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Proctor's Garden: Exercise your green thumb indoors

Stems that you cut back can be rooted in water to create a whole new batch of plants that will be ready for planting this spring.

DENVER — The days are getting longer and it's time to groom the plants and cuttings you brought inside last fall. 

It's too early to start seeds so concentrate on what you've got growing on the windowsill, porch or under lights. Geraniums, coleus, bloodleaf and other patio plants will benefit from some attention.

Clean them up by removing dead leaves. Then cut back leggy stems. The point is to keep the plants compact and bushy. Pinching back the growth tips will result in better branching from the base and fuller, healthier plants. 

Avoid fertilizer at this time. You'll just get more straggly growth. I'll start fertilizing in March to bulk them up. In the meantime, stems that you cut back can be rooted in water to create a whole new batch of plants that will be ready for planting in spring.

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