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Annuals/life of my spikes


I have 4 spikes that I used as centers in step floral arrangements. The flowers died, they were annuals. But my spikes stayed green for the longest time, but leaving them outside in fall and winter the leaves turned brown. Is there any chance in saving them for this season?

These spikes are dracaenas. They are not hardy through a frost so if it's gone below freezing this winter where you are I'm afraid that they are dead. In the future, however, you can dig these up at the end of the season, pot them up and bring them into the house. They do well as house plants over the winter and will be even larger for use in your containers the next year. And here's a tip to make this easier: When you buy the little pots of spikes this spring, pot them into plastic pots that are about 6" across and 6 to 8" deep. Be sure those pots have drainage holes and don't put any rocks, shards or other stuff at the bottom of the pots...only potting soil. Then plant these, pot and all, into the center of your mixed-annuals containers. In the fall you can just lift these pots of spikes out of your container, wipe off the outsides of the pots, and bring them indoors for the winter. Enjoy!


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C.L. Fornari


Annuals suggested for specific situations (sun, shade, windowboxes etc) New or unusual annuals are a particular interest of mine, and I grow many of these from seed. I am happy to help problem solve, answer questions about maintenance, and guide you to sources of unusual plants.


I am a garden writer/speaker/consultant and host of a weekly gardening radio program in the Northeast. I have been gardening all my life for my own pleasure, and started as a professional gardener and garden communicator 15 years ago. I work part-time at a garden center, selling and tending shrubs/trees/annuals/perennials...and doing some propagation and design work. I often think that all these professional activities serve to put a somewhat legitimate framework around a serious case of plant-lust.

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