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The Garden Mix



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.


Low Maintenance ZZ Indoor Plant

Looking for an easy to grow houseplant? Try the low maintenance uniquely shaped ZZ plant.

You may have seen this indoor beauty in the mall, office buildings, garden center or friends’ homes.   This easy-care plant is also known as zulu, fat boy and eternity plant.  An East African native it has adapted to periods of rain and drought making it a great houseplant.  It prefers bright light but will tolerate low light and dry soil.  Avoid overwatering that can lead to root rot. 
 
The fleshy rhizomes store water and nutrients helping the plant survive difficult times. Dig and separate the rhizomes to start new plants.  Avoid damaging the rhizome as it can lead to root rot. Patient gardeners can try starting new plants from a single leaf.  Remove a leaf, stick the cut end into a well-drained potting mix.  Keep the soil moist and wait for several months for a new rhizome and eventually a new plant to form.
 
A bit more information: You can find more information about this adaptable plant using its botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia.  It is hardy outdoors in zones 9 and warmer. This evergreen plant can eventually grow 3 feet tall and wide.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.


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01/03/2014 11:36AM
Low Maintenance ZZ Indoor Plant
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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
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