Expert Advice on Improving Your Home

How to Grow African Violets

To grow new African violets, use a sterile knife and cut off a healthy leaf as near the base as possible. Dip the stem in rooting hormone then push it through a piece of paper and place the stem in water until it develops roots.


Removing buds (or debudding) is sort of like thinning a fruit tree. You hate to do it because every bud you take off will eventually bloom. However, for the biggest flowers, or in the case of fruit trees the biggest fruits, you should debud or thin out.

Bright Groundcover

Provide a casual but sophisticated look to your groundcover by planting bunches of daffodils or tulips amidst low-growing green foliage, such as pachysandra or ivy. Another option is to outline an existing bed of ground cover or other plantings.
Cute Rose Stem

How to Propagate Roses

Learning how to propagate roses can expand your garden size twofold. Here's how to do it.

Feed Flowers Fruit

Roses love banana peels. They rot quickly, releasing minerals roses need such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and phosphates. Just cut them up and mix them in the soil at planting time or anytime you want to give your roses a boost. You can also make a banana peel tonic for use after the plants are established.

Economical Flowers

For an economic alternative to buying plants for the garden, consider raising annuals from seed. While many perennials take lots of time to mature, there are plenty of annuals that will come up quickly and give lots of color through the season.

Hydrangea Propagation by Ground Layering

Ground layering is an easy way to propagate hydrangeas. First, cut a notch in one of the branches of the main plant or scrape a little bark off the underside. Take the same branch, bend it over, and bury it in the ground. Make sure at least one leaf node will be underground.

Deadheading Flowers

Deadheading flowers is the process of removing faded or dead flower blooms from plants. In many plants removing these blooms promotes new flower growth by preventing the plant from putting its energy into seed production. Watch this video to find out more.