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Plantrama - plants, landscapes, & bringing nature indoors


Ellen Zachos and C.L. Fornari help you discover the amazing world of plants: in the garden, in the wild, and on your plate. They show you how to grow plants successfully, how to enjoy your natural surroundings, and how to make the most of your harvest, whether it's cultivated or foraged. (Spoiler alert: they don't always agree!) You'll find three different topics in each episode, plus email questions from listeners.

Ellen Zachos and C.L. Fornari help you discover the amazing world of plants: in the garden, in the wild, and on your plate. They show you how to grow plants successfully, how to enjoy your natural surroundings, and how to make the most of your harvest, whether it's cultivated or foraged. (Spoiler alert: they don't always agree!) You'll find three different topics in each episode, plus email questions from listeners.


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Ellen Zachos and C.L. Fornari help you discover the amazing world of plants: in the garden, in the wild, and on your plate. They show you how to grow plants successfully, how to enjoy your natural surroundings, and how to make the most of your harvest, whether it's cultivated or foraged. (Spoiler alert: they don't always agree!) You'll find three different topics in each episode, plus email questions from listeners.




Lettuce Wraps, Coriander and Replacing Ugly Junipers

Be inspired to make lettuce wraps for dinner, hear about growing coriander, and learn about plant pheromones. Plus hear how Ellen and C.L. advise Don about his ugly junipers. :32 What’s For Dinner: “Lettuce Wraps” 4:30 Eat/Drink/Grow: Coriander 14:44 Insider Information: What are plant pheromones?20:09 Love Letters and Questions: Don asks what to do with ugly junipers.


Chopped Salad, Leaf Spot Fungus, and Attracting Hummingbirds

This podcast will inspire you to create more chopped salads, explain leaf spot fungus, and provide a list of plants that will attract hummingbirds. We also explain some flower terminology and answer a curious listener’s email. :40 What’s for dinner: “Chopped Salad” 5:18 Insider Information: Leaf spot fungus. 17:00 Eat/Drink/Grow: Plants to Attract Hummingbirds 22:08 Did You Know: Difference between a single, semi-double, and double flower forms. 25: 08 Love Letters and Questions: Meg...


Make Plant-able Pot, Low Maintenance Perennials and A Cannabis Book Review

:32 Plant Noob: How to make your own plant-able pots for starting seeds in. 5:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Perennials that don’t spread very much. 16:21 Product Review: Book: Growing Weed in the Garden by Johanna Silver 22:15 Love Letters and Questions Pippa asks about using products that make houseplants have shiny leaves. Link to the YouTube video about making square newspaper pots: The list of perennials we covered: Peony (Paeonia) Butterfly weed...


Too Much Manure, Salt in Soils, and A Plant Threesome

In this episode C.L. and Ellen discuss research into growing plants in salty soils, aerating lawns with spiky shoes, and a plant that’s a three some. We end explaining why it’s possible to have too much manure in your soil. :47 Did You Know: From the world of Plant Science: salty soils 3:50 True or False: You can aerate your lawn by walking on it with golf shoes. 7:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Lichen: The plant that’s a threesome? 14:44 Love Letters and Questions: Tim writes, “Is it possible to...


Spring Tonic Salads, Lemon Balm Herb, and Coconut Coir

Get inspired to make a spring salad containing flower petals, hear about how a native plant in one area might be invasive elsewhere, and learn about a lemon-scented herb. The episode ends with a question about coconut coir. :31 What’s For Dinner: Spring tonic salads 4:28 Eat/Drink/Grow: A plant that’s native in one place (and oh-so-beneficial) might be harmful in another location. 13:01 Insider Information: All about the herb called Lemon Balm. 17:38 Love Letters and Questions Cory wants...


