Taking Care of Poinsettias

I had a client call me one September day and asked if it was time to bring her poinsettia into the light. Oh yes and by the way, she mentioned the plant had been stored in the closet for the past nine months. Hmmm… On the positive side of things, I thought it was great…

When Salt Attack

As a gardener I am sure you have experienced first hand the accumulation of salts on when using clay pots.  Clay pots or a staple in the garden industry and to the home gardener.  They are inexpensive and easy to use.  In my family we have terracotta pots that have been passed down from our…

Poinsettias on Your Desktop

There is no plant more associated with Christmas than the poinsettia.  The good news is that the number of cultivars keeps expanding each year.  Colors and shapes are available to fit any situation or décor.  Big ones are great for church or bank lobbies…but small ones make a big difference in the enjoyment of the…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Sunset Bells

Sometimes I struggle grasping the diversity of the Gesneriaceae family.  With over 130 genera and an untold (well not untold but greatly disputed) number of species I am always amazed by this family of plants.  One thing that I do find fascinating is: there are no native Gesneriads to the United States and Canada and…

Streptocarpus

If you have ever grown an African violet you are may want to try your hand at growing Cape Primrose AKA Streptocarpus (strep-to-car’pus).  Streptocarpus are in the Gesneriaceae family which includes the florist gloxinia, lipstick plant, guppy plant, flame violet, African violet, and many more.  Recent genetic studies have determined that both the African violet…

Growing Food Indoors? Sure!

As we celebrate National Indoor Plant Week, my question turns to can we grow food indoors?  The answer is emphatically, yes! Perhaps the simplest option for indoor food production would be to grow some container plants that would work well.  Crops like lettuce, arugula, and some of the other leafy greens have lower light requirements…

Moving Houseplants Indoors

September is the best month for transitioning our houseplants from the outdoors to inside.  At this time of year, we don’t have the impending crunch of time when frost is imminent and our only choice is to hastily move plants indoors. By planning ahead, we have the time to pay attention to our houseplants by…

Plant Societies

This week we kick off National Indoor Plant Week.  As an avid houseplant enthusiast I belong to a few different national plant societies.  The two national societies I belong to are the African Violet Society of America and the Gesneriad Society.  Sadly, with today’s capabilities to connect to with people around the globe membership has…

Fall is For Planting

A term in the green industry – an oldie, but a goodie – is “Fall is For Planting”.  The term sort of begs the questions: Planting what? And why?  Good questions, because some things are more suited than others.  In short, the items for planting are: trees, shrubs, turf, perennials, some veggies and even transplanting…