Plants may be forgiving if we're negligent about pruning them, but you may find it hard to forgive yourself if you remove all the flower buds by pruning at the wrong time. Pruning Trees, Shrubs & Vines by Karan Davis Cutler (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc., 2003; $9.95) will keep you in line. It explains and illustrates many types of pruning cuts, and details the techniques required for many different plants. And the handy size of the 6" x 9" book makes it easy to keep it close at hand for reference when you head outside.
Powdery Mildew on Indoor Plants
Even indoor plants, especially begonias, lavender, and rosemary, can get powdery mildew. The new growth is especially affected. Try one of these recipes, spraying it on your plants once a week for a month.
Baking Soda Fungicide
1 teaspoon baking soda
A few drops of liquid soap
1 quart water
(optional: 1/2 teaspoon Sunspray Dormant Oil or canola oil)
1 part milk to 9 parts water