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Hi peanuts, and happy Wednesday!

In my small plant maintenance business, Good To Grow, clients pay me to care for plants in their offices or homes around Albuquerque. I visit each client once a week.

Sometimes, a plant disappears, and I’m left to wonder what happened to it (i.e., who took it).

Several weeks ago, an employee asked me to check on the Pothos (Scindapsus) plant in his office. I recognized the container right away:

He explained that it was one of “mine.” Meaning, when he moved to this new office, he took his plant along with him. Meaning, I hadn’t seen it in about two years.

This job has taught me that people have complicated relationships with plants. This guy wanted the green in his office, and although he kept the plant alive for the last couple of years, he didn’t do a very good job with its care (lack of proper pruning would be the biggest issue). So, I was proud of him for wanting to be surrounded by Nature, but a little pissed that he stole one of my plants.

A few more weeks went by, and he asked me into his office again. This time, the Pothos was collapsed and almost all the leaves on the vines were yellow. He said he thought I was taking care of it again. I thought, why would I? Once he took it out of its previous office, the plant belonged to him.

I guess he wanted it to belong to me again. So I pruned the yellow vines and told him I’d check on it again the next week.

So the next week, the plant looked like this:

Sorry that the quality of these pictures isn’t great. I was using my Sony cool pix because it fit in my pocket, and I was trying to be stealth about photographing, because people work there. I don’t want to embarrass anyone, or prompt questions like, “Why are you taking photos in our office?” (Fair enough question, but, well, I like being sneaky!)

Anyway, the employee had decided to hang the plant. Which was fine, it was in a hanging basket. But he hung it directly over his desk, so he had to get up and move each time I needed to water. That was a pain in the ass for both of us – I don’t want to interrupt!

I decided enough was enough. I had to take back ownership of the plant. I moved it to a better spot – away from his desk and in front of a window. Pothos plants can do fine without any sunlight, but they like having some – what plant wouldn’t?

Here’s what it looks like now:

Again, sorry about that photo.

The moral of this story is that whether you’re in an office or anywhere else, don’t take things that don’t belong to you. Period. If it’s not yours, leave it alone. We got a deal? Gooooooooood.

Hi petunias, and happy Tuesday. Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here!

Remember when I took you on a secret tour of Kitty’s farm? And when I snuck my camera into Tiffany’s apartment while she was out of town?

Heh, heh, well, a few weeks ago, I went to visit Mom at her house in Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. That’s just under an hour north of Albuquerque, not quite as far north as Santa Fe. She’s an EMT and when I arrived, she was out on an ambulance call.

So I had some fun while she was gone. You see, no one is safe when I have my camera!

I took photos of some of my favorite things around her house. Starting with where it’s located, near the water:

The town of Cochiti Lake is located at the base of the Jemez Mountains. It’s gorgeous country:

I had the whole house to myself, so I wandered around looking at her beautiful landscaping. So many things were blooming, like this butterfly bush:

And the potentilla:

She’s got some great ornamental grasses as well, although I don’t know the specific name of them (sorry, I’m really bad with grass names):

Her yard is so colorful. Here’s her cherry sage:

Which looks nice near the red trim of the house:

I’m not a huge fan of hollyhocks, but they sure are cheerful looking flowers:

The mint is growing like crazy:

As is the honeysuckle in the back yard:

I love the smell of honeysuckle! It lines the wall in back of the house, so it smells divine back there.

Inside, there are lots of beautiful things I love. Like this pothos with giant leaves:

She’s got quite the green thumb. She has a variety of succulents that are so adorable:

My favorite things aren’t limited to the plants. I love her new clock:

I love her crowded windowsills:

She has the most adorable butter dish:

There’s so much artwork that I love, but in particular, this painting by Scott Momaday paired with this exquisite lamp makes me happy:

I love everything about these curtains:

Also a favorite, the barn swallows that have nests in the front of the house and the back. Here are the babies:

Every time my camera clicked, they shot up and screamed for food. Which was hilarious for me, but not so much for the nervous parents who seemed plenty annoyed at me:

I’m sure they were happy when I finished teasing the babies.

Of course, my favorite thing about Mom’s house is Mom, so I was happy when she returned from the ambulance and we could have lunch.

On my way back to Albuquerque, a huge storm developed over the town of Cochiti Lake. I took this photo on the drive home:

That’s why her garden is so lush – they get lots of rain in the mountains.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things about Mom’s house. She’s got great taste and a green thumb, and hopefully a good sense of humor about being surprised in a blog post. I love you, Mom! Thanks for letting me show off your stuff! Haha, not that you had much choice!

I’ll be back manana, until then, happy gardening!

Hi enchiladas, and happy Tuesday!

My friend Tiffany went out of town for a couple of weeks and asked me to check her plants while she was gone.

I said sure, but I had my reservations. See, it’s not the first time someone asked me to help out while they were gone. Being responsible for other people’s stuff isn’t always easy. Or maybe I’m just not that good at it.

A few years ago, my friend Scott asked me to check on the dogs and chickens at his house while he was on vacation. Everything went great for the first few days. The chickens were adorable, the dogs were a blast.

Then early one morning, I walked in the house like I had before, and walked straight to the back door to let the dogs outside. They went bounding out, and I followed them, just like the previous few mornings. Except this morning was different.

On this particular morning, Stu, the littlest chicken, was loose. The Husky and I saw him at the same time. I was like “nooooooooo” and took off running for the chicken, screaming at the dog the whole time. Did you know Huskies are fast? Yeah, they are.

By the time I got to Stu, the Husky had chomped down on him and was holding him in his teeth. “Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!” I screamed and made the dog drop the chicken. Poor Stu! His feathers were all bent and he was completely freaked out. But the dog didn’t pierce the skin, so I thought, shew! That was close!

Thinking I’d just dodged a bullet, I put Stu back into the coop and went on with my day. I was feeling pretty good about things until the next day. When I found Stu dead in the coop with little beak stabbings all over him. Yup. This former farm girl didn’t know that the chickens would gang up on him because he was injured.

I tearfully and apologetically told Scott what happened, and he said something about “pecking order,” which of course made me feel worse because it was so obvious. Anyway, I didn’t watch the animals for him again after that.

I know a LOT more about chickens now. I’m just saying.

Tiffany didn’t have animals, just plants, so I felt better about not screwing that up, so I said yes, I’d check on her plants.

So I did, and the first one I saw looked like this:

Noooooooooooo! Then I saw her Hibiscus, which looked like this:

Noooooooooooo!

Wait, what? This was my first visit to her apartment, and already I let the plants down?

I quickly checked the others for signs of stress. Here’s her Pothos:

In case you’re keeping score at home, yellow leaves are bad.

The Philodendron and the Arrowhead plants fared a little better, but they were thirsty.

So what happened? How did her houseplants go from looking gorgeous like this one:

To the damaged plants I found? I wouldn’t know for sure until I asked her, but I figured a little detective work would help figure out what happened.

I started with the Bougainvillea. Here’s a better look:

The yellow leaves that are mixed with green tell me the plant was overwatered. But the droopy green leaves and the yellow leaves on the floor tell me the plant is thirsty.

How does that happen? Easily, actually. I have my plants on a weekly watering schedule, but Tiffany doesn’t. She gives them a little water every few days. When she was preparing to go out of town for two weeks, she gave them really big drinks of water, hence the signs of overwatering. When I showed a week after she left, they were already thirsty again, hence the signs of underwatering.¹

They also may have been stressed from missing her and being lonely in the apartment without her. She’s a student and they’re used to having her home studying all the time.

By the way, she has a great view:

My dilemma was to figure out how to give them a decent amount of water, but not too much. They needed to have enough water to last them until I came again the following week.

I did the best I could, and it was with great trepidation that I stepped through that apartment door the following week. Here’s what the Bougainvillea looked like:

Oh shew! It looks so much happier. Then I looked to the Hibiscus:

It still didn’t look great, but it looked sooooooo much better than it had the week before, thankfully.

This visit, I didn’t have the same anxiety about how much to water, because she was going to be home in four days – they just needed enough to last until she got home and resumed care.

And I was so glad I didn’t have to have a “I killed your chicken” conversation with her about the plants.

The next time she goes out of town, she can trust me. Unless she starts raising chickens between now and then. That would be weird, because she lives in a 7th floor apartment, but if she did anyway, I would gently direct her to get help elsewhere.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here!

—————————

¹ The Bougainvillea is also leggy because it wants more light. But I knew the leaves weren’t discolored because of light – the light in her apartment didn’t change, the amount of water she gave them did.

Hi Zinnias, and happy Thursday!

A few days ago, one of my clients, Paul, told me he wanted to get a houseplant for his house, but he wasn’t sure what kind to get. He said that he’d recently watched a movie, Desk Set, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (1957). (He didn’t remember the title of it, but I found it later on IMDB.com.) He had noticed that Hepburn had a plant in her office that had vined around the whole room. He said he wanted one of those.

My first thought was that it must’ve been a Philodendron. I haven’t seen that movie but they’re pretty and they’re viney – what else would it have been? A little informal searching on the Web later confirmed my suspicions. It was a Philodendron. The movie sounds charming, by the way.

We talked a little more, and he said that he wanted a plant that he could enjoy watching grow, but with as little as care as possible. I wouldn’t really put Philodendron in that category. I mean, they’re pretty easy to grow, but not as easy as say, a Cactus that you only have to water once a month.

