Sunday, September 28, 2014

New House Plant Care - Bringing Home Your Baby

Hi New Plant People,
Pothos Marble Queen Plant

This is for the folks that are new to the business of interior plant care. I often receive emails from readers that are having problems with their indoor house plants.

This is how they generally read:

"I am new to houseplants and have just gotten my first indoor potted plant. It was love at first sight. I have never had a plant before so I was so happy to bring it home. I got her a new pot, some soil and potted it up as soon as I could. Now it is not doing so well. Can you tell me what is wrong with my plant?" 

Just a few tips for starting in the fun of indoor gardening. It can be addictive and since most plants cost money it is wise to use a little common sense when acquiring new additions to the family.

Indoor plants are something like a new puppy. Dog professionals will tell you that you need to research the dog breeds before you bring a new pup home. They each have different needs, energy levels, some shed alot, some like to laze about and some need lots of attention and training. A Chihuahua and a Great Dane are quite different dogs, especially when it comes to how much they eat. 

Tip #1 - Don't just buy a new plant because you like the way it looks. If you have lots of experience you will probably do alright. If you are a beginner in house plant care you should start with an easy care plant that will do well in almost any home situation. Here is a list of some of the best indoor plants for anyone.

Tip #2 - Do learn how to properly water your new indoor plant. You also need to understand the intimate relationship between your house plants lighting and environment and its water needs. Incorrect watering is a usual suspect in the death of most indoor house plants

Tip #3 - Allow your new house plant time to acclimate before you do anything other than learn how to properly water it. You can remove leaves if they turn yellow or brown. Do not pot it up, do not fertilize or "feed it". Plants that have been raised by a grower are most often heavily fertilized. Excess soluble salts in plant foods can damage your house plant's roots, the engine for its growth.

About repotting - House plants should be repotted when the root system has displaced so much of the soil that it can no longer retain enough moisture to last the plant a week or so. You will often see the roots growing out of the drainage holes. Or gently remove it from its pot and examine the root system. Only pot up to a pot 2"-3" larger that what your lovely plant was in before. 
Always pot your indoor plants into containers with drainage holes in the bottom!

These are some simple effective ways to introduce yourself to the house plant growing hobby. If you need more information, come on over and visit at

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Orchids, Fragrance and Bonsai

National Orchid Garden-Singapore
If you live in or are travelling in Southeast Asia and you are a plant lover, you might want to take in the wonderful flora and fauna at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The botanic garden, an oasis in the highly urbanized Republic of Singapore, boasts a diversity of plant life for visitors to enjoy.
There are many sections of the garden including the Rain Forest, the National Orchid Garden, Bonsai Garden, The Healing Garden and the Fragrant Garden.
The National Orchid Garden has over 1000 orchid species and 2000 orchid hybrids on display. Orchids have been associated with the gardens since 1859 and many of the Orchids are products of their orchid breeding program, which began in 1928.
Showcasing over 400 medicinal plants, the Healing Gardens was designed as a tranquil respite. The main focus is on medicinal plants used traditionally in Southeast Asia. Come in and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the garden.
Located near the Healing Garden is the Fragrant Garden. The name says it all. A boardwalk runs through the garden and is beautifully lit at night. Breathe, relax, enjoy.
Don't forget to visit the Bonsai Garden and the many other areas of this wonderful urban sanctuary. You will find something for everyone at the Singapore Botanic Garden.
Whether you are in Singpore, the United Kingdom or Las Vegas, Nevada, come visit at for help, information and care tips for your indoor house plants. We are always here to help. Thanks Plant People!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

House Plants and Birdcages

Plants And Birdcage
Carol at shows some attractive and inventive ways to combine birdcages and plants! Take a look at her website and join her as she cooks and gardens her way through life! Great ideas, Carol!
The birdcage shown here uses quite a few succulents but there are many other ideas waiting to be discovered there. I wonder if the birds flock to Carol's place to get into her birdcages...
Try some of these cute and creative ways to display your favorite outdoor plants.
Come to think of it, this is a great way to display your hanging indoor plants too. If you decide to fill your birdcage with an English Ivy, a Philodendron Cordatum or some other great indoor plant but find you are having some trouble with its care, stop in at for some houseplant care information and personal advice if you need it.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Most Colorful Houseplant-Croton

Croton Petra - Codiaeum variegatum

Croton houseplants are one of the more colorful indoor tropical plants. It is hard not to notice this bushy, upright plant because of the vividly colored foliage.
The Croton, or Codiaeum variegatum pictum, has leaves splashed with green, orange and red with the veins often yellow, depending on the variety.
Sometimes referred to as Joseph's Coat because of its many colors, Croton is a member of the Euphorbia plant family. One of its relatives is the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima. Read more about Croton plant...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Denver Botanic Garden

With a working farm, childrens garden, Orchid and bromeliad displays and great nature trails for walking, you might want to plan a visit to Denver Botanic Gardens in Littleton, Colorado. And everyone loves a Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival, part of the gardens fall fun.
When you arrive home and find your indoor plants need some attention, come and visit But first Enjoy Denver Botanic Gardens!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Orchids Plants and Pictures

Paphiopedilum Orchid
There are many great places on the internet to find pictures, images and photographs. I was looking through some websites last night trying to find some orchid pictures when I came across a fantastic site. I have never seen so many great orchid pictures all in one place.
The photographer is named as QT Luong. It also says that many pictures are from "our home-grown orchid collection". 
Take a look, it is quite unbelievable. The website is and the images are available through license. 
All of those flower and orchid lovers out there, take a look, if you haven't seen this work before. I am amazed at that extent of these photographs. 
If you purchased a houseplant (or an orchid) from your local nursery or retailer and you need some assistance with its care, come visit After you take a look at QT Luong's great images!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Best Indoor Palm Plant

Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
If I had to choose which indoor palm plant is my favorite houseplant, it would be Rhapis excelsa palm. This lovely plant is a favorite with interior landscapers as it is hardy and will survive in lower light levels. It is also more cold tolerant than many other tropical indoor palms.

