Ask the Master Gardener Aloe plants offer benefits aside from

Ask the Grasp Gardener: Aloe crops supply advantages other than their magnificence

Reply: The aloe plant is a highly regarded succulent houseplant as a result of it’s simple to develop, has medicinal worth (the gel contained in the leaves is used to deal with burns) and is kind of beautiful. Your plant is new, so it most likely doesn’t want repotting, but when there are roots protruding the holes of the underside of the pot, then it does. Aloes produce infants, referred to as pups, round its base. When the pups have a number of units of leaves, separate them from the mom plant. Take the plant out of the pot and lower the pups off with a pointy knife. If the pup has roots, then plant it in a small pot with potting combine particularly for succulents. If it doesn’t have roots, put it on a chunk of newspaper or cardboard in a darkish, cool, dry place for twenty-four hours to develop a callus, then pot it. The pups with roots want deep watering at first when the soil has absolutely dried out. Water the pups with out roots much less typically to encourage root improvement. Hold the pups out of direct daylight whereas they’re getting began. It can most likely take a few month or two to seek out out in case your propagation was profitable.

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Expensive Grasp Gardener: Holly is so fairly within the panorama and for vacation décor. Can we develop it in Minnesota?

Reply: The brief reply isn’t any. American holly, Ilex opaca, is not going to develop in Minnesota as a result of it freezes, turns black and dies when temperatures go under 26 levels. Usually florists carry it at Christmas time in an effort to add it to your vacation decor. Holly leaves dry out and fall from their stems after 7-10 days however hormone remedy and anti-transpirant spray can prolong their attractiveness as much as 14 days. Fortuitously, florist holly has normally been handled for you. Nonetheless it will likely be greatest served by placement out of direct solar in a cool spot.u0009

There’s a Minnesota holly, Ilex verticillata, generally referred to as winterberry. It has considerable and showy crimson berries however its deciduous leaves aren’t shiny and spiny. It makes a beautiful, low shrub in a panorama, and stems with berries could be introduced indoors at vacation time.

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Expensive Grasp Gardener: I simply discovered some daffodil bulbs on my potting bench that I forgot to plant. Is it too late?

Reply: Though it isn’t perfect, so long as the bottom isn’t frozen, you may nonetheless plant them. It’s greatest to plant daffodil bulbs in late September or early October. I do know somebody who planted forgotten daffodil bulbs final 12 months at this similar time when there was snow on the bottom however it wasn’t frozen. They got here up within the spring simply fantastic.

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Expensive Grasp Gardener: My African violet is wilted and limp though the soil within the pot is moist. What’s unsuitable with my plant?

Reply: More than likely your African violet has been over-watered. First, verify to see if the roots are mushy, brown and slimy. If they’re, your plant has root rot and doubtless received’t survive. If the roots look wholesome, repot the plant in a container that drains effectively. Enable your plant to dry out between every watering. By no means let your crops sit in water.

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  • Earlier than snow covers the bottom, cowl your strawberry mattress with 2 to three inches of mulch. Straw and leaf mulch are good selections.

  • Examine in your dahlia, canna, and calla tubers, in addition to produce reminiscent of potatoes or winter squash that you’ve got saved for later use. Eliminate something that has shriveled considerably, developed smooth areas, smells humorous or exhibits different indicators of rotting. If the potatoes are sprouting it means they don’t seem to be being stored cool sufficient and if they’re turning inexperienced, some gentle is getting by way of to them.

  • One of the simplest ways to maintain icy sidewalks, steps and driveways protected with out damaging close by crops is to rely totally on sand, grit, or cheap clay kitty litter slightly than de-icing merchandise. De-icer ultimately runs off and accumulates within the soil. The extra you utilize over the winter, the extra doubtless that your grass and crops will probably be “burned” by the salt.

  • Poinsettias are simple vacation crops to develop. Be sure that to get them (and all crops) residence with out struggling chilly harm. Crops needs to be wrapped effectively, then transported in a heated automobile, not left within the automobile when you do different procuring. Lower the underside of the foil or different ornamental masking (or punch holes within the backside) so extra water drains out and place your poinsettia in brilliant, oblique gentle. Water completely when the soil floor begins to dry, then fertilize month-to-month after 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Don’t hesitate to purchase a recent Minnesota grown Christmas tree. They’re a renewable crop produced on marginal agricultural land. As timber are harvested, others are planted for future gross sales. Whereas conifers develop, they scale back soil erosion and supply habitat for wildlife. When you get the tree residence, lower roughly 1 inch off its base, then set it instantly in a stand that holds loads of water. No components are wanted; simply be certain that the water doesn’t run out.

  • December has the bottom gentle and poorest rising circumstances of the 12 months. Due to this fact, don’t fertilize houseplants this month. Do maintain crops adequately watered.

  • If you happen to haven’t performed so already, clear and oil backyard instrument blades and wood handles to delay their lives and look.

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It’s possible you’ll get your backyard questions answered by calling the brand new Grasp Gardener Assist Line at 218-824-1068 and leaving a message. A grasp gardener will return your name. Or, emailing me at and I’ll reply you within the column if area permits.
College of Minnesota Extension Grasp Gardeners are skilled and licensed volunteers for the College of Minnesota Extension. Data given on this column is predicated on college analysis.

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