Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

November, 2000
Regional Report

Poinsettia Alternatives

Gift plant choices get wilder every year. The traditional poinsettia comes in colors such as white and pink that your grandmother wouldn't recognize. For something different this year, look for tropical bloomers such as 'Red Angelwing' begonia in festive baskets and easy- blooming indoor plants such as butterfly orchids.

Flowering Houseplant Care

Now that you have a holiday gift plant, how do you keep it blooming and thriving? Take the foil off to water it well. Place the houseplant in a spot away from heater vents and cold drafts. Usually, they're most comfortable in the same environment that suits you - between 65F and 68F in moderate amounts of sunlight.

Saving Citrus Seed

You can often start a citrus tree from a seed saved after lunch, but it may not be the same variety you so enjoyed. Although it's a fun gardening activity, especially with kids, the tree you get will resemble the parent plant it came from, but probably won't produce edible fruits. For a reliable citrus tree that will produce reliable fruit, buy a tree.

Fertilize Annuals

Most of our region has finally begun to get some real rain. For now the soils are soft and the roots well watered. It's the perfect time to fertilize actively growing annual flowers, vegetables, and herbs like parsley. Use a soluble fertilizer formula mixed in water, a granular fertilizer to sprinkle on the ground, or a slow-release formula that's activated when you water.

Harvesting Broccoli

As you get ready to harvest the fall broccoli, follow this technique to get more harvest later into the season. Cut the head smoothly and not too low on the main stalk. Leave several leaves beneath the stem you remove. Each place the leaf meets the stem has the potential to send up another tasty shoot for later harvest this winter.


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