Since our conversation, I thought about plants he might like. A Cactus might be ok, but they are slow growing (boring), and I think that’s why a lot of people can’t get into them. I’d rather turn him on to something more rewarding – a fast-growing, easy-care houseplant that also looks interesting.

So I compiled this list of the most rewarding houseplants. Paul, any of these would be great for you.

Oh, and please remember – if you haven’t handled houseplants before, wear gloves and wash your hands often. You may be allergic to the leaves or the sap inside – be careful. Some plants can be quite toxic, especially if you touch your face after touching the plant.

Top 5 Most Rewarding Houseplants for Novices

Just to be clear, this isn’t a list of the easiest houseplants out there. For novices, I want easy-to-care for plants, but I also want ones that will dazzle with their quick growth and interesting appearance. We live in an instant gratification society – you can’t use a barrel shaped cactus as bait if you want people to connect with Nature.

Over at Plants Are the Strangest People, mr_subjunctive compiled a list of houseplants in terms of difficulty. I love his list – it totally cracks me up – but my list isn’t just about the care level, so keep that in mind.

Ok, without further ado, the top five:

1. Succulents

Succulents are plants with fleshy leaves or stems that can store water. Cacti are a type of succulent, but for novices, I recommend the soft, juicy plants like the various Sedums, Aloes, Jades, Crassulas, Hens and Chicks, etc.

Because they store their own water, they’re extremely forgiving to a newbie who might forget to water them. Plus, they come in zillions of different shapes and sizes, so a novice will hopefully get hooked. Lastly, they grow super fast.

They are also great for kids – you can develop a lifetime love of Nature by teaching kids about succulents.

2. Scindapsis aureus (Pothos)

Pothos are similar to Philodendrons in that they vine out quickly, but Pothos have bigger, sturdier leaves. They’re pretty plants that hopefully will capture the attention of any novice.

They are not care-free plants, but they are very forgiving. If they are in smallish pots, say 8′ (diameter) or smaller, I would tell a novice to soak it in the kitchen sink every two weeks. For bigger containers, water thoroughly once a week from Spring through Fall, then sparingly in the winter. A Pothos will let you know when it’s thirsty – its leaves will become droopy.

The dark-leafed varieties require very little sunlight and even the more variegated ones will adapt to low-light situations.

Pothos is very similar to Katharine Hepburn’s plant in the movie – you can train it to go around the room, if you like that sort of thing.

3. Cissus rotundifolia (Arabian Wax Ivy, Peruvian Grape Ivy)

Boy was my face red a little while ago! I was determined to include this plant on this list, but I had no idea what the name of it was. I’ve always called it a Hoya, which was incorrect. Special thanks to mr_s. for coming through for me when the nursery employees could not.

It would’ve been sooooooo embarrassing not to have its name!

Even without knowing its name, I am familiar with this plant, and it grows like crazy. It’s sure to enthrall novices with its sheer force of growing. Forget to water it? No problem, it’ll still grow. Hot apartment? It’ll thrive. Low light? It doesn’t seem to care. It would prefer regular waterings, a cool environment and some sunshine, but it doesn’t need them.

Seriously, this is one of the most enthusiastic plants I’ve ever seen. It’s like it has goals or something.

The only downside, and it’s a fairly big one, is that its sap is toxic. I wouldn’t let toxicity stop me from recommending the plant, though, because if I’m giving advice to novices, I’m also cautioning them about the dangers of plants.

4. Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant, Airplane Plant)

It’s pretty. It grows at lightning speed. It produces adorable little offshoots. And it’s pretty mellow in terms of care. Why wouldn’t it make the list?

It would prefer to have good thorough waterings every two weeks or so, and a sunny window nearby. In my experience, though, it’s not picky.

Spider plants have been charming people for decades. I don’t care what anyone says about them being “bad Moms,” I think they’re awesome.

5. Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

Ok, with a name like that, is this plant really deserving of the fifth position?

Well, it’s true, it has gnarly thorns. Here’s my thinking: Just because they’re novices doesn’t mean they need coddling. The Crown of Thorns plants are great teachers of how Nature can be fierce (the thorns) and gentle (the adorable little bracts) at once. It’s like the sweetest most vicious plant I know. Plus, it grows really fast and requires hardly any water.

It too has toxic sap. But even with the sap and the thorns, I would still recommend this plant for novices and even kids, with the proper cautions.

Honorable Mentions:

1. Euphorbia tirucalli

All the fun of a Euphorbia with none of the thorns!

2. Tradescantia Zebrina pendula (Wandering Jew)

Purple stripes. Maybe I should rethink this plant’s position.

3. Philodendron scandens (Sweetheart Plant)


I picked Pothos over Philodendron because they’re a little less girly. That’s all. It’s a perfectly good plant for novices.

4. Weeds

If you just want to see things grow fast, and you think that’ll hook you on Nature, check out your back yard.

4. Cacti

Most of the plants on the list were chosen with the assumption that the novice would actually like to become more knowledgeable about plants, and get better and better at taking care of them. The joy of discovering Nature and all.

But if you’re not that novice and you’re more like the kind of person who wants a plant in the house but doesn’t want to be bothered by remembering to water very often, a Cactus is your plant. Now, I’m not sure why you would want a plant if you’re not going to learn more about them, but I’m sure that describes many people and I’m trying to be inclusive here.

For Those of You Wondering…

Ivy plants didn’t make the list because they’re so susceptible to bugs. A Mimosa plant, which folds its leaves when you touch them, would be a masterful teacher, especially to children. But I haven’t seen one in years, so I can’t in good conscience recommend them. I do love them, though.

Some plants aren’t on the list because they’re ugly. But the majority of plants were eliminated because of the difficulty of care levels. For example, I think Dracaenas (Dragon Trees, Corn Plants, Janet Craigs) are tricky. A little too much water and they freak out. Not good for a novice. Also, plants like Palms depend too much on where the novice lives – they don’t do well here in the desert because unlike me, they like humidity.

So, those were some of the guidelines I used when choosing these plants.

There you have it, novices. Now, go out there and get yourself a plant! From a local nursery!

I’ll be back manana with a brand new Ask the Experts edition and an answer to last week’s plant puzzler. Hope to see you here.

Hello artichokes, and happy Friday! Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Is it really Friday again? [Checks calendar, nods.] Well then, I guess that’s time for our Ask the Experts panel. Let’s say hi to the experts, shall we?

Hi experts!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Aw, you guys are adorable! From the left, that’s Tina Quintana, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. They’re all wonderful human beings (you can learn more about them by clicking here). Not necessarily experts on plants, but we don’t mind, right? That’s what makes it so interesting around here on Fridays – I never know what they might say.

If you joined us last week, you may remember that the question was, “What’s the best vegetable you’ve eaten/seen/grown/heard tale of in the last week?” Somehow, that led to us talking about giant mutant vegetable weaponry from space. Haha, see, I told you, it’s unpredictable around here on Fridays.

To prove that Fridays are more for silly than smart, here’s this week’s question:

Q. During last week’s panel, there was a lot of talk about mutant vegetables that might attack. Continuing that thread, which fruit or vegetable do you think would be most likely to attack, and why?

Seriously, after a thread like that, how could I resist? It’s just too funny.

Tina, as always, you’re up first. What do you think?

A. “Hi this is Tina, I’m not available, please leave me a message, and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.”

Oooh, burn, Tina’s not here this week. We look forward to your return girl!

Moving on, Thack, here’s the question to you:

Q. During last week’s panel, there was a lot of talk about mutant vegetables that might attack. Continuing that thread, which fruit or vegetable do you think would be most likely to attack, and why?

A. Since I worked through my fear of interstellar, mutant vegetables last week, this question holds a lot less terror for me than it would have 2 weeks ago. I’ve had the opportunity to face my fear, own it, and in some small way, push it out of my mind. So I should be able to tackle this question dispassionately.

Given the recent spate of workplace shootings in the news, I’m going to go with the kumquat. Now, you’re probably saying to yourself that I’ve gone ’round the bend, and that the last sentence was a complete non sequitur. I’ll grant that it appears that way at first blush, but bear with me for a minute.

You have to think the kumquat has been mocked and ridiculed its entire life because of its name. I mean, we all know how cruel kids can be, can you imagine growing up with a ready-made, sexual connotation built right into your name? I mean, you might as well be called Jizz McStrokington with the word ‘cum’ in your moniker. I can only imagine the anger and frustration of dealing with the constant snickering heard in response to introducing himself to people would, at some point, send poor kumquat into the abyss. We’re likely dealing with a bitterly angry, deeply misanthropic bundle of loathing that’s ready to snap at any moment. All it would take to incite a furious attack from the kumquat is one, tiny, mis-timed smirk or giggle at an introduction, and then BOOM! A scene of unimaginable chaos, with dead bodies everywhere. The horror…

Hahahaha! Jizz McStrokington? You have me crying over here, Thack. That is literally, crying and shaking with fear. If the kumquat’s going to open a can of whoopass on us for sexual innuendos, imagine all the other fruits and vegetables who have reason to be angry! Like bananas, for example. And cucumbers. I mean, just the number of lesbian jokes alone might be enough to set either of these two off on a path of destruction. I can totally picture bananas, upon hearing “Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” for the umpteenth time, finally going, well, bananas on us humans.

