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doodlebug
Don't know how long it takes for threads to "disappear," but I'm bumping this so we don't lose it!

My pointsettias are dying. My cyclamens are gone, but I replaced them with hyacinths, which are now also on the way out. My tiny real christmas tree is also not going to make it till planting time in spring.

Ah, winter is truly here.
ginger_kitty
I have been like typhoid Mary with my plants lately! Lost a Jade and a palm. Everything looks unhappy, I think it's all the gray gloomy days we have been haivng here. My plants need some sun shine!
coela
Bump! My hoya lost it's flowering stem (spur), and before it used to flower over and over and over from that stem, but now it doesn't seem to be able to grow a new one back. What to do? Does anyone have hoyas? Will it ever grow a new spur, or is my hoya lost forever? Sob.
tankgirl
hey i was wondering if any of you could give me some advice about a jade tree i have. i have had it for many years and it hads been suffering for many years as well. my old roomate had an iguana who was in love with my jade and would bust out of his cage and sit on top of it. now this was a big iguana and ever since then it has been very droopy. i prune it and ive tried tieing it together to help it regain its shape in the past.

so now basicly it just droops there in the window, and i know jades arent supposed to look like that, i want so bad for it to live but i fear that it wont do so well for much longer. any tips?
coela
tankgirl -
Perhaps try with something firmer on the sides that it can lean on?
My jade tree used to grow tall and skinny & eventually droop when I had an apartment
with unsufficient light, so I put a knitting needle on each side of the stem
and tied it to the needles with thick string. If the stems/branches are a little thicker,
you can also use steel wire for more stability. When I moved to a brighter apartment,
the plant got bushier and thicker, and eventually I could remove the knitting needles
& the string/wire. Also, don't water it too often, that can also make it droop.

If you can, try to put it outside in the sun when it's warm.
My parents have their jade trees on the porch from June to September, and they are huuuge!
ginger_kitty
coela, do mean hoya, like a rope plant? I have had a rope plant for years and it has never flowered. Maybe I am thinking of the wrong plant?
coela
ginger kitty - Hmm..never heard of the name rope plant. Where I come from we call them porcelain flowers!
But there are hundreds of different species of hoya, so it's possible that some are called rope plants.
The one I have used to look like this, before the flower spur fell off...
ginger_kitty
Crap your link didn't work for me, anyway mine looks like this:

http://www.victoria-dove.com/images/photo-4.jpg

Probably a totally different type of hoya, than you have.
coela
Oh! No no no, it looks totally different. The link works now, I had to fix it a little. Cool plant, never seen one of those before!
LoveMyPugs
Ok everyone. I have the black thumb of death. Every plant I've ever had has died because either I water it too much or too little. I have plenty of places to put a plant in my house whether it needs a little or a lot of sun. Is there anything a green things challenged person like me can grow? Fern, spider plant, ivy, cactus, aloe, dandelion weeds anything??
coela
LMP - OK, here are som plants for people with "black thumbs" (which I don't think you have, really!).
Sorry if I point out the obvious, but I'll just keep it very very basic. I don't know where you live at all,
so when I say "sunny" I mean moderately sunny, with some shade for the plants during midday.

For sunny rooms I'd choose a succulent (thick, fleshy leaves, thick stems).

Aloe is good (I prefer zebra aloe, but that's a matter of taste).

Jade plant is also good (try a hobbit crassula if you find one,
they look like jade plants but with trumpet-formed leaves!).

Mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) - you can't kill them,
and they look stylish even without other plants around them.

Weeping Fig is also very hard to kill, but not a good plant if you're allergic or have asthma,
especially latex allergy. They like light, but perhaps not to bask in direct sunlight all day. Few plants do.

Yuccas like sun and accept a lot of neglect.


For shady or semi-shady rooms:

Aspidistra, extremely hard to kill, but don't put it in direct sunlight.

