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In the fall I planted some spring bulbs and mulched them. During the mild weather of December, however, I noticed sprouts sticking up through the mulch. Will this premature growth prevent them from blooming in the spring? Leaves emerge from the bulbs before the flower buds and they withstand temperatures into the teens.

Flower buds of spring bulbs also withstand freezing temperature.

Chances are the snow cover will protect them. The lower winter temperatures will keep them from further growth until spring.

We went away for a few days recently and turned the thermostat down to 60 degrees F. When we returned the plants - zebra plants and blue and white Arabian violets - in our bay window were flopped. They were moist so they could not have dried out. We did not think 60 degrees would be too cool for the plants. It may have been 60 degrees where your thermostat is located, but by a bay window it was probably at least 10 degrees cooler (much too cool for these plants.)

If the wind is blowing and the temperature is in the teens outside, the temperature inside the window could be as low as the mid-30s due to the wind-chill factor.

Arabian violets (Exacum) cannot stand temperatures below 60 degrees for any length of time; and zebra plants are adversely affected below 50 degrees F.

During cold winter weather be sure to let water from the tap stand until it reaches room temperature (68 to 70 degrees F.) and on cold nights move plants away from windows and pull the drapes to shut out the cold.

We recently acquired a Burro's Tail, which, according to our plant dictionary , is a sedum. We have several types of sedum growing in our rock garden. Could we root a cutting of our Burro's Tail and plant it out in our rock garden? Also, what care does it need indoors. In your area (western Oregon) or any other area where the temperature falls below the freezing mark, the Burro's Tail (Sedum morganianum) wouldn't survive outdoors. However, this plant with the long stems of tightly packed, thick, tubular, blue-green leaves (one half to one inch long) is easy to grow indoors.

It is in active growth from early spring until fall and tolerates temperatures from 40 degrees F. up to 100. Water sparingly during its rest period, and never let the soil get soggy at any time.

We use equal parts of coarse sand, rotted compost, and perlite in our potting mix, although we've had a rooted cutting growing splendidly in plain perlite for the past two years. Individual leaves can be stood on end in moist sand or perlite, or tip cuttings will produce a large plant quicker.

Here's a tip for houseplant lovers. When I transplant my houseplants, I put over the hole in the bottom of the pot a large 4-holed button which is slightly larger than the opening. This allows for drainage but keeps grubs and slugs from entering when I put my plants outdoors in the spring. Sometimes, I use a circle of heavy foil with tiny pin holes punched in it. Thanks to our reader for this good tip. Winter is a good time to transplant potted houseplants, so your trick is very timely.

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