Variegated string of pearls

Shea and Dorothy talk about what to be planting right now: garlic chives, everbearing strawberries and Asclepias (the red ones).

We tell you how to understand what your houseplants are telling you; what to do and what NOT to do ij mid-January. One tip: do not fertilize. You could kill that plant you have been nurturing for so long just by trying to be kind.

Some plants don’t like too much light –that tough peace lily, for example, will not be happy in a south facing window – it prefers filtered light so place it away from the window. In winter, most houseplants prefer to be on the dry side and those with really thin leaves may do best if you deliver the moisture via a spray bottle, mister or diffuser.

Shea offers some secrets to making Sansevieria (snake plant) bloom; the key once again is water or rather, lack of water.

Shea gives us some hints about what to expect this spring in his shop, Our Farm Greenhouse, in Portage La Prairie. Many of his competitors will be carrying the same plants. One of the highlights is the orange petunia, ‘Papaya’. It’s part of the Perfect Tunia series which shea says don’t necessarily show best in our hot summers, but it is worth a try. ‘Blizzard’ English Ivy will dazzle your eyes with its speckled leaves, and he is smitten with a new variegated string of pearls which he plans to add to his pots. You can take this succulent inside after the blooming season is over, too.

But Shea saves his biggest superlatives for dwarf figs! He says you will get 30 to 40 figs a year from this new winner! We talk about citrus trees and how grow lemons and oranges indoors, too.

There is new impatiens hybrid that will make many shade gardeners very happy. The old Super Elfins have been plagued by a virus, but the new varieties, ‘Beacons’ (22 inches tall) and ‘Amara’ (10 to 12 inches) are impervious to the fungus. Shea, who likes to prove his plants, even tried to infect them but they successfully warded off his attempts.

Special tip: Shea will have hairy balls impatiens for sale this spring! This monarch magnet is hard to find and does best in terms of producing the biggest seed pods if started indoors.

P. S. We treat you to a couple of songs: Wildflower by Skylark and a beautiful new instrumental: Serenade to Spring by Secret Garden!