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In this issue:
Dim rooms can grow these bright plants
Shopping for grow lights, simplified
Watering bulbs for indoor plants, deflated!
How to continue composting in winter
Pruning: Loppers vs. saw
Painting after pruning: Not!
Winter eye for tree shaping and preventing spring trouble
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Please note: This is an archive issue. Any educational events
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Greenery for dim rooms
Where the light is low, don't plan for flowers unless you also
plan to rotate plants regularly to promote bloom and restore the
plant after it's been in the dark. Better to choose plants for
dramatic or interesting leaves. An upright cast-iron plant next to
a trailing variegated ivy can make a great, easy-care statement
even in low light.
Above: Many gardeners know the Boston fern but not the
other Nephrolepis ferns, including the much more shade
tolerant 'Dallas' and 'Lemon Button' (here).
Below right: Spider plant. In lower light its hanging
plantlets may be more widely spaced. Their spacing can't be changed
but you can just clip off the whole hanging stem.
Below left: Given supplemental fluorescent light, many other
plants including Dieffenbachia can grace a windowless space.
I say lopper, you say saw...
Bypass cutting tools such as the loppers (above) are better
than anvil-type cutters. In a bypass cutter like this one the
cutting blade (a) crosses its partner in a scissors motion for the
cleanest possible pincer cut. However, that noncutting surface (b)
limits the angle and closeness of cut. That half of the clipper can
rend and crush, as well -- especially if the person wielding the
tool takes on a limb that's bigger than blade or handler can manage
Above: Where the blade of the loppers began its cut on the
apple twig shown on the previous page, that thumb-sized branch was
sliced cleanly (a) and will heal quickly. However, the
opposing side (b) was mangled by pressure from the non-cutting part
of the pincer (b). Wood there was just as firm as that on
the left edge until it was crushed under the bark, leaving the gap
you see here (b1). That cavity will invite fungus and take
longer to fill with restorative wound wood than if it had been cut
clean to match the "a" side. In this case, additional
damage was done. The loppers tore the critical layer that must do
the real work to grow over the wound -- the cambium. The
flap of green (b2) is bark and cambium ripped away from the branch
that remained on the tree. Thus the tree has that much
more edge to protect and grow over on the stub before it can seal
the exposed wood.
If you came to this page by doing a
In this issue you will find answers to these Search terms:
branch bark collar
bypass cutting tools
Dallas sword fern
Fiddle leaf fig
full-spectrum fluorescent light
glass watering bulb
inspecting trees in winter
lighting a terrarium
low light plant care
low light plants
making clean pruning cuts
Nephrolepsis fern "Lemon Button"
plants for dim rooms
red spectrum light
storing kitchen waste in the winter
Worms Eat My Garbage
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