Houseplants

Houseplants – Winter Care

HOUSEPLANT CARE FOR WINTER The long warm autumn came to an abrupt end a few weeks ago. One of the first things I did when the weatherman predicted temperatures below freezing was to inventory the houseplants on our patio and...

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Houseplants – Propagating

PROPAGATING HOUSEPLANTS – A “ROOTS” EXPERIENCE My wife has a pothos vine that vigorously overflows and cascades down the sides of a fourteen-inch wide pot. The plant originated with three short cuttings her mother gave her for a housewarming gift...

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Poinsettia – Pointers for Indoor Care

Poinsettias are NOT poisonous. That old myth was dispelled by a research project at The Ohio State University in 1975. While the latex sap may be irritating to the eyes, the plants are not toxic. All poinsettia flowers are yellow....

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Houseplants – Care While on Vacation

House plants can be kept in good condition for several days while you’re on vacation by using clear, plastic bags as miniature greenhouses. Soak the soil thoroughly, allow to drain, then insert 2 – 3 wooden skewers around the edge...

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June Houseplant Tips

Divide an overgrown Boston fern into quarters; plant two quarters into each of two separate hanging baskets filled with potting soil. The ferns will look great in four weeks and you double your money in only thirty minutes. Spruce up...

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Lime Tree Success

Q: A radio caller asked about getting a lemon tree to bear fruit.  I am attaching pictures of my Persian lime tree.  It is about 10 years old and has had limes since it was two years old.  We bring...

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Paperwhite Narcissus – Make Sturdier Stems

I love the scent of paperwhite narcissus during the holidays! Too bad the stems usually grow so tall they flop over in my container. Now there is an easy way to keep them shorter…and it involves alcohol! A horticulture student...

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Ficus

Q: I just moved my ficus to a bigger pot and all the leaves have fallen off except four. Is there anything I should do? I have not applied any fertilizer to the tree in a while. A: Weeping ficus...

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Geraniums – Bringing Indoors

Those fiery red blooms look pretty ragged in late fall so this is a fine time to think about keeping them for the winter. There are three methods: keep them potted indoors in a sunny window, store them “roots, soil...

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Science vs Pseudo-science

One of the most ill-informed decisions of my life was to major in chemistry in college. Sure, I had excelled in the subject in high school. I could make my own gunpowder from ingredients bought at the pharmacy in town....

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Paperwhite Narcissus – Keeping Short – Science Project

Tired of floppy paperwhites?? Acording to Beth Jarvis from the University of Minnesota, if you’re bummed because your paperwhite nasrcissus always flop over, help is at hand. No, you don’t need to stake or tie them, just keep them mildly...

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Ficus – Bringing Indoors

The Ficus benjamina is famous for making tremendous growth while outdoors in the heat of a Georgia summer. But it is equally famous for dropping copious quantities of leaves when brought indoors for the winter. The plant is just trying...

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Ferns – Bringing Indoors

Most fern baskets must be divided each year. Otherwise, the root mass simply holds too much water and root rot begins. It is difficult for homeowners to duplicate greenhouse conditions during cold weather but try these tips: 1. Cut the...

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Christmas cactus – Good Description

This excellent article tells all you need to know about these holliday favorites. Holiday Cacti Chris Currey, University of Minnesota Graduate Student (this article is no longer online, so the images are gone) Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, Easter cactus…what about...

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Poinsettia – Care

If the poinsettia plant came in a foil wrapper, check for water at the bottom before you add more moisture to the plant. Poinsettias are accustomed to soil that’s on the dry side. If their roots sit in water day...

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Poinsettia – Choosing

Examine the tiny yellow-green flowers at the ends of the poinsettia branches. If more than one or two are open, the poinsettia will not hold its freshness for long. Poinsettias are typically sent to stores in several shipments. Ask to...

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Night-Blooming Cereus – ID

Two plants are called night-blooming cereus: One is a night blooming, fragrant epiphytic cactus, classified as Hylocereus due to the TRIANGULATE leaves, and upright growth to 15′. Selenicereus grandiflorus is commonly called night-blooming cereus or Queen-of-the-Night. The leaves look like...

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Christmas Cactus – Care

The striking red, pink or white flowers of the Christmas Cactus make it an obvious candidate for holiday houseplant blooms each winter. Imagine the consternation, though, when most of the flower buds fall off of a newly purchased plant! Most...

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