets, and follow label instructions about when it’s safe for people and pets to return in the region. Avoid contact with exposed skin, and wash well with soap and shake after managing chemicals.

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How to Prune Vertical Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are an easy-to-grow plant for home gardeners and among the most widely grown home garden plants. While the plants grow easily, they require care and pruning to keep crops healthy and make a fantastic harvest. Tomatoes need staking to keep fruit off the floor and reduce fruit decay. Pruning can also be significant, as it helps create bigger fruit and slimmer, healthier plants also increases air flow, which reduces the danger of infection.

Choose a couple of main stems. When growing tomatoes with two main stems, choose the 2nd main stem from among the shoots that grow from the first or second leaf-stem axils, and remove all of shoots below it. Growing plants with a couple of main stems sends more nutrients to fruit instead of sending it to unwanted shoots.

Prune to remove any new suckers. Check weekly and remove any new side or lateral shoots while they’re still tiny. You can pinch off the limbs with your fingers if you remove them before they grow larger than 4 inches long; that also helps avoid plant injury. Pinch a sucker between your finger and thumb, bending it to one side until it breaks.

Top the plant in summer season. When the main shoots get to the surface of the service, cut off the tops of the main shoots. This directs plant energies to ripening fruit on the vine. Taking away the tops doesn’t hurt the plant because any new fruit group would not have time to ripen before the growing season ends.

Remove any yellow or wilting leaves as they develop. Yellow and wilting leaves are normal on tomato crops as they grow. Removing these leaves help reduce the danger of infection and maintain the plant looking fresh.

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Landscaping suggestions for a Burning Bush

Burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) are deciduous shrubs desirable for their brilliant fall color. The leaves turn vibrantly red in fall, giving rise to this plant’s nickname. Burning bushes are hardy shrubs and thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 8, according to Ohio State University. Use these showy plants as focal points on your lawn.

Center Stage

Many varieties of this plant exist, from dwarf forms to towering bushes that grow nearly as tall as trees. The smallest cultivar, alternately called “Odom” or “Small Palestinians,” attains a maximum height and width of approximately 3 feet. The species attains a maximum height and width of 20 feet. Burning bushes have pleasingly curved shapes, regardless of cultivar. This makes the plant an excellent choice for a centerpiece. Put it in the middle of the lawn for a burst of colour and to split up an otherwise boring expanse of green. Alternatively, center it on your lawn and surround it with brightly colored fall blooms such as mums, which will well set off the brilliant red fall foliage.

Potted Flames

Some burning bush cultivars produce excellent container plants. Try “Rudy Haag,” that takes about 15 years to grow to a typical maximum height of 3 feet. Put one of those bushes on either side of your front porch for an appealing but low-maintenance statement. Alternatively, anchor the corners of the deck with these potted beauties.

Understory Showoff

Burning bushes are exceptional understory plants. They thrive in the dappled shade offered by bigger deciduous trees. Most do well in partial shade, though in cooler climates, the plant colors will be more vibrant when exposed to full sunlight. Plant burning trees under spring-flowering trees such as ornamental pears or crab apples. In the fall, once the leaves have dropped in the tree, the burning bush will continue to light up that corner of the lawn with its brilliant fall foliage.

Colorful Hedge

Burning bushes are not thorny, but they’re very dense and will grow into a neat, compact hedge punctually. The small leaves are very appealing, and the hedge will need little maintenance since the plants have such a slow rate of growth. Plant several burning bushes about 1 foot apart to create a drop or a boundary.

Urban Jewel

Burning bushes are excellent plants that are urban. They tolerate a wide assortment of adverse environmental conditions, such as poor soil and pollution. If your landscape has a problem area, think about putting your burning bush in that area. They can tolerate almost anything apart from very wet soil.

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Partial Shade Landscaping Ideas

Adding plants to partly shaded spots in your yard will brighten the dark area and increase its attractiveness. When selecting plants for a partly shade area, consider the requirements of this landscape. As an instance, use ground covers beneath trees and evergreen shrubs to conceal unsightly areas.

Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs are versatile plants you can use to conceal unsightly foundations, border walkways and act as a living fence. Several evergreen species grow well in areas where they will get little to no sunlight. North Star boxwood (Buxus sempervirens “Katerberg”) is a compact evergreen shrub growing in U.S. Department of Agricultural plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. This shade-loving plant attains 24 to 32 inches high and is resistant to deer. North Star boxwood is an easy-care plant also functions well as a border, hedge or base pant. “Picturata” aucuba (Aucuba japonica “Picturata”) grows in shaded areas in USDA zones 7 through 10. It grows between 4 and 6 feet tall, producing deep green foliage accented with golden yellow centers. This seacoast exposure evergreen has various landscaping applications like a specimen or — when planted in groups — border plant.

Ground Cover

Ground covers are low-growing plants using a spreading or creeping habit which engulf the area, covering the unattractive ground. Yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is a shade-loving repeated reaching 1 to 2 ft tall in USDA zones 4 through 9. Its green leaves are splashed with silver accents and little yellow flowers appear in after spring. Yellow archangel tolerates dry, shallow and rocky dirt and is resistant to deer and drought. Cymbalaria (Cymbalaria aequitriloba) grows to just about 2 inches tall in USDA zones 6 through 10. This compact mat-forming perennial has small dark green leaves and lilac blue flowers. Cymbalaria is a quick grower, tolerates foot traffic and functions well as a ground cover in dense shade but can also grow in partially shaded areas.

Entrances and Corners

Shrubs with a narrow kind will help soften the harsh lines of corners and will frame entries, drawing the eye to the front of your property. “Iowa” Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis “Iowa”) grows in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 3 through 9 using a narrow, columnar shape. This evergreen shrub reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and tolerates moist dirt. “Iowa” produces grayish green foliage and ornamental silvery blue grapes. “Sky Pencil” Japanese holly (Ilex crenata “Sky Pencil”) is grows in partial shade to full sunlight in USDA zones 6 through 8. Its narrow shape gives it a pencil-like appearance because it grows 4 to 10 feet tall but just 1 to 3 feet broad. “Sky Pencil” has little, deep green leaves and small greenish white flowers. If these flowers are pollinated, purplish drupes using a berrylike appearance will appear once the blooms are spent.

Flowering Perennials

Flowering perennials offer color to partially shaded areas. “Do Tell” peony (Paeonia lactiflora “Do Tell”) is a 30- to 36-inch tall perennial producing big pink blossoms with a gentle fragrance and deep green foliage. It grows in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 3 through 8 and attracts butterflies. This moderate grower functions well as a specimen plant or planted en masse to make a border. “Floating Hybrid Yellow” bush lily (Clivia miniata “Belgian Hybrid Yellow”) is a tropical perennial growing in areas with partial shade or full sun. In spring, clusters of yellow blooms appear on tall flower stems that protrude up from the broad, bladelike leaves. “Belgian Hybrid Yellow” grows in USDA zones 9 through 11 reaching 2 feet tall. It can grow alone or in group plantings. The blossoms of the “Do Tell” peony and “Belgian Hybrid Yellow” bush lily really are a lovely addition to cut floral arrangements.

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What Can I Use to Stop My Lawn From Growing So Fast?

A lush, beautiful lawn looks like a dream come true until it’s time to mow. During the peak growing season, lawns sometimes need mowing as often as once a week, and the job is time consuming in the event that you have a huge yard. To mow less often, try planting slow-growing grasses, applying growth inhibitors, not fertilizing or installing artificial turf.

Slow Growers

Some grasses naturally develop more slowly than others, therefore replacing your current grass with these varieties may drastically reduces mowing frequency. Fescues, for example, need mowing just four times per year. Some species to attempt include hard fescue (*Festuca longifolia*), chewings fescue (*Festuca rubra var. commutata*) and creeping red fescue (*Festuca rubra var. Rubra*), all which thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7, but can be grown successfully in a Mediterranean climate. You might also consider replacing your grass using a green alternative which doesn’t grow as tall, like clover (*Trifolium repens*), that rises in USDA zones 3 through 10.

