11 December 2007

Your Houseplants Need You

YOUR HOUSEPLANTS IN THE WINTER
Check in with your houseplants now that dry, furnace air is all they get to breathe. Even though most houseplants need less fertilizer and water during winter months, the dry air inside homes and offices can make them need a winter tonic.
If the leaves are yellowing, try a little houseplant food in tepid water. (Houseplants want water that is within 10-degrees of air temperature so do not shock them with cold water from the faucet.) If the leaves are browning on the tips, they may be over-fertilized.

Plants with drooping leaves need to be put into a sink full of tepid water until the top of the soil is wet. Drain the pot and then put it back where it was.

How is the light level during the winter rain? Can you move the plants to a location where they can receive brighter light? Even near a reading light can help when it is dark out for a couple of days.

Softened water is great for your hair and laundry but the salt is very hard on plants so use something else for them.

SUCCULENTS TAKE TO THE AIR - SIRIUSLY
Debra Lee Baldwin, author of "Designing With Succulents", published by Timber Press, will be on Sirius Radio on Dec 12.
Check out her talks: 6:30 a.m. PST (9:30 a.m. EST): Martha Stewart's Morning Living (hosts - Betsy and Kim), broadcast from New York on Sirius Radio, http://www.sirius.com/marthastewartlivingradio

Click on the free trial offer if you don't subscribe. Topic: Designing a succulent wreath, traditional vs modern, plus the answer to this question-of-the-day: "What holiday decoration in your home is a little strange but you wouldn't be without? "
3:00 p.m. PST: The Gardening Show with Mary James, broadcast from San Diego, http://www.signonsandiego.com/signonradio/. Similar topic as with Martha, but with half an hour and a Southern California slant.

MAKING FUN OF GARDENING
The book, "Gardening: the art of killing weeds and bugs to grow flowers and crops for animals and birds to eat." defines Hydrangea as, "Strange behavior observed in gardeners during periods of heavy rainfall. Symptoms include obsessive tool care, irrational mail order purchases, the neurotic sorting of seed packets, and buying alcoholic beverages by the case."

I'm guilty of some of those during these rainy days. I'll let you guess which ones.

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