Tropical Plants

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Aphids On Mandevillia

We don't typically see white "sticky stuff" from aphids. Their excrement (called honeydew) is sticky but its clear, like dew drops; it usually will get some black sooty mold growing in it, but haven't see white stuff. If you're positive these are aphids (we can't say for certain from this photo), have you sprayed anything on them? Baking soda in water? This actually looks like salt or hard water deposits (like calcium after the water has evaporated) in some areas, and possibly bird droppings in other areas. You should be able to wash it off, if its any of these things; we recommend you try that in any case and a high pressure wash would also help to control the Aphid population. Here's a link all about Aphids.

By | 2016-03-16T19:29:13-07:00 March 16th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Canna Problem

We cannot be positive without seeing the flower you have described, but this may be a Canna lily. Cannas are prized for their showy leaves and striking spikes of large flowers in reds, oranges, white, cream, yellow, pink or bicolors. They grow best in full sun and regular water. In mild winter areas, cannas can be left in the ground all year long, but in your area they may not be winter hardy. You'll need to lift them after the first frost and keep them dormant inside over winter or keep them in a pot indoors like you have done...When the temperatures turn mild, take outdoors and place in partial shade, then gradually introduce it to full sun over 7-10 days. Otherwise the leaves will scald if put out in full sun suddenly.

By | 2016-03-15T16:52:32-07:00 March 15th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Seven Year Apple

This evergreen shrub or small tree is one of Florida's most exceptional native, salt-tolerant plants (Fig. 1). It grows up to the first dune near the ocean. The beautiful, glossy, leathery foliage is clustered near the branch tips. The Seven Year Apple has axillary clusters of white, pink-tipped flowers that emerge in the spring and early summer. These flowers are approximately 1-inch long and have a very sweet, heavy fragrance. Seven-Year Apple has large lemon-shaped fruits that may persist for more than a year. The fruits are green when they first appear and gradually turn yellow and ripen in about one year. Yellow fruits then turn black and become wrinkled. The dark brown pulp inside the black fruits is edible but is filled with many seeds and taste like licorice. This pulp is very appealing to the Mockingbirds, and they hollow out the ripe fruits and leave the empty skins hanging on the plant.

By | 2016-03-09T01:52:54-08:00 March 9th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Peace Lily Spathe Flower

This does appear to be one of the Aroids known as Spathe flower. There are ~35 wild species, plus forms of garden origin. All make good houseplants. Tolerates low light but does best in medium light, well-drained soil, with moderate amounts of water and fertilizer. We suspect your plant has dried out. Peace lily would rather be a bit too damp than a little bit dry. Remove all the dead leaves. Then, assuming the container has a hole in the bottom, place it in a larger container and fill the larger container so that water goes up the sides but not over the top of the plant's container. Leave it like this until the top of the potting soil is moist. Then remove the plant and allow the container to drain. By watering from the bottom up in this way you will rehydrate the plant and the potting soil and get it back on the road to health. After this one-time soaking, water when the potting soil is dry to the depth of the first knuckle on your finger.

By | 2016-03-07T08:01:09-08:00 March 7th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Bromeliad Vriesea

This is a bromeliad, possibly in the genus Vriesea. Vrieseas are native to Central and South America, but are grown as indoor plants throughout the world. There are about 250 recognized species of vriesea bromeliads, all native to Central and South America. There are also dozens of hybrids. Roughly speaking, vriesea are divided into plants that are grown primarily for their foliage and those that are prized for the flat, brightly colored flower spikes.

They are more tolerant of dense shade than other common bromeliads. The more sunlight a Vriesea receives, the more humidity it will need to avoid scorching the leaves. The foliage will also become more brilliant in color when exposed to more light. Moderate temperatures are preferred by Vrieseas, but they can withstand a range of low and high temperatures from just above freezing to 90F for a short period of time. They will not, however, survive a hard freeze.