So thanks, Thack, for instilling a brand new type of fear in me. I will think twice before I giggle when I hear someone talking about their cherry tree. [Shudders.]

Haha, no, no, seriously, Thack, that was great. Another win for the Thackster, thanks again for being here.

Up next is Expert EZ Ed Johnson. EZ, here’s the question to you:

Q. During last week’s panel, there was a lot of talk about mutant vegetables that might attack. Continuing that thread, which fruit or vegetable do you think would be most likely to attack, and why?

A. Broccoli, because that seems to be the vegetable comedians (and former presidents) like to make fun of.

Poor broccoli. That vegetable can’t get a break. Kids hate it, it’s funny-looking. And the people who do love the taste and healthiness of the vegetable are always chopping its heads off – ouch!

So yeah, EZ, I’m inclined to agree. Broccoli could very well go ballistic. And he might team up with Hollandaise or butter to wreak even more havoc. If that were the case, I would hope that I would appreciate the deliciousness of my death. But probably not.

Another great answer from EZ. Thanks again for being here, as always.

Up next is everyone’s favorite, Expert Dottie. Dottie, here’s the question to you:

Q. During last week’s panel, there was a lot of talk about mutant vegetables that might attack. Continuing that thread, which fruit or vegetable do you think would be most likely to attack, and why?

A. “You’ve reached Dottie. I’m unavailable. Please leave a message after the beep.”

Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Again? I’m crushed. Haha, just kidding. Yes, it’s sad that Dottie isn’t back yet, but I know she’s out there, making the world a better place. Her sunflower head will remain in place until she’s ready to return. We miss you, Dottie!

We know from last week that Lewis is in Texas this week, but I’m still going to make you go through the rigamorale.

Lewis, the question to you:

Q. During last week’s panel, there was a lot of talk about mutant vegetables that might attack. Continuing that thread, which fruit or vegetable do you think would be most likely to attack, and why?

A. “Argh, Texas!”

Haha, Ginny, that one’s for you! Lewis has made a few jabs at Texas lately, prompting Ginny to comment:

“Okay, I have to take a stand on behalf of Texas. I let last week’s remark pass, but two in a row is a little hard for this Texan to take. Oh, wait. I forgot that it was Lewis who made both swipes. And he’s been kind enough to offer me one of his pomegranate plants. So, uh, well . . . . I guess I’ll wait until I have the pom safely potted up, and then I’ll be back with some withering remark about people who criticize Texas.”

Now you know how broccoli feels, Ginny. It’s not nice, is it?

Before we round out the experts panel, I also want to post James‘ comment, because he cracked me up last week:

But but but tomatoes are Nightshades too, as are potatoes, tobacco, and eggplants. And of course deadly nightshade. It’s quite the delightful family of plants.

I used to take solace in living in a town so small it wasn’t worth destroying with giant space pumpkins. Now that I can’t do that anymore, I just hope to die by giant space sweetcorn instead.”

I can see Berkley being on giant space sweetcorns’ target list. Maybe you should start studying other, less aggressive vegetables just in case.

Alright, alright, that does it for this week’s Ask the Experts panel. I think even though the panel itself was decimated, it turned out ok, don’t you think? Well, I had fun, and technically, my good time is the only one that matters. Kidding, thanks everyone for being here. The experts will be back in exactly one week.

Let’s get right to last week’s plant puzzler.

Name That Plant Problem!

Last week, I asked what was wrong with this Philodendron:

Let’s see some of the guesses:

Gray.com guessed, “You’ve already asked this question before, I think. Leaves turn yellow several days after you’ve finally gotten around to watering the dried out, droopy plant. You think you’ve just saved the plant (and you have) but a few days later, some leaves always turn yellow. Luckily, no problem — they were probably a weak link anyway. Your brother-in-law’s demented sister kind of thing.”

Well, not exactly the same question. But you’re right – it’s similar. I have no idea what you meant by that last sentence, and I don’t think I want to know.

Ivynettle answered, “From the way the leaves fade from green to yellow, I’d say overwatering.”

Observant, solid answer from Ivynettle, good job.

mr_subjunctive answered, “As for the Philodendron,

RICHARD DAWSON: One hundred people surveyed, top five answers on the board. Name something that’s wrong with this Philodendron.

MR_SUBJ.: I’m going to say long-term underwatering, Richard.

MR_SUBJ.’s FAMILY: Good answer! Good answer!

RICHARD DAWSON: Show me “long-term underwatering!”

. . . to be continued . . .”

Survey says, “mr_s is hilarious!”

Martha guessed, “As for this week’s puzzle, I must cast a vote for underwatering. Sometimes we just get there too late with the watering can.”

Spoken like a true plant fan, Martha.

Christine in Alaska guessed, “I guess overwatering for the Philodendron. I am a notorious houseplant neglecter and killer, so maybe I should be an expert on all the ways to kill one? Dubious honor, I realize;) I am currently offing three Mother-in-laws-tongue plants summering on my back deck. Too much rain.”

Ohmigosh, thanks for reminding me Christine. When I read that, I realized that I also had some snake plants in the back yard, waiting for me to repot them. Because you mentioned your own, I realized my mistake and got those little fellas into a new container and out of the back yard, safely tucked away from monsoonish season. Thank you for the reminder!

So what’s the answer and who’s right? Well, gray.com was correct when she mentioned underwatering – the plant had gotten thirsty, and it takes a few days for the leaves to complain about it. But Ivynettle was also correct when she said overwatering, because I felt so bad about underwatering it that I made the classic mistake of then giving it too much water to compensate (dumb, dumb, dumb). She could tell by the bits of green mixed with the yellow leaves, which is a sign of overwatering. Excellent work, Ivynettle.

I would love to say that mr_s was correct, but I don’t know that I can say that. What makes you think long-term underwatering? I don’t think of this as a neglected plant. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but these yellow leaves are the result of what happened over a three week period. Is that long-term? Because it doesn’t seem like it to me. How about I give you honorable mention because you cracked everyone up, sound fair? Hope so.

Martha and Christine mirror the answers from gray.com and Ivynettle, so they are winners, too. I like how everyone great reasons for their answers – you’re all so smart and observant!

Of course, there are no prizes or anything fancy like that. Just bragging rights and my gratitude for playing. Thanks everyone! Brag away!

Now for this week’s puzzler:

Name That Plant Problem!

Haha, I’m feeling good about my chances for stumping you this week! Can you name this plant problem? It’s tricky:

I thought about giving you a clue, but nope. You readers are already so smart, I’m confident you can see everything you need to know by this one photo. This is a Pothos plant, by the way.

You have until next Thursday night (August 12th at midnight MST, which is 2a.m. EST) to submit your answer. Depending on your answers, I may offer up a clue or at least a closer view sometime mid-week.

I’ll reveal the answer and the winner in Friday’s edition of the Good To Grow site. I hope to see you back here.

That does it for our Friday silliness. Thanks as always for joining us!

Hello peaches, and happy Friday! Hope your week has gone well!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

You’re just in time for our Friday silliness.

On Fridays, we break out the high-end graphics and help you waste a little time at work. Let’s meet the experts, shall we?

Hi experts!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You guys are pretty dang cute! That’s Tina, Thack, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Last week we talked about how July is the month of vacation. It’s the month when families hit the forests and the beaches, we visit national parks and swim in lakes. So this week’s question follows that same theme. Here it is:

Q. Lots of families take their summer vacations in July. Please tell us about a vacation of yours that involved some “nature” destination (camping, ocean, Redwoods, lakes), and if you have photos of plants or trees that you took, please share those with us.

Expert Tina, you’re up first. What vacation destination do you heart?

A. I have many memories of going fishing and camping up north in Pilar. That is almost to Taos off the high road. I spent alot of time with family and nature. I even put my tent under a river! I did not know it was a river until the rain brought the water rushing right under me. My air mattress was floating. This was a great time.

That’s hilarious, Tina. But what a crappy way to wake up – you’re all asleep and at one with Nature, and then bam, the empty arroyo is now a raging river. No time for coffee, not even a granola bar. Talk about a lesson learned though – I’ll bet you’re a big fan of the high ground now, eh?

I’ve been to Pilar a few times. It’s such beautiful country up there in the mountains of Taos County.

Ok, great job, Tina. Thanks for being here.

Up next is Expert Tim Thackaberry. Thack, here’s the same question to you:

Q. Lots of families take their summer vacations in July. Please tell us about a vacation of yours that involved some “nature” destination (camping, ocean, Redwoods, lakes), and if you have photos of plants or trees that you took, please share those with us.

A. “You’ve reached the voicemail for Tim Thackaberry. I’m not available to take your call right now. Please leave a message after the beep.”

Oooh burn. Tim’s not here this week. Gee, I wonder if he’s on vacaaaaaaaaation? If so, I would say that’s taking the theme a little too literally. To which I would say, that’s awesome!

We look forward to your return, Thack!

Expert EZ Ed Johnson, here’s the question to you:

Q. Lots of families take their summer vacations in July. Please tell us about a vacation of yours that involved some “nature” destination (camping, ocean, Redwoods, lakes), and if you have photos of plants or trees that you took, please share those with us.

A. We couldn’t afford summer vacations when I was a kid, but it hardly mattered. I had miles and miles of backyard in the Jemez and spent every single day wandering.

