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How Do I Bring My Tropical House Plants Indoors Pest-Free?


“Any tips on bringing tropical plants indoors during the winter season? They always end up getting buggy.” Question from Chris of Orange, Connecticut
ANSWER: Thanks for the excellent question. It’s always nice to bring tropical house plants outdoors in summer. They thrive in the natural light, humidity, and warm weather, but they also attract pests. These pests are less of a problem outdoors because natural predators […]

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How Do I Eliminate Fungus Gnats?


“I would very much appreciate an answer to my question… specifically… which of your Black Gold soil products contain perlite/vermiculite as I have learned this is best [for fungus gnat problems]. I am also aware that organic soil may perpetuate the fungus gnat problem as well. Since I have been having a terrible problem with fungus gnats as a result of having many plants, I […]

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How do I Care for My Poinsettia?


“I would like tips for Poinsettia care.” Question from Sandra Lee of Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Answer: Place your poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) in a location with direct sun or bright filtered sunlight and give it even moisture. Refrain from keeping its soil wet, which can stress plants out. Poinsettias are tender Mexican natives that grow as large, winter-blooming shrubs in their native homeland and require good warmth, […]

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What is the pH of Black Gold Potting Mix?


“What is the soil pH of Black Gold Natural and Organic Potting Soil?” Question from Michael of Pueblo, Colorado.
Answer: At production, the peat moss in our mixes has a pH range of 3.5-5.0, but we add liming agents to bring all of our potting mixes up to a more neutral pH range of 5.5-6.5.  Keep in mind, mix pH will change depending on your growing […]

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Does Beer Really Kill Snails and Slugs?


“Does beer really kill slugs and snails and how? Also, what’s the best way to use it if it does?” Question from Greg of Olympia, Washington
Answer: Yes! Beer is a safe way to attract and kill slugs. The yeasty sweet smell lures them and the ethanol in the beer kills them, or they simply fall into the traps and drown. The  key to a smart […]

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How Much Water Should I Give My Indoor Succulents?


“I seem to have a problem keeping my plants happy. What is a good amount of water for succulents?” Question from Becky of Cambridge, Nebraska
Answer: It is very easy to over water indoor succulents, especially in the winter months. Over watering can lead to root and crown rot, real killers of succulents. In general, succulents require little to no water in winter. This mimics the […]

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Dividing and Repotting Orchids with Pseudobulbs


“Can you propagate orchids? My orchid has a another stem growing at the bottom and I am wondering if I cut it off if it will grow and how to do that?” Question from Krystal of Lincoln City, Oregon.
Answer: Orchids with pseudobulbs, like yours, can easily be divided when the plants reach a substantial size. These orchid types include lots of common household favorites, like […]

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How Do I Overwinter My Fuchsia Baskets?


“How do I overwinter my fuchsia baskets?” Sherry from Camas, Washington
Answer: What a great question! Large, happy fuchsias are expensive, so it pays to overwinter them. You have two overwintering options:
Bring Your Fuchsia Indoors
Clean your fuchsia before bringing them indoors (click here to read how), and maintain them as house plants through winter. Place them in a spot with bright filtered sunlight. If your home […]

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What are Good Container Vegetables for Florida?


“What would be vegetables I can grow in containers in Zone 10b? Question from Susan of Pembroke Pines, Florida
Answer: Stick with warm-season vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant, and give them extra care and water if you choose to plant them during the hottest times of the year.
The key to successful vegetable container gardening is starting with large containers, good mix, and choosing more […]

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When Do I Cut Back Orchid Stems After They Bloom?


“Do I need to cut off the stems after my orchid flowers fall off or will new flowers grow on the stems next year?” Question from Bonnie of Young, Arizona
Answer: It depends on the health and blooming stage of the flowering stem. If the stem/s are still green, prune off the spent flowers to about 1-inch above the closest node on towards the bast of […]

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