Monday, December 30, 2013

One of My Favorite Houseplants, Marginata

New Marginata

A Favorite Houseplant, Dracaena Marginata

Dracaena Marginata is one of my favorite houseplants. That might be because it is one of the first large indoor plants that I ever owned.
I was the Plant Lady at the huge Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto, California. They had a 6 foot tall Dracaena Marginata in lower light that was getting a little leggy and it was decided with my contact person, Gary, that it would be replaced with a brand new plant.
He did not want to keep the old plant and told me that if I wanted it, I should take it home. That is exactly what I did! 
The Marginata did quite well at my house, placed next to a large sliding glass door in bright light. Ever since that time, Marginata has been one of my favorite houseplants.
They are really easy to care for once you know how. And they are very beautiful and graceful plants when they are grown in the home. You can let them grow large or easily keep them at the size you want them.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

If You Like Your Plant, You Can Keep Your Plant. Period!

Birds Nest fern

Birds Nest Fern The Clean & Easy Fern

Well, its my blog and I can use whatever title I like. I have heard the words, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period" so many times over the past year, it has kind of stuck in my head and morphed into "if you like your plant, you can keep your plant! Maybe this will get it out of there. (Out of my head that is). By the way, I did not get to keep my plan.(Insurance, that is...but that is another story for another blog)

However, I did get to keep my plants! This post is about Asplenium nidus, or Birds Nest Fern. There are a few types, the two most common being the Japanese and Victoria Birds Nest Fern. The Victoria has thinner, more ruffled fronds than the Japanese. As far as ferns go, this is one of my favorites, along with Button Ferns and Pteris fern.

One of the easiest ferns to care for as a houseplant is the Birds Nest Fern or Asplenium Nidus. It is more likely to let you get away with a few mistakes than many other ferns. An added attraction is the leaflets that often fall from other ferns, creating quite a mess, are not present on Birds Nest Fern. This makes it a clean fern in my book, unlike the messy Boston Fern. With a Boston Fern, you spend more time cleaning up after it than you do taking care of it! Not so the Birds Nest Fern.

Light green fronds surround a fibrous nest, explaining the name Birds Nest Fern. The fronds are long and blade shaped with a dark midrib. Birds Nest Ferns can grow quite large and the plant pictured here was well over 3 feet tall!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Houseplant Care Ficus Trees

Ficus tree braided trunk

Fickle Ficus Losing Leaves...Help!

#Ficus trees are fantastic #houseplants and very easy to care for after the initial trauma of  being moved to a new location. They have a tendency to drop all of their pretty green leaves on the floor when you first bring them home.
Ficus are notorious for being difficult to acclimate to a new environment. In fact, I would have included it on the list of best house plants if it were not for the problems many people have bringing a Ficus tree successfully through its transition to a new and different environment.
Even those that work in the interior landscape business know what a pain in the fig a Ficus tree can be. However, on the positive side, if you know that it will most likely happen (some Ficus trees barely lose a leaf), you may be a little more prepared to deal with it when it does happen.

I find that houseplants are very adaptable as long as changes are made slowly. This even applies to the fickle Ficus treeFicus trees are often difficult to acclimate because they are quite sensitive to environmental changes and will often react by dropping most of their still green leaves quite suddenly.
Read more about Ficus plant care and acclimation...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Houseplants and Flowers For Christmas

Best Wishes To All - Christmas Plants

First of all, just want to wish everyone, around the world, a happy holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy 2014...
Just wanted to remind any of you that know folks with a Plant Passion, that indoor plants and flowering houseplants make great gifts for Christmas. They are also gifts that last (unlike that Fruitcake) and NO extra pounds (unlike those chocolates)!!!
So, if you need a gift for the Plant Person in your life, I have compiled some of my favorites from an affiliate and put them together on my website. These are gifts that can be delivered for you and any person that you know who enjoys indoor plants would love one of these!
And I receive a small commission to help keep my site running and me eating!
Thanks and have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year! And don't eat too much!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Great Plant for Your Office - Chinese Evergreen

Silver Queen

Question: What type of indoor tropical plant would be suitable to use in an office environment?