Oh, nice! And really, that strikes me as fair. When you live in paradise, you don’t really deserve a vacation. Haha, just teasing. It’s a good thing you had a vivid imagination to take you places that you couldn’t physically visit.

I remember when we were young, growing up on the farm in Indiana – there was a whole slew of us kids, so Mom and Dad weren’t really able to take us on vacations, either – vacations meant laying outside on reclining lawn chairs, piled under blankets, falling asleep as we counted shooting stars. I think they were brilliant to convince us that was a way better time than going to say, King’s Island, which is where we all really wanted to go. Really, I’m not bitter.

Ok, great job, EZ. Thanks again for being here.

Up next is the sweet and lovely Dottie Correll. Dottie, here’s the question to you:

Q. Lots of families take their summer vacations in July. Please tell us about a vacation of yours that involved some “nature” destination (camping, ocean, Redwoods, lakes), and if you have photos of plants or trees that you took, please share those with us.

A. “Hi, this is Dottie, I’m not available, please leave a message.”

Ooh, again. Too bad, so sad. Dottie’s probably not going to be back for a few more weeks, sorry folks. I know, I’m crushed, too. I’m not touching her sunflower head.

Dottie, as always, we miss you when you’re gone, but we’ll welcome you with open arms when you return.

Ok, up next is the venerable Lewis Casey. Lewis, here’s the question to you:

Q. Lots of families take their summer vacations in July. Please tell us about a vacation of yours that involved some “nature” destination (camping, ocean, Redwoods, lakes), and if you have photos of plants or trees that you took, please share those with us.

What say you, fine sir?

A. In the summer of my youth I was called by my great Uncle Sam to partake in an adventure of epic proportions that sent me and many others into harms way to a land populated by different peoples, animals and plants. Before my eyes were many exotic plants and animals, creatures that I had never seen before. There were many nice folks even if many of them spoke a different language and a lot of hostile individual that cared not if I lived or died. The temperatures were hot and the humidity was horrible making for a most unpleasant environment. In this strange, terrible and beautiful place which sometimes was ok but mostly sucked, were places we were instructed not go because of the dangers that were present. Alas no words of warning did we heed but with reckless abandon we went forth   Awaiting us were robbers and thieves and women working the world’s oldest trade – cooks. Every where lurked an evil doer just waiting to abscond with a fool’s money. A person learns how to survive, how to keep themselves alive when faced with a life and death situation, but there are always good and beautiful thing about, if we look beyond our own paranoia. Near the rivers we crossed and the green covered hills we tramped over were many different and beautiful plants and flowers which for a moment you could appreciate. Simple pleasure come when we learn that life is our most precious gift and how fragile it truly is. As we have so lately and sadly learned again.

After my time in this strange, terrible and beautiful land, I was sent to other strange, terrible and beautiful lands to see island jungles on Guam and Southeast Asian rice paddies, villages and towering jungles with dense undergrowth so thick you had to struggle to walk 10 ft. But yet it could be so calm, shaded and serene you could almost forget the madness that reign beyond.  I saw much beauty and met many good people while I was on my adventure to foreign lands courtesy of Uncle Sam. But some things in our past haunt us; to this day I still curse, shudder and swear I’ll never go back to that strange, terrible and beautiful land called Texas.

Blessings to those in harms way today

Madam Blog Master please be aware that the pomegranates are not ripe and ready yet, when the first one falls off the tree and the ants do not get it, I will present it to you. Also if we can get the phone or address of the person who wanted a pomegranate we can get it to them. Offer still stands.

Hahaha! I’m sorry, it’s so bad, but I love, love, love it when people make fun of Texas. It’s really unfair, because when people make fun of Indiana, I get all hurt. But I figure if you’re from Texas, you sorta ask for it because the whole state gets up in your grill and is like, “I’m Texas, bitch, watch out! We’re so much better than all of you that we may just become our own nation.” Indiana rarely gets in people’s grills, and is usually more like “Pardon me,” “Excuse me,” “May I make you a sandwich or maybe some soup?” or “No, really, there’s more than corn, I can show you a covered bridge and some wheat.”

Wait, did you hear that? That was the sound of any readers I had in Texas slamming the door on my readership. We tease on the Good To Grow site, we tease.

On to Pomegranate talk, that’s right, they don’t ripen until Fall, right? Sweet Ginny was the one who asked for a tree, so I’ll get you two in touch with each other.

Thank you to the wise Mr. Casey for his talented response, and thanks to all the experts for being here. Or not being here. We’re thankful either way.

That does it for this week’s Ask the Experts. The experts will be back in exactly one week. Let’s get to last week’s plant puzzler.

Name that Plant Problem!

Last week, I asked what was wrong with this plant, a Dracaena marginata, or Dragon Tree:

Granted, it’s not easy to tell from the picture. But basically, the stem is so wet and stringy and hollowed out that the whole thing bends like a noodle. That’s not a desirable quality. It means something is terribly, terribly wrong. See how the outside is separating from the inside? That’s just not good!

So what’s wrong with it, and did anyone guess correctly?

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People guessed, “Looks like Fusarium rot, the poor thing.”

Oh, mr_s., you are so cute with your great big brain. I’m not sure how to tell the difference between Fusarium rot and regular rot – is there a regular rot that’s caused by overwatering but not a fungus, or does every overwatered houseplant automatically invite fungi?

Here’s what happened. I noticed about two weeks ago that this Dragon Tree stem – only one, not the rest – appeared to be rotting from the top down. Which is weird, but it’s a Dracaena, whatever, they’re weird. The very bottom, closest to the soil, had new growth, but everything else was a mess. Basically, I panicked and cut the stem off at the bottom, just above the new growth, and threw the rotten mess away. The next day, I went back with a new pot and new soil, and repotted the whole tree. It seems to be recovering just fine.

I gave it too much water. July in Albuquerque is sweltering, and I made the mistake of thinking this plant must be thirsty. Because I was. Stupid. He wasn’t thirsty – he’s in an office, and July is the time of year that plants begin to shut down. They’re used to the air-conditioning now, and really, they don’t drink much of anything from now until next Spring. I momentarily spaced that and caused this little fella a limb! Oops, my bad, little guy! Your friends are doing well!

So mr_s, you are a winner, in more ways than one. Martha and Ginny, I want to give you extra credit or something because a year ago, because someone did break off a chunk of stem so they could start a new one at home (I think – I didn’t witness the crime, only the aftermath), but that’s not what happened this particular time.

As always, there are no prizes for winning. Only glory and my gratitude for playing. Thanks everyone!

Now this week’s plant puzzler:

Name That Plant Problem!

What’s wrong with this plant?

Haha, I smell a story! Think you know the answer, smarty plants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. Again, no prizes or anything fancy like that. Just bragging rights and my gratitude for playing.

That does it for this week’s Friday edition of the Good To Grow site. Thanks for tuning in! Until we meet again, happy gardening!

Oh dear. Hi, potato slices, and happy Wednesday. Happyish anyway.

See, this post is not my proudest moment. I’m going to show you what happens when good plants (Scindapsus, Pothos) create goals, apparently anyway, then have a negligent caretaker (um, me). Ready? Be forewarned, it’s not pretty.

So. Embarrassing.

How do I even begin to explain this without making myself look like a total idiot? Hmm. Yeah, that’s not possible.

This plant is located at one of the local tv stations, KOB, here in Albuquerque. One of the employees wanted to dress up the bland hallway and asked me to put a plant there. That was awhile ago. I thought it would be fun to use a Pothos so that the tendrils would drift down, then climb around the ledge below, which happens to be just above the newsroom.

Things were going along swimmingly – the plant seemed to understand its mission. Over time, though, I lost some leaves (yellow leaves that turn brown and crunchy are a dead giveaway for thirsty) and the vines began to get a little scraggly. I wanted to clean up the crunchy leaves, but how? Any attempt to move the plant was going to result in a huge mess, tons of dead leaves falling right on Jeremy Jojola’s desk! Horrors!

Who’s Jeremy Jojola, you out-of-towners ask? Only a hotshot investigative reporter – he goes chasing after bad guys, roots out corruption. Sadly for him, he had no way to investigate the vicious plant attack he would soon endure.

Time went on, and I watched the plant grow and grow. The Pothos had an unparalleled enthusiasm for growing around the ledge.

I took this pic a few months ago. I should’ve done something when I first started noticing its tendency to climb toward the reporters.

But I didn’t.

Uh-oh, those vines were definitely heading toward the reporters.

You can tell this isn’t going to end well, right? Yes, it’s true. I had procrastinated on it long enough¹ until finally, last week, it attacked.

That’s the plant as it attacked Jeremy. Well, after the attack. This was taken on the morning I finally dealt with my mess. I’d already cut many of the vines off at this point, but you get the gist – it just all fell down on him one day. Oops, my bad, Jeremy! Sorry!

So I screwed up. It happens. Now I needed to fix it. I knew the first step would be to pull all those vines up, but then how do I deal with all the brown crunchy leaves?

Sweet Lilia, one of the employees, had a great suggestion. A broom. Of course! How else would I reach those leaves? I can’t climb down on the ledge.

I had gotten there before Jeremy showed up for work, because I knew it would be messy.

And messy it was. But the plan worked beautifully. Now, the view from Jeremy’s desk looked like this:

Not at all scary anymore. But where did all the vines go?

