Garden Grooming, Part Two

Simple things to dress up your plants

Monday, November 2, 2015

Snails: We’ve had a two-month delay in the rainy season and snails still can be active. Look for holes in leaves. Trim away tattered leaves, then find the culprits. Saucers wedged into the soil so the edges are at ground level, then filled with beer, are said to lure in and drown them. Lay boards or planks laid on the ground near lilies, begonias and other snail-enticing plants and turn them over in the morning to find snails. Drop them in alcohol. Stepping on them is unpleasant in the extreme.

Bromeliads: Pull away dead leaves from the base of these plants. If several leaves are dead, pull away the outermost first and the rest will be more easily removed. Wear long sleeved T-shirts or long gloves to avoid scratches. And rogue those dying mother plants. You may have to rearrange the rest of those in the bed, but this will allow you to remove unsightly leaves and give the bed a fresh appearance.










Look closely for dead leaves, above; Now see the cleaner look of the bromeliad, right.

Tropical water lilies: By this time of year, they often die back and collapse over the side of a container. Tidy up. The same is true of lotus.

Old orchid spikes: Remove with a hand pruner. The temptation is to twist them off, but the result is less than pleasing. How much better the Mokara would look without that dead brown spike, below.

Amaryllis: In the ground, you’ll notice yellowing leaves. Remove them.

Zamia furfuraceae, or cardboard palm: Seedlings appear like magic and a pleasant, fountain-shaped cycad suddenly turns into a shapeless mound of spikey fronds. Get those long gloves out again and prune the lower leaves. Use a lopper to reduce the blood-letting.