Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Prayer Plants Care Tips

Common Name: Prayer Plant, Ten Commandments
Scientific Name: Maranta leuconeura
Lighting: Moderate to Low
Watering: Moderate to Heavy


The Prayer plant is really a quite amazing plant. Its foliage is mainly a dark green with red variations of veins running through them. The amazing part of the Prayer plant is that at night, the leaves fold up. Just like it's praying! This plant is available in many varieties including Herringbone and Rabbits Tracks. The main foliage colors vary depending on the variety. This plant is a nice small, compact houseplant, perfect for windowsills! It adapts very well to indoor temperatures, making it a great addition to your room.


Prayer plants prefer moderate to low indirect light levels. If the leaves on your plant begin to curl and turn brown, your plant is receiving too much light. Providing this plant with too much direct sunlight can burn the foliage.


Prayer plants require moist but not soggy soil. This houseplant also is one of the few houseplants that does not like its soil to dry out between watering, so try to keep the soil consistently moist at all times.


The biggest need for this houseplant is humidity. It requires high humidity levels to flourish, so a daily misting will go far. If the tips of the foliage begin to brown your plant may not be getting the humidity it needs. By providing high humidity levels, you help in ensuring beautiful flowers bloom. This plant is also very temperamental when it comes to temperature changes. It prefers a range of 65 to 80 degrees, however it does not like fluctuations in temperature. Do keep it away from drafts.


Please share your care tips and questions!!






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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Miniature Rose Plant Care


Common Name: Miniature Rose (Parade Rose)
Scientific Name: Rosa hybrids
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Heavy


The Miniature Rose also called Parade Rose among other names, is an extremely common and beautiful houseplant. To me Miniature Roses seem to add a bit of elegance to a home. These houseplants require more work than most houseplants. Caring for a Miniature Rose is similar to their full-sized version.


Miniature Roses require a lot of bright light; so keep the plant right next to a window receiving sunlight a good portion of the day. If the stems begin to reach and the plant seems to be thinning or spreading out, it is not receiving enough light.


These houseplants are need lots of water. For best results, water your Miniature Rose at least twice a week. They also require high humidity levels, so provide it with a weekly misting or more.


Miniature Rose plants are also prone to spider mites and other pests. If the appearance of pests is seen, spray the plant with a soapy dishwater mixture at least twice a day for about a week. If this does not seem to be getting rid of your pests, visit your local garden center for an organic spray. One thing you can do to help prevent pests from attacking your plant is to give it a weekly shower!


To keep your plant in a nice full shape, prune the plant regularly. Just think of the full size version. When you cut roses from that to bring inside for a vase, you're pruning the plant, so after a flower is done blooming cut the stem back.


These houseplants can be quite a challenge from what I've read. I've had mine for a little over two months now. It seems to be doing fine, but I've read a lot about how these are some challenging plants indoors. I would like your help. A few of the sites I was researching had mentioned that this houseplant if kept indoors should be moved outdoors after a year to prevent attracting pests to your other houseplants plus you'll see best results outdoors. Has anyone else heard this?


Please share any care tips and experiences with these plants!






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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Importance of Proper Houseplant Care

Many times I have had people ask me why their houseplant isn't doing well or even died. I'll ask them how they cared for the houseplant and they'll say something like, I did the same thing as for such and such a plant.


Each houseplant has its own care guidelines. Houseplants come from different environments from locations all over the world. Many people forget that you can't expect a houseplant originating from a desert climate to have the same care instructions as a palm from a tropical environment.


Not only does following each houseplants care guidelines keep the plant alive, it helps bring the plant to its full potential. Some plants will yes, survive and look pretty good by providing it with water and almost the right amount of light. But give that houseplant the care it properly needs and your so-so plant, becomes full, lush and gorgeous.


Houseplants care instructions vary dramatically. Some require little to no water while others it seems like you're watering every other day. Then when trying to meet the lighting requirement, it gets even trickier.


For example, I had a philodendron that was on our old apartments walls. There was only a patio door in that room and the plant was all the way across it, at least 15 feet. The philodendron did great. In our new home, I placed some cuttings I had grown from the main plant on a ledge draping down about 10 feet from the main light source. It looked horrid. I finally moved it closer to the light and it sparked right back up. So lighting can be tough to get right, but always start with the general requirements for that specific plant.


I try to provide information for a variety of plants, and by far I am not even close to being complete. However, if there is a plant you'd like information about that hasn't been included on the site yet, place a comment on this page and I will move it up on the list.






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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Favorite Houseplant Care Books

Below is a list of some of my favorite houseplant care books. They have provided me with a lot of useful houseplant care information, thus helping greatly in my success of growing houseplants. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.











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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Poisonous Houseplants

Below is a list of poisonous houseplants. Not only are these houseplants poisonous to animals such as cats and dogs, but also humans, so please keep your young children away from them. Many are poisonous only if ingested. Please, if you are worried your child or pets has been poisoned due to a houseplant, contact your local poison center immediately.


Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Angels Wings
Anthurium
Asparagus Ferns
Bird of Paradise
Chinese Evergreen
Corn Plant
Croton
Crown of Thorns
Devil's Ivy
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Dracaena Palms
Amazon Alocasia, Elephant Ear
English Ivy
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Fishtail Palm
Gold Dust Dracaena
Heart leaf Philodendron
Janet Craig Dracaena
Peace Lily
Poinsettias
Pothos
Ribbon Plant
Rubber Plant
Sago Palm
Schefflera
Snake Plants - Mother-in Law's Tongue
Split Leaf Philodendron
ZZ Plants



Please comment to add to this list. I will continue to add to it as I find more information.

Sources:
http://www.blankees.com/house/plants/poisonous.htm
http://www.denverplants.com/foliage/html/Poisonous_Plants.htm
http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/hotissues/SafeandPoisonousHouseplants.html
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/
http://www.cathealth.com/toxPlant.htm
http://uuhsc.utah.edu/pated/handouts/handout.cfm?id=2167
http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/ce/king/PoisPlant/Tox-SCI.htm
http://www.dog-health-guide.org/dogpoisonousplants.html






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Monday, April 02, 2007

Bird of Paradise Plant Care


Common Name: Bird of Paradise
Scientific Name: Strelitzia reginae
Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Watering: Moderate to Heavy



The Bird of Paradise adds a totally exotic look to your home. Characterized by large blue-green foliage with the famous orange/red and blue flowers that look just like a bird, thus the name. Some species of the plant also have white and blue flowers. This houseplant is trunkless, with foliage extending from a central frond. A Bird of Paradise plant can grow to around 2 to 5 feet in height.


The Bird of Paradise plant prefers moderate to bright light, so try and keep the plant within 5 feet of a window that provides at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day for best results. This houseplant also prefers warmer temperatures - Between 65 and 75 degrees.


The Bird of Paradise requires moderate to heavy water levels. Keep the soil moist at all times, yet not soggy. I have been watering mine once a week thoroughly and it looks great. You should also give it a daily misting to fulfill its humidity requirements.


I have only had my Bird of Paradise for about 2 months now. It has not flowered yet. From what I have researched, plants grown indoors can bloom periodically throughout the year. Otherwise, it will normally bloom in late winter / early spring. As soon as mine blooms, I'll post a picture and let you know.


This houseplant is generally pest free. But as always, if mites or other pests appear, spray the plant twice daily with a soapy dishwater mixture.


This houseplant is one of many poisonous houseplants. Please keep these plants up and away from your pets and children.


Please share any tips on caring for this houseplant, as mine is still new.

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