Backyard cuttings

Cuttings: Garden pruners can spread plant diseases

Pruners can sow epidemics in the garden

If pruning is on your to-do list this weekend, proceed with caution. Don't move from wilted or dead plants to healthy ones without sterilizing the blade of your pruners with bleach, or you may spread disease from a sick plant to a healthy one. Bleach is corrosive, so the pruner should then be lubricated with a little light oil, such as WD-40.

Houseplants can water themselves

Are the plants too dry? Too wet? Who knows? Fret no more over whether to water. Inner porous clay pots sit in a clear glass outer pot. Fill the outer pot with water and let the plants drink through the clay. They come in 6-inch, 7 1/2-inch and 10-inch sizes (that's the dimension of the clay pots), starting at $24.95, or in a set of three 4-inch herb pots for $44.95. Wet Pots are available only at Gardener's Supply, www.gardeners.com, toll-free

1-800-427-3363.

Flower show goes 'way down yonder

The Philadelphia Flower Show, one of the great spring shows up North, continues through Sunday. Visit www.theflowershow.com and watch a slide show of images to see how the Pennsylvania Convention Center has been transformed into New Orleans (this year's theme is "Jazz It Up"). You can almost smell the magnolias.

More to love at Epcot flower fest

The 15th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has been expanded this year from 60 to 75 days, starting March 19. What to see? Seventy topiaries; 30-million blooms; butterfly, rose and bonsai gardens on 305 acres. Gardeners rotate the crops twice during the festival to keep things fresh. Plus, enjoy guest gardeners, entertainment, hands-on seminars, lots more. To view the full schedule, go to www.

disneyworld.com/flower. The festival is included in regular admission to Epcot at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista off I-4 near Orlando.

The natural garden grows more leisure

Term of the week: "natural garden." The natural garden requires less work than tightly clipped hedges and manicured lawns. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free garden, but this style will grow full with little work. Cut back perennials once a year, prune woody shrubs only when they're growing where you don't want them, mulch, then enjoy, says horticulturist Joel Lerner, writing in the Washington Post.

Compiled by Times homes and garden editor Judy Stark

Cuttings: Garden pruners can spread plant diseases 03/07/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2008 5:00am]

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