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Friday, April 12, 2024

Naperville Gardener – Did you know that…?

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Did you know if you want to grow an unusual houseplant, you need look no further than the produce section of your favorite grocery store?

Most of us have stuck an avocado pit with toothpicks, submerged the lower half in water and watched a little tree emerge. It’s always so satisfying to watch something grow, so here are two more grocery store fruits to try.

Ginger! Choose a plump piece of gingerroot and let it rest in a dry spot in your home. Soon pale nodes will appear. Gingerroot, a rhizome, grows much like iris and daylilies which are also rhizomes. Cut the gingerroot into sections with each having one or two nodes. Plant each one in an eight or ten-inch pot one inch below the surface in well-draining potting soil such as cactus/succulent potting soil. Water it well and place in a bright spot.

In about three weeks, shoots will emerge. Water well and then only when the soil surface is dry. When you want to harvest the root, shake it out of the pot, take what you need and replant the rest, filling the empty space with fresh potting soil.

Pineapple! Buy a fresh, whole pineapple and enjoy it. Then place the cut top in water for a few weeks until roots form. Plant in new potting soil and you will have a stunning houseplant. The top from a full-sized pineapple will grow a full-sized pineapple in a couple years, so choose a large enough pot. A dwarf pineapple will produce a pineapple much sooner. Pineapples like a sunny window. Imagine that, coming from Hawaii and all.

Look around the produce section for more hidden plants. Lettuce and celery will grow from a root end placed in soil. Lemons and other citrus fruits grow easily from their seeds. Many vegetables will grow from seeds that germinate in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag.

Give it a try. Soon we will be able to be outside gardening, but for now, gardening inside will do.

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Marilyn Krueger
Marilyn Kruegerhttp://www.napervillegardenclub.org
Marilyn Krueger is an avid local gardener and member of the Naperville Garden Club.
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