The answer to that question is easy. Try an Aglaonema or Chinese Evergreen. They do well under artificial lighting or natural light and can be found in sizes from 8-12 inches tall to a few feet tall. That means you can use an Aglaonema as a table plant or a floor plant.
Chinese Evergreen is one of the most commonly used interior landscape plants. Attractive and easy to care for, it can be maintained at the lower light levels often found in the home or office environment.
The most common varieties are the Aglaonema Emerald Beauty or Maria, the Aglaonema Silver Queen and the Aglaonema Silver Bay. Read more about Chinese Evergreen plants and their care...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hardy Houseplants - Aspidistra or Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra Care Cast Iron Plant

#Aspidistra Elatior, or #Cast #Iron #plant, is commonly used in interior #landscaping and also makes a great #houseplant. There are a few variegated types also if you have a sun room or solarium, one of these might be right for you. I have not seen many Aspidistra available at the corner store and if you cannot find one of these plants locally, you might try contacting an interior landscaping company in your area as they will often order plants for individuals unable to find plants at retailers.
Aspidistra is a great indoor plant as it is hardy and will survive in a variety of environments, even outdoors. A durable and tough indoor plant, Aspidistra can be maintained in low light to bright light situations.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

English Ivy Houseplants Care

English Ivy - Hedera helix

To Feed or Not to Feed, That is the Question

From Wanda:
I just purchased the Hedera helix #Ivy #plant. It is in a plastic planter that measures about 7" across. It is very healthy looking, and I am wondering how I can keep moisture around the plant, as I plan to hang it from my livingroom ceiling. I don't want to have to mist it every day, and I was told that putting the potted plant into another bigger pot with moss will hold in the moisture so I won't need to mist it so often. Also, I read that I may need to use a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer monthly for the Ivy plant. Do you have any suggestions as to which brand to use? I have been using Jack's Classic basic indoor plant fertilizer for all my other plants, but did not know if this would be ok to use for the Ivy. Please get back to me and let me know, as I want to take the very best care of my plants as possible. Thank you, and have a great day.

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for the question. The suggestion to "double pot" your ivy in a moss basket is a good idea and an easy way to increase the humidity for your English Ivy. A hanging plant is subject to quite a bit more heat and dry air than a plant on the floor or table.
As for the fertilizer, it should not be necessary to feed any new plants as there should be sufficient nutrients in the potting media to last for a year or more. I personally don't use any type of plant food unless my plant starts showing signs of nutrient deficiency (which never happens) and after making sure that any problems are not caused by improper watering, insect problems, etc. I prefer to add fresh soil to the plant as it is potted up or depleted.
I know that the companies that promote (and produce) fertilizers are trying to make money but I have found they often do more harm over time (for houseplants in particular). Plants have been growing on their own for millions of years without humans giving them chemical fertilizers.
That, of course, is your own decision and you may find it is beneficial to your plants. Any other thoughts on the subject of fertilizing houseplants? Feel free to post any opinions.
And good luck with your Ivy plant.
Thanks again...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Indoor Foliage and Flowering Plant Photo Submissions

Orchid Flowers Oncidium

Plant And Flower Photo Submissions Wanted

A great way to add a touch of green to your home is to use elegant and beautiful indoor #foliage and #flowering #plants. Most tropical plants commonly used today are fairly tolerant of indoor environments as long as they have good lighting, watering and temperatures.
I have recently posted a pictures of Orchids and plants pictures page page to my website. I would love to have additional pictures that others have taken to add to the flowering indoor plants pictures, Orchid picture gallery or my indoor plants gallery. If any readers have some favorite Orchid pictures, houseplant pictures or tropical plant pictures that they would allow me to post to my plant pictures page, I would love to have them. If provided, I will also post pictures with a link to your own plant related website. This can be beneficial to help in building up some extra traffic to your site. A reciprocal link would be appreciated.
You can email information and upload photos by visiting my website contact page. Please note that pictures should be under 1000 x 1000 pixels in size. Information about your plant type, variety, etc. will help in adding a page and picture description. And your name, website link information if you would like that to be included. I hope to see some great Orchid and houseplant photographs...Thanks all of you Plant People!