This “fairy ring” of mushrooms appeared at a local nursery school after sod was installed in the play yard. Courtesy photo

Holiday decor

What: Master Gardener Jim Schulte will lead a public workshop on creating holiday arrangements; bring a vase in which to make your arrangement

When: 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

Where: Building 400, Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road, Woodland

Question: What do I need to do to overwinter houseplants?

Answer: Check around your home; what is outside that should be moved to a more sheltered location? University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners can help advise you if you have special plants such as citrus and other subtropicals. For now, focus on the plants that originated in a tropical rainforest and now live in Davis.

The UCCE Master Gardener office for Yolo County has many resources, including the handout “Indoor Plants: Their Care and Feeding” (see contact information below). Here are some key points to guide you:

* Your houseplants may languish from living their whole lives in a pot. Don’t kill them with kindness by overwatering or buildup of salts from fertilizer. Warm, dry inside air is also a stress. You can increase the humidity by grouping plants together, mist your plants, or even add a humidifier.

* In fall and winter months, most houseplants will grow more slowly and require less water and nutrients. Avoid having standing water in pot saucers, and make sure every plant has a drainage hole at bottom. For pretty foil gift plants, this means tearing a hole in the foil and providing a saucer.

* Most plants need all the sun you can provide. Fluorescent or grow lights can compensate for sunshine indoors, but sun is better.

* A shower in the sink, shower or bathtub will take off dust accumulation. For fuzzy plants (for example, African violets) use a soft brush. Very large plants can be cleaned gently with a damp cloth.