Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Friday, March 30, 2007

Energy Drink For Plants??

I came across this article about an energy drink for plants - Great Big Plants (www.greatbigplants.com). So of course, being the houseplant lover that I am, this intrigued me. So I decided to look into it. Here's what I found.


Great Big Plants is a liquid, organic plant food containing Carbon, Microbes and Trace minerals. According to the article and site, the fertilizer is organically certified and is directed for us on gardens, lawn, vegetables, flowers and roses. It is also said to not only be a plant growth accelerator but also brings life back to nutrient drained soil.


Now, with all of that said, the web site does not mention houseplants as far as I could tell. I am curious as to if anyone has tried it on their houseplants.


Personally, I use very little fertilizer on any of my houseplants. It is just something I never have really seen the need to. I know I probably should. My houseplant fertilizing consists of once a month, adding some liquid Miracle Grow Houseplant Food when watering. I add approximately 30 drops to a gallon of water whereas I believe the directions say to use a lot more.


So, is this the "Energy Drink" for plants we've been searching for?? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. Let me know if you've used the product before and what you think about it.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Easy To Grow Houseplants

Some houseplants can require a lot of tender loving care, however there are a nice selection of beautiful easy to grow houseplants. Plus some of these don't even mind a little neglect once in awhile. Below is my top 10 easy to grow houseplants:


1. Philodendrons - Prefers moderate light, so you don't need to have it close to a window, plus only requires moderate to low water levels.


2. Snake Plants (Mother-in-law's Tongue) - My experience with this plant is that it will grow in almost any condition. In general, Snake plants require moderate to bright light, with moderate to low watering levels. I had my Snake plant in a room with one window that the shades barely ever got opened plus it was forgotten to water it often as well. Needless to say, it is still alive and very much well. Of course it is still not in the dark room, but it survived the 6 months there with no effect whatsoever.


3. Spider Plants - These are another one of the ultimate easy to grow houseplants. These plants seem to survive anything. Spider plants require moderate light and low to moderate water levels. Plus they grow additional Spider plants, so if you keep re-potting the offsets, you never run out.


4. Aloe Vera Plants - Prefers moderate to low light levels. The big plus to Aloe Vera plants is that you only have to water it about once every two weeks.


5. Christmas Cactus - Requires moderate to bright light, so you can have it right in the window or further away. Plus, just like the Aloe Vera plants you only need to water it once or twice every two weeks. I only water my Christmas Cactus once every two weeks.


6. Dragon Dracaena - Some people say that Dracaena's are hard to care for, yet I disagree. I actually have quite a few varieties. I have two groupings of Madagascar Dragon Trees plus one Corn Plant. Houseplants within the Dracaena family tend to prefer moderate to bright lighting as well as moderate water levels. I feel they are a very durable plant that can add a lot of drama to your room.


7. Cast Iron Plants - These plants require moderate to low light levels. So depending on your space, it should grow almost anywhere. They also prefer moderate watering so once a week is sufficient.


8. Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) - These plants are said to be able to be grown by anyone; however this is one plant I struggle with. Mine looks good, but it seems I have to water it extremely often, a couple times a week. But my mom barely does anything to hers and it looks just like mine.


9. Peace Lily - These plants are so easy to care for, they'll tell you when they need water by drooping for you. Peace Lily's also only require moderate to low light levels.


10. Ponytail Palms - Put this palm in the window and water once every week to two weeks and you're good to go.






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Thursday, March 15, 2007

General Houseplant Watering Guide

Low - Allow the soil of your houseplant to dry completely in between watering. Usually it is only necessary to water the houseplant once every 1 to 2 weeks.


Moderate - When the soil is dry to touch, water the plant. Usually this ends up being once a week.


Moderate to Heavy - For houseplants with this requirement, it usually is best to water once every 5 days or so. Keep the soil slightly moist.


Heavy - Keep the plants soil moist at all times. However, be careful not to over water. You do not want the soil soggy, just moist. Usually you will need to water houseplants with this requirement twice a week.


