Gardener to Gardener: Growing houseplants this winter

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A gardening newsletter featuring Ask & Share and our friends at HGTV Gardens
gardener to gardener

  • December Ask & Share Highlights

  • Unusual but Foolproof — Houseplants
  • Peace Lily Care Tips: Give Peace a Chance
  • The Freshest Herbs
  • Tips & Tricks

  • During the dark and dreary days of winter, you’ll be glad of the life and color that houseplants add to your indoor landscape. And if you’re missing the bounty of the summer’s outdoor food garden, continue to reap a fresh harvest with some herbs on your windowsill. Get ideas for selecting and caring for easy-to–grow houseplants and tasty herbs in this month’s newsletter.

    Ask & Share Community Highlights

    Anonymous asked:
    My rosemary has survived the first snow of the year. Will it survive the winter in New Hampshire? What next?

    NGA answered:
    Unfortunately, your rosemary plant will not survive outdoors through the winter in New Hampshire. Most rosemary varieties are winter hardy outside only to about Zone 7. To keep your rosemary over the winter, give it the coolest, sunniest spot you have indoors. Make sure not to overwater; let the top inch or so of soil dry out before rewatering, but don’t let it dry out completely. MORE

    Anonymous asked:
    Help! My potted Meyer lemon tree was happy outside, not so much inside. Since bringing it indoors (about a month ago at first frost) the leaves are browning and curling slightly at the ends, and seemingly perfect leaves are falling. But it is producing buds and appears to have new growth.

    NGA answered:
    It’s not uncommon for a plant like your lemon tree to drop leaves when it’s moved abruptly from the high light intensity of outdoor sunlight to the less intense light environment indoors. Eventually your lemon tree will adjust and put out new leaves that are better adapted to lower indoor light levels. MORE

    Unusual but Foolproof — Houseplants
    foolproof houseplants
    I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me with a look of embarrassed apology and asked, “Can you recommend a foolproof houseplant for me? I seem to kill everything I try to grow indoors.” Well sure, I can! And to make it a little more interesting, here are a few of my favorites you may not have seen before; plants that are a little more unusual than the familiar peace lily, pothos, or African violet, but just as easy to grow.

    Read the full article

    From our friends at HGTV Gardens
    Peace Lily Care Tips: Give Peace a Chance

    peace lily care tips
    Peace lilies — which are not true lilies, but a member of the Araceae family of flowering plants — are renowned for their easy care. The peace lily is hardy and forgiving, and will even let you know when it is thirsty — look for the telltale droop. The shade-loving tropical plant is also known for its air-purifying abilities — it’s great at breaking down and neutralizing toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.

    Read the full article from HGTV Gardens

    The Freshest Herbs

    fresh herbs As with vegetables fresh from the garden, it’s hard to beat homegrown herbs for your culinary delight. However, for most of us winter cold puts an end to the outdoor harvest season. Fortunately, if you’ve got a sunny window it’s not hard to grow your own fresh herbs indoors in winter. You won’t be harvesting on the same scale as you might from an outdoor garden, but it’s still delightful to be able to pick a few sprigs of fresh herbs to liven up your dishes this winter.

    Read the full article

     NGA’s Tips & Tricks

    Dust Your Houseplants

    Just like your furniture, the leaves of indoor plants get dusty, which can interfere with photosynthesis and transpiration and provide insects a place to hide. Give smaller plants a rinse with the sprayer at the kitchen sink. Be sure to wash off both sides of the leaves. Larger plants can be set in the shower. The leaves of large-foliaged plants can be wiped off individually with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of a few drops of mild dish detergent in a quart of tepid water, then rinsed with clear water.

    Neglect with Respect

    Simply put, most houseplants don’t need as much water during the winter season as at other times of the year because they aren’t growing as actively. Check the moisture level in the soil by sticking your finger in down to the second knuckle; if the soil is still moist hold off on watering. When you do water, do it thoroughly enough that some water comes out the drainage holes. Then allow the water to drain completely. If the plant has a saucer, dump any excess water after an hour or so. Don’t leave your plant sitting in water.

    Raise Humidity Levels

    Heated indoor air in winter feels desert dry to many plants. An easy way to raise humidity around your plant is to fill a large, waterproof saucer or tray with gravel or pebbles; then add water to half the depth of the stone. Set the plant pot on the stones or pebbles, making sure the bottom of the pot is not sitting in water. As the water around the pebbles evaporates, it raises the humidity level around the plant.

    Join Ask & Share for more great information from the experts at NGA, our friends at HGTV Gardens, and real gardeners just like you!

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