It’s time. With holiday decorations put away, it’s time for all good house plants to get attention. Long suffering through summer when the outdoor plants rule, our house plants have settled in for winter and are showing the affects of dry air and root constriction. The patient Robusta Snake Plant (probably the oldest plant we own) has been suffering quietly in a short ceramic pot that just doesn’t have enough depth for root growth. I FINALLY got her into a larger pot, lightly tied up for now until she can stabilize. I’m pretty sure I’ve been over watering too. Snake plants like it dry.

Our venerable Snake Plant lives in an antique wooden planter with a couple mates. Although each pot has a ceramic dish under it you can’t avoid moisture and over spray from maintenance. I finally did what I’ve wanted to do for some time. House plantsI pulled all the pots out, cut them back, relocated one, scrubbed the inside of the wooden trough with Murphy’s Oil Soap and let it dry thoroughly. I cut and fit in a piece of natural cork lining, leftover from a roll I’d bought for some kitchen  drawers. It was a great improvement. Cork has real benefit as a liner- it wicks away slight moisture from the wood surface under the pots, AND is naturally anti-microbial. I love using it under pans and cutting boards. The ideal fix for the planter will be a metal liner but for now, it’s a great upgrade.

Finally, we started the day lilies! The seeds are gorgeous and come from some handsome local lilies bought the last few years. I never had inclination to start new ones from seed- we’ll see how it goes. Exciting! They bloom just after the azaleas and a proliferation of lilies will be very welcome.

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Lily seeds crave full sun, water once weekly

house plants

Ancienne and Aquiliina are both made from the image of hosta leaves. A couple of my favorites.

To harvest seeds, ignore the flower after bloom as they will produce seed pods that grow at the base of the dying flower. The seedpods change from green to yellow or brown as they ripen. Leave them as they dry- six to eight weeks. Soon, shiny black seeds will appear as the pods crack open at the top. You can get as few as eight seeds, mine had many more- but they were prolific! Place them in an open metal pie pan in full sun, and let them dry thoroughly- you can leave the seeds in the pod and allow the sun to do its magic to set them free. I’ve read that if  you start in early fall you might get flowers this year. We’ll see. I learned something new about starting them. If you water with a mix of one gallon of water to ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, it helps keep the bacteria down. More here I admit to laziness- I did NOT label the different seeds., and I put five in each 8 oz cup.  I’m going for a prolific collection of varied colors in the landscape, which, if they make it, will be stunning!

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Plants relocated from outside invariably bring in some form of pest. Around now, that may start hanging onto leaves and making pests of themselves. Safer Soap is an organic bug- killing product I swear by inside and out. Buy the concentrate and let them have it as soon as you see leaf damage.

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The Brother Brothers

Working with family can sometimes turn out really well.  A relatively new-to-stage duo called The Brother Brothers- born identical twins in Peoria, Illinois, is now based in Brooklyn. house plants

We caught up with them at Club Helsinki, in Hudson NY, a FAB venue, when they opened for Rachel Price. The Brother Brothers are classically trained string musicians and it shows. Their vocals are sweet Tugboats.

Look for them; they’re worth the ride.


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