I made a huge pile, then began cutting from the base of the plant. The vines were very twisted and intertwined, so I cut them all rather than attempt to unravel them (I didn’t have all day for this project).

As I was cutting, one of the employees in the newsroom below shouted up to me, “I like that plant, you’re not taking it away, are you?” I said no, just cleaning it up. I left a couple of the longer vines dangling so she’d see that I wasn’t taking away her fun. The plant looks healthier in real life than in this picture. Also, I had no idea the container was that dirty because the leaves have been covering it forever. I’ll be replacing it. (It’s almost impossible to clean scuff marks from cheap plastic containers.)

If you look closely, you can see a huge pile of cuttings behind the plant. I took those cuttings down to the lobby so I could cut them into smaller pieces while being entertained by Lilia.

Some of the Pothos had huge leaves and thick stems. I love those, so I wanted to save them and root them to create new plants. I gave a lot of the cuttings away to employees, and threw the rest away.

Jeremy wasn’t harmed in the plant attack, and life has returned to normal at the television station. I already knew better than to procrastinate, but now I really, really know not to do that again. Lesson learned!

So that does it for this edition of The Plant Lady Chronicles. Thanks for sharing my embarrassing moments with me! I’ll be back tomorrow. Until then, happy gardening!

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Have you ever heard of a “pocket park”? I hadn’t either. I recently learned that, here in Albuquerque anyway, a pocket park is a little slice of unused urban land that has been converted into a mini-park. There’s a ribbon-cutting for a new one downtown manana, so I’m going to take my camera along so I can show you how cute it is. I hope you check back!

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¹ Why exactly did I neglect this situation so long? Well, many reasons. I knew it would be difficult to do – the vines were twisted together and around the railings, it would rain crunchy leaves on the desks below, and I had to get in there and get it cleaned up long before the reporters arrived for work. Also, things move slowly in the plant world, and sometimes I like to entertain myself by, well, just watching to see what happens. I like this plant – I wanted to see if he had a destination in mind. Had I known he would attack the reporter, no, I wouldn’t have let him continue. Like I said, not my proudest moment. But at least it makes a good story, haha!

Hello roasted green chiles, and happy Friday! Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

This week’s question for my experts has to do with herbs. Expert Lewis suggested the question, and I’m glad he did. Herbs have been on my mind a lot lately.

You see, I’m growing my own for the first time in ages, and I’m stoked!

Cute, right? My landlady gave me a bunch of multicolored tea containers she’d collected, and I turned them into my kitchen windowsill herbs.

If you’ve been thinking of starting a garden, but don’t know where to begin, begin with herbs. You can start them inside and then transfer them outdoors, or keep them inside all year long. I chose the kitchen windowsill mainly for convenience – I’ll be able to pluck a basil leaf then use it immediately. At some point, they’ll be too big for those little containers. Maybe I’ll trade them in for one of these:

Fancy! This is an herb garden from Smith and Hawken, I found the photo and write-up at Apartment Therapy’s site. It’s pretty, isn’t it? I think it’s such a great way to get the whole family involved in growing food.

Ok, ok, enough about me. Let’s say hi to the experts.

Hi experts!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Ohmigosh, you guys are adorable! Thanks for being here. That’s Tina Quintana, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. They’re all wonderful, decent human beings. But experts? That’s debatable. But hey, that’s why the Friday editions are so popularish.

This week’s question:

Q. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, and do you feel like sharing a recipe with that herb?

Tina, you’re up first. What do you say?

A. OLA! I don’t cook to much….. So not sure how to respond. When I do cook its just the basic salt and pepper, easy on the salt. So my food is kind of bland! WAH! I can make some great hot red chili for enchiladas. I spice it up with hot New Mexico red chili powder from Chimayo! WOOOOO HA!

Hahaha, Tina, you crack me up. What in the heck does OLA mean? Wait, I don’t want to know, lol, btw, brb, nrn. OLA is new to me – Outside Laughing Amicably? Obnoxious Los Angeles?¹

Before I start getting hateful comments, let’s just move on, shall we? Up next is my good friend Thack. Thack, here’s the question to you.

Q. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, and do you feel like sharing a recipe with that herb?

A. Oregano is my favorite herb to cook with, because it’s the only herb I can name off of the top of my head. A Google search for herbs returned a list of stuff with which I am not familiar. Is sugar an herb? Because I like sugar.

I know how to actually “cook” one thing: lasagna. So I recommend adding oregano to that. And maybe sugar, too, I mean, it can’t  make it taste any worse, right?

Mmmm, sugar-coated lasagna. Dinner must be a real treat at your house. Haha, I kid, I kid! Unlike me, Tim doesn’t like to brag, but every meal at his house is a representative sample of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Pyramid. Perfectly balanced, fresh, healthy. He’s like the reincarnation of June Cleaver. Really! Haha, not really. But it’s a funny thought.

Up next is Expert EZ Ed Johnson, my ally from the local newspaper. EZ, here’s the question to you.

Q. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, and do you feel like sharing a recipe with that herb?

A. Trust me, you do not want me giving cooking advice.

Fair enough. I’m gonna go ahead and call that one “correct.” I would’ve also accepted as correct a “Herb Tarlek” reference, a “Spice girls” reference or your prediction on who’s going to win the NBA finals.

Up next is everyone’s favorite expert, the lovely and talented Dottie Correll. Really! She’s back this week!

(Wild cheers)

She may be retired, but she’s busy. She’s moving and can’t always be here. But she found time for us this week.

(More wild applause)

Ok, right, I love her, too. But hey, audience, you’re starting to make the other experts a little jealous.

(Cheers, then standing ovation)

Really? I haven’t even asked her the question yet! And shame on you for disregarding the other experts’ feelings!

(Audience refuses to sit or stop cheering)

Alright then, here’s the question to you, Dottie:

Q. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, and do you feel like sharing a recipe with that herb?

A. Ah! The majestic GARLIC of curse! Is garlic considered an herb?  Anyway GARLIC with a capitlal G is my favorite seasoning.  Garlic enhances almost every recipe with a “zip” and “verve.”  Garlic is easy and fun to grow.  Garlic is a member of the Allium family which also includes leeks, shallots and onions.  Individual cloves act as seeds.  The bulbs grow underground and the leaves shoot into the air.  Each clove will produce one plant with a single bulb-which may in turn contain up to twenty cloves.  Growing garlic is therefore self-sustaining and a great at home project!  Garlic loves the sun and superstition has it that you should plant garlic on the shortest day of the  year.  It also enjoys co-planting — a sociable plant that enjoys mingling with fellow “sprouters.”  Garlic also enjoys a respectable reputation amongst its fellow medicinal plants.  Especially during winter flu and other respiratory illness season, inwardly boosting the immune system and outwardly keeping “germie” friends at a respectable distance.   Ah, the romance and the tasty delight of the versatile Garlic –fresh from your own garden!

See? That’s why she’s everyone’s favorite. I tease the other experts – they all know I love them equally. (Wink, wink, Dottie, you’re my fav!) Haha, no really, I love you all.

And I hope everyone loves garlic – it’s the best. Dottie answered her own question – is it an herb? Sure. It’s grown as a vegetable but usually we use it for spice and flavoring, like an herb. And she’s right about it being medicinal – people have been using it for centuries to boost their immune systems and fight off colds and flu.

Good job, Dottie, and thanks for making time for us today!

Expert Lewis, here’s the floor to you.

Q. What’s your favorite herb to cook with, and do you feel like sharing a recipe with that herb?

A. Rosemary is one of my most favorite herbs that I love to cook with. Now I have to admit that I use a lot rosemary in a lot of dishes because I have a rosemary bush that is about three foot tall and three foot wide with thousands of leaves just waiting to share its flavor year round. So I use rosemary on meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes, stews, soups, salad, salad dressings, cookie, apple pie and pasta.  I usually just pluck a hand full of rosemary leaves and add it at toward the end of the preparation of the dish so it does not cook away the flavor, but some dishes I add it at the start too.

Split green pea – barley soup is my most favorite rosemary dish:

1 to 1-1/2 lb package split green peas
6 oz of pearl barley
1 smoked or not turkey leg or thigh – de-bone after cooking
Heaping hand full of rosemary leaves and stems
Use a large full crock pot, low heat 8 to 10 hours
Serve thick or add water for thin soup
Top with saute-caramelized / thin sliced onions

Enjoy with buttered rosemary – jalapeno corn bead.

Be careful outdoors it is going to be very hot out there,
Drink plenty of water not alcohol, booze or caffeine
Wear light loose fitting clothing
Stay out of the hot mid-day sun, if you get too hot get out of the sun
be aware of heat and sun stroke – it can kill you
Check on elderly neighbors’ health and well being
Make sure your pets have water and shade.

Also be aware the forest is on fire near Ed’s dear Jemez mountains
May they put the fire out quickly
Be careful with fire – some fools left their campfire burning and now some beautiful
county is being destroyed.
Pray they plug that damn leaking pipe now.
Then let’s have a hanging party, I have a rope.

Wow, did the Rosemary lobby get to you, too? Haha, just kidding. I love Rosemary – it’s so versatile and tasty. Your soup sounds delicious, Lewis.

