New England

December, 2010
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Pothos or Devil's Ivy
Easy-care pothos plants are not the showiest of houseplants, but they are attractive in a quiet way, forgiving of less than perfect care, put up easily with average household conditions- in short, they look nice no matter how I neglect them. Also known as devil's ivy, pothos (Epipremnum aureum) bears glossy, heart-shaped leaves on long, vining stems. Most often grown are the vareigated cultivars, with attractive marbling in white or yellow. Give pothos moderate to bright light, average room temperatures and don't overwater it, and it will soldier on happily. If it starts to get out of bounds, simply prune it back to keep it full. As an added bonus, pothos is one of the houseplants that is good at removing indoor pollutants like formaldehyde from the air.

If the leaves of your variegated plant are becoming more of a solid green, try moving the plant to a little bit brighter spot. The best thing you can do to keep your plant thriving is not overwater it, which is why it's at the top of my low-maintenance houseplant list. My plants would probably appreciate an annual repotting in spring, but if I neglect this, they don't seem to be set back much. I don't feed my plants at all in the winter; spring through fall, I give them a dose of fertilizer about once a month.

Clever Gardening Technique

Tie Up Columnar Evergreens
Heavy snow and ice can cause the branches of columnar evergreens with multiple leaders such as junipers and arborvitae to splay out and break, destroying the plant's natural form. To help them shed snow without breakage, crisscross the entire crown of smaller trees with nylon cord to hold the branches together. The leaders of larger trees can be tied together in the interior about 2/3 of the distance up from the crotch where they divide to the top of the tree. Use a soft material like old pantyhose or strips of cloth so you don't injure the bark. Remove all ties and wrappings promptly in the spring.

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