Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum) - Hard to kill plants

The spider plant is among the most popular and easiest to grow of all hanging or trailing houseplants. While these exceptionally hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, in perfect conditions they are stunning. A mature plant will form tight rosettes of arching leaves with a profusion of hanging plantlets on long stems, up to 3 feet, somewhat like a bushy green mane. Although there is a pure green variety, the most common variety seen in garden centers in the green-and-white striped Variegatum. Mature plants have small white flowers.
Growing Conditions:
Light: Undemanding. Spider plants prefer bright light, and tend toward scorching in direct sunlight. However, they will grow in conditions ranging from semi-shady to partial direct sun.
Water: Water liberally through the summer, then mist occasionally. During winter, cut watering back.
Temperature: Do not let fall below 50ºF or expose to cold drafts.
Soil: Spider plants like fast-draining, well-aerated potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed weekly during the summer with liquid fertilizer or use pellets at the beginning of the growing season.
Spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate: simply pot up the small plantlets. Make sure the young plantlets have developed roots. Alternatively, mature plants can be divided during repotting.
Although it is a fast-growing plant, spider plants do not need yearly repotting as most of their growing energy is directed toward producing plantlets. Repot in spring if the root ball protrudes above the rim of the pot.
Grower's Tips:
Native to South Africa, spider plants are an essential part of any hanging plant collection. Pot them into simple baskets, provide it with ample water and food, and within two years, you should be rewarded with a full display. Alternatively, they can be positioned atop columns for a beautiful display. Note that plantlets will not form on immature plants. The most common problem is under watering and feeding during the growth season—these are robust plants.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Post 100!! Golden Pothos Vine (Epipremnum pinnatum) Plant you almost can't kill

The golden pothos vine is one of the most popular and dependable houseplants available today. Formerly known as Scindapsus aureus, these plants grow to giant proportions in their native habitats. They can easily swallow 100-foot trees, and their mature leaves are as broad as basketballs. In home cultivation, they are exceptionally tough, both easy to propagate and maintain. See Growers Tips below for special planting ideas.
Light: Bright, indirect light. Under full sun, the leaves will lose some of their distinctive yellow marbling.
Water: Keep the soil moist through the growing period. In winter, reduce water, but do not allow the plant to dry out.
Temperature: They prefer warmth and will cease growing below about 55ºF.
Soil: A loose, rich well-drained potting mix.
Fertilizer: Use a time-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season, or use liquid fertilizer with every feeding during the growing season. Reduce fertilizer during the winter.
They multiply easily from cuttings. Although they will root easily into water—and many people successfully root their pothos vines in water—they should be rooted into a rooting media, such as sphagnum moss discs. Roots that form in water are brittle and will not survive being transplanted. During rooting, do not expose new cuttings to direct sunlight. Rooting hormone usually isn't necessary, but it will increase the odds of success.
A well-grown golden pothos vine can easily overrun its container. They are also frequently planted on stakes or wood columns, so they can climb. If repotting is necessary, do it in spring, at the same time you take cuttings for new plants.
Grower's Tips:
These are excellent hanging plants, as they will rapidly form a cascade of brightly mottled yellow and green leaves and are not as fussy as many ferns. They can also be trained to climb wooden mounts or moss-covered sticks; although it's unlikely they will form the large, mottled and lobed leaves of their mature form. It's perfectly acceptable to cut back an unruly pothos vine. They are occasionally susceptible to scale insects, mealy bugs and mites.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rubber plant, great for indoors.

I would recommend getting a rubber plant.  I have known people that tried to kill them and they couldn’t.  The only thing that will kill them is to water it a lot.  They do not like direct light, so it was perfect for my house.  Here is some information on rubber plants below.  Happy planting!
Rubber Plant or F. elastic
Rubber Plant is a bold evergreen that gets its name from the sticky sap that dries into a low-quality rubber.
It is popular as a house plant, however, because of its large, leathery, glossy leaves that can grow to 8 in (20 cm) long or more -- and because it is so easy to grow.
Just like many other plants in the Moraceae family, this one doesn't like to be moved around. Sudden changes in temperature and light may cause it to drop its leaves, although it's not as fussy as its cousin, the weeping fig.
Keep it out of drafts and repot in spring only when its roots fill the pot -- it likes to be slightly pot-bound. Use a container with drainage holes to prevent over watering. Never repot a plant that's shedding its leaves, which will make the problem worse.
Water regularly to keep it healthy. Leaves that turn yellow and fall off are a sign that it's over watered. However, it's perfectly natural for older, lower leaves do this.
Few other problems bother this plant. Watch out for sooty mold that can grow on leaves. You can remove it by simply wiping off the affected leaves with mild soapy water. Also check for signs of scale insects and mealy bugs that may infest rubber plant. Care should be taken to treat any problems as soon as you notice them.
Keep leaves dust-free and shiny by gently wiping them off with a damp cloth.
Origin: India and Malaysia
Height: Up to 10 ft (3 m)
Light: Bright light, no direct sun.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist. Be careful not to over water.
Humidity: Average indoor humidity.
Temperature: Normal room temperatures 60-75°F, 16-24°C
Soil: Any good potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed once a month spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Take stem cuttings in spring. To keep its sticky, white sap from forming a cap on the base of the cutting, place the tip in water for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and dip only the cut surface in rooting hormone. Then, insert it into moist potting mix to root.
Pruning tip: The central stem will typically grow straight, without branching. Regular pruning of the growing tip will encourage side branches to form as it grows. You can control its height by simply cutting off the top when it becomes too tall and lanky.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snake plants or Mother-in-law's tongue for beginners.