Spider plant, very easy to grow, also air filtering as it absorbs formaldehyde, xylene,
benzene and carbon monoxide. Grows its own rosette-looking plantlets that you can pot! Cheap new plants!

Zamioculcas, I think they are called eternity plants in English, we unromantically call them wardrobe flowers here.
They don't like to get cold, and that's about the only thing that can kill them. They can survive with almost no light at all in the room.

Personally, I don't find ivy or fern super easy to grow, they tend to get a little dry.
But if your problem is that you're over-watering, then perhaps they are good choices. smile.gif

Watering rules:
Sunnier spot - more watering. Thinner stems - more watering (but normally not every day).
Bigger pots & plastic pots mean you don't have to water as often as with a smaller clay pot.
Water a lot when you do water, but let the soil become a little dry between waterings.
Try a week between waterings if the room isn't too sunny.
Don't let the plants stand with their roots in water, it makes the roots rot and suffocates the plant.
ginger_kitty
Spring is my favorite time of year!!! I love that my tulips and other plants are just starting to poke out of the soil. And everything is becoming green again!

That's all...just happy about budding plants.
kari
Hi, all! I don't really have anything significant to report, but just wanted to contribute to the thread & help it stay alive.

I am getting really into gardening & yardwork this year. We just seeded our lawn, really hoping some grass grows. Anyone got any tips besides keeping it watered?

Pugs, I second coela on the succulents. I have about 4 and I've managed to keep them alive. Some are even dare I say it....thriving?!
coela
I bought a lovely Chinese jasmine today, I hope it will bloom in my window.

Also bought some seeds, not really for indoor use, but I have no garden or balcony, so I'm going to try anyway.
I bought Morning Glory seeds, Cathedral Bells, and also a very dark blood red Sweet Pea. Climb, cliiimb!
ginger_kitty
The weather has been very spring like, lower seventies during the day and fifties at night....now the weather is calling for a serious chill off.....around twenties during the day and upper teens and night and possibly snow.....so I am wondering will my newly budding plants be okay?
coela
Gingerkitty: Cover your plants with some cloth or newspaper to keep them warm during cold nights!
Most plants, especially seedlings, get damaged or die when it snows, yes. Better safe than sorry.
Frost protection: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/frost.html

I planted a few lucky clover bulbs the other day, but they look old & dry, so I'm not so sure anything will come up.. sad.gif
The package was incredibly cute, though. I couldn't find a picture of the clover package, but this was the sugar pea cover.



ginger_kitty
Thanks coela. That is an adorable package.
pollystyrene
Here's an article about plants and cold weather. Some of it's a little Chicago-specific, but most of it's general information.
coela

Here come the seedlings!
Sweet pea & lucky clover
The lucky clover actually grew, and has a tiny tiny little stem, not visible here. The bigger seedling is a Sweet Pea.
My waxflower (without any flowers)
Flamingo flower (without any flowers)

Just wanted to share. ^^

walkingbitch
Allow me to first bow into a thread that I have no business being in. lol
Second I am an urban prisoner and this is year two I am attempting this freakin garden box from hell in my yard. The hyacinths that I went aw fuck it and tossed into the ground after the plants in pots died are growing!!!! The hostas? GROWINg well at least all of this green goodness was until we went spiraling back down to 30 some odd degree temps...
My problem?
I've got to tell you. I'm going to physically start strangling the squirrels that are digging up all the bulbs I planted for snacks.

For some reason, my cayenne pepper trick isn't working this year, dammit.

What can I do?
into_a_bulb
I, too, am also an "urban prisoner" heh and I try to make due with my little metal porch. I almost cried last night when I noticed a teeny little green sprout out of my flower pot (I'm trying to grow lavendar). I have a question. I'm totally new to the whole taking care of plants thing and I have a cactus who bloomed the most beautiful flower one day but it only lasted about a week and now it looks like the blossom is falling off? Am I over-watering or something or is this natural to cacti?
pollystyrene
I think that's a regular cactus thing, into a bulb. I could be wrong, though.

