Archive for March, 2015

It has been much too long in coming, but I have finally finished the publication process of my book:  “A YEAR IN MY NEW ENGLAND GARDEN”!

It doesn’t speak to Seattle specifically, but it does address those who garden in Gardening Zones between 3 and possibly up as high as 7.  (I guess you could consider yourselves mildly implicated.)  Seattle falls closer to the 8 number.  There is little snow in the Seattle area, unless you are in the mountains.

If you are in the mountains?  Well, then…this might be just the ticket!

At any rate, I hope you’ll visit Amazon and check it out…or go to this link and find it directly!


It will also be out in an electronic version shortly.

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I just read this great article about re-potting your houseplants.  It is a great article, and I suggest you read it for some very good suggestions!

Repotting Root Bound Houseplants
by Charlie Christian
Roots Christmas Cactus
One option for repotting houseplants is to root prune and repot houseplants in the same size pot as they were previously grown.

Are your plants speaking to you? We, as Master Gardeners, continue to read articles regarding repotting to a larger pot; however what is seldom mentioned is the option to root prune and return the plant, whether it is a house plant or perennial, to the original container.

Although some plants require being pot bound in order to flower, all plants eventually outgrow their containers and should be repotted usually in early spring as new growth begins and the temperature is warm enough to return them outside for much needed sun for photosynthesis.

To check and see if your plants have become pot bound and require repotting, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the root system. Watering several hours ahead of time will allow the plant to be removed more easily. For pots that are 8 inches or less in diameter, place one hand over the top of the pot with the stem of the plant passing between two fingers, and turn the plant upside down. Then tap the edge of the pot against a solid surface. The root ball should easily come away from the pot. With pots larger than 8 inches in diameter, a bit more encouragement may be needed. Place the pot on its side and tap the top edge of the pot with a rubber mallet. Turn the plant a few degrees, and repeat the procedure until the root ball releases.

Once the plant is free, look and see if there are large old circular roots strangling the plant and preventing the much needed nourishment. These roots should be severed and removed to allow for new feeder roots to be established. Remove at least one inch of the roots and the spent old potting soil from the sides as well as the bottom surface. This is a Bonsai proven technique which has been practiced for centuries.

To avoid residual contamination, before returning the plant to the same pot, clean it thoroughly with a 10% bleach solution. In many cases, before repotting, a root stimulator may be applied to the cut root surfaces. When the plant is replaced, add and firm enough new soil mixture to the bottom of the pot so the plant will be at its original depth and won’t settle over time. After the plant is replaced, fill in around the sides with new potting soil. As you firm the new soil around the plant, use a slender stick to penetrate the potting medium to prevent air pockets. Then soak for 15 minutes in a solution of B-1 plant stimulator to encourage new growth.

Please remember, many house plants may need to be repotted annually, though vigorous growers may need to be repotted more often. Most house plants that die are killed by over watering, which results in root rot. Be especially careful not to over water a repotted plant again for about 2 weeks as the new soil tends to remain wet as the new feeder roots begin to grow.”

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