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GARDEN Q&A

July 20, 1986|PAUL B. ENGLER

Q: We want to convert one of our windows into a mini-greenhouse. For the widest variety of plants, which is better, a west- or an east-facing window? -- H.P., South Pasadena A: East- and west-facing windows receive about the same amount of light, and in them you can grow everything from ferns and begonias to palms and Christmas cactus. Plants requiring high light intensity should be placed in bright windows facing south. These include zebra plant, croton, prayer plant, wax plant, weeping fig, Jerusalem cherry and crown-of-thorns. Windows facing north offer enough light to grow snake plant, pothos, philodendron, nephthytis and piggy-back plant.

Q: Is it true there are fertilizers that help water penetrate soil? -- H.C., Riverside A: The compounds you've heard of aren't fertilizers but neutral admixtures that break up the molecular structure of water so that it easily moves downward among soil particles. A must in yards with either adobe soil or compacted soil, water penetrants also help moisture remain longer, giving roots more time to absorb food and water. They are found in some liquid fertilizers.

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