Pacific Northwest

January, 2006
Regional Report

Web Finds

Mail Order Gardening
If you're looking for some great sources of seeds and plants, visit the Mailorder Gardening Association Web site. It's loaded with links to help you find just what you're looking for. You can search for annuals, bulbs, perennials, garden supplies, roses, ornamental grasses, exotic plants, and much more.

Favorite or New Plant

Crown Of Thorns
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is an intriguing and unusual houseplant. It gets its common name from its shrubby stems that are armed with long, sharp thorns. Crown of thorns can grow to 3 feet or more and is a great specimen plant. The so-called flowers are actually modified leaves called "bracts." The real flowers hide within these bracts. The plant bears clustered pairs of bright red or salmon-red bracts nearly all year. This plant is available in many varieties that offer varying forms, sizes, and bract color.

Crown of thorns is an easy-to-grow houseplant, thriving on dry indoor air. Keep the soil barely moist, watering only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-5 during the growing season, but withhold fertilizer applications in its resting period, which occurs after flowering.

Grow the plant where temperatures range from 65 to 70 degrees F during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. Bright, filtered sunlight from a southern, western, or eastern exposure will promote more flowering throughout the year.

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