Hi everyone, and welcome to the Friday edition of Ask the Experts! Welcome!

Friday is the day I gather my panel of experts and ask them a plant-related question. It’s also the day I feature a Plant Puzzler, which is a game in which I show you a photo and ask you to identify the problem. I’ll give an answer for last week’s Plant Stumper (no winners, shucks), and a new Name That Plant Problem, after our experts answer this week’s question!

Let’s start by meeting the panel!

That’s Tina, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you would like to read their bios, click here. Aren’t they cute with their sunflower heads? They’re all wonderful, learned people, but they aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about plants. That’s what makes this so fun!

I’m Liza, the moderator of this panel and the author of this blog. Thanks everyone for being here. Ok, let’s get right to the question.

Q. I have the winter blues. Is there a plant that can help?

Tina, let’s start with you!

A. I Like Orchids!!!! They can brighten any room and for sure bring a burst of joy to anyone!!!!

Who wouldn’t want a burst of joy? Orchids are indeed beautiful. If you want to buy one, remember to choose one with as many unopened blooms as possible – obviously, so you can watch them unfurl in your home.

Ok, let’s move on to EZ Ed Johnson. Here’s the question to you my friend!

Q. I have the winter blues. Is there a plant that can help?

What do you think EZ?

A. That’s a good question since after my Cowboys got whipped I’ve got a serious case of the winter blues.

Ouch! Yeah, the NFL will break your heart. Sorry about your Cowboys, EZ. Hey, speaking of sports, do you think you could use your contacts in the sports department to get racing great Tony Stewart to be a guest expert one day?

A. Tony Stewart? He’d suggest watering your plants with 10w-40. But maybe he’d like driving you on your plant runs around town. He’d enjoy the challenge of dealing with Albuquerque’s crazy drivers.

Is that a yes?

A. No.


Well, drat. Let me know if you change your mind, I could whip up a cheese plate in no time at all. I’m pretty sure Tony Stewart likes cheese.

Ok, Dottie, now the question goes to you!

Q. I have the winter blues. Is there a plant that can help?

A. Traditionally, everyone has the “January Blahs” following all the colorful, exciting holiday festivities.  In addition to this, I also have a great sorrow in my heart, as I grieve for a relative lost in Haiti: 19 year old Stephanie Crispinell — a Lynn University student who was with a University sponsored work group — there to help the Haitians have a better life thru aid-giving of themselves.

I have found music blended with colorful, scented flowers have a theraputic effect on the soul.  Thus I refer you to, “Bach flower Music” based on the work of Dr. Edward Bach, a British immunologist.  There are 3 main things you can do with Bach flower Music:

1.  Balance your emotions when you’re strssed or anxious.

2.  Tap into you inner knowledge to create what you want.

3.  Increase your prosperity.

Bach found that with balance, the body, mind and spirit heal themselves. So he identified 38 PLANT AND FLOWER remedies that produce balance.

The Bach Flower Music produces similar balance. But it can also help you “heal” your finances, realtionships and business problems, because the music can activate your right brain creative imagination — the part of you that finds fresh solutions and new ideas.

Dr. Bach’s remedies spark the inner needs of people. They give inspiration and hope when life looks down or impossible. They give courage in the face of fear. And remind you of your abilities when you forget them! Check it out!

Or you can: Make a garland of the left over mistletoe for your pretty pate, don your best hula skirt; “swing and sway” to Sammy Kaye and bellow, “I want some Red Roses for a Blue Lady” or better yet put a red rose in your teeth, don your best frantic fringe and dance the most feverish Fandango!!!

I’m sorry about Stephanie, Dottie. I hope they find her soon. You and the rest of her family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for reaching out to others in your time of grief, I appreciate you being here.

Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a good tonic to have on hand for your pets – if something traumatic happens, a few drops on the tongue will calm them so you can handle the situation. Works on humans, too.

Now the venerable Lewis Casey, the floor is yours!

Q. I have the winter blues. Is there a plant that can help?

A. Sing this song, breath deep the oil

Some people do not like the Winter,

cause of the biting cold and long dark nights

The winds that blow the snow into 10 foot drifts

Don’t forget the black ice that makes for

Dangerous roads and slippery walks

Some people do not like the Winter because of the Blues it gives us,

Depressed, miserable, of little cheer

The glories of the Sun hidden from us

With overcast skies and blowing snow

Cold that chills us to the bone,

Will we never be warm again?

Our heart yearns for the brightness of the morning sun

The warmth of the mid-day sun

The beauty of the sun at set

Some people do not like the Winter

When I am at my lowest, in the dark and cold

And my spirit is so blue it is almost black

I reach into my bag of rocks, magic tricks, potions and oils

Till I find one more of my treasures and draw it forth

A very small brown bottle that holds

Another of the wonders of the world

Carefully and cautious I remove the tiny cork

For the oil inside is precious, priceless and powerful

Ready to invigorate, inspire, refresh and hearten

The most despondent and wretch spirit

There is a most beautiful song that should be sung or heard

When times are blue

For it has the ability to enliven us, revive us,

Bring a smile to our hearts

Reminds us that the winter is

Not all cold and dreary

But a time for the Earth to rest, recharge

Make ready to send forth new life

This song sings of hope and beauty

My bottle is bequest with a little bit of that promise

Oil of the Rose

A gift of the gods bestowed on humble spirits

A fragrance blessed by ways of the Earth soul

The scent that greets us at Heavens door

I like the Winter


Lewis also included the lyrics to Bette Midler’s The Rose, but it seemed a little long to print here. But it’s a great song, so if you want to remind yourself of its awesomeness, click here.

Ok, that does it for our plant blog panel of experts. Thanks again to everyone for being here.

Plant Stumper

Last week, I asked you what was wrong with this plant.

In the tradition of Plant Stumper, this one had everyone stumped. Gray.com (Mom) was close when she guessed that there was a lack of water.

My clue was that this plant had been moved to make way for the Christmas tree, and now that it’s back in its rightful home, something was wrong.

Something was wrong – I pruned the long vines before rehanging the plant, and apparently I made some cuts but failed to pull all the vines out. So these vines with the curled leaves were dying but the rest of the plant was just fine.

They couldn’t survive because they were no longer connected to the soil. They’re also too far gone to survive if I were to put them in a vase of water, so I chucked them.

Name That Plant Problem!

What’s wrong with this Ficus tree?

Here’s a closer look:

This Ficus tree sits at a local television station. That has nothing to do with its problem, but it might explain why the photos aren’t great – I was trying to hurry so I didn’t have to explain to any of the salespeople why I was photographing a tree.

Think you know what’s wrong? Leave your best guess in the comments section. I’ll reveal the answer next Friday. Once again, there are no prizes for playing, only glory and my gratitude.

That does it for this week’s Friday edition of Ask the Experts. I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you Monday, until then happy indoor gardening!