Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Friday, May 26, 2006

Snake Plant Care


Common Name: Snake Plant
Scientific Name: Sansevieria species
Lighting: Moderate to Bright Light
Watering: Low to Moderate

Snake Plant
The Snake plant is the ultimate for those without a green thumb. This house plant is one of the hardest to kill. A Snake plant contains heavy, sword-like leaves which shoot up from the base of the dirt. They will grow in a clump like style. Smaller shoots will eventually grow as well. Another common name for this plant is Mother-In-Law's Tongue.

The Snake plant is said to prefer moderate to bright light, however my experience is you can put it anywhere and it will grow. I had mine in an upstairs room with the blinds shut for weeks and it still was beautiful and it is still growing over 4 years later.

This houseplant prefers to be watered once every 7 - 10 days thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry in between waterings. If the foliage begins to droop, you are probably over watering. On the other hand if the foliages begins to wrinkle or bend over you are not providing enough water. This houseplant prefers to be pot bound, so avoid repotting unless the current pot is too small to keep upright.

On a special note, this houseplant is toxic when eaten. It is one of the many poisonous houseplants, so please keep away from pets and children.

Like I said earlier, this plant is really hard to kill, it's one of the easiest houseplants to grow. View my easy to grow houseplants list for other hardy choices.

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Caring For A Split Leafed Philodendron

Common Name: Split Leaf Philodendron
Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa
Lighting: Moderate
Watering: Moderate


Spli Leafed Philodendron

The Split Leafed Philodendron is known for its tropical oversized leaves with what appears to be cuts within them. It is also known as the Swiss cheese plant. I have found the Split Leaf Philodendron to be a low maintenance house plant. The one thing to watch with this house plant is that due to its oversized foliage and the ability to grow in large proportions, you may need to stake the stems.


The Split Leaf Philodendron prefers medium lighting, so it is best to keep this plant located within 5 to 8 feet of a window. However, be careful when choosing the location for this house plant because once you have placed it somewhere it does not like to be moved. This house plant has an attitude of its own, because if you then move it to another location it may drop its leaves in revolt to your moving it. Also, if the light level is to low, the leaves will not develop their unique perforations.


The Split Leaf Philodendron requires moderate watering. Water once every 7 to 10 days. Most do not seem to mind being dry once in a while either. Water thoroughly, keeping the soil evenly moist to.


If the lower leaves begin yellowing you may not be giving the plant enough light or over watering it. While the Split Leafed Philodendron is generally pest-free, aphids, mealy bugs, scales and spider mites can infest them. If this occurs simply spray a dish soap and water mixture over the plant.


On a special note, this houseplant is one of the many poisonous houseplants found in people's homes. Please be extra careful so that your pets or children do not eat the plant.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Croton Plant Care

Common Name: Croton
Scientific Name: Codieaum species
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Heavy

Croton plants are known for their bright tropical foliage, which is multi-colored and exotic in appearance. The foliage contains stiff leaves pointing upward and has a wax-like feel to them. The Croton plant requires moderate to bright light, so keep the plant within 3 - 5 feet of a window receiving sunlight.

Croton plant varieties require heavy watering as well as high humidity. Misting the plant once or twice a week appears to be sufficient for accommodating the Croton's humidity needs if you live in an area with low humidity levels. Keep the plants soil moist at all times. If leaves begin to fall off or slope downward, you are probably not providing the plant with enough water. If the leaves edges become wilted, this may be an indication that you are over watering the plant. Try cutting down on how often you water and see if that improves the leaves appearance. The Croton also prefers warm temperatures up to 80 degrees F.

Overall, I have found that Croton's are a medium to high maintenance house plant. They are extremely touchy in terms of how much water they are given or not given.

Crotons are one of the many poisonous houseplants. Please keep these houseplants up and away from pets and children.

Popular Croton plant varieties include: Codieaum petra and Codieaum variegatum.

A collection of comments and tips have been combined over on the Croton Plant FAQ page.



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Monday, May 22, 2006

Bromeliad Care


Common Name: Bromeliad
Scientific Name: Depends on variety
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Low to Moderate


Bromeliads consist of a large family of plants. Bromeliad house plants feature exotic looking foliage with colors varying from marbled green, red-striped, greenish gray and more. On most varieties a flower stalk rises from the center of the plant. In general, Bromeliads prefer bright light so if possible place in east or west facing windows. Watering Bromeliads is different then most house plants. Instead of watering near the base of the plant, you need to water by filling the center of the stalk (rosette) with warm water.


