Divide and Conquer

I spent a few moments in the front sidewalk border last evening.  I transplanted two large clumps of Liriope muscari from the back border that was destroyed in the great pool deck caper.  These two clumps were divided into 9 plants.  Here are the last 3.  The border is right on the edge of the driveway – let’s see how long they survive :/


I was able to dig the clumps out rather easily, then gently remove as much soil from the root ball as possible.  My small fork then separated the root ball and I gently pulled the small plants apart.

When transplanting, I always take the opportunity to amend that soil!  I live in an area that is mostly clay soil, so I am forever adding compost or even garden soil to the holes I dig for transplants.  Anything I add to this clay is an improvement!  I’ve worked the front border so many times – I’m always searching for the perfect plant that can tolerate direct sun for a significant majority of the day.  The sun hits the front of the house and heats the front border, on top of all that direct sun.  But not to worry – this variety of Liriope can handle both sun and shade.

There is a variety of Liriope (L. spicata) that blooms white, and is very invasive.  It multiplies by sending tough runners (even under concrete, I hear) and is very hard to get rid of, especially if planted in direct sun (read turf grass).

The Liriope I have will multiply in a contained clump, but not spread so much.  It blooms in purple, in late summer.

liriope muscari

In the late fall, I have cut it back in the past, and it comes back very nicely.  This past year, however, I neglected to cut it back, and it still survived.  The foliage from last year is a bit unsightly, but if you don’t have the gumption to be bothered with it, you don’t have to cut it back at all.  As the new growth gets taller, it covers the old very effectively.

A pretty versatile plant, Liriope is one of my favorites!

garden, garden window, indoor gardening

Chinese Evergreen

I was first introduced to the Chinese evergreen about 15 years ago when I first started having my hair styled by Deb.  She had an awesome workstation, indirect light that really focused on your hair.  But if you cared to look around her station, the overhead window really shed some terrific light on her “house”plants.  She had many African Violets, Christmas cactus, and an incredible Chinese evergreen.  He sat on the floor next to the magazine rack, in the indirect light of the overhead windows.

The Chinese evergreen (genus Aglaonema) fares well in low light conditions and produces lovely mottled leaves.  They are readily available at grocery stores, nurseries, and even by mail order.  Very easy to grow and maintain, just be careful not to over water.

chinese evergreen - before
Chinese evergreen – before

When my specimen started to look a bit “leggy”, as is quite common with this plant, I broke out the “Success with Houseplants” guide to read up on possible propagation.  I was thrilled to learn a couple of methods that work well with this plant.  I cut the leggy pieces off and cut a few stems for rooting.




I had purchased this decorative rooting vase at the Philadelphia Flower Show a few years back.

I plopped a couple of shoots into the water, and waited.  Within a month, those shoots were rooted and ready to fill the pot with luscious green.

Chinese evergreen – after

NASA has determined that these plants help clean the air indoors. So not only are they easy and carefree, Chinese evergreens also work hard when you have things to do.  Bonus!