Monday, June 21, 2010

Cantaloupes, Daylillies, Plant Watering and Cactus

Question: What is the difference between a mushmelon, a muskmelon and a cantaloupe?

Answer: Here in the United States these words are used interchangeably to refer to the same type of orange-fleshed melon with a netted skin. The true cantaloupe has a hard rind with a warty or scaly surface that is not netted. True cantaloupes are not commonly grown in the U.S.

Q: I have fallen in love with daylilies. I see them along the interstate and saw some beautiful ones for sale at the garden center. Can they be planted now or do I need to wait for fall?

A: They can be planted now. By visiting a your local garden center or nursery, a botanical garden or the garden of a daylily fancier, you can get a good idea of the colors you like. There are also numerous mail-order sources you may want to consider. Visit the website of the American Hemerocallis (Daylily) Society at Mail order sources may not be shipping in the summer, however, but they have a wide selection to choose from including some that the growers hybridized themselves.

Q: Is it safe to use warm or hot water on plants? For example, using water from a watering can that has been left out in the sun?

A: Extremely hot water can kill or injure plants, but it is unlikely that water would get hot enough in a watering can to do any damage. Water in a black hosepipe that has been in the broiling sun all day could get hot enough to injure or kill young or sensitive plants if they are doused with it. Drain the hose after you use it and test the temperature of the water coming out before using it on your plants.

Q: I saw cactus plants for sale that had straw-like flowers in numerous colors. Are these the actual cactus flowers?

A: No. It is a merchandising trick. The flowers you describe are strawflowers or other dried flowers stuck into the flesh of the cactus.

Consumer Q’s
Prepared by the Office of Public Affairs
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Tommy Irvin, Commissioner