Plantrama - plants, landscapes, & bringing nature indoors

Plantrama - plants, landscapes, & bringing nature indoors

Science, Art & Dinner, it’s all in your own backyard. All about plants, gardens, foraging, and more.

Episodes

May 13, 2021 25 min

C.L. and Ellen discuss the internet-based rumor that you should dig a square hole when planting trees, and give suggestions for plants to grow on small trellises and arbors. We finish with a discussion about how to know if a perennial plant will reliably return, or if it’s a “temperennial.”

:40  True or False: Plant trees in square holes
7:41 Eat/Drink/Grow:  Plants for small arbors and trellises
20:51  Love Letters and Questions:...

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The Plantrama team discusses growing and foraging for asparagus, reviews a lovely book about public gardens you ought to see, and answers a listener’s question about the weed called nightshade. They also disagree about topiary…C.L. loves them, Ellen? Not so much.

 :32 What’s For Dinner:  Asparagus ~ wild and garden grown

9:48 Eat/Drink/Grow:    Topiary

22:01 Book Review:     George Weigel’s 50 American Public Gardens You Really Oug...

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C.L. and Ellen tackle the myth that earthworms can grow once cut in half. They extol a favorite vine, the Passiflora, celebrate World Carnivorous Plant Day with margaritas, and discuss water-filled plant protectors.

 

:27 True or False?    Earthworms regrow.     

3:53  Eat/Drink/Grow:  Passion flower vines

14:05   Insider Information:  World Carnivorous Plant Day is May 5th

17:35    Love Letters and Questions:  Reginia asks if we ...

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Spring plants are first and foremost in this episode as we talk about cress, foraged and farmed, the Year of the Hyacinth, and two spring flowers, Ranunculus and Bellis perennis. Ellen and C.L. tell Paul why old carpet might not make the best mulch. 

:40       What’s for dinner:  Cress wild and tame.  

10:13    Insider Information:   The National Gardening Bureau says it’s the year of the Hyacinth.  

14:02    Eat/Drink/Grow:   Abou...

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In this episode we talk about the white perlite in potting mixes, spend the main segment talking about edible flowers, and answer a question about why a listener’s zucchini plants aren’t producing well. 

:30 Plant Noob: What are the white specks in my pots?

3:41 Eat/Drink/Grow: Growing Edible Flowers

17:43 Love Letters and Questions What’s with the lack of zucchini?

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Ellen and C.L. talk about whether fertilizing is always a good thing, and they take a deep dive into the genus Rhododendron, which includes what we commonly call azaleas. Then they answer Candace’s question about whether her spouse’s pruning of the blue hydrangeas is grounds for divorce.

 :33 True or False: Fertilizing never hurts…right?

7:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

24:21 Love Letters and Questions: Pruning blue h...

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Today we discuss garden-grown and foraged food with earthy flavors, and do a deep dive into the importance of soil temperatures for planting, soil activity, seed germination and growth rates. We end with a discussion about what you can expect from houseplants in the winter, and how to decide which plants are appropriate for an area that’s sunny in the winter and shaded in the summer.

 

:30 What’s For Dinner:  Earthy flavors.

6:59 E...

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If you think that pesto has to be made of basil, think again! Ellen and C.L. talk about spring pestos, how quickly plants start to photosynthesize, and discuss the pros and cons of various types of mulch. We end with a question about the best fennel to grow if you want the seeds.

:34   What’s for dinner: Spring Pestos! Make pesto before the basil has even germinated. 

4:58   Insider Information: How quickly does photosynthesis star...

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In this episode we define some terms that plant geeks toss around, and give you a recipe for figuring out what’s wrong with your houseplants. If you’ve ever wondered why fertilizer is called “plant food” or how lichen can grow on a rock or your roof, this is your podcast!

:28   Plant Noob:  Semi-Evergreen? Sub-shrub?
3:39  Eat/Drink/Grow:  Diagnosing problems on houseplants.
17:45 Focus on Fertilizer:  Why fertilizer shouldn’t be t...

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C.L. and Ellen rave about green flowers, explain the difference between aggressive and invasive plants, and discuss the common belief that sunflowers poison other plants. Plus we answer Meredith’s question about why cut flowers don’t grow roots.

 :40 True or False: Sunflowers poison other plants   
5:19  Eat/Drink/Grow: Green Flowers!
14:51 The Plant Noob: The difference between aggressive and invasive plants.
19:31  Love Letters a...

