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The Greener View: Do Trees Need to be Painted?

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I am planting some 6- to 10-foot-tall fruit trees and a couple of small shade trees. Is there really a benefit to painting the tree trunks or wrapping them in that spiral wrap stuff?

A: How many trees do you see in nature that are painted or wrapped? Tree trunks do not normally need to be painted or wrapped in plastic pipe, wire or cloth. ...Read more

The Greener View: Spring Wildflowers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Spring is moving north. One way we know that is to look at the early spring ephemeral wildflowers. These flowers are designed to leaf out, bloom, produce seeds and then go dormant before the landscape becomes too shady. Some of them keep their leaves all summer, and some go dormant as the summer heat comes.

Anyone who has spent much time in the...Read more

The Greener View: Spring Garden Pest Control

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As spring arrives, it is time to start scouting for signs of diseases, insects and weeds. Once a pest is found that may result in significant damage, a control measure must be found to produce an economical reduction of the pest population. The control must also be minimally disruptive to the natural controls of the pest. It should be the least ...Read more

The Greener View: Easter Lilies and Early Tomatoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last year at this time, around Easter, most areas had lockdowns. Most churches were not able to have in-person services and were not buying Easter lilies. I wrote about how many independent garden centers that sold Easter lilies, annual flowers and vegetable plants were having a hard time financially. But as people stayed home from work and ...Read more

The Greener View: Rose Care and Privacy Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last year, I planted six roses. Over the winter, the stems have turned brown except for the very bottom. Rabbits have begun eating some of them. Is there something I can do to protect them?

A: Late winter is a hard time of year for many animals. New sprouts have not yet started their growth, and last year's foods are almost gone. Rabbits and...Read more

The Greener View: New Plants on the Horizon

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Unfortunately, this year, the Tropical Plant International Expo was held online instead of in person. There are many wonderful producers of houseplants and their accessories that really need to be seen in person to really see what the plants look like, how big they are, how healthy they are, etc. Fortunately, a lot of plants and accessories were...Read more

The Greener View: The Great Grow Along

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As we have been talking about the past few weeks, many people are new to gardening. In the past, we could count on going to seminars at spring flower and garden shows all across the country. Most were canceled last year, but there are a few coming this year, some with modifications. For instance, instead of a late-winter, indoor event, the ...Read more

The Greener View: New Books for New Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As we talked about last week, many people became gardeners in the past few years, especially last year. Gardeners have always turned to books to help them learn. Here are new books that are going to deserve a special place on the gardener's bookshelf.

For the people who are new to houseplants, there is a need for a dictionary to look up plant ...Read more

The Greener View: Plant Parenthood

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Do you consider yourself a plant parent? It used to be that we just grew houseplants because we liked plants. Some of us were a bit more fanatical about it, and we knew that if a room had a window, it had to have a plant. A few of us had culinary aspirations, and we grew herbs on a windowsill over the winter. For us, houseplants have always been...Read more

The Greener View: Lighting for Houseplants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

A lot more people are growing houseplants because they are staying home and want a prettier house. Unfortunately, many homes don't have enough good-quality light for plants that need bright light. Obviously, lights can be added to those dark corners, but what kind of light should you get?

Not every lightbulb, or the quantity and quality of ...Read more

The Greener View: Fiddle Leaf Fig

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Let's start today's article with a one-question quiz. When it is growing in nature, is the common houseplant fiddle leaf fig, Ficus lyrata, A) a tropical tree; B) an epiphyte that grows on the branches of another tree; C) a killer plant that strangles other plants; or D) all of the above.

The answer is D, all of the above. In ...Read more

The Greener View: Rubber Tree Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

You may not remember the 1959 Oscar award-winning song titled "High Hopes" and sung by Frank Sinatra, but I do. Don't worry; I won't sing any of it. But here are some of the lyrics:

"Just what makes that little old ant think he'll move that rubber tree plant. / Anyone knows an ant can't -- move a rubber tree plant. / But he's got high hopes; he...Read more



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