I finally got to plant seeds yesterday- I got some starter trays and planted mint, chives, basil and zinnias. I have tomato seeds, too, but I need another starter tray. Like you, into a bulb, I do all my gardening in pots and boxes. I'm in a second floor condo, but at least I have a pretty sizeable balcony. Last year, I did basil, cilantro, pansies, shasta daisies and something else.....oh, cosmos. Everything but the cilantro worked. The daisies didn't bloom, but they did grow. I'm hoping they'll come back this year and I'll get actual flowers. I have to go uncover the pot.
DaisyJane
Hi! I live in a little house type dwelling but my back yard is just rocks and a swing set from the previous people.
I really am into the grow your own food thing so I wanted to plant tomatoes, lettuce, beans, herbs, etc.

I planted three tomato plants - all in the same kind of pots. Two of them I just filled the pots with dirt and planted them. The third, I filled it about 2" with the rocks and then the dirt.

I water them the same and everything. And guess what - the two without rocks are little brown plants that are drying up and the one with rocks is HUGE with over 8 tomatoes growing on it.

Im just saying for all you other girls (and boys) who have container gardens, I learned that hard way that DRAINAGE is really important! I didnt really think it was THAT big of a deal but now i realize it was.

So with all your plants in the pots make SURE you put pebbles in the bottoms, the little holes just dont do enough. Im a total brown thumb and Im suprised how well my pebble laden pots are doing.
pollystyrene
ha, last summer, the first year I did any planting here, our downstairs neighbor had moved out and the unit was vacant for nearly a year (the new person just moved in a couple weeks ago)...anyway, they had a bunch of lava rocks, like apricot-sized, around their shrubbery so I went down and filled up my pots in the dead of night. They had tons of them down there, it's not like they would have noticed a difference. Plus, with lava rocks, they don't weight much so the pots stay light.
juls
Can anyone help me? I'm trying to grow a couple of plants inside, and one of them (an ivy) looks like it's dying. There's some tiny round brown things under its leaves, and something that looks like cobwebs, but it was fine just a couple of weeks ago. I think it's some sort of parasite that got to it. Should I just throw it away or can it be saved?
pollystyrene
Yeah, it's probably spider mites. Here's an article about how to get rid of them organically. Basically, you just have to keep spraying your plants with warm, soapy water (mild soap and not too much of it.)
princess evangeline
Put my vege patch in last week and it's coming right along. The sqirrels are robbing me of my newly sprouted corn, but I'm hoping there will be enough spared for us to enjoy at least a bit of it this summer.
I planted -
strawberries
french breakfast radishes
2 varieties of watermelon
carrots
swiss chard
spinach
green onion
cayenne peppers
cucumbers
sweet banana pappers
japanese eggplant
2 varieties of tomato
strawberry popcorn
long handle dipper gourds
"peaches and cream" corn
and rhubarb (not in the vege patch but in it's own large wooden box crate)

and also some mallow flowers and a few other flowers

the birds are getting my strawberries and the sqirrels my corn and something, a bug, appears to be chewing on my eggplant leaves, but over all it's coming right along. I don't use any sprays or chemicals so the flowers I planted were chosen specifically because they act as deterents to certain bugs and worms. The radishes are mixed in with my melons to deter beetles etc. I figure for thousands of years people farmed with NO chemical assistance what so ever, so my little patch should be OK as is.....
ginger_kitty
I sprinkle a little Diatomaceous earth on my indoor and outdoor plants it sovles most bug issues. You can buy it at most local natural food stores.

I wish I had enough space for a veggie garden. I am seriously considering at least making a little container garden on my patio.

polly, your daisies will probably bloom this year. The same thing happened to me once. I started my seeds too late, so they didn't bloom the first year, but the next year they bloomed like mad.
missjoy
I'm hoping someone can help me or point me towards tips. I'm a new home owner, we moved in last Thanksgiving. I have a lawn for the first time and I'm having pretty lawn envy. Mine is patchy, full of weeks and has big dead spots from my dog peeing on it.

