Ice your orchids. Orchids evolved to grow on trees in the rain forest. If you were hanging from a tree, you might notice that you are never actually sitting in water. My friend Holly duplicates this with her houseplants, especially orchids, by using woodchips to mimic the trees, then double-potting the plants. The first pot has drainage, the second doesn't have to, because she actually waters them very little. She allots them three ice cubes once per week. The cold doesn't seem to hurt the foliage, and water trickles slowly over the plant as the ice cubes melt. If they're in bloom and need a little extra attention, they get four. She keeps them in direct sunlight right in the window, and turns them every few weeks to keep them balanced. Once the flowers drop, she removes the stem at the bottom, and sprinkles cinnamon powder (no sugar) in the wound to promote healing and prevent disease.

Beware spotted lanternflies hitching a ride. The Philadelphia Folk Festival in Schwenksville seemed to be the epicenter of lanternfly activity, with people often sporting as many as 10 of the bugs at a time. They've also now been reported in several places in Philadelphia. Should you suddenly encounter masses of them, take care not to move them. If you're camping in the middle of them, check your gear before leaving the area; it's rumored that if you leave your gear for two days in your car in the sun, that will heat-fumigate them. I will try this and report back.

Take care of street trees. People tend to spend more time worrying over their trees in the spring, but now it's good to do some maintenance on your tree pits. Pull weeds, loosen soil so water can get to roots, water well, and mulch.

Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ( and a co-owner of Cobblestone Krautery (