Most types of fan palms are not well suited to life in the average home because of their tendency to spread out, requiring lots of space. While used in large interior landscapes, most fan palms tend to quickly outgrow any available space in smaller areas.

Rhapis excelsa, or Lady Palm, has more of an upright growth making it a good choice for use in your home. It has glossy, dark green fronds and while it can be maintained in somewhat low light levels, it will look its very best in bright light with some morning sun.

Read more about the care of this beautiful indoor palm...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tower Hill Botanical Gardens

Field of Daffodils
Where can you see 25000 flowers in bloom all at the same time? Visit the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in late April or early May and you can enjoy the spectacular Field of Daffodils. The Field of Daffodils is just one of 16 unique areas at Tower Hill devoted to flora and fauna.
The garden also boasts an apple orchard, vegetable garden and wildlife garden. If you are in the area during the colder months, Tower Hill also has an area with plants that are at their best during the winter season.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden is located in Boylston, Massachusetts. A small town with a population of about 5000, Boylston is approximately 45 miles from Boston. If you are in the area, you should try to stop in and see the gardens.
After a long day touring the historic area and visiting Tower Hill Botanic Gardens you may arrive home and find your own plants need some help. If so, come and visit us at

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

House Plant ID

Beautiful Aechmea Blue Tango
If you need some help with a #houseplant #id, please visit the contact page. Please attach a picture you have resized for the web. If you cannot resize, just send a message and I will respond via email. Then you can send your photo. I do not post my email because the amount of spammers out there is ridiculous. And they still get through (into the spam box).

I was, once again, visiting the a "garden web" site and was going to post some information on a houseplant identification for Jessie T. To get a simple id, there is a requirement that you join and accept the lengthy Terms of Service, so I could not help Jessie ID her #plants. She had also made a comment about what a pain it had been to do the post.

If you happen upon this, Jessie, your house plants are a Tradescantia and a Eurcharis grandiflora. If there is not a page specific to your plants care(yet), just send an email. Thanks

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get Rid of Those Plant Pests!

Mealy Bug Insects (Missouri Botanical Garden)

House Plant and Pesky Insects!

The very best way to be sure you don't have insect problems on your indoor plants is to check for bugs before you buy. Always try to buy your houseplants when they have just arrived at the local retail store from the growers.

The folks that produce your plants at the nursery follow a regimen of treatment to make sure they do not have insects damage their plants. However, once they arrive at the local store, the probability that they are going to end up with some kind of insect problem tends to increase.

I usually walk through the indoor plant section of the local home improvement stores (I won't name any names) whenever I am there to purchase something else. I can't tell you the number of times that I find insect problems starting up on the house plants.

My recommendations for keeping pests from being a problem indoors is to always check plants before you buy or bring home. Once you get them home, isolate from other plants for a week or so, keeping an eye out for any pest problem. Many insects are almost unnoticable at first, so look very closely. Under the leaves, in the leaf axil, even on the soil surface.

Wash them down every few days with a shower of water, making sure to hit the undersides of the leaves. You can add a few drops of mild soap to the water if you use a spray bottle. Mild dish detergent works or you can pick up some Peppermint Castile soap and enjoy the nice smell. You can use Peppermint Castile Soap for just about anything else around the house including bathing your pets! 

A small amount of rubbing alcohol added to the water can also be effective but it doesn't smell as nice! (Not for your pets)

You don't usually do not need any harsh chemicals. Bugs don't like water or soap. I use a mixture of water, a few drops of liquid soap and a few drops of olive oil or vegetable oil while I am caring for customers plants and for my own plants. Works just great!

For your outdoor plants, a daily shower of water from the hose will be quite effective in sending most insects into the neighbors yard to eat their plants! If that doesn't work for you, here is an idea for a do-it-yourself organic insect spray from Jami in Pleasant Hill, Oregon. Homemade stuff is always fun!

If you need some advice or help with your houseplants, is always here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Contest Winners-Peace Lily & Art

Crystal's New Peace Lily & Container
Hi There Plant People

The contest ended July 31, 2014. The grand prize was a new, beautiful houseplant and container, delivered by a local florist.

The winner of the Grand Prize was Crystal G., University Place, Washington. She posted a picture of the gorgeous Peace Lily and container that she received on our Facebook Page. Here it is! The picture of her new plant. ------>>>>

There were 2 other winners, Emily M. of Pittsburg, PA and Joshua P., from Dorchester, MA. They each won a botanical themed art print to help decorate their homes. Unlike Crystal, they will not have to water their prizes!

Thanks to you guys that entered and I hope the winners enjoy their prizes. Have a great Labor Day holiday everyone!