I've reseeded the biggest dead spots and it seems to be starting to sprout. I bought a "weed hound" which has removed most of my dandilions and it great fun. However, my lawn is still patchy and has lots of clover mixed in with the grass.

Due to environmental and doggie concerns, we don't want to use any unnatural chemicals - any lawn tips?

Missjoy
Moonpieluv
I see that you are trying to grow lavendar and have been successful enough to get a sprout. I think I jumped the gun on my lavendar seeds. I used some leftover potting mix I found behind my apt. cause I ran out of mine and was eager to get them potted. Don't know how long the mix has been there, but seemed pretty moist and okay, so I took a chance. Just had some pill bugs in it. Having not really done research on how to start with seeds, I didn't mix it with sand, but I did put pebbles/rocks on the bottom. And really turned the dirt as much as I could to add O2.
I put them in a large pot and spaced them about 1inch and half apart... when I say them, I mean I put little bunches of seeds spaced apart. I covered them lightly with the soil and watered it. And then..... left it outside where it would get direct sun and mild spring heat.

Okay okay.... am I doomed cause I didn't start indoors? with a starter kit, covering it, 40watt bulbing it? Should I just give it up and start over? I'm so new at this and want the pleasure of nursing baby seeds.... ya know. Especially since the plants have been unavailable to purchase for a month.

Help! thanks.

Bulb- I know I've been guilty of overwatering a cactus or succulent.... I'm sure it's just that the bloom is ready.... or just lay off watering for a spell... and see what happens? Geez... I'm no help. sorry.
QUOTE(into_a_bulb @ May 4 2007, 10:04 AM) *
I, too, am also an "urban prisoner" heh and I try to make due with my little metal porch. I almost cried last night when I noticed a teeny little green sprout out of my flower pot (I'm trying to grow lavendar). I have a question. I'm totally new to the whole taking care of plants thing and I have a cactus who bloomed the most beautiful flower one day but it only lasted about a week and now it looks like the blossom is falling off? Am I over-watering or something or is this natural to cacti?
shinyx3
i have a question ans i am not sure where to look for the answer so i will ask y'all. my hubby recently plante some aspen trees and they appear to be doning well. they do however have teeny tiny black ants on them. i am wondering if these are harmful or helpful. if they are harmful to the trees what can i use that is nontoxic to the tree and environment that will get rid of the ants? any advise would be welcomed.
ginger_kitty
Sorry, shiny not sure about your ant problem.

A couple years ago I started lavender from seeds, and it looked great until I transplanted it. Not sure where I went wrong. But I have since been told that it needs well drained, almost sandy soil to thrive.


I was recently given some Four o'clock seeds by hubby's aunt, but I am not sure what exactly they look like so I am eagerly waiting to see. I planted them last week, straight outside and they are already sprouting. One of my neighbors also gave me a couple of small flowering trees, today. So I am psyched about that.
Moonpieluv
Awesome about your new trees... so nice to get plants/trees as gifts.
And hope the four o'clock's work out. Don't look them up to see what they look like... I would wait for the surprize. Maybe I should get some if they are sprouting/germinating so soon! A wee bit of instant gratification.

As for the lavendar, I picked a plant up yesterday and will be making a multi-pot after work today. I keep thinking of them sitting alone with a home on my porch. Geez. haha.
I got some new dirt and some sand, so I think I may try the seed thing regardless. I really want the pleasure of doing that... an accomplishment.

My roomie will probably think I'm going nuts with the container garden! But won't complain when it spices up my stews/soups! I inspired my neighbor to pot some plants too! awww.

QUOTE(ginger_kitty @ May 20 2007, 03:44 PM) *
Sorry, shiny not sure about your ant problem.