I live in a dungeon.  My house only gets light in two rooms, the kitchen and the spare bedroom where I have my studio.  The rest of the house is pretty dark all year.  Because of the lack of light that I have, every plant that I have gotten has died.  It was either not enough light for what I bought or I watered them too much.  I think I watered them too much but who knows.
Since I have been posting about the health benefits of house plants, I thought I better have some.  I have two now.  One of my best friends gave me a mother-in-law’s tongue and I found a rubber plant on clearance that was already over a foot tall and as just as big around.  I am hoping to be able to get them to grow big and strong.  I want the rubber plant to become a small tree.  Here is some information about the Snake plants below.  I hope some of you run out and buy them.  It’ll make your home prettier.
Snake Plant and Mother-in-Law's Tongue
The Snake Plant and the closely related Mother-in-Law's Tongue (S. trifasciata laurentii) are architectural plants with stiff, upright leaves up to 3 or 4 feet tall. The Snake Plant has green banded leaves, while the Mother-in-Law's Tongue features a yellow border. These plants are among the toughest of all houseplants—they can withstand virtually any conditions, from dark to bright. The only way to surely kill them is to overwater or never water at all.
Growing Conditions:
Light: Although they are very forgiving, the sansevieria prefers bright light with some sun. They can adapt to full sun.
Water: Let the soil dry between watering. During winter, reduce watering to monthly, or whenever the soil is dry to the touch. Err on the side of under watering.
Temperature: They prefer warmth and will suffer if exposed to temperatures below 50ºF.
Soil: A loose, well-drained potting mix. They will do well in sandier soils.
Fertilizer: Feed a mild cactus fertilizer during the growing season; do not fertilizer in the winter.
Sansevieria can be divided easily during repotting. Alternatively, new shoots, which emerge from the soil as spikes, can be taken and potted independently. They are rapid growers once established. Cuttings can also be taken, but it's much easier to rely on division.
Repot in the spring. Sansevierias are rapid growers and may need repotting or dividing annually. A well-grown sansevieria can split a clay pot with its mass of underground shoots. When repotting, always use fresh potting soil.
Grower's Tips:
These are one of the best houseplants for beginners and for striking displays. They are excellent in a grouping and will grow equally well on the floor or on table-top displays. Native to tropical Africa, the biggest danger is overwatering, especially in the winter. There are two low-growing varieties, but these are rarely seen in garden centers. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Benefits of indoor plants.

As all of us know that indoor plants are amazing decorative items that are known to brighten up any room with living energy and color. However, according to the researches besides creating a pleasing and inviting look, they are also known to impart a myriad of benefits. Different indoor plants require different indoor conditions, while many others may require special treatment, grow light or humidifier. However, in all cases, they are highly beneficial.
Below is an extensive list of benefits of indoor plants –
1) Indoor plants clean the air in the room. Through the process of photosynthesis and transpiration, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and add oxygen to the air. They are also known to absorb other toxins such as ammonia, benzene, carbon monoxide, trichloroethytene, formaldehyde and xylene. The pollutants emitted from the fireplaces or furnaces are also filtered. The smell of the air is also improved, even if the plants are not fragrant.
2) Indoor plants have proven to provide a physiological benefit also.  According to a study, it has been concluded that people who have indoor plants in their home are known to have fewer headaches and less stress. Indoor plants are also known to lower the blood pressure.
3) Indoor plants are known to have a de-stressing effect. The green color of the plant relaxes the mind and brings a feeling of refreshment. Introduction of indoor plants in the offices or work environment has been proven to increase the productivity of the employees.
4) Indoor plants fight colds and fatigue. According to a recent study, common ailments such as sore throat, cold, fatigue, cough and other cold related ailments are reduced by more than thirty percent in houses with indoor plants as they decrease the dust particles in the air and increase the humidity level. They are also known to prevent allergies in children.
5) Indoor plants make people calmer and think optimistic. According to a study, hospital patients who face a window with a garden view recover quickly than those who used to face a wall.
6) Besides the physical health benefits, indoor plants have a positive effect on the mental health of an individual also. When someone is lonely or depressed, caring for a living thing can impart a purpose in life. Places where pets are not allowed, indoor plants are the best choice as one can occupy himself through watering, fertilizing and trimming the plants.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Looking forward to Spring.

The season for planting is almost here, but until then I have some information on indoor plants coming soon.  I haven’t left you, just been down in my back.  Start looking in all of the garden centers and nurseries.  I have some exciting information to share within the next few weeks.  Keep a look out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Other recycling information

Here are some other facts on recycling.  I’ll have some more coming soon.
An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.
A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!