Monday, September 23, 2013

Re-Blooming Your Poinsettia-It's Almost Christmas!

Start Poinsettia Around the End of September...

Re-Blooming Your Poinsettia - When the holidays are over and your Poinsettia starts to decline, it is best to add it to the compost pile. If you can't bring yourself to toss it or you just enjoy a challenge, you might want to try re-blooming Euphorbia for the next holiday season. Cut stems back to just above a leaf node, about 3 to 4 inches high. Place the plant out of the sun and allow potting soil to dry between watering. When new growth starts to appear, you can begin monthly feeding. As a note, never feed or fertilize a potted plant when the soil is dry, always water first, then feed. Beginning around the end of September you will need to carefully control the light your Poinsettia receives. The plant will need to be kept in total darkness for 14 hours every night, continuing daily (or nightly) for 8 weeks. You can cover with black plastic and place in a dark area, returning it to its normal location during the day. After the 8 weeks of controlled lighting, return your Poinsettia to its place in bright, indirect light and continue normal care.
For more information on Poinsettia or houseplants in general visit Plant And Flower
Thanks and have a great holiday season!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Indoor Plant Has Yellow Leaves... What is the Problem?

Question: My indoor plant has yellow leaves, what is the problem?


People have often asked me that question as I was working through an account taking care of the interior plants in their office. Sounds like a simple question, right? It's not and there is not a simple fact, there are many things that can cause yellow leaves on your indoor tropical plants. I will give the short list here on what I have found to be the most common cause of yellow leaves on interior plants and I have seen lots of yellow leaves in the twenty plus years I have been on the job, taking care of interior and exterior plants.
First let me say that if you just find a yellow leaf or two every once in awhile, don't worry about it. These should be the oldest leaves and it is normal for a leaf to eventually find its way to plant heaven, just like everything else, plants and their leaves age!
Reason Number 1 - If you seldom take care of your plants, leaving them to their own devices until you find them laid out on the floor...Well shame on you! That will cause yellow leaves, lots of them. Unless your plant is a cactus it will need to be watered on some kind of a schedule that you two work out between yourselves...You need some advice, click here!
Next reason...let me tell you a story, don't worry, it's really short. One day, while caring for plants on a big account, a woman came up to me and said she needed advice on a plant problem she was having at home. She said that her plant was turning yellow and she couldn't understand why because she was watering it everyday! I kind of laugh at things like this because it almost seems silly but sometimes folks don't realize you don't need to and you can't water your indoor plants everyday... Unless you want to kill them! If you are one of those people that believes the cure for what ails any plant must be MORE WATER....You need some advice, click here!
You get the point, don't be too extreme when caring for your plants, they will appreciate it.
Very low light can cause a plant, especially a fairly new plant, to turn yellow and lose foliage because a plant can support only a certain amount of foliage with limited light. The response to inadequate lighting is going to be turn yellow, turn brown and then...well you know what happens next. A plant will naturally thin itself until it has the amount of foliage it can support in the light it receives. PS...this doesn't mean you should put your indoor plants out on the patio to fry!  Click here if you want to!
These are really the main reasons that indoor plants turn yellow, believe it or not. If your plant has insect problems, you would most likely be able to see that and that is another reason too but not as big a problem as the other three listed above. 
Anyway, keep those indoor plants alive and growing because plants are good for us all...Thanks!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Potting Up Your Houseplants


An email sent by a reader asked about re-potting an indoor plant properly


Regarding your comment/question on "how to repot to a new pot and how to trim without causing problems to the plant".

Since I don't have any information on the plant type, size etc. I can give you only general information on this.

First only repot if your plant really needs to be repotted. That is the roots have filled the grow pot and the plant no longer holds enough water for it to make it through at least a week before needing to be watered again. If these things are true then you should be able to repot your plant into a new grow pot of a size no larger than 2-4 inches in diameter than the pot your plant is now in. Only pot into pots that have drainage holes in the bottom and do not size up more than a few inches.
Remove the plant from the existing grow pot. This is easiest to do if the soil has been allowed to dry out most of the way. If it won't come out of its pot easily, lay it down on its side and push down on the side of the pot, this should loosen it so you can remove it. If not, you may have to cut if off.
Put enough sterilized potting mix in the bottom of the new grow pot so when you set your plant in, the top of the soil/root ball is about 1/2 to 1 inch below the edge of the pot. Take your plant and loosen the root mass with your fingers then place back in the new pot, centering it.
Slowly add soil around the sides of the root ball, firming it down as you go, until the new soil is even with the top of your plants root ball. Then water well to remove air pockets from the new soil. No plant food, just water.
Place your plant in a well lit spot, but out of direct sun and heat for a week or so and then, if you see no problems, move it back to its original location.
That should do it for repotting. As for trimming your plant, it really depends what kind of plant you have. If you can tell me that I can give you some information. If you don't know, you can attach a picture. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting the website.