Tips for Homeowners

Lots of tips for Scottsdale homeowners

There are currently 7 blog entries related to this category.

It’s hard enough to keep our outdoor plants alive during a Scottsdale summer but when the indoor plants start popping off it can be even more disheartening. When something is wrong with any plant, it pays to examine how you’ve been caring for it. If there is no evidence of pests on the plant, there are several other issues to consider.


Indoor plants often suffer from receiving either too much or not enough water. The symptoms of both problems can be similar, but as a rule of thumb, if the leaves show soft, rotten spots and they aren’t developing properly, you may be overwatering and the plant may have root rot.

If, on the other hand, the leaves have dry, brown edges and the leaves toward the bottom of the plan are curled or yellow, it

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Yellow rose


Rosarians understand that while growing roses in the desert is challenging, it’s also quite rewarding. Believe it or not, many varieties that don’t normally bloom twice a year will do so in our Scottsdale climate. Overall, the trick to growing better roses in Scottsdale is to choose varieties that have proven their heat tolerance. These include popular roses such as “Peace,” “Julia Child,” and a climber named “Sally Holmes.” Since we’re heading into another hot, dry Scottsdale summer I thought this would be a great time to share some tips from local rose experts.


A 3 to 4-inch layer of mulch spread around the rose bush (placed 6 inches away from the plant) will help conserve soil moisture and insulate the plant’s roots from the heat.

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Privacy. It’s a hot commodity in a world where we’re pushed ever closer in proximity to one another. It almost seems like a diabolical developers’ cruel joke to see how many houses they can cram onto a couple of acres.

You don’t have to put up with feeling like you live in a fishbowl as there are a number of creative landscaping techniques that, in some cases, provide almost-instant privacy. If you do your homework before choosing landscaping materials you can get the solitude you crave for your Scottsdale house and keep the work on it to a minimum.

Baby steps to privacy

One of the first things you need to determine is if your Homeowner’s Association has landscaping rules. Many of them do, so dig out the paperwork and pore over the CC&Rs to

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Outsiders are often surprised first that cacti bloom and then, at the utter beauty of our state flower, the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), also known as pitahaya. The nocturnally –produced white flowers studding the stately cactus are a sight to behold and one which native Arizonans never tire of. Since this month and next are bloom season for our saguaro I thought it’d be fun to take a closer look at it.

The saguaro cactus takes its time in life, slow growing and slow to mature. It doesn't flower until it hits 35 years of age and it won't grow its first arm until it hits what is to us, old age - 65 to 70 years old. It is finally considered "mature" at the ripe young age of 125 years old. By then it will have reached up to 50 feet in height

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If decorating a home was easy, we wouldn’t have professional decorators. Artists, really, they seem to be able to envision a room’s possibilities in a way I, at least, can’t fathom. Interior designers, like most pros, have pet peeves. When they walk into someone’s home they find common decorating blunders and the following three are the ones that bother them most.

1. What is going on with your artwork?

Folks have a tendency to hang their artwork too high, when it should be eye-level. Although that measurement depends a great deal on the size of the room, a rule of thumb says to hang artwork 57 inches to 60 inches from the floor. Why is that? Because “the average human eye level is 57 inches,” according to They also offer a

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Gardeners love to experiment and those of us who toil under the hot desert sun are no different. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried a number of different plants over the years, losing many but being pleasantly surprised by others. Roses, for instance, do far better here in the desert than I’d ever dreamed. Sure, some species are better adapted to the heat, but I’ve had good luck with many.

Finding what will thrive in our dry heat is challenging, but rewarding when we hit on the winners.


You’ll often hear the canna (Canna spp.) referred to as the “canna lily,” although it has no relationship to the true lilies. What it will do in your Scottsdale garden, however, is provide lots of color. Depending on the species or cultivar, the

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Did you know that all you have to do is install a smoke detector in your Scottsdale home (and maintain it) and you’ll cut the chances of death by fire in half? That’s amazing, considering how inexpensive smoke alarms are and how easy they are to maintain.

There are a number of reasons that a smoke detector chirps, the most common of which is that the batteries are old and need to be replaced. But, if you have a hardwired alarm without a battery backup you’ll need to do some sleuthing to figure out why it’s trying to get your attention and how to get it to stop.


The average life span of a smoke alarm is 10 years. If yours is older, it may be chirping to let you know it’s time to replace the entire unit. There should be a date stamped on

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