Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Friday, May 18, 2007

Spring / Summer in Wisconsin

The greatest time of year for me in Wisconsin is when my outdoor flower beds come to life. So I took some pictures of the main flower beds out the back of my house to share. My tulips came up and everything looks to have survived the winter. I guess I have a little bit of a greenthumb for outdoor plants too! Enjoy!

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Chinese Evergreen Care

Common Name: Chinese Evergreen
Scientific Name: Aglaonemas
Lighting: Low to Moderate
Water: Moderate

Chinese Evergreens are durable, dramatic houseplants. They will adapt to a variety of settings within their limits. Chinese Evergreens are slow growing in nature, however when taken care of can last for decades, literally! This houseplant is characterize by large foliage in a variety of silver green and dark green colors as well as variegated. A lot of the more light green / dark green varieties remind me of a Dieffenbachia just more full. Chinese Evergreens, Peace Lily's and Dieffenbachia all belong to the same family, thus the resemblance.

Chinese Evergreens are available in many varieties with new hybrids being developed as we speak. Below is a list of the most common names I was able to find:
Silver Queen
White Rajah
Green Lady
Silver Frost
Black Lance
Green Majesty
Manilla Pride
And lots more!!

Chinese Evergreens prefer moderate to low light levels. They usually do not do well at all in direct sunlight, so beware. A north facing window is usually a safe area to place this houseplant in. This houseplant is also very, very, very touchy to drafts and cold temperatures. Keep temperatures above 60 degrees for best results. Dropping below 55 degrees can be lethal to Aglaonemas. If brown spots begin to appear on the foliage, it may be too cold for the plant.

Aglaonemas do best with moderate watering. Right in the middle! Don't let the soil become soggy, but at the same time, do not allow the soil to dry out in-between watering. If the bottom leaves begin to yellow and fall off, chances are you are under watering the plant.

Overall, Aglaonemas are very nice houseplants to have. Fairly easy to grow, usually not susceptible to pests and is a long lasting variety allowing you to enjoy its beauty for many years to come.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lady Palms Care

Common Name: Lady Palms
Scientific Name: Rhapis species
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Moderate to Low

Lady palms are very adaptive thus their popularity as a houseplant. Lady palms foliage is characterized by thick green leaves with blunt tips radiating from the center of a stem. Picture your hand with your fingers spread out. The stems are covered with a brown fiber. Lady palms as a houseplant are slow growers. Outdoor varieties grow at a much faster rate.

There are many varieties of Lady Palms. Here are some of the most popular:
Thailand Lady Palm - Rhapis subtilis
Large Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
Miniature Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
Laos Lady Palm - Rhapis laosensis
Slender Lady Palm - Rhapis humilis

Lady palms prefer bright, indirect light so keep within 3 to 5 feet of a window. Variegated varieties require lower light levels. This houseplant is not very picky about its temperature or humidity. So normal indoor temperatures should suit these plants.

Lady palms prefer to dry out in-between watering however the Thailand Lady Palm (Rhapis subtilis) prefers to be moist at all times. This houseplant like many others is extremely touchy when it comes to water. Use un-treated water containing no fluorides or chlorine. If the tips of the leaves brown, the water may not be pure enough or you may be over fertilizing the plant. You can trim the brown tips off, just keep the leaves same shape when doing so.

If the entire leaf is browning it could be due to one of many causes. One is that the plant is not receiving enough water. Another common mistake is that the plant has been placed to close to a draft or heat source.

Scale insects are main pest for this houseplant however can be hard to identify and get rid of. The best method is using an insecticide which is absorbed through the roots. Visit your local garden center to find the right product.


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