Favorite or New Plant
A great landscape plant for color this time of year, Camellia sasanqua bears blooms of deep to bright pink against dark, glossy green foliage from mid-December through February. Camellias originate from subtropical regions in China and Japan and are easily cultivated in open ground or in pots. They love warm, wet summers and moderately cold, dry winters. Cultural requirements for camellias are similar to those for rhododendron, azalea, and holly. They like acidic, well-draining soil, some afternoon sunshine, and a light application of fertilizer in early spring. Occasional pruning will keep the shrubs in shape. Camellia cultivars usually set 5 to 7 flower buds on each terminal shoot. Disbudding (removing all except one or two buds) will help the remaining buds develop into larger, longer-lasting flowers.
Clever Gardening Technique
Sticky Traps for Indoor Pests
If you and your plants are bothered by the hordes of tiny, flying black gnats that hang around houseplants and newly emerging seedlings, you can control these pests with a simple homemade recipe. Make your own sticky traps by using bright yellow, 3- by 5-inch index cards, smearing them with petroleum jelly, and propping them up around your plants. Adult flies are drawn to the bright yellow color, land, and become hopelessly stuck on the surfaces of the cards. Replace as needed. It really works