Plantrama Reviews, Discovering New Plants, and Succulents for Boxes

This episode of Plantrama gives you a heads up about two great plants, talks about what happens when people find a new plant and want to either patent it or otherwise bring it to market. We end with advise for Helen about her boxes in San Francisco. :30 Insider Information – Plant Reviews: Burpee Silky Sweet Hybrid turnip and Agastache ‘Glowing Embers’ from High Country Gardens 6:01 Eat/Drink/Grow: What to do if you’ve found/discovered a new plant. 19:24 Love Letters and Questions:...


Cannas, Easy Perennials From Seed, and Wild Wintergreen

Discover why you should grow Cannas, hear about easy perennials to grow from seed (more plants!), and learn about the wild wintergreen plant…teaberry flavor from a foraged berry? :28 Plant Noob: Cannas – how, when, where, why. We mention ordering from Brent and Becky's Bulbs. 8:56 Eat/Drink/Grow: The easiest Perennials to grow from seed. 20:31 Love Letters and Questions: Nathan emailed us to ask about wintergreen berries.


Windowboxes, Easy Vegetables from Seed, and Bad Garden Advice

Ellen and C.L. provide the 1-2-3 steps to planting window boxes, discuss some really bad plant advice seen online, talk about easy vegetables to grow from seed, and answer a question about winter protection. :35 Plantrama 1 2 3: I want to put window boxes on the front of my house. 8:20 True or False: Putting used diapers in the bottom of a hanging basket! 11:20 Eat/Drink/Grow: Easiest Vegetables to Grow From Seed 20:22 Love Letters and Questions: Harry asks ”Is it too late to wrap...


Fritters, Easy Annuals From Seed and a Career Building Vacation

In this episode you’ll learn how to make fritters (vegan and not), discover annuals that are easy to grow from seed, and hear about two opportunities to connect with your Plantrama hosts, live in 2020. :28 What’s For Dinner: Fritters Foraged and Farmed Ellen’s Fritter recipe here. 6:50 Eat/Drink/Grow: Easiest Annuals To Grow From Seed 21:31 Love Letters and Questions: Two opportunities to meet us and learn more about plants. Northwest Flower and Garden Show GardenComm Save the Date...


Lasagna Without Pasta, Seed Starting Terms, and Flapjack Plant

You can make a lasagna without pasta! We offer several ideas. Plus we explore seed starting terms such as thinning, damping off and seed leaves, and end with a discussion about the succulent flapjack plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora). :30 What’s For Dinner: Lasagna without the pasta. 5:26 Eat/Drink/Grow: Thinning, damping off, and “seed leaves” – some seed starting basic terms. 18:41 Love Letters and Questions Emma writes about a flapjack plant.


Bitters, Terrariums, and Heat For Seed Germination

This episode starts with talk about bitters, what they are, why you want them in a cocktail, and how to make your own. We go on to talk about the basics for making a terrarium and end with a question from a listener about using heat mats for starting seeds. :30 What’s for dinner: Bitters. The link to Ellen's Recipes for bitters. 9:07 Eat/Drink/Grow: Terrariums 23:57 Love Letters and Questions: Hannah writes, “Do I need to use heat mats?”


Roses, Mealy Bug, and Sensitive Plants

We begin this episode with the types of roses that are available for gardens, and which are the easiest to grow. Next we discuss the cottony bug that plagues many houseplants, the mealy bug. And we end with a question from a listener about the sensitive plant, a mimosa with leaves that close when you touch them. :29 Plant Noob: The types of roses. 9:30 Eat/Drink/Grow: Mealy Bug. 17:12 Love Letters and Questions Byron writes that he’s a parent and wants to find some Sensitive Plant for his...


Monstera Plants and Growing Your Own Wedding

Do you want to know what it takes to successfully grow a Monstera? Ellen and C.L. explain the first three things you need to know about this stylish plant. In the main segment we discuss options for DIY brides…or anyone planning to have a large event in their yard or garden. The episode ends by talking about what type of lights are needed for starting vegetable seedlings. :33 Plantrama 1 – 2 – 3: “I want to grow a Monstera plant.” 4:41 Eat/Drink/Grow: Grow Your Own Wedding. 17:02 Love...


