Oxblood Lillies (rhodophiala bifida) are beginning to bloom. That means that fall is just around the corner. I’ve always been excited when I walk outside and there they are. Some people call them September Surprise, Schoolhouse Lilies, or Naked Ladies. They pop up in unexpected places without warning. They are in the Amaryllis family and are similar to Red Spider Lilies (lycoris radiata). The Oxblood Lily was brought from Argentina to the Comfort area by a German plant enthusiast. More Oxblood Lilies are found in the central Texas area than any other. If you want to move the bulbs, wait until the bloom and leaves have died down; don’t disturb them while the leaves are still green. Dig the bulbs and move them to another location (sun or shade). Check out the lilies in front of City Hall. There are many more than last year.
Brown Patch is beginning to appear in some St. Augustine lawns. If circular spots begin to appear, use whole ground corn meal and spread around the outside of the circles and inside the area; this is an organic control. You can use an approved fungicide to control the fungus.
Lightly prune roses and feed granular rose food; one cup per bush. Follow two weeks later with a liquid fertilizer. Don’t feed after early October. This will prepare the roses for a burst of bloom in October.
Fall is for planting. You will hear this often in the following weeks. Trees, shrubs, and flowers are still in bloom and you have a choice of colors. Sales are very good now. This is one of the best times to purchase perennials. Most of the plants are still in color and you can give them a head start for next spring and summer. Take advantage of a friend’s offer of divided plants. These are tried and true for our area.
It’s time to plant Bluebonnets and Wildflowers; fall flowers, except pansies. The weather needs to cool more before planting pansies. Protect seedlings from pill bugs with bait and insecticide dust barriers. Keep soil moist until the seed germinates.