House Plants

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Lucky Bamboo

This appears to be a "Lucky bamboo" - an easy care houseplant that isn't a bamboo at all. It can survive in many indoor conditions, but indirect lighting is best as direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn. Water when the soil starts to get dry but before it's completely dry, and fertilize once a month with the fertilizer of your choice used according to directions and/or use a slow release pelletized fertilizer made for houseplants. When the plant
gets too tall and "leggy" it's easy to clip off some of the tops, cutting off about 8" pieces, and
rooting them in a glass of water. The remaining stems should leaf out lower down on the plant and the rooted cuttings can either be put in the same pot around the original plant or in a new pot.

By | 2016-04-11T19:56:57-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|4 Comments

Iron Cross Begonia

The leaves of this New Guinea species sport thick, chocolate-brown markings which radiate to the leaf margins, resembling the German Iron Cross. This beautiful coloration is set against solid green with an overall coarse, pebbled texture. It's not uncommon for this begonia to go dormant in winter. While it's tempting to overwater a withered plant -- stop watering during dormancy. What this handsome begonia really craves is high humidity. Cover the plant with plastic or a glass cloche and keep the plant around 60°F/16°C for 6-8 weeks. You'll see new leaves appear. When the plant is not dormant, water thoroughly, allowing the top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid getting water on the leaves because they spot easily and are prone to mildew.

By | 2016-04-11T16:37:52-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|3 Comments

Persian Shield

There is nothing wrong with the plant losing it's purple color and is normal on older leaves that will die off. There isn't much you can do to make it more purple. Its highly unusual to attempt to, but exposing it to brighter light may help. It will sunburn and bleach if given too much, so just a little more light and not too much. Stress may help it color up more too. You can do this by not fertilizing it and let it completely dry between watering. Let it go fairly dry, but not too dry that it damages leaves. Just enough lack of water that you can tell it's beginning to wilt, but make sure that when you do water that the water goes all the way through the drainage holes of the container. This type of stress will help it color up. This is a bit unusual though and not a common practice.

By | 2016-04-11T02:58:45-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Salt Damage

It appears to be the result of salt damage to your Spathiphyllum. This is quite common in house plants. The salts accumulate in the soil because they are not being leached out properly when watering. If possible, about every month or two, give your plant a nice shower using room temperature water. Let the water flow through the pot and out the drainage holes in the bottom. When watering in between showers, if possible, water in a sink or outside until the water comes out the drainage holes in the bottom. Try not to let it sit in the drained water. If you fertilize, do so lightly as this is another source of salts in the soil. Here is a link that might be helpful: of dehydration and overwatering

By | 2016-04-11T02:01:54-07:00 April 11th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Variegated Jade Plant

Native to South Africa, in nature this is a tree-like shrub to 6' in height or more. Forms branching, thick elephantine trunk topped with a canopy of shiny green, white and cream ovate leaves. As a house plant it will be much smaller. Grow this plant in full sun (a south facing window) and water only when the top half inch of potting mix feels dry. Variegated jade plants occasionally produce all-green stems. They don't tend to revert back to variegated, so clip them off any time.

The blue willow tea cup is very cute, but is there a drainage hole in the bottom? if not, you must move the plant to a pot with drainage holes in the bottom or excess water will not be able to run off. That would be fatal for a succulent like this.

By | 2016-04-10T17:22:12-07:00 April 10th, 2016|House Plants|1 Comment


These look like scale insects, which suck the nutrients out of the leaves and branches and if untreated, can seriously damage a plant. If you scrape with your fingernail and it pops off, it's scale. Underneath each hard, brown shield is a sucking insect. If there are only a few, wipe them off with a Qtip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Sprays cannot penetrate the shell, but mature insects cannot reattach. The immature ones are hard to see, but they are vulnerable to spraying. Test a mix of one part mineral oil, one part soap, and eight parts water on a single leaf, to make sure it doesn't damage the foliage. After 48 hours without signs of damage, go ahead...and if you see signs of burn, reduce the solution and retest.

By | 2016-04-10T07:09:27-07:00 April 10th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Phalaenopsis Problem

Some care tips for your Phalaenopsis: It is best to thoroughly water at the base of the plant, and allow to drain out completely; getting moisture in the center of the leaves may lead to foliar rot and allowing the plant to sit in water could lead to root rot; Phalaenopsis need bright, indirect light not direct sunlight as this may lead to sun scald; fertilize with a slow release or organic fertilizer formulated for blooming container plants following the directions on the package; orchids love humidity - to increase the humidity level around the plant by about 70%, set up a humidity tray - a plastic saucer filled with gravel, then fill the saucer with water, set the orchid on a brick so that it does not sit in water.

By | 2016-04-09T22:30:18-07:00 April 9th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Jerusalem Cherry

Native to Peru and Ecuador, they can survive frosts and cold weather, and is grown as a houseplant. Jerusalem Cherries should be planted in a rich, well drained potting soil, and kept moist during their active growing cycle. They grow best in a bright, sunny window. (south facing)
Feed with a liquid 5-10-5 'blooming houseplant' fertilizer every two weeks while the plant is growing vigorously.
Discontinue feeding as soon as your plant has finished blooming.
After all the 'cherries' have dropped, cut your plant back drastically, and next spring, after all danger of frost has passed, plant it outside in a partly sunny part of your garden.
These are related to tomatoes but are highly poisonous to dogs, cats, and some birds. Do not eat them.

By | 2016-04-09T21:34:19-07:00 April 9th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments

Fiddle Leaf Fig Problem

The symptoms on your fig may be cultural. The brown edges could be the result of chlorine and/or fluoride in the water. Many houseplants are endemic to the tropics and are sensitive to salts and other chemicals used to treat our water. Try using distilled steam iron water or let tap water sit in an open container overnight so that the chlorine will dissipate. Also the fiddle leaf fig should not be overwatered - water only when the top inch or so of soil is dry. Raising the humidity may help - set the pot on a tray of gravel and fill the tray with water (but do not let the pot sit in the water as this may lead to root rot). Feed with a slow release or organic fertilizer formulated for container houseplants and try to stay away from chemical fertilizers that are high in nitrogen and salts.

By | 2016-04-09T10:58:18-07:00 April 9th, 2016|House Plants|10 Comments

Draceana Care

Dracaena do best in bright, indirect light. Do not place in hot, direct sun. These plants are prone to root rot if overwatered, especially in lower light. In high light areas be sure you do not let the soil dry out completely. In lower to medium light, you should water Dracaena when soil has dried down 1/2 to 3/4 the depth of the pot. If in very bright light, allow the soil to dry down about 1/2 the depth of the soil depth before watering thoroughly. Make sure drainage occurs from the bottom of the pot with each watering. Use a slow release fertilizer formulated for tropical houseplants according to the fertilizer label recommendations. We do not give advice about the affects of animals eating plants and recommend you check with a vet in these situations.

By | 2016-04-08T20:30:38-07:00 April 8th, 2016|House Plants|0 Comments