White and pink amaryllis in bloom by Stofko

Forcing amaryllis: Were we doing it wrong?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A few years ago, David Clark, nationally and internationally known gardening educator, shared tips with us on potting and caring for an amaryllis. Now he has changed his methods. “It’s always good to learn new ways,” Clark said. “What a huge difference it made in the way my flowers grew.” Clark also gives us advice on what to do if the amaryllis gets red streaks on its leaves. You can learn more from Clark in the…

alocasia 'Regal Shields'

Monumental growth in one season; you can get these plants now

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you are aching to garden, check out exciting tropical plants called elephant ears and red banana plants, which can grow to impressive heights by the end of summer. The best part is that you don’t have to wait to get started — you can grow them inside now! Those are are some of the plants you’ll be able to buy next week at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses’ booth at Plantasia. Plantasia, Western New York’s premier…

Sansevieria

Easy houseplant for beginners, plus more from Master Gardeners

If you want an easy plant to grow indoors, choose sansevieria, also known as snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue or bowstring hemp. That’s the recommendation from Lisa Marie Gee in an article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Sansevieria is a good houseplant for beginners because it will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and some neglect. Sansevieria can do well in light ranging…

houseplants in Buffalo NY

Learn about indoor plants on Buffalo Houseplant Swap

“I have so many houseplants,” said Rachel Gottlieb of North Buffalo. “When I would divide and repot them, every year I had a bunch of plants without homes.” Gottlieb would try to give them to people she knew, but she wasn’t always successful. She wanted to find people who would be excited to get her leftover houseplants, so she went online to find a group. “That kind of group should have already existed, but it didn’t, so I made a…

spider plant

Caring for spider plants, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

Spider plants are popular for indoors because they look great with a waterfall of foliage and little “spiderlets” of leaves. They’re easy to care for, too, according the article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Read more about spider plants here.  Also in this month’s edition, read: Fall fungi, which discusses mushrooms that pop up in your lawn Crazy about clematis This month in the garden,…

white glitter poinsettia in Amherst NY

Poinsettias are easy to maintain, so why doesn’t yours rebloom?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We know that it’s easy to care for poinsettia plants. They can last through January and into spring without much effort, and many gardeners successfully nurture their poinsettias through summer. So why can’t we get poinsettias to rebloom the following year? And since poinsettias are so easy to care for, why do we buy the plants? Why don’t we start from scratch and grow poinsettia plants ourselves? “It’s difficult,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses,…

houseplants in Amherst NY

Get rid of bugs before you bring plants indoors for winter

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question I got from a reader: Hi Connie, I was wondering if you had any suggestions about debugging houseplants that were outside for the summer, before bringing them back inside the house. I have a few plants to bring indoors and noticed little red spiders crawling around. I’m reluctant to have them back in my house. So, are there any “natural” sprays?  Should I just “ditch” them?  Any suggestions would be appreciated. Btw,…

trailing African violet 'Cirelda'

International African violet convention to be held in Buffalo; you can attend

by Connie Oswald Stofko People from across the United States, Canada and the world will come to Buffalo this month for the annual convention of the African Violet Society of America (AVSA), a a joint effort with the African Violet Society of Canada (AVSC). “I’ve even had people from Ukraine and Armenia contact me about how to get visas to come here,” said Judy Niemira, local co-chair for the convention and current president of the African Violet and Gesneriad Society of Western New…

bonsai of Japanese juniper

Mischler’s introduces bonsai plants & supplies; see them at Plantasia

  by Connie Oswald Stofko You can now get mature bonsai, bonsai starter kits and bonsai supplies at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. As we learned a few years ago, bonsai (pronounced bone-SIGH) is created by pruning and training a tree over a period of years to keep it small while giving it the form and shape of a mature tree. If you’re a beginner, you may enjoy the starter kits. If you’re already in the process…

aphids on oxeye daisy

Winter bugs: how they get on indoor plants & what to do about it

by Steven Jakobi, Allegany County Master Gardener volunteer   One of the hardest things for me when the weather turns cold is to let go of my annuals. I mean, these are my babies. I started them from seed early in the spring, nurtured them throughout the summer, saw them flower and fruit and then, with the first hard frost, I have to see them perish. To prevent their demise, I bring as many of them as I can into the…