Houseplants

No Potting Soil Needed for Air Plants

February 19, 2017 lawanda Newspaper Columns

If you want an easy-to-care for houseplant without the mess of potting soil, one of the 650 species of air plants, called Tillandsia, are for you.          Air plants have slender, strappy leaves resembling pineapple tops, but of a finer nature.  Most have spectacular tubular or funnel-shaped flowers lasting from several days to several months.  […]

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Caring For Holiday Gift Plants

December 18, 2016 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Most plants given for holiday gifts – poinsettias, Christmas cactuses, kalanchoes, cypresses, and others – originate in tropical regions and cannot tolerate our cold winter temperatures, even for a few minutes.        Special care must be taken in transporting these tender plants outdoors.  Protect them with as many layers of paper, plastic, towels or blankets […]

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China Doll is the New Funeral Plant

November 2, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

In September, my dear great-aunt Rose passed away at age 100.  All the plants at her funeral were the same and my aunt Karen, who made the funeral arrangements, had ordered twenty so that each of the cousins could take one home.  Bets were made back and forth as to who could keep their plant […]

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Paperwhites and Amaryllis for Christmas Gifts

December 15, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Two Christmas gifts advertised annually allow gardeners and non-gardeners alike to grow something pretty in the midst of winter.  Paperwhites and amaryllis are easy to grow regardless of the greenness of your thumbs.         Paperwhites have delicate white, star-shaped flowers growing atop tall stems.  Long, flat, strappy leaves look like those of daffodils.  In fact, […]

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Miniature Christmas trees from the grocery store

December 16, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

This time of year just about every grocery, department and drug store features a beautiful display of live miniature Christmas trees as soon as you walk in the door. They are beautiful, healthy-looking trees and include Norfolk Island pines, various cypresses, holly and rosemary. After they’ve served their purpose as winter decoration, many people hope […]

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Aloe vera is an easy houseplant

February 5, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Of the almost 500 species of aloes in the world, the most well-known is aloe vera, also called Aloe barbadensis. You are probably familiar with aloe vera gel that is sold to soothe sunburn. Aloe vera juice is sold in health food stores, and while it tastes pretty awful, it has many health benefits. Both […]

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Protect indoor plants from cold

December 16, 2009 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      One frigid winter night I stepped out the door carrying a beautifully blooming kalanchoe houseplant loosely protected with plastic, a housewarming gift for my neighbor.  Ninety seconds later when I arrived at my new neighbor’s door, the kalanchoe was dead.       The lesson here is that most houseplants originate in tropical regions and cannot […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsHouseplants

Give your houseplants a summer vacation

May 13, 2009 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Giving your houseplants a summer vacation outdoors will revitalize them with better air circulation, increased light and more humidity.  Remember though, that the plants aren’t used to cool night time temperatures, hot sun and wind.  So go easy and gradual.       Wait until there is no chance of frost, and night time temperatures are […]

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Help new houseplants adjust to your home

December 19, 2007 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      In real estate sales the buzzwords are “location, location, location” and the same is true for healthy houseplants.  After over- and under-watering, improper amount of light is the next leading cause of failure of houseplants to thrive.        Many of our indoor plants are tropical plants shipped from nurseries in Florida.  They are accustomed […]

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Houseplants for clean air

October 25, 2005 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      Are any of these things in your house:  adhesives, carpeting, chlorinated tap water, cleaning products, computer, draperies, fabrics, facial tissues, grocery bags, nail polish, paint, paper towels, plywood, pre-printed paper forms, or upholstery?  If they are, your indoor air is polluted with things like formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, chloroform, ammonia, alcohols and acetone.  All […]

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