Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2013
Regional Report

Direct New Growth on Roses

As the new growth begins to appear on recently-pruned roses, gently pinch off any buds that are headed toward the center of the plant. Remove buds growing in an undesirable direction along main stems. Multiple buds forming near recent cuts should be thinned to just one.

Water Houseplants Carefully

More indoor plants are killed by overwatering than from any other reason. Indoor plants will drop leaves or turn yellow if watered incorrectly. Always feel the soil prior to applying water. If the soil is damp one inch below the surface wait before applying more water. Never allow a potted plant to stand in water for longer than one-half hour. Mist frequently during the dry season (October - April) rather than watering the soil to imitate natural growing conditions in the tropics.

Control Moss With Vinegar

Moss growing on hard surfaces such as concrete or brick can be slippery and dangerous. It can be controlled by using a concentrated form of vinegar commonly used for canning purposes. Apply full strength, 20% vinegar directly on mossy areas. Repeat as necessary throughout the wet season. Be very careful not to splash or spray the vinegar onto desirable landscape plants.

Tip-Prune Indoor Plants

Create bushy and lush indoor plants by pinching the growth tip from each stem. This technique works equally well on vining plants, like pothos or philodendron, and shrubby plants such as Ficus benjamina. By removing the active growth tip you will encourage buds along the stem to grow.

Repot Indoor Plants

It's time to repot indoor plants when roots are growing out of the drainage hole, water runs through the soil quickly, or the uppermost foliage is growing but the lower leaves are dropping. Gently tip the plant out of the pot to examine the root ball. If the roots are tangled and thick, it's time for a new pot. Have a clean new pot and fresh potting soil ready. Always transplant into the next larger sized pot; for example, from an 8-inch to a 10-inch pot. Transplanting into too large a pot will increase the chances of root rot. Water immediately after transplanting and do not fertilize until you begin to see new growth.

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