Plant of the Month
Did you know our indoor spaces are more polluted than our outdoor air? Paints, carpets, furniture, cleaning supplies, detergents-all filled with VOC’s -volatile organic compounds. These include benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene, trichloroethylene and toluene. As our winter wet weather is here we are going to be spending more time indoors. House plants clean our indoor air. Time to start having (more of) them in your house. Many of us will be bringing in plants for the winter, but here are some of the best for cleaning up our indoors.
Spathiphyllum- Peace Lily-good for removing the 3 most common VOC’s. Those are formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It also removes toluene and xylene. Peace lilies can grow just about anywhere in the house with indirect light, including low light areas.
Heartleaf philodendron- Another VOC removing star. These plants vine but can be trained up also. These plants require indirect light and will grow in low light conditions. You might want to avoid this one if you have small children or pets. It is toxic.
Spider plant- This one is safe for pets. Likes cool to average house temps and indirect light.
Sansevieria- Snake Plant, Mother-In Law Tongue- This plant actually releases oxygen! And cleans up formaldehyde. Put in bedroom for a oxygen rich sleep.
Pothos- Devil’s Ivy- Easy to grow and propagate in bright indirect light. Not recommended for small children and pets though due to its toxicity.
Aglaonema- Chinese Evergreen- This cleans up a variety of pollutants and performs in low light areas.
English Ivy- Good for counter acting cleaning products and airborne fecal matter. Perfect for the bathroom. Likes half day of light.
Ficus- Weeping Fig- Useful in filtering carpet pollutants. Likes bright light.
Dracaena- Moderate light, even some low light conditions. Good for removing varnish fumes.
Aloe- This dual purpose plant not only filters the air but has many medicinal properties as well.
Azaleas, Gerbers and Mums are good filters and bring some color into your winter home.
Houseplants- 20% OFF in November
November Specials (start Oct. 29)
- All Glazed Pottery 30% off
- Metal and Garden Art 30% off
- Deciduous Fruit Trees 30% off
- Red tagged plants 50% off
- Bargain Table-$1.00 – $2.00 plants
- Selected perennials-30% off
- Lady Bugs-$2.00 off
Winter Hours Start Nov 1
Open 10-4, 6 days a week
Closed Wed, Thur and Friday
Open Sat and Sun
Newsletter November 2016
Beware-a killer is on its way. First hard frost that is. It use to be the last week of October for Halloween here on the valley floor but it hasn’t come till mid November lately. We did have a low of 39 last week. Some of our coldest winter weather has been coming in early December. Time to start moving cold sensitive plants indoors or to a protected area. Cover Citrus with frost cloth like N-Sulate. Protect young oleanders and olives with anti-transpirant sprays like Cloud Cover. I like to spray the whole nursery the first week of December. Plants in pots can get a lot more cold damage than those in the ground because their roots are above ground. Bring in your battery timers and wrap your above ground pipes and irrigation valves.
Autumn color is beginning to happen and I always like to mention some of my favorites for good color here in No. CA. When it comes to trees my favorite is Chinese Pistache. Seedling grown ones can give you such a variety of colors from gold to orange to red and purple reds. For reds you can’t beat Ornamental Pears or Red Maples. Crape Myrtle leaves change different colors depending on the variety with a lot of them turning a beautiful orange red. Larches turn a sweet golden brown before dropping their needles. Zelkovas turn a warm brown mixed with purples and oranges. Washington Thorn Hawthorns turn a bronze to red color. Dogwoods are another prime example, lighting up the woods with fiery color as are Japanese Maples. For golds I think Ginkgo is the best. If you want a guaranteed orange then go for Persimmon. A lot of other fruit trees give good fall color too. A few of the best deciduous shrubs are spirea, lilac, barberry, smoke tree, pomegranate, blueberry and oak leaf hydrangea. Certain perennials and ornamental grasses can just add to the symphony.
Now that the wet weather is here and most plants are going into dormancy, do not forget to adjust your irrigation accordingly or turn off completely. Some people like to cycle the system once a week in the winter to keep things from clogging up. If you do, turn the run times for each station down to just a few minutes with only one start day and time. Water if we get an extended dry period.
Last spring was moist and humid. Disease was high. As temperatures rise world wide insects are going to be more of an issue too. Not as many egg cases are getting killed off by cold and there is time for more hatches in the growing season. November is the first month of three that dormant spraying begins. There are combo sprays out there that address both overwintering disease and insects or you can mix your copper fungicide with horticultural oil for the same results. (Oil for insects and the copper for disease.)
The window for planting garlic and onions in fall is closing. Once the soil gets too cold and wet the bulbs can rot before they start to grow. If you wait too long it is better to wait till early spring to get a crop in. Same can be said for potatoes. Look to plant in mid-February if you don’t get to it soon enough.
November is the month to apply the first treatment of True Blue to your hydrangeas if you want them blue. Many hydrangea’s color can be manipulated depending on the Ph of the soil. Acidic soil produces bluer flowers but if you want dark pink you can raise the Ph with lime. It would not hurt to go ahead and give your lilacs a little lime too. However if you have been irrigating for a number of years you might find your soil Ph is now alkaline due to the high Ph of our local water, in which case your lilacs and pink/red hydrangeas would not need it.
Keep planting those cool season vegetables and winter annuals.