Growth Inhibitors

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are available at almost any hardware store and may be used to chemically slow the growth speed of your grass up to 50 percent. Ideally, you should start looking for PGRs labeled as Type I, as these slow plant growth by retarding cell division and are absorbed easily through the plant’s leaves. Common substances in this class include mefluidide, chlorflurenol, and maleic hydrazide. Avoid using other Type I inhibitors which are actually herbicides and may do more harm than good or Type II inhibitors which require root absorption and work more slowly. Plant growth regulators can easily be sprayed onto your lawn, but take your time and be thorough when applying, as any grass you miss will not be impacted. Keep children and animals away from the grass immediately after spraying and never spray on windy days.

Withhold Affection

If you fuss over your lawn, stop. Watering and fertilizing both promote faster growth and more mowing. Let your grass grow at its own pace instead of encouraging it. In many parts of the country, grass will go dormant during the hottest part of the summer if left unwatered and will slow or stop its growth on its own without the compound intervention of PGRs. Even though a watered and fed lawn looks great, it requires more upkeep than you may be able or willing to supply.

Fake It

Unless you have a stringent homeowner association to contend with, there’s absolutely no reason that your grass has to be real. Artificial turf grasses are available in a wide array of green hues along with varying degrees of softness. Artificial turf looks much more realistic than it ever used to, so you really can have a gorgeous lawn that looks amazing and remains soft on your bare feet with no requirement to mow at all.

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Planting Trumpet Vines Near a Construction

Trumpet vines (Campsis radicans) and their magnificent, fiery flowers are appealing, but putting these strong vines near a building can have repercussions for the construction and the vines. Growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, trumpet vines want the ideal sun and dirt for showy flowers, and neighboring buildings affect these. Before you plant, then think about the future health of the vines and the building.

Sunlight Requirements

Trumpet vines make their keep with an extended show of trumpet-shaped, tubular blooms. Apparently made for hummingbirds, the nectar-heavy flowers grow around 3 1/2 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide. Clustered together in groups of four to 12, the flowers cover vine hints in vibrant color — if the vines receive ample direct sun. Nearby buildings can interfere with the minimal six to eight hours of full, direct sun trumpet vines need each day. If a building shades the plants considerably, expect poor development and few blooms. You’ll also miss out on the vines’ ornamental, 6-inch seed capsules.

Soil Factors

Trumpet vines handle wet to dry dirt, even drought, and soil types from mud. Soil with a pH between 3.7 and 6.8 suits them best. Higher pH levels brief the vines of nutrients. Many alkaline construction materials, including concrete foundations and walkways, raise soil pH as they age. Planting close to these building materials can affect trumpet vine health. Lawn fertilizers also impact trumpet vines in undesirable ways. High-nitrogen bud fertilizers stimulate green, leafy growth at the expense of flowers.

Structural Concerns

Trumpet vines rapidly grow to 35 feet or more and more frequently need extra support. Sturdy pergolas or arbors may function as stepping stones to buildings nearby. The vines climb by twining stems and also by ample rootlike stems. Tiny aerial rootlets along these stems attach to rough surfaces and wiggle their way into tiny crevices. They damage wood, stone, stucco and brick. Without added support, the burden of trumpet vines frequently pulls these substances down, bringing drain spouts and gutters with them. The small roots stay connected to the wall or tear away, leaving stained and damaged surfaces behind them.

Root Reprisals

For all its beauty, trumpet vine can be ruthless. Unchecked, the invasive vines conquer nearby plants together with buildings. Spreading rapidly below ground and above, root suckers spring up everywhere they can. Mowing and hand-pulling keep suckers down, but shoots may multiply in response. Eradicating roots for a redesign can be challenging — both airborne and underground remnants. Prune trumpet vines, as needed, at any time of the year to keep them confined. Use sharp bypass pruners and sterilize the blades with a spray family disinfectant before and when you prune. Trumpet vine sap irritates skin, so wear protective clothing, including gloves and eyewear, when you prune.

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How to Firm Up Soft Soil

Soft dirt is preferable to soil when given a choice. They can also make it difficult for plants to generate roots although soils normally allow for oxygen penetration and superior water. Understanding the structure of your soil gives you the necessary information for deciding on the best method to cure the matter.