Thanks for the safety tips, too. We love us some safety tips around here. It’s hot here in Albuquerque. Not New Delhi hot, but hot for us – triple digits this weekend, and it’s only the beginning of June! I’m glad I decided to keep my herbs in the kitchen – I don’t want them to melt in this New Mexico sun.

As always, excellent work, Lewis. Thanks!

Ok, so that wraps up this week’s edition of Ask the Experts. Thanks to all my experts for being here – I appreciate it! They’ll be back next Friday.

Now it’s time to reveal the winner of last week’s plant puzzler.

Name That Plant Problem!

Last week, I threw you a softball puzzler. I asked what was wrong with this leaf:

James guessed, “In my expert opinion I’m going to say that leaf’s biggest problem is certainly that it is not currently attached to a plant. Probably it was an old leaf that the plant scavenged for useful resources and then cut loose.”

His answer made me laugh out loud. You’re adorable, James! And correct – a leaf not attached to a plant is not a good sign for the leaf. But also wrong, that’s not the answer I wanted.

mr_subjunctive, gray.com (Mom), ivynettle, villager and Martha all knew the real answer. Mealy bugs. Ew. Mom jokingly called them cooties, they may as well be.

Mealy bugs are gross. I mean, really gross. They look like little batches of cotton on the leaves and stems of infected plants. But they’re not cotton – they’re alive! I’m screaming on the inside right now.

Most people who care for indoor plants know that pests and pest control is huge. Mealy bugs, spider mites, gnats. Generally, if one plant gets infected, others do, too, who wants a mass bug infestation in their house? No one.

It’s one thing to have bugs on my own houseplants, but it’s another thing entirely for me to have a pest infestation at any of my client’s offices or homes. That is not tolerated.

I found this leaf on a plant in my newest client’s casa. It’s a Pothos, which are usually cheerful, wonderful plants with relatively few demands. This plant, though, was a mess. It was covered in Mealy bugs and it probably happened very quickly. Yes, they’re gross, but unlike geeks in high school, their goal is to multiply and conquer. They did a helluva job in this house.

Indoor gardeners know that it’s sometimes easier to throw an infected plant away than to deal with it. And that’s exactly what I did with the entire planter of Pothos. Harsh, I know. The rest of the plants look pretty healthy, even if I’ve found a few Mealy bugs on them. I’m not throwing them away.

So how do I keep them from becoming like the unfortunate Pothos? If you believe the shudders of horror from the winners’ circle, you’d think there’s no hope at all. Whatev. In a head-to-head match, I’ll take Mealy bugs over spider mites any day. Gnats don’t get to enter the contest because they’re easy to get rid of – you use sticky traps, and replace the crappy soil you bought at Home Depot with high-quality soil from your local nursery (FoxFarm is one).

Why would I rather fight against Mealies than spider mites? Because I’ve had a lot of success destroying Mealy bugs with a simple, non-toxic solution. I take a sprayer bottle and put in half rubbing alcohol, half water, and a couple of drops of dishsoap. The rubbing alcohol zaps the Mealy bugs, and the dishsoap both keeps the alcohol sticking to the leaves long enough to fry the bugs and cleans the leaves, too (I love bonuses, don’t you?). Thing is, the alcohol won’t dispose of the dead bodies, so I’m left with the lovely task of scraping out icky, cottony carcasses with Q-tips or paper towels.

I’ve found, though, over time, that if I’m diligent with the alcohol mix – there’s no way to kill them all in one fell swoop – I can eventually kill them all. The rubbing alcohol stinks, but that goes away pretty quickly. My success rate is quite high. It’s high-maintenance, but hey, those little plants are depending on me to protect them. (Except, of course, the Pothos that got unceremoniously dumped in the garbage – sorry fellas.)

But spider mites? I can’t seem to kill the damn things. I can keep them under control with the rubbing alcohol, but I don’t think they ever really go away. Martha, mr_s., I’d be curious to see what you think – what do you use to handle pests? Or do you just throw away infected plants?

Congrats to all of this week’s winners, and thanks for playing. Let’s get to this week’s puzzler, another softball question.

Name That Plant Problem!

What happened to this Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum):

Peace Lilies are famous for showing you, in dramatic fashion, what’s wrong with them. Can you decipher the plant language? If you think so, leave your best guess in the comments section. As usual, there are no prizes for winning or anything fancy like that. Just bragging rights and my gratitude for playing.

That’s it for our Friday post. I’ll be back Monday. Until then, happy gardening!

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¹ Aaaaand there go any readers I may have had in southern California. My bad!

Welcome back my little purple beans, and happy Friday to you all!

Everyone loves Friday, don’t they? I’m not even a 9-to-5er, and I love Fridays.

Friday is the day I gather my panel of experts and ask them a plant-related question. Then I cross my fingers and hope for the best. I never have any idea how they may answer. Don’t get me wrong – they are all smart people. Just not necessarily about plants. EZ Ed Johnson, for example, is an expert on sports but he doesn’t know that much about plants. Neither does newcomer Thack, but boy, is he an expert on computer stuff. I’m just happy everyone agreed to be here regardless of their plant knowledge.

I’m Liza, the moderator for the panel and author of this blog. I haven’t posted for the last few days so it feels good to be back. I have lots of great posts in the coming weeks and months, covering all sorts of fun subjects. For now, though, back to today’s post (sometimes I could use my own moderator, lol!).

On Fridays, I also roll out a plant puzzler. Last week in Name that Plant Problem!, I asked what was wrong with this Monstera plant.

I was convinced no one would guess this correctly, and was feeling pretty cocky about it. Then the guesses started rolling in. For reasons that are still unclear to me, I kinda sorta deliberately contributed to the confusion surrounding the actual plant problem by throwing in a misleading comment. Oops, my bad.

I’ll make all the necessary confessions and apologies, as well as naming the winner, after the panel of experts. I also have a brand new Name that Plant Problem! for you little peach blossoms out there. And I’m not going to be cocky about this one!

First, let’s meet the panel!

That’s Expert Tina Quintana, Expert EZ Ed Johnson, Expert Tim Thackaberry, Expert Dottie Correll, and Expert Lewis Casey. I think they look adorable with their sunflower heads. If you’d like to know more about our experts, including the newest expert, Thack, please click here.

Once again this week’s question comes from me. I’ve been complaining since day 1 that we haven’t gotten any burning plant questions submitted in the comments section, which is why we make them up ourselves. But in reality, we did get a question two weeks ago from Tina, who wanted to know if moss on your lawn means it’s acidic, and if so, what do you do about it. My reaction to that question was “Aaahhhh!” Because I have no idea what the answer to that is. I hardly ever even see lawns in Albuquerque! But my reaction doesn’t mean it’s not a good question, it is. So it’s on the list – we have these planned out a few weeks in advance, there are other questions in the queue before yours. Experts, start thinking moss!

Today’s question is, “When is the best time to prune fruit trees?”

First up is Expert Tina. Tina, what do you think?

A. Late winter when the tree is dormant is when to prune fruit trees. Pruning in the spring is useful to remove dead branches. HUGGS!

Uh-oh. Maybe I should’ve asked this question a long time ago. See, Tina always knows what she is talking about when it comes to plants, gardens and landscaping. So if she says to prune a fruit tree while it’s dormant, she’s correct. Problem is I pruned my Plum tree late last fall!!

Did I hurt it? Will it recover? Oh-no, I love that Plum tree!

I thought I had better take a close look at the tree, now that’s it’s spring here in the desert. I went out this morning and this is what I found:

Yay! She’s fine! Here’s the thing, most trees would rather have you prune them when they are “sleeping.” It’s less stressful and promotes better health. That said, trees and plants are amazingly resilient creatures. This Plum tree knows I love her – I tell her all the time that her blossoms are spectacular and her fruit delicious. So maybe I didn’t get the pruning quite right, but she’s going to weather it well.

Ok, back to our panel. EZ, you’re up next.

Q. When is the best time to prune fruit trees?

A. It’s best if I stay away from pruning. I once tried pruning an apricot tree on my family’s land in the Jemez and the limb nearly clobbered my mother on the head.

Well I wish you would’ve elaborated a little more on that story, EZ! We all love a near-miss clobbering!

So EZ, I’ve been pestering you about using your connections in the sports department of the Albuquerque Journal to see if you can score us a guest expert one day. So far, I have not been successful. Obviously, I’m not going to let past performance to stop my future questions! I was thinking about those cute little Henry brothers that play basketball for your Kansas Jayhawks. Do you think they’d like to guest expert one day?

A. We better get Xavier before he turns pro. He was born in Belgium, so maybe he could add to our European audience. His older brother C.J. mostly sits on the bench, so we have a better chance with him. He was born in Oklahoma. Do they have plants in Oklahoma?

Do they have plants in Oklahoma? Ok, EZ, I see what you’re doing. You’re angry that Oklahoma State beat your Kansas team a couple weeks ago, and now you think you can come on this site and use your bully pulpit to insult the entire state of Oklahoma. Well, I won’t hear of it. The good people of Oklahoma OF COURSE love their gardens just as much as people from other fine states. Sheesh – some people! You better go lick your wounds in private, buddy!

(We tease here on the Good to Grow blog, we tease!)

Ok, let’s get back to the game. Thack, here’s the question to you.