Nachos, Clivia, Dormancy, and Frosty Fern

In this episode of Plantrama we talk about vegan Nachos, growing a Clivia plant, why some plants go dormant, and how to keep a frosty fern alive. :31 What’s For Dinner: Nachos! C.L.'s Vegan nachos can be seen here. 5:07 Eat/Drink/Grow: Considering Clivia 13:25 Did You Know: What is a “dormant period” and do plants need one? 18:29 Love Letters and Questions: Meghan writes to ask how to keep her ‘frosty fern’ alive.


Heavy Amaryllis Flowers, Seed Catalogs and Houseplant Vacation Care

In this episode we talk about using Sumac as a spice, how to keep those huge and how to prevent those heavy Amaryllis flowers from falling over and breaking off. In the main segment we discuss seed catalogs and end with Fred’s question about how he can keep his houseplants alive when he’s away on vacation. Plus a link to The Wild Spice Cabinet, Ellen’s online course. :30 What’s for dinner: Using Sumac as a spice. Check out Ellen's Foraged Spice Class Here. 5:39 Insider Information:...


Taming Overgrown or Too Large Gardens and Garden Design Tips

We begin this episode with the importance of planting something new “at ground level.” Next Ellen and C.L. discuss what to do if your gardens have grown too large or unmanageable. We give garden design tips and end with Kerry’s request for different holiday plant suggestions. :30 Plant Noob: The importance of digging a large enough hole. 6:21 Eat/Drink/Grow: What to do if your garden beds have “gotten away from you.” 17:27 Garden Design Tips: Straight lines are formal, groups are less so....


semary, Native Switch Grass, and Moldy Cannabis

This episode gives you some hints about growing and cooking with rosemary. Ellen and C.L. discuss what makes a plant deserve the label of “invasive” and we talk about Panicum virgatum, aka switch or panic grass. And speaking of panicking…P.J. writes about mold on his Cannabis buds. :30 What’s for dinner: Rosemary 6:27 True or False: A plant that spreads quickly is invasive and should be avoided. 11:51 Eat/Drink/Grow: Panicum virgatum – aka switch grass 16:45 Love Letters and Questions:...


Twice Baked Potatoes, Norfolk Pines, and the Plantrama Gift List

Learn about an easy, vegetable comfort dish and the Norfolk Island Pine houseplant. Discover great holiday gifts and find out what is meant by “genus and species.” There are no stupid questions here, as long as the topic is plants! :30 What’s For Dinner: Twice Baked Potatoes 6:42 Eat/Drink/Grow: Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla native to Norfolk Island, a small island between Australia and New Zealand and not really a pine. 14:34 Insider Information: The Plantrama Gift...


A Houseplant Debate, Plants Underwater, and Hardy Palm Trees

Have you wondered why some plants can live underwater but your houseplants die if you give them too much water? Hear why this is, which houseplants Ellen and C.L. recommend, and learn about “Secret Suppers” in this episode of Plantrama. :33 Insider Information: Why some plants can grow under water while others rot and die in too much water. 9:20 Eat/Drink/Grow: Houseplant Debate! 20:12 Did You Know: A Secret Supper Learn more here. 24:58 Love Letters and Questions: Paul wants to know if...


Late-To-Migrate Hummingbirds, Yellow Leaves, and Comparing Apples to Oranges

Are you wondering if the plant with yellow leaves will recover and turn green again? Have you ever wondered if we can indeed compare apples to oranges? And what plants are good for a slope in part sun? Ellen and C.L. discuss all of these, and C.L. tells a story about a late-to-migrate hummingbird. :27 Plant Noob: When leaves turn yellow, are they likely to turn back to green again? 5:04 Eat/Drink/Grow: Comparing Apples to Oranges 8:18 Story: A late to migrate hummingbird. 16:34 Love...