Soil Construction

Soil consists of silt, sand, clay particles and organic matter. Clay soil has a texture that is compact, particles and is not soft. It occasionally hardens and repels water, while at other times clay keeps moisture that is an excessive amount of and rots plant roots. Silt has particles, but aquatic soil has the particles, so it can feel soft and require effort to dig in. Sand drains so that plant roots are constantly worried for water. This soft soil may not have enough stability. Soil is rich in organic matter. This dirt feels crumbly and soft, and plants usually grow well in it. If the organic particles are especially fine, they may not offer enough structure to encourage plant origins, but this normally is not a concern.

Amendments Work

Organic amendments can solve a soil problem that is soft. Both available, compost and peat moss, improve moisture capacities in soil and provide soil structure. If the soil is sandy, spread up to some 6-inch layer of the change on top the bed. Rich humus soils need no more than a 2-inch layer to add more structure. Mix the change in. A test determines if your soil contains structure that is adequate. Make a ball with moist soil from the garden, squeezing it tightly. If the soil retains its shape once you form it, then you have clay soil, but the dirt is soft when it breaks easily. As you squeeze balls that stick but change shape have the stability for garden plants.

Require Cover

Weeds can shoot and penetrate deeply into a soft dirt. End and water also erode dirt more quickly than they can do firmer soil. Covering the bed with a natural mulch after planting inhibits weed growth and reduces soil reduction, while also preserving insulation and moisture the bed. Straw mulch, wood chips and pine needles provide suitable mulching options. These mulches also break down into the soil over time, further enhancing the soil structure. Distribute a 2-inch layer of compost over the ground annually in spring, then if you grow crops in the bed year-round replenishing it in autumn.

Tread Softly

The soft texture of soil that is humus-rich makes it prone to a compaction, which will minimize water and oxygen penetration. Unnecessary kneeling or walking on the garden bed. Weight compaction is limited by keeping beds lean enough so that you can reach the centre without standing on the dirt. Further cultivation is best done with hand tools to avoid compaction, although you can use a power tiller for amending. When staking crops, install the stakes at least 8 to 12 inches deep so they anchor the plants nicely during windy weather.

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How to Grow Succulents in Containers

Growing succulents in containers allows you to bring your own piece of the desert. Succulents appear natural in western decors and landscapes. Rigid, vertical cacti are included by this varied group of plants in addition to sprawling and trailing. Most enjoy a similar environment, but assess the plant label to find out whether your succulent has some particular needs.

Containers and Soil

Succulents grow well in any container that’s at least 4 inches deep and has holes in the bottom for drainage. Choose a kettle about 1/2 inch bigger than the base of this plant to get upright succulents. Plant succulents with trailing or spreading growth customs, for example vacation cacti, in a kettle than their bud. Succulents require a loose soil that drains. Use a cactus and succulent potting soil, or mix your own from one part coarse builder’s sand and four components potting soil. Spread a layer of aquarium gravel or river stones over the soil’s surface prevent rot and to keep moisture away from the crown.


Succulents like sunlight and are content to spend in a rather south-facing window or inside in the baking sun. They thrive in warm or hot summertime temperatures. When taking a plant outside, expose it to bright sunlight to stop sun scorch. Provide shelter or bring the plants inside.

Water and Fertilizer

Succulents planted in a soil which drains freely as you would any other container plant can be watered by you. Saturate the soil and allow it to drain from the holes in the base of the pot. Empty the saucer so the plant is not standing in water, after the water drains. Permit the pot to dry completely between watering. Succulents don’t require a good deal of nitrogen because they grow. Feed them monthly using a cactus and succulent fertilizer. You can use a high-phosphorous houseplant fertilizer mixed at half strength, if you don’t want to purchase a special fertilizer for your succulents.

Winter Rush interval

Succulents require a rest period of two weeks . Set the plant in a room with temperatures. Many succulents want winter temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit so as to set blossoms, but don’t let them freeze. Once the pot is dry, reduce watering to just a drizzle round the sides of the kettle or moist the top of the potting soil using a mister. Withhold fertilizer throughout the resting stage.

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