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Shagbark Hickory, Starting Flowers From Seed, and Organic Fertilizers

This program explains why you might want to plant a hickory tree, and which flowers can be started indoors this spring. C.L. and Ellen also discuss how organic fertilizers work and why you should appreciate that they aren’t instantly available to plants. The episode ends with the mystery of the disappearing foxglove plants. :30 Did You Know: What is a shagbark hickory tree and why should you care? recipe for shagbark hickory syrup Go Native Tree Farm in Manheim PA is a place you can...


Fragrant Plants Indoors, Eating Spruce Tips, and Plantrama Seattle

In this episode Ellen and C.L. talk about eating the tips off of spruce trees, what people mean when they say they are “forcing plants,” and which houseplants can bring fragrance into your home this winter. :32 What’s for dinner: Spruce tips! Euell Gibbons was right… 5:35 Plant Noob: What does “forcing plants” mean? 9:13 Eat/Drink/Grow: Growing fragrant houseplants 16:00 Love Letters and Questions: Randall asks if the Plantrama team will be back in Seattle this winter for the...


Rainbow Roses, Dish Garden Care, and Jerusalem Artichokes

In Episode 64 C.L. and Ellen discuss the “rainbow rose scam,” how to handle the plants in a dish garden, growing and eating Jerusalem artichokes, and smaller sunflowers for the garden. :28 True or False? You Can Grow Rainbow Roses From Seed 4:49 Plant Noob: What to do with a dish garden long term 8:19 Eat/Drink/Grow: Jerusalem artichokes - Helianthus tuberosus, aka sunchokes. 17:10 Love Letters and Questions: Sandy asks about growing dwarf sunflowers This episode of Plantrama is...


Wintergreen, Bromeliads and GMO Seeds

On this winter episode Ellen and C.L. consider a North American native plant that has been a favorite flavoring for gum, tea and toothpaste. We discuss why perennials bloom at a particular time of year, chat about why we love bromeliad plants, and explain how to care for them. At the end of the podcast we answer Paul’s question about GMO seeds. :31 What’s For Dinner? Wintergreen – leaves and berries. 6:44 Insider Information: Why do perennials bloom at a particular time? 10:33...


Nematodes, Avocados and Berms

In this December episode Ellen and C.L. talk about nematodes (harmful and beneficial), and the amazing sex life of the avocado flower. C.L. gives her opinion about putting small berms in a landscape, and tells a story that her berm rant sparked from someone in her audience. We answer Ellen’s question about gardening when high…in an upper altitude, that is. :27 Did You Know? What the heck are nematodes, and should gardeners care? 6:00 Eat/Drink/Grow: All about avocados. A pretty cool...


Juniper Berries, Banana Plants and Perennials From Seed

In this episode Ellen and C.L. talk about the misinformation about edible juniper berries that you find online. We talk about growing banana plants, and why you might want to start perennials from seed. Lauren asks about germinating milkweed seed. :30 What’s for Dinner? Juniper berries…really? See Ellen’s post about Juniper berries on her blog. 7:16 Eat/Drink/Grow: Banana plants. Growing hardy varieties in cold climates or tropical types in containers. 17:53 Insider Information: Growing...


Lucky Bamboo, Bracts and Pruning Evergreens

Ellen and C.L. talk about lucky bamboo; what type of plant it is and how to care them. We explain what bracts are and why some plants have very showy ones, talk about making more plants by air layering, and answer Sal’s question about pruning evergreens now so the greens can be used for holiday decorating. :32 True or False? Lucky bamboo. Is it really bamboo? Is it lucky? 7:25 Plant Noob: Bracts. What are they? 12:20 Eat/Drink/Grow: Propagating plants by “air layering.” 17:51 Love...


Getting a Peace Lily to Bloom, Human Hair in the Garden, and Biennials

Hear Ellen and C.L. talk about the practice of putting human hair in the garden will keep critters away. Next we explain how to get a peace lily to flower again, and the difference been a plant that’s an epiphyte and one that’s a parasite. C.L. tells how she came to be a garden communicator (she never intended to write and talk about plants and gardens!) and we answer Sam’s question about when biennials flower. :32 True or False? Will human hair keep critters out of the garden? 3:12...


Grow Lights, Holiday Boxwood Trees, and Our Thanksgiving Table

Acorn baklava and creamed chard start off this episode. Hear how holiday boxwood trees are made, and learn about providing your indoor plants with supplemental lighting. A listener asks about “seed FOMO” – should seeds be ordered now and will they still be good next spring? :40 What’s for dinner: Ellen and C.L. talk about what dishes are on their Thanksgiving table. As usual, Ellen’s forager’s table is way more exotic than C.L.’s gardener’s table. 6:11 Insider Information: How are the...


A Hot Houseplant, Worm Castings and Shepard’s Purse

In this episode of Plantrama Ellen and C.L. talk about a very common (and edible) weed known as shepherd’s purse. They discuss how to successfully grow the large-foliaged houseplant, fiddle leaf fig, and explain the benefits of worm castings. Their question this week comes from Carson who wants to know how to prevent mouse damage in her house and shed. :28 Did You Know: We talk about a common weed, Capsella bursa-pastoris, aka shepherd’s purse. 5:50 Eat/Drink/Grow: Learn about the...