Q. When is the best time to prune fruit trees?

A. Um, I’m going to guess that the winter is the best time to do pruning.

However, I do know that the start of a new year is the best time to go through all of the files on your computer and “prune them back.” Most of us have all of our lives on our computer’s, so it’s extremely important to have everything organized in a manner that makes it easy to find things.

Speaking of prunes, are they really the best natural laxative, or is that just a myth? I’ve always wondered about that…

Good guess there, Thack! And thanks for the organizational tip! I don’t know the answer to your question about prunes. You know why? Because I don’t eat prunes. You know why? Because I’m not old. Hahahahahahaha! Just kidding! I have nothing against prunes.

Thack is right about staying organized. It’s liberating. One thing he taught me was to keep my email inbox sparse. He personally never has more than 10 emails in his inbox, but my limit is more like 15. Still, way better than the hundreds I had a few years ago. No one functions well from that far behind!

Let’s get back to the question of pruning, shall we? Up next is everyone’s favorite expert Dottie Correll! [Insert wild applause.]

Q. When is the best time to prune fruit trees?

A. The word “Pruning” never elicited much emotion one way or another until I met Liza and read one of her manuscripts revealing the “secret life” of plants: learning of the personalities unique to each specie. For example: The crotchety Cacti, the willing Willow, the fickle Fern, the languid Lavender, the aloof Azalea, the gossipy Grape Vine, the snippy snapdragon, the dazzling Daisy, the many frivolous Firs and of course the haughty Queen of them all, the Regal Rose!  The thought of taking a sharp instrument to one of their many appendages sends shivers up and down my spine. I have nightmares of them screaming as they are tortured. I admit I can no longer perform this barbaric but necessary function to my plant people — friend or foe!  The Question is not “When to Prune” but “Who” shall perform this dastardly deed?

Oh Dottie, my gosh you are adorable! Let me say a couple of things. One, you’re welcome for filling you with fear and giving you nightmares. It’s super that I was able to do that for you. Also, someone is still going to have to perform that dastardly deed. Eventually anyway.

Trees need pruning the way that humans need to clip their fingernails to remain functional (maybe you can dial a phone with two-inch fingernails, I cannot). Proper pruning promotes more blossoms, which means more fruit. Yay, fruit! Dottie, if it helps, do what I did when I pruned the Plum tree: I said in a whisper, “I’m sorry if this hurts, it’s for your own good, just hold your breath and it’ll be over in a minute.”

Thanks so much for being here, Dottie! Great answer once again this week!

Ok, next up is the venerable Lewis Casey. Here’s the question to you, boss!

Q. When is the best time to prune fruit trees?

A. Pruning is done in the late winter - early spring to remove old dead materials, branches that are growing crooked, back toward the trunk or straight up, crowded or rubbing against each other, diseased, broken, jagged. Sunlight should be able to shine equally on all the leaves throughout the tree at some time during the day. Pruning stimulates new growth thats why it is not done late in the fall or early winter, when the sap is down is the time to cut.

Use a good ladder, no broken steps or rails, don’t stand on the top step, don’t overreach, move the ladder, a fall from a short distance (6ft) can be just as deadly as from a greater height (20ft). Use good sharp tools and be careful working with tools and equipment while on the ladder or standing on a branch.

Time to go, got to get some rest going on a driving trip to Gettysburg PA, Emmitsburg MD, attending a Safety Officer training course as a American Red Cross volunteer at the DHS/FEMA Emergency Management Institution there. Leaving Albuquerque tommorow Thurs. 3-4-10 and driving till we get there. After the course we are going to Washinton DC. (80 miles away) and visit the Capital and the other great Monuments there. Now talking about needing to prune dead wood this is the place or if seeking to find fools (D) or idiots (R) you couldn’t spit and not hit a half dozen. Will keep you informed, maybe I can find a pack of those fools and give them my two cents of BS, what they do there is pert near the same, except they get paid for it. Be safe, Take care, Talk to you all later, I love a good adventure this should be one.
Lewis

Lewis you crack me up. I wasn’t sure if I should include that last bit in your answer, but since you used the phrase, “you couldn’t spit and not hit a half dozen,” in it, I couldn’t resist!

Lewis is also very knowledgeable about plants and trees, so he is correct about pruning in late winter, or when the sap is down. But as I mentioned with my Plum tree, I goofed and pruned her in November – hardly late winter in Albuquerque.

At least, I think she’s ok. We’ll see when the blossoms come in the next week or so! Thanks Lewis for playing! Enjoy your trip to our nation’s capitol!

Ok, that does it for this week’s Ask the Experts. Thanks again to everyone for being here. We hope you enjoyed it!

Name that Plant Problem!

Here once again is the problem posed last week:

I thought, I am going to stump them so bad with this one. There is no way anyone is going to guess it. Then the first guess was from Eliza at sustainahillbilly. She guessed “watered by coffee”? Then there was another guess for coffee. “Ack,” I said to myself. “That’s half right!” I may have panicked a little – I really want to trick you little chile peppers out there but you are so darn smart! So I went on and commented that everyone was wrong, wrong, wrong. Apparently I’m ruthless when it comes to plant puzzlers. I did not know that about myself before now.

I can’t believe I even know the answer this plant puzzler at all. I wouldn’t know, but I happened to be there when it happened. But usually when you only visit an office once a week, you have no idea what the plant endures when you’re not around to witness. As a plant lady, I’ve found that people have poured coffee into the plants (it usually spills down the side of the pot, which is a dead giveaway), thrown trash into the pots (I found an empty fruit cup in a Pothos yesterday) and watered them on their own (“I’ll just pour what’s left of my water into the plant, it won’t hurt it,” they think).

So I considered myself lucky a few weeks ago when I was watering the plants at General Mills, the cereal factory and actually witnessed what happened to this plant. They’re forever training and having continuing education at the plant, so on this particular day, there were lots of employees wandering around the atrium, in between classes. I use my big ol’ watering tank so I don’t have to fill a water bucket at the sink 50 times, and I was maneuvering the tank around these clumps of employees. I got a little too close to a couple of guys, who both jumped back and who both spilled their drinks at the same time. One was drinking coffee, the other, Dr. Pepper.

I should probably give the glory to Eliza for getting it half right first, but I think the real winner is Claude because as a fellow plant care provider, he knows the perils office plants face each week. So congratulations Claude, and thanks everyone for playing and not getting too mad that I tried to throw you off your game.

Name that Plant Problem!

The new puzzler:

This poor Palm tree. There are many correct answers for this week’s puzzler. All of them sad and unfortunate.

Think you know the answer? Leave your best guess in the comments section. There are no prizes for playing, but there is glory and my gratitude for playing.

That does it for our Friday edition of Good to Grow’s Ask the Experts. Thanks everyone for being here. I’ll return on Monday with a very special post. Until then, happy indoor and outdoor gardening everyone!

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome back to Good to Grow’s very special Friday edition of Ask the Experts.

Friday is the day that I gather my panel of experts and ask them a plant-related question. Whether or not they can answer is anyone’s guess. See, they’re all smart folks, but they’re not necessarily experts on plants. That’s what makes it so fun! Well, I’m entertained anyway!

Hi! My name is Liza and I’m the moderator for the panel of experts and author of this blog. Generally speaking, I’m a kind person who tries to help make the world a better place. Not on Fridays though. On Fridays, my goal is to get you to waste some time at work by presenting the silliest post in the blogosphere.

I’m super excited today because we have a special guest expert. As many of you know, I’ve been pestering Expert EZ Ed Johnson for weeks about using his contacts at the sports department of the local paper to get a guest expert here. I’ve asked him about all sorts of sports legends, including Bob Knight, Andy Roddick, Helio Castroneves, Steve Alford and more.

So did he finally come through for me? Let’s ask EZ. EZ, did you use your contacts to secure a guest expert for us?

A. No.

Oh. Dang it. This would be a lot funnier if I had a sad face sunflower head (note to self, get one of those).

That’s right folks, our special guest expert is not a famous sports legend. But he’s still special, and not in the short bus kind of way. Let’s have a big round of applause for our guest, Mr. Tim Thackaberry.

Tim, or as I like to call him, Thack, is a long-time friend of mine here in Albuquerque. He’s the Director of IT at New Mexico Mutual, New Mexico’s largest insurance company. He’s wickedly funny, very smart and knows lots of things about lots of subjects. Is he knowledgeable about plants? Not so much. Luckily for us, he agreed to be here anyway! He’ll fit right in with our other so-called experts.

A. Thank you, Liza, it’s both a privilege and an honor to be immortalized as a sunflower head.

Good to have you here, Thack. And welcome.

Let’s meet the whole panel, shall we?

Aw, they look so stinkin’ cute with their sunflower heads! That’s Tim, Tina, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. Thanks everyone for being here. If you’d like to know more about our experts and how I know them, please click here.

Friday is also the day I present a plant puzzler for you to solve. Last week, we played “Real or Fake?” No, we’re not talking about boobs. I asked if this plant is real or fake:

I’ll reveal the answer after the panel, along with the winners. I’ll also present a new puzzler, this time “Name that Plant Problem.”

For now, let’s get started with the panel of experts. Some day, when more than a handful of adorable people read this blog, people will start submitting their burning plant questions for the panel. That’s the hope, anyway. For now, we make up our own questions. So this week’s question is:

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

First up is our guest expert Tim. Hey, Thack, before we get started, would you like a snack or something? I could offer you some orange slices or maybe a root beer.

