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Horticultural Society Offers Walk-In Houseplant Clinic in a Center City Mini-Park

(Fran Lawn of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society repots a plant belonging to Pat Lyons, right.  Credit: Paul Kurtz)

(Fran Lawn of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society repots a plant belonging to Pat Lyons, right. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society spent a few hours today rejuvenating houseplants for drop-in visitors at PHS’s “pop-up” garden on South Broad Street (Avenue of the Arts) near Spruce.

Pat Lyons (at right in photo) watched intently as PHS director Fran Lawn (at left) tugged on spaghetti strands of compressed roots, the sad remnants of a bunch of potted plants that had seen better days.

“The issue was a dish garden that had outlived its home,” he said.

“It was in a pot that was too small for the root system, and it was potbound,” as Lyons understood it.  “All the roots were round and round and round, so he had to cut back to find the roots and then separate them.”

“The idea is really giving these plants a chance to sort of spread their roots by separating them, putting them in different containers, and allowing them to continue to grow and thrive without competing with each other,” Lawn explained as he re potted Lyons’ houseplants.

Lyons was just one of many folks who brought their homebound plants in for a little tender loving care.  PHS spokesowman Lisa Stefano says the experts offered their services to celeberate “National Take your Houseplant for a Walk Day” (no kidding).

“We figure there’s a lot of plants langusihing on windowsills all over the city and it’s a great opportunity to come out and learn from the experts,” Stefano told KYW Newsradio.

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