Most Bromeliad varieties prefer to be potted in a loose, coarse soil mix. Their roots do not like to be sitting in water, so over watering will cause the plant foliage to drop. Allow for good drainage by placing 1 - 2 inches of pebbles in the bottom of your pot and use pots where drainage holes exist. Due to this house plants exotic nature, Bromeliads prefer warm temperatures, making it a popular choice as an indoor house plant.


Most varieties of Bromeliads will produce offsets. These offsets can be cut or dug up and re-potted. The offsets usually will root quickly and continue growing into full sized Bromeliads!


Overall, I have found that Bromeliads are a medium maintenance house plant. With a little bit of tender care, Bromeliads make a beautiful addition to any room.


Popular Bromeliad House Plant Varieties


Common Name: Earth Star
Scientific Name: Crypthanthus hybrid
Characteristics: The Earth Star Bromeliad grows best under artificial lighting. Flowers appear to be a deep maroon and off-white color in most varieties.


Common Name: Urn Plant
Scientific Name: Aechmea fasciata
Characteristics: Foliage is a grayish green color, almost appearing to be covered in chalk. A pink flower appears through the rosette usually once a year.


Common Name: Scarlet Star
Scientific Name: Guzmania
Characteristics: Foliage is green with thin purple or maroon lines. This Bromeliad variety produces yellow, red or white flowers.


Common Name: Flaming Sword
Scientific Name: Vriesea splendens
Characteristics: Foliage is a brown and green color. A flaming red spike comes from the rosette topped with a bright yellow flower.


Common Name: Tillandsia
Scientific Name: Tillandsia cyanea
Characteristics: The Tillandsia is different then most Bromeliad varieties. This type thrives on air, not water. The Tillandsia prefers to grow with its roots uncovered or slightly covered with a moss type substance. The only watering this variety needs is a misting once a week.


Common Name: Striped Blushing
Scientific Name: Neoregelia carolinae
Characteristics: Foliage is green and white striped showing a bright pink coloration near the center for several months. This Bromeliad variety is popular during the holiday season for its holiday like appearance when in bloom.







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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Corn Plant Care

Common Name: Corn Plant or Corn Dracaena
Scientific Name: Dracaena Massangeana
Lighting: Low
Watering: Moderate


The Corn plant require very little care. The Corn plant has long leaves stemming from a wooden cane like stalk. The variegated leaves resemble corn foliage thus the name. The foliage using contains a yellow or crème center with dark green borders.


The Corn plant enjoys low light, making it perfect for corners and hallways. The Corn plant requires moderate watering. Water thoroughly once every 7 - 10 days or when the soil is dry to touch down 1 inch into the soil. The roots of the Corn plant are located close to the canes. It is also a very shallow root system, therefore when watering, place the water near the base of each cane to be sure the roots are able to absorb the water. If the leaves begin to drop or yellow, try watering the plant less frequently. You could be over watering it.


The Corn plant tends to be resistant to many of the pests that other houseplants encounter. If your Corn plant does become infected with bugs or mites, spraying a soapy mixture of water and dish soap over the plant should take care of the problem.


This houseplant is one of many poisonous houseplants. To be safe, keep it away from pets and children.


A collection of comments and tips have been combined over on the Corn Plant FAQ page.






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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yucca Plant Care

Common Name: Yucca
Scientific Name: Yucca Elephantipes
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Moderate


Yucca Plants

Yucca plants usually contain green leather like foliage which radiates from a central stalk. Most Yucca plants have sharp spear-like pointed tips. You can purchase Yucca plants in either a cane or tipped form. The Yucca plant requires bright light, however they will tolerate less than sunny spots. So place your Yucca houseplants within 3-5 feet of a window. They also prefer sandy soil and require good drainage. To ensure proper drainage, place 2 inches of pebble stones in the bottom of your pots.



The Yucca plant prefers moderate watering. Water thoroughly once every 7 – 10 days or when the soil feels dry to touch down 1 inch in depth. Because the Yucca is adapter to desert like climates they are able to tolerate being dry. If the foliage shows a brown tip with a yellow halo you probably are over watering. If not enough water is being given to the plant the foliage will turn solid yellow or brown.


Yucca houseplants tend to be resistant to many of the pests, problems, and diseases that other houseplants encounter. If your Yucca does become infected with bugs or mites, spraying a soapy mixture of water and dish soap over the plant usually does the trick.


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