Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!
Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Easy-Grow Ponytail Palm
by Melinda Myers,posted Mar 6 2013 11:59AM
Add a ponytail palm to your indoor garden. This easy-to-grow plant is perfect for new and brown thumb gardeners. Its unique shape makes it fun for those who are more experienced.
The ponytail palm, also known as elephant’s foot palm, is not a palm but rather a succulent. The base of the plant is swollen and resembles an elephant’s foot, while the narrow stem is topped with long curved leaves that look like a ponytail.
Grow this succulent in a bright sunny window. The biggest problem is overwatering. So always water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are slightly dry. Occasionally spritz the plants with warm water and wipe off the dust and any mites with a soft cloth.
They need very little fertilizer. You can apply a dilute solution of any houseplant fertilizer once or twice between spring and fall.
These plants are slow growing and long lived. It can take these plants 20 years to reach 6 feet in height.
A bit more information: Brown leaf tips can be an indication of too much or not enough water. Monitor your watering schedule and adjust as needed. You can start these plants from seed or remove offsets (small plantlets) in spring if any form at the base of the plant.
Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants.
These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests.
Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding.
Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high.
A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
If you ever get a chance to see Milwaukee from the water...do it! I don't know what it is about the water but everything looks beautiful when you're on the water. I took these over the weekend and just looking at them calms me. We have a beautiful city enjoy it and enjoy what's left of summer:)