Q&A: roses, black-eyed Susans & sunchokes

rose in garden of Helen Waterhouse in Amherst NYEvery so often, I get questions from readers that I can’t answer. That’s no surprise; when it comes to gardening, I am just a hobbyist. I’m able to bring you great information each week because I can interview people who know more than I do.

So when I get questions I can’t answer, I turn to my readers for help. If you can offer advice on any of the questions below, please leave a comment below. And if you’re interested in the answers, stop back later to read the comments

How do you transplant rose bushes?

I have three rose bushes that I want to transplant. Any suggestions to how I go about doing this and any fertilizers I should use? Also, should I cut them down to 2 to 2 1/2′ prior to the transplant?


If you have suggestions for Jeanine, please leave a comment below.


black-eyed Susans in Buffalo NY areaWhat’s happening with black-eyed Susans?

Have other people had problems with Black-eyed Susans this year? Mine started getting black spots on the leaves fairly early in the summer. Gradually the black spots spread over the entire leaf, and now some plants have turned entirely black and have completely shriveled up.

Ann Carlson

Do you know what is wrong with Ann’s black-eyed Susan’s? What can she do about it? Please help her out by leaving a comment.


Where can I get sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes)?

Where can I buy sunchokes? I live in Hamburg, NY. Please help.

Annette Manley

Jerusalem artichole or sunchoke flowers in Amherst NYSunchokes are the coolest plants ever. They grow steadily throughout the spring and summer until at this time of year they’re seven to ten feet tall. They get small yellow flowers, giving you autumn interest. You can eat the bulb– it’s delicious! And it’s a native plant, so it grows with no maintenance. What’s not to like?

One caveat: The plants do spread easily, so to keep them in check, make sure you harvest and eat most of the bulbs. If you get too many to eat yourself, you can give them to a nonprofit organization such as Friends of Night People.

Back to the question: I checked around and haven’t been able to find anyone who sells sunchokes.

However, I will have plenty to share. My sunchokes are just getting ready to bloom now, so it will still be a couple weeks before they’re ready to be dug up.

If you’d like some, send me an email at connie@buffalo-niagaragardening.com. I’ll be happy to give you some for free.

However, I’m lazy and don’t want to mail them. If you’d like some, you have to make arrangements to pick them up here in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. What a lot of people did last year was ask a friend who lived or worked around here to pick the bulbs up for them. Know anybody at UB or someone heading to Boulevard Mall? Ask them to make a quick side trip for you.

Maybe there is a place to buy sunchokes that I don’t know about. If you know of a place to buy sunchokes, please leave a comment below.

If you’d like to pick up some sunchokes from me, please email me at connie@buffalo-niagaragardening.com and we’ll make arrangements.


More resources

When you have gardening questions, you can call the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County at (716) 652-5400. These knowledgeable volunteers are available from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. You can also email them at mgeriecce@gmail.com. There are helpful Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in other counties, too. Find contact information here for your county’s Cooperative Extension office.

You can also stop at a garden center to get great information. Check out our advertisers, click on their ad and you’ll be taken to their website or Facebook page to get their hours, address and other important information.

Turning to Cornell Cooperative Extension or your local garden center is probably the fastest route for getting your questions answered.

However, if you have a question and you’d like to get a wide range of opinions, email the question to me and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.




4 Comments on “Q&A: roses, black-eyed Susans & sunchokes

  1. I got my sunchokes at the Lexington Co-op in the produce aisle! 🙂 They have been coming back now for two years.

  2. The black eyed Susans probably have either bacterial leaf spot which is characterized by water soaked spots often with a yellow halo OR Septoria leaf spot caused by a fungus and characterized by small brown lesions. Treatment: Remove and destroy the infected leaves. Also if the Blackeyed Susans are crowded it might be a good time to divide them as overcrowding makes the situation worse.

  3. Tish, thanks for that suggestion. What you eat is what you plant; it’s all the same. I usually use the larger pieces for eating simply because they’re easier to work with, then plant the little pieces. People will be glad to hear that they can buy sunchokes locally.

  4. Carol Ann, thanks so much for that detailed explanation. I appreciate you taking the time to share this helpful advice.

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