By | 2016-03-07T01:33:44-08:00 March 7th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Amazonian Vine

This is a tropical vine that will be a houseplant in your area. It grows best in bright, indirect light and can get to be quite large. You should water whenever the surface of the potting mix is wet. The thing that makes it tricky to grow in a home or apartment is its high humidity requirement. Most people grow it in terrariums for this reason. The bare patches on your stems may be the result of low humidity. The leaves turn brown and fall off. This is not a common house plant, probably because it's not easy for the average homeowner to provide adequate humidity. But it's a very pretty plant, so we can see why you'd want to keep it. We suggest you take cuttings from the ends of the stems and try making a few new plants. If you grow these new, smaller plants on a pebble tray, the humidity will be higher and you may have better luck. If you can grow it in a terrarium or greenhouse, that would make the plant very happy.

By | 2016-03-03T20:19:57-08:00 March 3rd, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Tillandsia Ionantha Air Plant

Native to Costa Rica and Mexico, a very popular and easy to grow species. The entire top of the plant blushes a bright red when in bloom. Individual flowers are a violet tube. Plants are 1"-2" tall when not in bloom. Your plant needs to be watered regularly, at least 2 to 3 times per week. Misting is generally not sufficient. The easiest way to do this is to actually immerse the whole plant in the sink or a bucket if possible, if not, use a hose or the kitchen faucet to totally wet your plant. Your plant will also appreciate a good soaking for several hours every one to two weeks. Give your plant as bright a light as you can. Partial sun for an hour or so in the morning or evening should be okay, but you should avoid all day direct sun. Most will survive a light frost and will have some leaf damage, but should still produce pups for you. A frost for more than a few hours will kill your plant.

By | 2016-02-27T21:42:17-08:00 February 27th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Aechmea Fasciata Silver Vase Or Urn Plant

This is a bromeliad, a direct relative of the pineapple. In your area it will be a house plant although you can grow it (better for the plant) outdoors in your frost free months. In the tropics it grows up in trees. Inside it grows best in bright indirect light (an unobstructed east or west facing window.) It should be watered when the potting mix feels dry down to your first knuckle. The best way to water is to water directly into the vase allowing it to overflow into the pot. This keeps the water in the vase from becoming stagnant and smelly. They require little feeding so an occasional application of an all purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer mixed to half the strength of the directions can be poured into the vase or more effectively right into the soil of the pot. When the flower of a "vase" has finished, that plant will not flower again and will die but should have already started new plants at the base to replace it and bloom as well.

By | 2016-02-24T13:50:46-08:00 February 24th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Orthophytum Warren Loose

Orthophytum's are in the Bromeliad family with more than 25 species, cultivars and hybrids in cultivation. The wild species are limited to eastern Brazil where they seem to grow on rocks and sides of cliffs. Actually being terrestrial the roots grow into the cracks and fissures between rocks which generally contain moisture and nutrients. Orthophytum do not have 'cups' or hold water in the center leaves of the plants. Their thick bloom stalk can grow quite tall and produces tiny flowers at the top amongst foliage that looks like miniature plants. They need fertile but well-drained soil, water often in spring and summer and in winter keep barely damp but never let it dry out completely like you would a Cactus plant. Give plenty of bright light to bring out the best foliage coloration and most can take full sun once adapted. Orthophytum gurkenii cultivar 'Warren Loose' is similar to it's parent except it has white spots all over instead of in bands like gurkenii.

By | 2016-02-23T05:39:01-08:00 February 23rd, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments

Hibiscus Issues

We see that your hibiscus might be having an issue with the soil that it is planted in and the amount of water that it is receiving. Hibiscus plants want to be planted in FULL SUN in RICH WELL DRAINING SOIL and REGULAR WATER preferably at the base of the plant. (Overhead watering can contribute to foliar diseases problems.) You might want to consider pruning your plant back to 1/3 of it's current size and replant in a rich soil medium in a pot or in the ground and see how it does. Enrich the soil before you plant it permanently in your yard. Get the soil and water situation in hand and make sure that the plant is returning to a healthy state before fertilizing. You might want to consider investing in a high quality fertilizer specifically formulated for tropical and/or flowering plants. Your local independent garden center should be able to help you make a suitable choice. Let us know how it goes.

By | 2017-09-11T15:49:24-07:00 February 14th, 2016|Tropical Plants|0 Comments