A couple years ago I started lavender from seeds, and it looked great until I transplanted it. Not sure where I went wrong. But I have since been told that it needs well drained, almost sandy soil to thrive.
I was recently given some Four o'clock seeds by hubby's aunt, but I am not sure what exactly they look like so I am eagerly waiting to see. I planted them last week, straight outside and they are already sprouting. One of my neighbors also gave me a couple of small flowering trees, today. So I am psyched about that.

kari
Miss Joy, I've got similar issues. Minus the dog urine spots. Parts of our lawn look great, others are full of clover & dirt patches. I seeded 2x already, and it's taken in some spots. If you hear of any non-toxic stuff for eliminating clover and other weeds, will you let me know? As much as I don't want to, I think we're gonna have to Weed & Feed.

coela
QUOTE(shinyx3 @ May 20 2007, 05:53 PM) *
i have a question ans i am not sure where to look for the answer so i will ask y'all. my hubby recently plante some aspen trees and they appear to be doning well. they do however have teeny tiny black ants on them. i am wondering if these are harmful or helpful. if they are harmful to the trees what can i use that is nontoxic to the tree and environment that will get rid of the ants? any advise would be welcomed.


Ants are not harmful to plants or trees, if it's not a fruit tree. If the ants start to invade the house,
well that's another issue... You can always plant herbs that the ants don't like the smell/taste of.

Getting rid of:

Ants - Catnip, Mint, onion, Peppermint, Spearmint, Tansy, Wormwood.

Aphids - Anise, Catnip, Chives, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Garlic (works with roses),
Marigold, Mint, Mustard, Nasturtium, Onion, Oregano, Petunia, Sunflower.
shinyx3
mint grows really well where i live. i'll try that. thanks coela.
Moonpieluv
I have a sprout from my lavendar pot! just one out of many seeds I put in it. I hope the others come along.

So happy! yeeee.

Any suggestions to get the ball rolling for the others?

Oh and have any of you done multi-plant pots? I want to create one. What has worked for you and come out really pretty?

thanks
zora
Can I brag about my pretty colombine? I have a small obsession with them and have about five of them in our tiny flower bed. Here's the nicest one:
ginger_kitty
I'm jealous, zora. I have a red form of colombine, that isn't nearly as pretty as yours.

moonpie, for multi plant pots you can really do a lot, the options are pratically endless. I reccomend mixing colors and textures to add interest. Something spiky, something that vines, flowers, just mix it up and have fun.

I am so lucky, two of my nieghbors are serious green thumbs with gorgeous gardens, and a couple times a year they thin out thier gardens and give me cool starts. I love it when people give me plants!The other day I thanked the one lady for some mystery flowers and day lillies, and she was like, "No you don't thank someone for plants, you say happy gardening." I thought that was sweet.
pollystyrene
Has anyone ever started their seeds inside, in the little temporary pots before planting them outside? I'm trying this for the first time this year- how do I know when they're big enough to go outside?

I have some zinnias planted and they haven't gotten any bigger in about a week and a half- is it time to move them to the big pot? They're about 3-4 inches tall, but they're pretty floppy still. Last year, my flowers managed to grow without being started inside, so I don't know why I'm worried...
coela
Just a couple of days ago, my lucky clover was thriving with its plant buddies:pic here
but now it has got some evil lice and is dying by the hour! I'm so sad, I had it since it was a little bulb..
(= for 2 months, but still) sad.gif I think all hope is gone.
Moonpieluv
I feel your frustration guys. My pennyroyal went bye-bye, my sage is on it's way out, and the zinnias are pooping out, too. I just wonder if I overwatered them, or under watered them. I know that with some herbs, like dill, their life isn't that long anyway....

Basil, petunias, lavendar, etc. is going well so far.

Ginger--thanks for the tips... I'm excited about getting one started seeing as I've had some casualities. sad.gif perennials with perennials and annuals with annuals? obviously sun with sun... you get the idea.

