Toni Reale

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Treating and preventing 4 pesky plant pests

A houseplant’s demise can sometimes be mistaken for owner neglect, but lack of care may be a misdiagnosis. Infestations from the most common houseplant pests, such as spider mites, scale, mealybugs and fungus gnats, can sometimes be the culprits. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat an infestation. With patience and persistence, most […]

Get your winterized houseplants to flourish

January is the time of year that South Carolina plant lovers often wonder whether they brought cold-sensitive houseplants in too late for the winter — particularly if a collection looks a bit dry, has a few curled leaves and hasn’t had signs of new growth in weeks.So here’s a bit of relief: Your plants are […]

A short history of yaupon tea

As far back as 900 years ago, Native Americans near present-day St. Louis, Missouri, used yaupon tea for ceremonial purposes, according to archeological evidence unearthed in recent years. What’s interesting, among other things, is how far the plant traveled to get to the Midwest. “The discovery — made by analyzing plant residues in pottery beakers […]

Local holly is a tea that used to be a big deal

The yaupon holly, an unassuming native evergreen, grows in dense thickets in the maritime forests of the Lowcountry. The size of the plant varies greatly, based on soil conditions and sunlight availability. It can be 4- to 25-feet tall and up to 15-feet wide. You’ve seen this shrub before. It can be easily identified in […]

Reale: Not just a bag of dirt

Soil is an often overlooked and underappreciated natural resource. Most people see soil as just “dirt,” pieces of ground-up rock of virtually all the same composition that can hold a plant up straight. As humans, we primarily see and assign value to the visible spectra of life on Earth, but in the case of plants, […]

Reale: All flowers aren’t created equally

The flower trade is a multi-billion dollar industry complete with all the dark secrets and cut corners of other industries its size. According to a Global Exchange report, in a country like Colombia, where the majority of imported flowers come from, the average worker labors 16 hours a day in the high season and earns […]