Tropical Hibiscus, Plant Gifts, and Cooking Dandelion Greens

On Plantrama today Ellen talks about cooking dandelion greens and then she and C.L. differ about bringing someone a plant as a gift. They agree about growing and how to over-winter tropical hibiscus, and explain how to store dahlia tubers. :31 What’s For Dinner: How to cook dandelion greens. Find Ellen's recipes and links on our website. 4:10 Plant Noob: Should you bring someone a plant as a gift? Ellen and C.L. disagree. 9:09 Eat Drink Grow: Tropical hibiscus – how to keep this...


Blue Hydrangeas, Cattails and Birdseed Shells

In this episode we talk about the common belief that the shells of sunflower seeds “poison plants.” We also discuss why some people can grow blue mop head hydrangeas but others have a hard time getting them to flower. You’ll learn about the importance of cattails in nature and to a forager, and hear about preserving a #LeafStackChallenge. :28 True or false? Birdseed shells poison plants. Are they really allelopathic? (Allelopathy is a biological occurrence when an organism/plant...


Walnuts, Banana Peels and Storing Seeds You Didn’t Plant

Ellen and C.L. begin by talking about walnuts, foraged and cultivated. Discover if banana peels are good for your roses and if you need to spray your evergreens with an anti-desiccant. Learn how to store seeds that you didn’t use last summer, and if common houseplants are edible. :32 What’s For Dinner? English walnuts and foraged black walnuts. 4:22 Insider Information: Are banana peels really good for roses? 8:50 Eat/Drink/Grow: Anti-desiccants. What they are, what they do, and...


Plant Sex, Seeds for Birds and a Leaf-Stack Review

Ellen and C.L. discuss why you might not want to do a “fall cleanup” of your perennials. Next, we discuss S-E-X among the photosynthesizing crowd. Male and female plants, what that means for your landscape, and what happens if you don’t have both sexes. We review Asclepias speciosa ‘Davis’ and bring you up to date about #LeafStackChallenge posts on Twitter and Instagram. :33 Did You Know: Leaving perennials so the birds can eat the seeds. 5:35 Eat/Drink/Grow: Plant Sex! Male and female...


Carrots, Repotting Houseplants, and Halloween Pumpkin Seeds

Today we’re talking about carrots, wild and domestic. We explain that before a plant has fruit it comes into flower, and discuss the how, why, how often and when of repotting houseplants. This episode finishes with Sandy’s question,“Can I plant, or eat, the seeds we take out of the pumpkins that are being carved for Halloween?” :30 What’s For Dinner: Carrots 4:52 Plant Noob: Flowers Before Fruit 8:28 Eat/Drink/Grow: Repotting Houseplants 20:50 Love Letters and Questions: Eating and...


Staking Trees, Pinching Plants and Harvest Parties

In this episode Ellen and C.L. discuss staking trees and pinching plants. They give ideas for holding a harvest party, tell about the first plant they fell in love with, and answer Kip’s question about preserving garden and foraged foods. :35 True or False? Staking Trees. Do you need to stake a tree when you plant it? 4:18 For The Plant Noob. What does it mean to “pinch plants” and why would you want to do so? 8:47 Eat/Drink/Grow. Harvest Party! Ideas for gathering with family and...


Leeks, Fall Mums, and Why Plants in Pots Stay Smaller

In Episode 50 Ellen and C.L. talk about growing leeks, the fall classic Chrysanthemum, and how Robbie found lumpy tubers in the windowbox. Plus we discuss why plants that are in pots won’t grow as large as the same plant put into the ground. :33 What’s for dinner: Leeks 5:30 Eat/Drink/Grow: Mums! Whether you call them Mums Chrysanthemum, or Dendranthema, do you love them or hate them? Or do you eat them? 13:25 Did You Know: Plants in a pot will stay smaller than those planted in the...


Weird Plant Growth, Growing Garlic, and Orchid Rebloom

In episode 49 Ellen and C.L. discuss how to get an orchid to rebloom, how to plant garlic this fall, and why you occasionally see a stem go crazy and grow in a flat, contorted manner. All this and a review of the Dramm One Touch Rain Wand. :30 Plant Noob: What’s that weird stem on my plant? It could be the ever fascinating fasciation. 4:46 Eat/Drink/Grow: It’s garlic planting time, so we talk 11:31 Product Review: Dramm One Touch Rain Wand. What it is and why we love using it. 16:10 Love...


Apples, Amaryllis, and The Truth About Acorns

In this episode we’re talking about apple recipes and getting your amaryllis to bloom again this year. We discuss whether a large crop of acorns really means it will be a long, cold winter, and answer a listener's question about bringing plants inside. :30 What’s for dinner: Apples, wild and domestic. 4:58 True or False? A big crop of acorns means that there will be a hard winter. 8:03 Eat/Drink/Grow: Amaryllis, Part II. Bringing them indoors, chilling/resting, repotting (if needed) and...


Planting Bulbs, Ten-Minute Improvements, and The Leaf-Stack Challenge

:55 Just For Fun: It’s the leaf stack challenge! Or we should say, #leafstackchallenge 4:00 Eat/Drink/Grow: Quick fixes to your landscape. Whether you’re having company or just want to spruce up the garden for your own pleasure, Ellen and C.L. offer 10-minute fixes anyone can do. 11:16 Insider Information: Myths about planting bulbs. Thanks to Bill Miller, Professor of Horticulture at Cornell for giving us the real dirt on planting bulbs. See the bulb planting machine here. 15:20 Love...