Anyone know about jasmine? I was in Charleston, SC and it was just everywhere! Smelled so dreamy, but that was the "creeping" vine kind... err. anyone know how to get that started in a pot with a fence-thingie... so it can be mobile? Is that even possible? I want to be able to take it with me when I move next year.

And how do gardenias do in a container? I want fragrance, bitches!!!
falljackets
moon, you can start jasmine in a pot for sure! i had some in a pot for three years and when we finally settled in this house, i planted it by my mailbox. it's all wrapped around the box now. i'd just planted it in a slightly bigger container than i'd bought it in and kept it on my back porch up until then.

only strange part is that mine doesn't smell as intensely as many of my neighbors'. i thought for a while it was because it had sort of gone dormant at one point (in fact, when we first moved in here, mrfj wanted to put it out by the road for pickup because he thought it was dead). but it isn't flowering very much this year and i'm hoping it'll flower more next year and thus give off the smell!!

good luck!
Moonpieluv
Thanks FJ!!

I'm running out this weekend for it! Sorry about the lack of pungency. ergh. frustrating. But still sounds like it's kept up well. Maybe it's lonely and needs a friend or the other plants have been picking on yours... derrr just kidding. i'm a dork.
substandard english usage
I have a strange question for this forum, but I figure you would probably be the folks to ask.

The side of my house is overgrown with all manner of plant life, primarily ivy. I wouldn't mind, it's pretty and green, and due to the layout of the house and yard the space is perfectly useless. The problem is that I'm fairly certain that it's an excellent breeding ground for bugs, including mosquitoes. I am one of those unfortunate souls who mosquitoes regard as something akin to a buffet. I know Deet is terrible for people, but it's irrelevant because it doesn't work anyway. I am eaten alive no matter what time of day or night I go outside and what wretched poison I've slathered myself in.

So, as part of my mission to reclaim the use of my yard, I've declared this Sunday to be Yardageddon. I'm going do a lot of trimming and cutting back and grooming and whatnot, but I also need to do some serious plant killing. And I'm poor. Suggestions? Guidance? If the area were not so big I would just dig it out, but yeah, that's just not going to happen. I'm not nearly that buff. Otherwise, I'm open to anything I can afford to do.
treehugger
I also have a pruning question, but I'd like to NOT kill my overly large rubber plant...are there any tips? Here's an old-ish pic:



It's just getting too big, you have to walk bent over to go sit in that area. It's almost doubled in size.
mouse
i have a plant identification question for y'all! i have this little houseplant that i got at the dollar store (yes, the dollar stores in LA sell plants) and i have no idea what it is! it's really small and has a center stem with a symmetrical set of leaves on stems alternating along the stem (ie, the first set goes north and south, the next set up goes east and west). it has green leaves with a mottled light pink pattern on them and it's really pretty; i have no idea what it is! my digital camera has finally died (i'm actually browsing for another online right now) but if that verbal description helps i'd love to know who my plant friend is!
pollystyrene
Hmm, just from the fact that it has pink on the leaves, I'm thinking Coleus.

As you can see, there's tons of different kinds, so maybe this is what you have?
mouse
thanks polly! that's actually not what i have--the leaves on my plant are rounded on the edge and they're not as dark. however, a little more research leads me to believe that it's probably a polka dot plant smile.gif
zora
Substandard- Pouring boiling water on the roots of weeds will kill them organically. The only problem is lugging pots of water outside. Ivy is really really super hard to get rid of. The roots can grow about ten feet underground and having it grow on your house can ruin your siding. I would suggest working in sections or luring your friends over for an ivy exodus. Bribe them with beer or food or both. Once you have the majority of it gone, you can upkeep it. Or you can solarize the area. Lay a thick black cloth down over where the roots are and leave it for about 6-8 months. The theory is the heat absorbed will kill seeds and possibly roots. Good luck!
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