QUESTION: I recently bought a pot of miniature roses at my local supermarket. I've been trying to grow them in my kitchen window, but most of the leaves have turned yellow and they don't look like they're going to make it. I know miniature roses are easy to grow outside in the garden, but is it really possible to grow them indoors?
ANSWER: Absolutely. Miniature roses make wonderful houseplants, and the high-quality plants (next time buy them at a nursery, garden center, or through a catalogue) will usually do as well indoors as out, as long as you provide them with a southern exposure, keep their soil uniformly moist at all times, and feed them once a month with a soluble rose fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro, Ortho or Peters. Minis will also flourish indoors under plant-grow lights.
Umbrella Tree Leaves Falling Like Rain
Q: My umbrella tree is dropping leaves like crazy! I have it in an entry hall where it doesn't get much light and I water it about once a week. Is there a way to save it before all the leaves drop off?
A: Your umbrella tree (also known as schefflera, or Brassaia actinophylla ) is suffering from a lack of light. Move the plant at once to the sunniest spot you can find, water only when the soil is dry to the touch and keep your fingers crossed. Chances are about 80-20 that it will eventually make it back to its original full majesty. Incidentally, the leaf-cluster on the end of each stem of a healthy schefflera tree will usually droop slightly like a half-open umbrella, thus the nickname and not to worry.