Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Sunday, January 28, 2007

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Heart-Leaf Philodendron Plant Care

Common Name: Heart-Leaf Philodendron
Scientific Name: Philodendron scandens oxycardium
Lighting: Moderate
Watering: Moderate to Low

The Heart-leaf Philodendron is a great vining houseplant. I have had mine for over 6 years now and as you can see it has gotten quite large. Keep in mind, I have given this plant many "haircuts" as I call them and yet it is still healthy and big. The Heart-leaf Philodendron is characterized by heart shaped leaves growing off of vines from the plant. Leaves can be anywhere from 2 to 6 inches in diameter. The Philodendron requires little care but not none. This plant requires pruning care to keep its full appearance. One caution to be aware of, those with children. Some Philodendrons are toxic if eater, so be sure to keep them away from your pets and children.

Philodendrons prefer moderate to low light. If new foliage begins to develop smaller or the distance between leaves is larger in distance, your plant is most likely not receiving enough light. However, please be careful. Direct sunlight can burn the foliage.

This houseplant requires moderate to low water requirements. Try and keep the soil moist but do not allow it to dry out completely in between watering. If the foliage begins to turn yellow, you are probably over watering the plant. On the other hand if the foliage begins to turn brown you are not providing the plant with enough water. The Philodendron does not seem to mind lower humidity levels, however if you give a daily dose of misting to it, the plant will provide you with an even more beautiful appearance. Be sure to also keep the foliage clear of dust by washing regularly.

Many varieties of Philodendrons like to vine. As you can see from my pictures, vines can grow quite long, so trimming the plant back will not harm it. Trimming will help you shape this plant to the size you have for it. If you are looking to keep your plants current shape, be sure to trim back new growth. I have used small pins to hold my vines into place however some varieties of Philodendrons will actually product small roots, which will cling to your wall.

This houseplant provides you with the benefit of creating even more Philodendrons as you wish. Propagating is extremely easy. Simply cut off a vine that is long enough for you to place the end in water. Keep the cut stem in water for a few weeks and before you know it, your stem has produced a large amount of roots. Simply plant your new roots and your done. I tend to give my large philodendron haircuts a couple times a year. When I do, I place all my stems in a vase with water so they can root and I have a whole new Philodendron. The picture of the plant along the glass block wall is from one of my large plants haircuts.

This houseplant is toxic when eaten, so please keep out of reach of children and animals. It is one of the many poisonous houseplants you may have in your home.

Overall, this houseplant is one of my all time favorites. It's on my list of easy to grow houseplants! Plus they can add so much drama and character to any room. Best of all, you can have as many philodendrons as you want for little time and money!!!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Warneckei Plant Care

Common Name: Warneckei
Scientific Name: Dracaena Deremensis
Lighting: Moderate
Water: Moderate to Low

Warneckei's are one of my favorite houseplants. I have in actuality six of them, split into two pots. They are extremely easy to care for as well as a great houseplant to look at. Long spearlike foliage with lime green and dark green colors characterize the most common varieties of the Warneckei. Its foliage is also wider than other Dracaena varieties. There are also plants with green and white foliage. These houseplants are said to be slow growers, however mine have grown considerably fast.

Warneckei's prefer medium indirect light. They will grow fine in lower light levels, however they will not be as healthy thus beautiful. Do not place this plant in an area that receives a large amount of direct sunlight. This can burn the leaves. Also, as with many houseplants, be sure to keep away from drafts and heating / cooling vents.

The Warneckei does not need frequent watering. I give mine a good watering once every week and a half to two weeks. If the ends begin to yellow or brown, you are probably over watering the plant. If the foliage begins to become a solid yellow or brown you are under watering it. If leaves begin coloring you may simply remove the whole leaf at the stalk without damaging the plant. Another point to remember is that Warneckei's are touchy to fluoridated or chlorinated water, so be sure to use distilled or water not treated when watering.

Overall, this is a great houseplant. Easy to care for and adds the perfect touch to a room, no matter what type of decor style you are looking for.


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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Schefflera Plant Care

Schefflera, Umbrella Tree

Common Name: Schefflera (Amate, Diana, Dwarf, Gold Capella, Umbrella Tree, Trinette)
Scientific Name: Schefflera Species
Lighting: Bright to Moderate
Water: Moderate to Low

The Schefflera is characterized by foliage arranged in groups of 3 to 7 at the end of the stems, similar to spokes on a wheel or umbrellas. Schefflera's make great houseplants due to their low need for maintenance.

Schefflera's require bright indirect light. If plant is not receiving enough light or is too far away from the light source, the Schefflera will become spindly by stretching towards the light source. Do not place this houseplant in direct sunlight or you may burn the foliage. If foliage begins to drop and turn yellow, the plant is not receiving enough light.

Watering requirements for this houseplant are pretty much the same as many other common houseplants. Allow the soil to dry in between watering; however do not allow it to stay dry for long periods of time. On the opposite end, do not allow the plant to sit in water either, so be sure to allow proper drainage. If the foliage begins to drop and turn black in color, you are overwatering or do not have proper drainage in place. If the foliage tips begin to curl or wrinkle, you are probably under watering the plant.

Do not be afraid to prune your Schefflera back into shape if it gets out of control. This is one houseplant who will bounce back better than ever after a nice complete pruning.

The Schefflera does have one enemy that can be pretty common: Spider Mites. To prevent Spider Mites from taking over, once a week or more give the plant a nice misting of a soapy water mixture. If Spider Mites become present, try this soapy water misting twice a day. If this does not work, visit your local garden center for a safe alternative.

Schefflera's are toxic if eaten. Like so many other houseplants, it is included in the list of poisonous houseplants.

Common Schefflera Varieties:

Common Name: Amate Schefflera
Scientific Name: Brassaia actinophylla
The Amate variety features larger green foliage with a glossy surface. Plant looks wonderful when using a leaf shine product on the leaves leaving them dust free.

Common Name: Dwarf Schefflera
Scientific Name: Schefflera arboricola
The Dwarf variety usually does not reach any taller than 4 feet in height. Otherwise it looks just like other Schefflera varieties.

Common Name: Schefflera Gold Capella
Scientific Name: Schefflera species
This variety is characterized with the same appearance as other Schefflera’s except foliage is in beautiful gold and green colors, adding drama to any rooms décor.

Please share your tips for this common houseplant!


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