One main key involved with watering any variety of houseplant, is to use non-treated water. If your tap water goes through a water softener, do not use this on your plants. They will overtime die or become unhealthy. Either purchase water or I use our outside water faucet which is not run through the softener.


Below are a list of houseplants and their recommended water levels. Please let me know of other plants to add to the list or if you feel a plant should be in a different category.


Low Water Levels
Aloe Vera
Bromeliads
Cactus
Cast Iron Plants
Jade Plants
Majesty Palms
Neanthe Bella Palms
Orchids
Pilea
Phoenix Palms
Poinsettia
Ponytail Palms
Sago Palms
Spider Plants
ZZ Plants


Moderate Water Levels
Amazon Alocasia, Elephant's Ear
Anthuriums
Asparagus Ferns
Bird of Paradise
Chinese Evergreens
Christmas Cactus
Corn Plants
Dracaena Varieties
English Ivy
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Flamingo Flower
Goldfish Plants
Heart Leaf Philodendron
Lady Palms
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Norfolk Island Pines
Polka Dot Plants
Pothos
Schefflera
Shamrock Plants
Swedish Ivy
Warneckei
Yucca
Zebra Plants


Moderate to Heavy
African Violets
Amaryllis
Dallas Fern
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Ficus Varieties
Flame Violet
Homalomena
Janet Craig
Kentia / Sentry Palms
Lipstick Plants
Maidenhair Fern
Persian Violets
Piggyback Plants
Prayer Plants
Snake Plants (Mother In Law Tongue)
Snow Bush
Split Leafed Philodendron
Wandering Jews
White Cloud Ficus


Heavy Water Levels
Areca Palms
Arrowhead Vine
Boston Fern
Calathea
Chinese Fan Palms
Croton
Fishtail Palms
Hawaiian Ti
Miniature Rose
Peace Lily (Closet Plants)
Rubber Plants
Staghorn Ferns

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

General Houseplant Lighting Guide

Low - At least 5 feet from a window. Corners, hallways, shelves. Houseplants that require low light levels and are too close to a light source, may have their foliage burnt.


Moderate - Keep houseplants between 5 and 8 feet from a window that receives some sun.


Moderate to Bright - Keep within 3 to 5 feet from a window receiving 4 to 5 hours of sunlight. East and West windows are good choices for houseplants with this lighting requirement.


Bright Light - Keep houseplants within 2 to 3 feet of a south facing window. These houseplants must receive at least 5 hours of direct sunlight in order to remain healthy.


Below are a list of plants and their recommended light requirements. Please let me know what other plants to add to the list.


Low Light Houseplants
Cast Iron Plants
Chinese Evergreens
Corn Plants
Homalomena
Pothos
Prayer Plants
Rubber Plants
Shamrock Plants


Moderate Light Houseplants
Calathea
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Dracaena Varieties
Ficus
Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
Heart Leaf Philodendrons
Kentia / Sentry Palms
Lady Palms
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Polka Dot Plants
Spider Plants
Split Leafed Philodendrons
Swedish Ivy
Majesty Palms
Philodendrons
Pilea
Snow Bush
Warneckei
White Cloud Ficus


Moderate to Bright Light Houseplants
African Violets
Anthuriums
Areca Palms
Arrowhead Vine
Boston Fern
Bromeliad
Cactus
Chinese Fan Palms
Christmas Cactus
Dallas Ferns
Fishtail Palms
Flamingo Flower
Goldfish Plants
Janet Craig
Lipstick Plants
Maidenhair Ferns
Neanthe Bella Palms
Norfolk Island Pines
Orchids
Peace Lily (Closet Plant)
Persian Violets
Piggyback Plants
Phoenix Palms
Sago Palms
Poinsettia
Snake Plants (Mother in Laws Tongue)
Wandering Jews
ZZ Plants


Bright Light Houseplants
Aloe Vera Plants
Amaryllis
Amazon Alocasia, Elephant's Ear
Asparagus Ferns
Bird of Paradise
Croton
English Ivy
Flame Violet
Hawaiian Ti
Jade Plants
Miniature Rose
Ponytail Palms
Schefflera
Staghorn Ferns
Yuccas
Zebra Plants

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