Remembering your inside plants

Finally it’s time to dust off winter. Spring has sprung in Central Texas, and it’s time for pulling weeds and mowing lawns and getting your hands in that beautiful soil. It’s definitely time to be outside. However, let’s not forget those amazing indoor plants’they need a good dusting off also. I say amazing because of the fact that plants manufacture their own food and they do this through their leaves. As a by-product of this process, you are provided with oxygen to breathe. Therefore, a clean plant will also be a healthier plant. There are many ways to clean and shine the leaves of your wonderful plants. Washing leaves by hand removes dust, dirt and grime. Sponges, diaper wipes and even old tube socks slid up to your elbows can effectively clean both sides of the leaves. Use a mild dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water with your sponges or just use diaper wipes and toss when finished. As part of the cleaning process, remember to remove any brown or yellow leaves from your plant or container. This method of cleaning works especially well with broad-leafed plants like dracaena corn plants or Janet Craigs, spathiphyllum peace lilies, crotons and all palms and bamboos. For pothos ivy, because of the many leaves, you can also place them in the bathtub and give them a shower’they love a good soaking. Did you know your broader-leafed plants like peace lilies and corn plants do not require as much light as your smaller-leafed plants like ficus trees’ All plants have their own particular light requirements. The rate and amount of growth is directly related to the amount of light a plant receives. If you are having problems getting your inside plants to grow, it is usually because of overwatering, underwatering or lack of light. I love plants. Nothing brightens up a room like a beautiful, dust-free, happy plant. My home looks like a jungle. I admit it. I think every home and every office should have at least one plant in each room. They are amazing, beautiful and healthful. Have a great week! If you have planting questions on herbs, vegetables or any plant topic, remember to call the McCulloch County Extension Office at 597-1295 every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Just ask for a master gardener. If you would like to become a master gardener and would like more information, please contact Pat Summer at 597-0378.

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