May Garden Calendar

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Plants in Flower & Plants of Interest

  • Southern Magnolia
  • Kousa Dogwood
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Roses
  • Clematis
  • Dianthus
  • Bearded Iris
  • Peony
  • Coreopsis
  • Poppy
  • Summer Annuals

image of a bearded iris

Figure 1: bearded iris

image of a peony

Figure 2: peony

image of a clematis

Figure 3: Clematis

image of a Southern magnolia

Figure 4: Southern magnolia


  • Summer flowering shrubs (crape myrtle & rose-of- Sharon)
  • Side-dress vegetables 6-8 weeks after germination


  • Gladioli corms this month
  • Summer annuals (begonias, geranium, marigold, petunia, zinnia, etc.)
  • Vegetables transplants (eggplant, pepper, tomato, sweet potato)
  • Vegetable seeds (beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, okra, southern peas, pumpkin, squash, watermelon)
  • Warm season herbs like basil
  • Divide and transplant mature herb plantings


  • Rhododendrons after flowering
  • Any hedges that have “wild hairs” or have lost their shape
  • Begin pinching mums and continue through early July
  • DO NOT cut back spring bulb foliage until it turns yellow and brown (they need to get as much energy as they can for next year’s bulb production)

image of how to prune back mums


  • Monitor landscape shrubs for: arborvitae-bag worm, azalea-lace bug, boxwood-leaf miner, euonymus-scale, hemlock and juniper-spruce mites, pyracantha-lace bug and hybrid rhododendron borer.
  • Monitor vegetables for: cucumber (cucumber beetle), squash (squash borer and aphids, tomato and eggplant (flea beetle), broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower (worms).
  • Spray tree fruits such as peaches and bunch grapes with a fungicide program.
  • Use pesticides sparingly & Spray only when needed! à (Remember that pollinators are out now!)

Lawn Care

  • Start warm season grasses like zoysia now
  • Fertilize zoysia this month after it has greened up
  • DO NOT fertilize tall fescue now
  • Cut tall fescue and bluegrass at 3-4inches & zoysia at 1inch
  • Come grab a Carolina Lawns Guide at our office!!


  • Softwood cuttings of azalea, rhododendron, forsythia, clematis, chrysanthemum, and geranium late this month if you have a misting system

Specific Chores

  • Purchase locally grown strawberries
  • Move houseplants outside if desired
  • If weather has been dry, give favorite plants a good soaking once a week