Dear Master Gardener: I love my houseplant, Pothos. Occasionally, I find a yellow leaf. Is there anything wrong with my plant?
Dear Sandra: I think I will send a letter to the powers that be and ask if we can declare a National Appreciation Day for pothos. I, also, love houseplants and pothos are one of the easiest plants on earth to grow. Pothos have a shiny green sometimes variegated, leaf. Luckily, your plant does not require much water.
Once, I put a pothos in the lady’s room at my church. I believe every lady who went into the rest room gave it a drink of water. That’s the only pothos I have had that did not survive. To check and see if your plant needs water, just stick a pencil down into the soil and if it comes back with a little soil on it, it does not need water. I think it is a good idea to take your houseplants outside during the summer and keep them in a shady spot, so you can water them with your hose.
That way, the water can run all the way through the pot. If you just pour a little water on your plant from time to time it will build up mineral deposits. That can create brown tips.
If you set your plant in a shady spot and feed it with an even numbered fertilizer like 20-20-20, it will produce numerous shoots. Then you can pull them up and plant them in another pot. With that, you will have some to take to your friends and neighbors.
I have to ask you not to let the plant grow around the ceiling of your house. If you do, the portion in the pot becomes scraggly and looks terrible. The occasional yellow leaf is just a natural attrition and won’t hurt anything,
However, if the entire plant turns light green or yellow, it is lacking iron, so give it a dose of Epson salts. Simply put some Epson salt in warm water, dissolve it and pour it into the soil. Even plants need to have their roots taken care of periodically.
Dear Master Gardener. I see so many crape myrtles that are blooming and beautiful. My crape myrtles grow tall and spindly and only have a few blooms at the top. What’s going on?
Dear Bewildered: I cannot take credit for the answer to your question but, nonetheless, I can give you an answer that I hope will help. According to my lifelong friend and excellent gardener, Shirley Dibble, crape myrtles bloom on new growth, so it is necessary to prune your plants periodically.
Prune crape myrtles in December or very early spring before they put on their leaves. Here is the rub: Be careful to prune judiciously and don’t go crazy just leveling the tops into an even top. Think about how the plant grows naturally before taking your clippers in hand. Once it is cut, there is no putting it back together.