Dirt Wise

Richard DeGrandpre
Prose on plants, their pots, the places we put them, and the mental environments they inhabit
Created 16 Sep 2021
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  • The Bonsai Bandit
    03 Dec 2021 • 30 min read • 3 0
    Editor’s note: Bonsai tree theft was back in the news again last week. This short story explores a related theme but is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anything or anyone real is purely coincide...
  • Root Intelligence
    26 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 1 0
    One of our roots-over-rock Ficus bonsai. Plenty of roots live above ground Consider the carrot. Whether you like vegetables or not, I’m willing to bet that when you think ‘carrot,’ you imagine the edi...
  • The Wacky, Wily, Wonderful World of Bonsai
    16 Nov 2021 • 20 min read • 3 2
    If you adhere to traditional methods of bonsai, you can make a true masterpiece. Like the one shown below from the experts at Bonsai Mirai in Oregon. Some say it takes only about three generations, so...
  • For Houseplants, Light Is a Shady Business
    11 Nov 2021 • 11 min read • 2 0
    When it comes to plants and the indoors, we love to teach nature a lesson. A plant may have evolved over millions of years, but somehow we’re going to persuade it to change its stripes just for us — s...
  • Stay Calm and Houseplant On
    05 Nov 2021 • 8 min read • 2 0
    One reason to pay a lot of money for a rare plant is because you can then propagate it; Another, less sensible reason, is that you can’t stop yourself. Several years ago I had a large variegated Monst...
  • Why is Houseplant Advice So Bad?
    29 Oct 2021 • 9 min read • 5 5
    A Plant Black Hole Where do all the houseplants go? In the years I’ve been collecting, caring for, buying, and selling houseplants, I’ve always been struck at how there’s so many — small, retail size ...
  • Happy House Planting
    20 Oct 2021 • 16 min read • 2 0
    (0) break these rules As they say, rules are meant to be broken, and while these tips are not rules per se, it’s nevertheless true that what follows is general advice — to be read at your leisure and ...
  • Just Add Water
    13 Oct 2021 • 7 min read • 1 0
    Join the discussion here Who doesn’t enjoy the contrast of the translucent green foliage inside a clear glass container? It’s delicate and it’s also amazing how long cuttings can carry on, even withou...
  • Why I Do Water Cuttings, and Why I Don't
    10 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 2 7
    Join the discussion! I’ve been researching the popular houseplant practice of putting cuttings in water, which is the theme for my next post. Before hearing my view, let’s hear yours. Join the discuss...
  • Dew to Humidity
    08 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 1 0
    source: The Spruce Yesterday I opened up a large, clear plastic bin full of rubber-tree cuttings.1 It’d been sealed for a few winter months. The results looked splendid. Dozens of leaf cuttings were s...
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