Skip West from Cohlmias speaking in Muskogee today

Skip West, the plant buyer for Cohlmias in Tulsa, just returned from a plant buying trip in Ft. Lauderdale and he is bringing several new selections to his talk today at Muskogee Garden Club.

When his talk was scheduled last year, the topic he chose was, “Preparing the Garden for Spring”. West said that while we are all eager to be out there, the recent weather will slow down some spring activities.

“I’m a Tulsa Master Gardener so I can answer any questions gardeners have,” West said. “What you can do now is turn under the green manure cover crops you grew and clean up the beds.”

When doing early spring cleaning, keep an eye out for desirable volunteer seedlings, perennial plant crowns and new growth.

West said that if you brought perennials indoors in large pots, you can prune and water them now. If the plant’s pot is not full of roots, you can just re-use it without changing the soil. Annuals that you may have had around the sides of the pot will have to be replaced.

West and his wife, Melissa met at Cohlmias and have both worked there for over 25 years. Skip’s specialty is houseplants, tropical plants and plant-scaping.

“We do the plant-scaping for all the major hotels, hospitals and banks in Tulsa,” West said. “We also plant-scape events and weddings. Couples want mainly ferns and palms for their wedding whether it is indoors or outside.”

Attendees at the Garden Club meeting will have an opportunity to purchase some of West’s new finds. He said he is bringing new Hoyas such as Lipstick plants, new Dracaena varieties, Orchids, Philodendrons and Aglaonema or Chinese Evergreen. The 6-inch pots will sell for $10 to $20.

Care tips: Hoya needs bright indirect light and slightly dry soil. Dracaena needs bright light but not direct sun, and moist, not wet, soil. Philodendrons like medium light not direct sun and evenly moist soil. Aglaonemas prefer bright, indirect light and barely moist soil.

All of these and other tropical plants can be used outside in the summer in a shady part of the garden. They can be brought indoors for the winter or left outside to die. West said he plants tropicals in potting soil that contains moisture holding polymers plus fertilizer.

“When the public buys these houseplants and tropical plants, they have already been well fertilized and most of them need no more fertilizer for a couple of years,” said West.

Cohlmias is at 1502 S. Cincinnati Place in Tulsa, phone 918.582.5572


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