1. Life & Culture

Timely Tendings: Prune your roses; know houseplants' light requirements

Published Jan. 23, 2014

Pruning, houseplants and colorful bulbs

Roses should be pruned once each year during January or February in our area. This major yearly pruning consists of removing some healthy growth and all of the dead, injured, diseased or unsightly branches. Leave at least half the length of each main cane that is 1 to 3 years old. The rosebush should bloom again in eight to nine weeks. Pruning cuts should be made just above an outward-facing dormant bud. Be sure to clean up clippings from around your plants after pruning to help prevent the spread of disease. Apply a layer of fresh mulch, keeping it 2 to 3 inches away from the base of the plant.

Houseplants must have light to live. It is important to find out about the light needs for your particular plant. In general, foliage plants require less light than flowering plants. Plants that are not receiving sufficient light may become tall and weak-looking with pale leaves that may drop off. Flowers may also fail to form if it is a flowering plant.

Bulbs are nice additions to the landscape, and now is the time to plant. You may want to try agapanthus, amaryllis, caladium, crinum lily, gloriosa lily and zephyr lily. Work in a generous amount (25 pounds per 100 square feet) of organic matter such as compost, cow manure, sphagnum peat or other types of peat moss. Bulbs planted in large masses produce the best color display. If you had amaryllis in bloom for the holidays, these bulbs can be planted outside and will live and bloom for many years. More information on choosing, planting and caring for bulbs can be found online at


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