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Can Air-Purifying Chrysanthemums be Grown Indoors?


“If mums clean the air of toxins so well, how can you benefit if it is an outdoor plant? Can it survive inside?” Question from Ruth of Windsor Mill, Maryland

Answer: Great question! It is true that NASA conducted a study of air-purifying plants (see the study here) and found chrysanthemums to be one of the best for air purification. Out of the almost 30 plants […]

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Can You Identify this House Plant?


“Do you have any idea what kind of house plant this is?” Question from Donna of Cape May, New Jersey

Answer: Yes! It’s a variegated rubber tree (Ficus elastica ‘Variegata’). It grows best in a great potting mix, like Black Gold All Purpose Potting Mix. Give it bright indirect light or partial shade. Water its soil regularly from spring to fall and reduce watering in winter. […]

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What’s the Best Soil for Fruit Containers?


“Hello. What is the best soil that you have available to grow citrus trees and blackberries in containers? I’m looking for the soil ph to be around 6.0.” Question from Jerrold of Pearland, Texas
Answer: For container gardening, we recommend either Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix or Black Gold Waterhold Cocoblend Potting Mix. Both are fertile, water holding, and have a pH around 6.0. They […]

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Help! I Have Fungus Gnats


I’ve been using your organic potting soil for both outdoor and indoor planting for the past 8 months.  Over the past 3 months, my house has been inundated by fungus gnats.  I have tried everything written in the literature to get rid of them.  Yesterday, I ran out of your potting soil, and began researching potting soil on the web.  While still recommended, I read […]

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When Will My Lemon Tree Set Fruit?


“I have a lemon tree that’s five, or six, years old. I was wondering how old they have to be to produce fruit, and if there has to be two of them, or is cross pollination not necessary?” Question from Royce of Texas
Answer: A lemon tree should be fruitful by five years of age. Most lemons are self-fruitful and do not require cross pollination, but […]

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Help! My Peace Lily Leaves are Dying Back

“I have some large peace lilies that the leaves sprout up like crazy but then start to turn completely brown, they are been doing this for over a year. What is causing this?” Question from Mary of Huntington, West Virginia

Answer: Several problems may be at play regarding your peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.). Over watering, under watering, planting too deep, and fungal diseases can all […]

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Help! My Gardenia Bonsai is Dying!


“I have a flowering bonsai tree that last year got leaves on all of it.  It is still in the pot, I have not planted it outside as I live in an apartment.  I normally set it outside in summer and bring it inside during the winter. However, right now I am wondering if the one side of the tree is dead, as no leaves […]

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How Do I Root Begonia Cuttings?


“How do you “root” begonias?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: Good timing! I root begonia cuttings from my favorite begonia to give to friends, and they just rooted (see photo)! You will be glad to learn that they are one of the easiest plants to root. There are two ways to do it–the easy way and the surefire way. I choose the easy way, […]

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How Do I Know When to Repot My Jade Plant?


“How do I know when to get a bigger pot for my jade plant?” Question from Grady of Akron, Ohio
Answer: There are two ways to tell if your jade plant (Crassula ovata) has outgrown its pot:

The plant has become top heavy
The roots have grown to the pot walls

You can tell if the roots have densely grown to the pot walls by feeling down into the […]

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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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