A. I’ve actually been craving kosher dill pickles and rum raisin ice cream, but I think I’m good for now, thanks!

Seriously? Pickles and ice cream? What, are you pregnant? Hee, hee! Anyhoo, here’s the question to you.

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

A. I would guess that it depends on the type of plant, but I do know that you’ll fair better if you install good AV (anti-virus) software and a firewall on your PC. AVG is a free one that’s really good. I also know that I tend to fair better in dating when I stayed stoned and maximize my apathy level. Any idea why that is? It’s really weird…

Um, no, but I think that explains your cravings.

So I don’t think that Thack really answered the question at all. See? I told you he’d fit in perfectly around here. Good job, Thack, and thanks again for being here!

Ok, next up is Expert Tina.

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

A. HIYA! It is better to plant from a seedling. You can direct plant it in the container of your choice. If you start from seed, the process requires much attention. Daily checking of moisture levels three times a day. You must keep the soil moist at all times. It takes 7- 14 days for a seedling to emerge from the seed. Then you need to transplant it in a small plug form or cell form. Then give it another 2 to 3 weeks to root out and voilà you got a small transplant. This is the better way to go with much more success.

So what you’re really saying is that someone else should do the hard work, then you come in at the end and take over the process? Sounds good to me! Another home-run for Expert Tina. Thanks girl!

Ok, up next is Expert EZ Ed Johnson. EZ, here’s the question to you:

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

A. Is that like asking if it’s better to build a team through free agency or the draft? Go with the young guys. They’re not as spoiled yet.

True dat, true dat! You’re a wise man, EZ. Hey, so we already know that you did not use your contacts in the sports department to secure a guest expert for us today. But what about next week? Do you think you could ask race car great Danica Patrick to be a guest on the panel?

A. If I get a chance to talk to Danica, it won’t be about plants.

Fair enough. And truth be told, if she was a guest expert, I doubt I’d want to ask her about plants either!!

Alright, thanks EZ for playing. Maybe next week I’ll have more luck convincing you. Can’t blame a gal for trying. Ok, next up is Expert Dottie. Dottie, here’s the question to you!

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

A. It was Spring and while young men’s thoughts turn to other things, I, being a nurturer, thought of planting seeds and bringing new life into the world (After all I had 6 children). Living in the country, it had always been a passion of ours to have a varied garden of fruits and vegetables. How would I bring this about, as after the passing of my husband a few months prior, I had moved from the country into an apartment in the city?  AHA! TUB GARDENING! After all, I did have a little patio. So off I went to the nursery and purchased the necessaries!!! A big round tub, soil, etc. I put it all together and selected the Best Tomato seeds,”Burpee” and “Glory Be to God.” I would have the finest tomatoes a soul could want by end of July or early August. The seeds sprouted and the vine grew and hundreds of blossoms appeared by the end of July. August found the plant weighed down by tiny green tomatoes. I was delirious with the success of my first adventure as a Tub Gardener! August arrived but the beautiful Red tomatoes didn’t. I was frantic–what had gone wrong? I had tended them with loving care –the plant was well fed and watered and had a robust, healthy appearance, but the tomatoes remained a static small green size. I rushed to the nursery, hoping it was not too late. I thought perhaps the seeds had been defective – maybe I should have started with plants??

The kindly nurseryman looked at me pathetically and asked where do you live? I told him in an apartment. He queried what floor? What floor I asked, “What difference does that make? “The third floor, I answered.” He smiled, a knowing smile. The answer to my problem, he said, was “BEES.” Bees don’t come up to the third floor. You need Bees to pollinate the plants. “Well the Lord save us and the Saints preserve Us, ” “Is it truly so?”  What do I do now? He said, I have just the answer and offered up a spray can of the finest “pollinator.” He said a few whiffs of this applied properly and you’ll see a miracle.  He was true to his word. I followed his instructions and by the end of September, I had beautiful, red, ripe tomatoes. So I guess the moral of this story is seeds or plants — not to worry, but you better have “BEES”!

That’s a true story, by the way.

Hahahahaha! You’re so funny, Dottie! Great story. And now I know what you meant by tub gardening last week. It’s so much better than naked farmers in a bathtub.

Say, Dottie, I happen to know a joke about ripening tomatoes. Would you like to hear it?

A. Sure.

Ok. There was a young lady and she loved gardening. She was trying to grow tomatoes but they, like yours, stayed green (no, she wasn’t in an apartment). One day, she leaned over the fence and called out to her elderly neighbor. “Neighbor,” she said. “How come your tomatoes are nice and red and mine are still green?” The elderly neighbor walked over to her and said, “Well, you may think I’m nuts, but I have a ritual I perform to get them to turn red.” The young lady was intrigued. “What do you do?” she asked. The elderly neighbor looked around to make sure no one was listening, and then she answered, “Well, late at night, when no one is around, I go out to my garden and take off all my clothes. I dance around naked. The tomatoes see me and they blush, then in the morning they are red. You should try it – it works!” The young lady was shocked by this, but later that night she thought to herself, oh, why not? So she went out to the garden, took off all her clothes, and danced around.

The next morning, the elderly neighbor called out to the young lady and asked, “Hey, did you do it? And are your tomatoes red?” The young lady answered slowly. “Well, yes, I did dance around naked.” The elderly neighbor asked, “So are your tomatoes red?” The young lady looked embarrassed. “No,” she answered. “They’re still green, but my cucumbers grew four inches.”

A. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Good joke, Liza!

Aw, thanks. You have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to tell that. Who doesn’t love a good garden joke? Ok, next up is Expert Lewis. Lewis, here’s the question to you.

Q. “Is it better to start a plant from seeds or from a seedling? Does one fair better than the other?”

A. In the distant past when I was young, dumb and in love, I was the co-owner of a small greenhouse and nursery business in Las Vegas, New Mexico called All C’son’s Greenhouse. We loved the spring because everyone loved our starter plants, our seedlings, potted plants and flowering baskets were the best to had in Northern New Mexico. Many kinds of vegetables, chiles, tomatoes, coles, cantaloupes and cucumbers, radishes, beans and pumpkins. Our flowers rivaled the rainbow – petunia, alyssum, marigolds, morning glory, pansies, daisies, cosmos, roses and more. There were dozens and hundreds and thousands of every other green plant your heart could desire, fruit trees, shrubs and perennials, each and every one planted by loving hands with the greatest care. In Northern New Mexico, the growing season is shortened because of the cooler temperature at the higher elevation of that beautiful land. So to have a head start seedling was always a good way to go. You could start plants by seed there and many a good gardener did just that but the difference between a good garden and a great garden could matter on the extra growth that the seedlings had.

Now to be a good or great gardener in the Albuquerque area matters more on the gardeners personal skill and luck, here you can almost plant seeds in the middle of the summer and yet get a crop. So plant either/or seeds or plants if you are a gardener, you will get it to grow and if you are not, then you have luck and a long growing season on your side. Start your seeds soon or wait, winters not over yet and the greenhouse will be full when you are ready. In the distant future I will be old and wise but right now I am just still in love.

Oh, that nursery sounds like a magical place. We’re glad to have you in Albuquerque, though. Thanks again, Lewis, for continuing to delight and entertain us all each week.

That does it for this week’s panel of experts. We all hoped you enjoyed yourselves. Thanks again to each of my lovely experts for being here. Thack, thanks for guest appearing on our panel. We could probably find a permanent spot for you each week, especially if the readers tell us in the comments section that they would like that (hint, hint).

Moving on, let’s get to last week’s plant puzzler.

“Real or Fake?”

Is this plant real or fake? Well, once again, my highly intelligent and eagle-eyed readers answered with a chorus of “Real plant, fake flowers.” You guys kill me! Yes, that’s correct – the Pothos is real, the flowers are fake. For the record, I did not stage this – this plant was a gift to an employee at one of my client’s offices. She pretty much ignores it, so I like to splash some water on it each week so it doesn’t die. I knew you’d be able to tell the flowers are fake (why the florist put them in there is beyond me), but I’m surprised how sure you were that the plant was real. And I am totally blown away that you (Diane) could tell that I had watered it – what, did you look at it with a magnifying glass??? I personally never noticed brown tips on the leaves. But yes, the manufacturers of fake plants do not add imperfections, so the brown tips are a dead giveaway.

So lots of winners. There’s Molly, Ivynettle, Diane, Tina, Martha, Claude, James, Villager and mr_s. Noel didn’t guess about the plant, but he recognized me as a Helio Castroneves stalker, and since that’s correct, he gets extra credit points. Congratulations to you all. Remember, there are no prizes for winning, but you have glory, and you have my gratitude for playing.

Ok, so you think you are soooo smart, don’tcha? Well, then let’s play another puzzler.

Name that Plant Problem!

I’m not saying for sure that this one will stump you, but I don’t think you’ll be quite as cocky as last week. So here it is, name that plant problem!

You’re really going to have to use your imagination on this one. Here’s a closer look:

Think you know the answer, smarty pants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. I’ll reveal the answer next week, along with the winners. If there are any, that is. Heh, heh, heh!

Ok everyone, you’ve wasted quite enough time on this beautiful Friday. Now get back to work! I’ll be back on Monday. Until then, happy gardening to you all. Have a great weekend everyone!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have a plant care business here in town called Good To Grow. I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.

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