You came home after Palm Sunday with a palm tree that you may not have always wanted. Keep it. Chamaedorea elegans, more commonly known as Parlor Palm, happens to be the most popular house plant worldwide. It requires minimal care, almost to the point of neglect. In addition to adding interest and even elegance to any room, it is not toxic to pets or children. What more could you ask for?
A favorite since Victorian days, the Mexican native is a slow-grower. It is happy with the average home environment and temperature of 65-75 and even up to 85 degrees. Any light is acceptable except direct. Let the soil dry out before watering every 1-2 weeks and mist a couple of times a week to keep fronds dust-free and mite free. Frond tips will brown if it gets too dry or the humidity is low. It will yellow when over-watered. Primarily a houseplant, the palm is content to spend the summer under a tree and return before the first fall frost. And it has air-purifying attributes.
Tomorrow, you also may become the proud owner of a pot or more of Easter lilies. They also are easy to care for in the house, and then planted out after the last frost. In the meantime, enjoy its elegance inside. Part of its charm is that its pure white petals reflect even the lowest of light whether indoors or in the garden.
A true lily, Lillium longiflorum with a little care, reblooms in mid-summer having acclimated to its natural bloom period. Until planting out, keep it in bright, indirect light, 60-65 degrees, mist frequently to keep humidity high and turn the plant every few days.
When the flower dies, cut the stem to the base. Plant on a south-facing slope, as it likes moist but not wet feet. Plant 6 inches deep in loamy soil. Clay can be amended by working peat and perlite. Do not worry about the exact depth, the bulb will adjust to its preferred depth.
THINGS TO DOTicks have arrived and are waiting to drop from shrubs and trees onto you. Thoroughly treat clothing with tick spray. Wear light-colored long pants and a long-sleeve shirt and hat. Tuck pants into socks, and gloves over sleeve cuffs. Check clothing before entering the house after working in the yard.
• Garden — Daffodils are rapidly fading. Snap off spent blooms at the base of the stem. Allow foliage to die back two-thirds before cutting it or tucking under other plants. Never fold or braid the foliage, as that restricts nutrients to the bulbs to form buds for next year. Plant daylilies in front of daffodils to hide the dying foliage. To divide, wait until mid-June or August.
• Houseplants — House plants make a home attractive and comfortable. Too often pets are attracted to them and they can be toxic. The following are pet friendly, easy to grow and inexpensive: African violet, Boston fern, banana, gloxinia, and phalaenopsis. Air plant and spider also purify the air.
• Trees and shrubs — Wait to cut back bush honeysuckle and early blooming spirea until they cease blooming. They set their buds for next year on this year’s growth. Tulip magnolia sets its buds by July. For thick hedges top to bottom, prune at an outward angle creating a slightly wider base to allow sun to reach the bottom branches. Before trees leaf out, check for hanging broken limbs and remove.
• Virtual event — Until April 16, Lyon County Master Gardeners Native Plant Sale. To order, visit lcmga.yolasite.com, or phone 270-388-2341. Pick up plants and attend lectures 8 a.m.-noon April 24, UK Extension Office, Eddyville.
• In-Person events — April 10, Native Plant Sale, Cheekwood Gardens, Nashville, Tennessee, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 615-356-8000, cheekwood.org.
• April 10-11, Pollinator Fair Days, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, 314-577-0888, missouribotanicalgarden.org.
Contact Carolyn Roof, the Sun’s gardening columnist, at email@example.com.