Category: House Plants

How to care for poinsettia

The poinsettia, the most popular holiday plant, is best known as the plant with bright red flowers on a green background. But the showiest part of the poinsettia is the group of colorful specialized leaves called floral bracts that surround the small, yellowish-green structures that are the true flowers. Red is still the most popular color, but bracts may also be pink, salmon-colored, yellow, white or multicolor. The long-lasting nature of today’s poinsettias can only […]

Question and Answer

Q.¬†Saw your article the other day about bulbs blooming in winter. I’ve never seen January budding snowdrops. When do they normally bloom? My daffodil’s are up about 3 inches! Also, I would like info on flowers to plant in clay-like soil. I would like perennials that bloom quite a bit of the summer and in partial shade or full sun. I have planted many flowers and half don’t live or don’t come up the next […]


A terrarium is a delightful way to grow an indoor garden of small plants in an enclosed glass container. With proper care, a terrarium will create a humid atmosphere that protects tender, tropical plants that are difficult to grow in the normally dry atmosphere of our homes. The concept of a terrarium as we know it was discovered quite by accident by an English physician and botanist named Nathaniel Ward. He was trying to raise […]

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) This species of cyclamen is a popular plant with florists, and often is called the “Florist’s cyclamen.” The plant is a tuberous perennial with heart-shaped leaves, 1 to 5-1/2 inches long, deep green in color. The leaves often have a silver-marbled tint on top of the leaf and pale or purplish green on the bottom of the leaf. It produces sweet-scented pink, red, or white flowers, 1/2 to 3/4 inches or more […]


Summer Houseplant Care

As temperatures warm up in late spring, many home gardeners move houseplants to outdoor living areas such as porches, patios, and sunrooms. Most indoor plants can flourish outside if given proper attention. First, have the patience to wait until temperatures are dependably warm. Most houseplant species originated in the tropics and are sensitive to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Be prepared to bring the plants back indoors on cool nights. Gradually acclimate the plants by […]

Holiday Cactus

The plants we call Holiday Cactus may be either Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus. Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncatus) has oblong, bright green stem segments 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long with 4 to 8 prominent sawtoothed marginal projections that point forward. The flowers have a short tube-like form with spreading, pointed petals, similar to trumpets. The plant bears deep pink, red, orange, or white flowers, up to 3 inches long, from late autumn to winter. The […]

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) The Hippeastrum hybrids produce clusters of huge red, pink, salmon, white and bicolor trumpet-shaped flowers atop tall slender stalks. The leaves and flowers arise from a large bulb, often resulting in 8-12 flowers per bulb. Amaryllis can be used as a potted plant for holiday decorating. They also make lovely cut flowers for arrangements. When selecting bulbs make sure the bulb feels firm and full. If growth has started, check to see […]


Thirst Aid for Houseplants

It looks like cold weather is here to stay, so keep in mind that the typical household in winter is a hazardous place for houseplants. Although we grow them indoors, most houseplants are outdoor plants in their native climates. Tropical and subtropical species can be damaged by temperatures below 50 F, but being too warm in winter can also be a problem. The air in most homes becomes extremely dry as furnaces force warm air […]

April “In The Grow”

Q: I read your article about cat litter in the garden. Now I have a problem. We have had cat litter in the garden for years. Besides my throwing it out there, when my husband makes the garden in the spring, my cats are thrilled because they have a large, easy-digging, litter box. Now what can we do? Is there something we can do to neutralize all this? From now on, I can throw the […]


Outstanding new plants announced for 1997

(Released: 03 October 1996) By B. Rosie Lerner Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist Six new garden plants have been awarded the prestigious honor of being an All America Selection (AAS) for 1997. These new cultivars have been judged as superior in their class based on their performance in test gardens all over the country. Zinnia angustifolia ‘Crystal White’ is not your ordinary everyday zinnia! Crystal White has a daintier texture, with small, pure-white, daisy-like flowers that […]

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