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Did you know that a spring tonic doesn’t have to be a drink? Hear Ellen and C.L. talk about tonics, what to do if you’ve started your seeds too early, the definition of direct sowing and vegetables for hot climates.

:30 What’s For Dinner:  What’s your spring tonic?

4:57 Eat/Drink/Grow:    Starting seeds too early. 

15:31 Insider Information:  What does it mean to direct sow?

19:50 Love Letters and Questions: Erik writes about growi...

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In this episode you’ll hear about ways to prepare the chard, kale or other greens you froze last summer. Learn why water beads up on some leaves, all about Cannas, and if hydrogen peroxide is a good thing to use on plant problems.

:30  What’s for dinner: Greens from the freezer

4:22 Insider Information: What are “Hydrophobic leaves?”

8:55 Eat/Drink/Grow:  Cannas       

17:42 Love Letters and Questions:  Samantha asked about using h...

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February 18, 2021 24 min

Ellen and C.L. explain what a “standard form” plant is and why you might want to plant the perennial yarrow in your landscape. Hear a rave review of Jessica Walliser’s new book about science-based companion planting, and learn about vole trails.

:30  Plant Noob: What’s a “standard?” 
4:13 Eat/Drink/Grow:  Achillea, aka yarrow
14:16 Product Review:  Plant Partners book review
19:45 Love Letters and Questions:  Tedi wonders about the...

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If you’re wondering about sterilizing soil for seed starting, growing peppers in your vegetable garden, or the best water for your houseplants, this episode is for you.

 :30  True or False:  You should bake garden soil in the oven, then use it to start your seeds indoors.
5:35  Eat/Drink/Grow: Growing Peppers
19:53   Love Letters and Questions:  Kari wrote to ask about chlorine in water for houseplants.

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February 4, 2021 22 min

:30    What’s For Dinner: Fennel
7:04    Eat/Drink/Grow: Epiphytes – what they are, some common houseplants that are epiphytic, and what this means for how we care for those plants.
15:03   Insider Information: What are pelleted seeds?
19:44  Love Letters and Questions:    Melissa writes about paperwhite narcissus.

Ellen and C.L talk about growing fennel, what an epiphytic plant is, and why you may want to try some pellitized seeds...

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In this episode of Plantrama we talk about essential herbs to grow or forage for, pinching plants to make them bushy, African violets and a Zoom houseplant event in February.

:28  What’s for dinner: Essential herbs to grow or forage for.

7:40     Insider Information: “Pinching” tips off of plants to make them bushier.  

12:33   Eat/Drink/Grow:  African violets – Saintpaulia

21:02   Connections:  Zoom with us the Plantrama Team!

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Ellen and C.L. discuss plants that male or female, how some plants are used to remove harmful substances from the soil, and why it might be good to test old seed instead of automatically tossing it out.

:27   Plant Noob: Dioecious plants

8:33      Eat/Drink/Grow: Phytoremediation

16:48    Love Letters and Questions:  Karen wrote to ask about the seeds she has left from past years.

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The Plantrama team discusses the clearly fake rainbow tomatoes, growing the wonderfully real jade plants indoors, and Ellen’s new craft cocktail class.

 :30 True or False: Rainbow Tomato Seeds

3:17 Eat/Drink/Grow: Jade plants: Crassula 

13:29 Insider Information:  Ellen’s online craft cocktail course

17:30 Love Letters and Questions: Anthony writes asking why lichen seems to shrink and grow.

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Hear ideas for making quiche or frittatas, learn about earthworm castings and why it’s good for plants, and discover a cactus that grows in most of North America.

:36   What’s For Dinner: Quiche or Frittata

5:55    Eat/Drink/Grow:  Earthworm Castings.

15:52   Insider Information: Opuntia humifusa, prickly pear cactus

21:56   Love Letters and Questions:    Anne writes about blue flowers.

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In this New Year’s Eve podcast, Ellen and C.L. raise a glass to toast a better year ahead. Hear about small in-home greenhouse/terrariums, learn about “pencil cactus,” and listen to our answer for Quinn, who wants to fertilize his Ohio lawn in the winter.

:30  What’s For Dinner: Celebratory Cocktails   
6:04 Eat/Drink/Grow: Tiny Home Greenhouses
12:57 Plant Noob:   Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'
21:00 Love Letters and...

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