Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Staghorn Fern Care

Common Name: Staghorn Fern, Elkhorn Fern
Scientific Name: Platycerium bifurcatum
Lighting: Moderate
Watering: Moderate to Heavy

The Staghorn Fern is characterized by large glossy green leaves somewhat resembling the antlers of a deer. I really don't see the antler resemblance, but that's just my opinion. Overall this fern is a slow grower so don't expect dramatic growth.

The Staghorn Fern in its native surroundings doesn't grow in dirt. Instead it grows on rock, cliffs or sides of trees. This plant is commonly grown in warmer climates outdoors on a piece or wood, more characterizing its native habitat. As a houseplant it should be planted in a course soil mixture such as a sphagnum moss mix.

The Staghorn Fern prefers bright light so keep it within 5 feet of a window that receives sunlight. However try to limit the amount of direct sunlight it receives. The bright light should be filtered or non-direct to prevent burning the plant.

Staghorn Ferns prefer frequent watering, however you want to be sure not to over water the plant. You should water the plant in the center of it. To check if the plant is in need of water check the center of the plant. If it is moist then it's time to water again. Typically Staghorn Ferns need to be watered one to two times a week.

These houseplants also prefer higher humidity levels, so if the air is dry in your home, give the plant a nice misting every other day or so to help fulfill its humidity needs. However, mist the air around the plant and not directly on the foliage. If you spray directly on the plant, the foliage will get spots unless you wipe the foliage right away.

You should also try and keep your plant in temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically they do poorly when dropping below 65.


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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Persian Violet Care

Common Name: Persian Violet
Scientific Name: Exacum affine
Lighting: Bright to Moderate
Watering: Moderate to Heavy

The Persian Violet is a very popular houseplant used for gifts. Persian Violet plants create an explosion of small pink, white or blue flowers with yellow centers. Blooming can last for months adding to the attraction of the Persian Violet. The plant stays rather compact with estimated growth of 10 to 18 inches tall.

The Persian Violet prefers moderate light levels so aim to keep it within 5 to 7 feet from a window receiving sun. If the plant begins to reach and begin spindly, it is reaching for the light so move it closer to the window.

The Persian Violet requires moist soil at all times so do not allow the soil to dry out in between watering. However, beware to not allow the soil to become soggy otherwise you will promote root or stem rot. Allow for good drainage by allowing excess water to drain out of the pot into a tray.

The Persian Violet requires high humidity levels so if the plant begins to look not as healthy, try giving it a daily misting.

The downfall to this common houseplant is that once it's done blooming, it can be difficult to get it to bloom again. You can try removing faded blooms to encourage new blooms. Others have also taken cuttings from the plant to start new plants, however success seems to be limited.

For the most part, enjoy this plant in it's prime and keep an open mind for what happens next. Please share your tips.


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