Aug 21 2006, 02:44 PM
polly, i'm sure the mexican petunias can be potted. they tend to run if you give them space, but i think they'd do fine in a pot as long as it's big enough.
Aug 21 2006, 10:26 PM
I think the distance suggestions that they give for seeds are kind of ridiculous- sow 6" apart....um, I'm planting in a window box that's about 8" wide and 24" long- I'll have three seeds in there. Except for my cilantro, I've been pretty successful with just packing it in.
My friend said she had a hard time with cilantro too, and I told her I was going to try growing it (and some other herbs) indoors over the winter. She said she thought there was something you had to do to keep them from going dormant. Is this true, and if so, what's the trick? If I don't plant the seeds until September or so, will the go dormant, or will they think it's summer? Sorry, I'm a dolt when it comes to plant psychology (but that Secret Life of Plants book sounds interesting!!)
Aug 22 2006, 06:17 AM
I have the same problem with the seed instructions-I have a few little flowerpots on a windowsill in my apartment. I usually just dump some seeds in there, spread them out, and they've done fine so far (but I only had zinnias over the summer).
Since the zinnias had well run their course, I planted 2 pots of sugar snap peas and one of chives on Friday. I think I see a little pea sprout already!
Aug 24 2006, 12:40 PM
well, it's getting cold already and the green things on the deck never really took off. the pinks grew into nice green bushes but never flowered. the fuschias are blooming again though, how odd, and there are four teeny little strawberries ready to eat. i'm waiting until the little gets home from daycare to share them with him, he does so love growing things. it's a shame we can't get the managment to put in garden boxes in the yard, there's a perfect sunny space for them and absolutely no reason not to build them for us. i think i may start a tennants committee just for that. we need some gardening therapy round here! all us single parents up in our apartments with the itchy green thumb. i'm doing it.
so, for next year, i have the brackets up and all the planters bought and stacked ready for new plantlings. i would like to plan the deck greenery for spring so when it comes i'm actually ready and don't totally fumble it this time. one whole side gets a couple of hours of light each day but the other side gets almost no direct light at all. i want to grow herbs and fleurs, just have to figure out what will work out there. the berries were so not happy or i'd plant them all over again.
hey, anyone know what this plant is? http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y5/ripesugarplum/plant.jpg
i picked it up at the grocery store at least a year ago and it's just so happy, green and vibrant no matter where i put it or what i do to it. it's a viney thing too, i could stretch out it's branches all over the place but i've got it all piled up on itself in the pot. it's the most cheerful plant ever.
Aug 24 2006, 06:05 PM
My grandma has tons of those- I thought they were called Swedish Ivy, but that's
something else. Yeah, they're very tolerant and will probably survive nuclear war. I'll find out what your plant is called, though (unless someone else finds out first.)
Aug 24 2006, 06:44 PM
thanks! you Are so s-m-r-t!
gah! time to dust eh? that's nice there on top of the piano, like it's growing some grey mold. ick.
Aug 25 2006, 03:18 PM
I have got on of those too. I have no clue what it is, but when my MIL gave it to me it was almost dead, the thing was a leftover funeral plant from like ten years ago, now it's flourishing. I have even taken several cuttings and started baby plants or given them away. I think it's impossible to kill that plant!
Aug 25 2006, 05:00 PM
Aug 25 2006, 07:17 PM
get OUT!!! i love the name philodendron but have never been able to figure out just which one it was. that makes me laugh. ha.
i saw some for sale at the mall today and almost picked up another one, they are so pretty and indestructable. i wanted a fern too but i know better, i kill them like right away, i don't know what is up with that.
i bought a whole bunch of happy mums today to put up in the planters, i just couldn't help myself. they are great fall flowers and i want to keep it green and pretty out there for as long as possible. i'm going to get them all planted right now. next year will take care of itself...
Aug 29 2006, 03:42 PM
Oh! I have one of those! Inherited it from a landlady. I have it on a silver metal plant stand, and it loves to wrap its vines around it. I keep cutting it back, and it keeps on growing.
Nyah nyah, y'all! I have a basil plant that battygurl gave me from her own garden!
Also, batty and I got to visit when I was at the Coast, and we spent the afternoon sitting in doodlemama's garden. That was fun!
Sep 4 2006, 06:16 PM
Sep 5 2006, 10:26 PM
I love it when vines wrap themselves around things.
Doodle, the cactus you gave me is doing well, but the jade started going brown right away. I had it in full sun, too! I moved it to a window that gets a little less sun in case it was getting too much, but I'm not really sure what the problem is.
My garden is doing well! We've already eaten several zuchinnis (there's still lots, I think we'll be making muffins next) and I've been munching on beans every morning for breakfest. The carrots and beets are still miniscule, but I thinned them, gave them some fertilizer, and added some mulch to regulate the soil temperature now that it's getting colder at night. They still have time to get bigger, although I don't think they'll get super big. Our cucumbers are growing though, should be ready in a week or so.
Sep 6 2006, 02:16 PM
Does anyone have a rope plant? I can't find any info on how to propagate them? I'd love to trim mine back a bit.
Sep 6 2006, 03:06 PM
Oh no, batty! Is it going crispy brown or mushy brown? All of the plants or just some? (There are 3 or 4 separate cuttings in the pot - maybe some could be saved?) It should be alright in the sunny window...how much water are you giving it? Maybe it just wasn't happy about the car trip....? Oh boo hoo!
ginger kitty, I don't have one, but from the pics I've seen, you could try taking a leaf or stem cutting? Or maybe dividing it....?
I repotted the big prayer plant last night, and divided up the string of pearls. The string of pearls was a bit of a nightmare to divide - I cut back all the trailers, and I wound up burying quite a number of the living leaves and stems under the soil, but I'll have to trust that it'll come back...
Sep 6 2006, 03:20 PM
hey doodle, i wanted to report that my palm is doing very well now that it's outside on the back porch. it probably gets about an hour to two hours of direct morning sunlight and dappled the rest of the day. i trimmed all the brown off so i would be able to tell if new leaves turned and they haven't yet.
it's catching rain where it is now since there is no roof over it, and it seems very happy. it even has some cute little new fronds growing from it. i think it's gonna be ok! yay!
thanks for all your tips. i honestly think it's main issue was a lack of water and light. we might have to move it inside for the couple months of harsh temps that we get here though.
i love philodendron vines. i have one that a lady at work gave me. she had it growing in a vase of water and continually has to cut it back.
Sep 9 2006, 01:32 AM
Glad to hear it, FJ!
So....doodlemama actually knocked over my philodendron whilst visiting...and broke the pot. The plant is perfectly fine...it has no idea it's been harmed. Sturdy little bugger. (Mine is named Sylvia, after the Hotel Sylvia in Vancouver....)
Sep 9 2006, 09:08 AM
i got some terracotta pots and dirt. gonna replant some of these buggers (i Know i know, it's really late for that. oh well...).
my neighbour has some very well rooted cuttings of some kind of varigated green and white viney leaf thing that looks like a philodendron but the leaves are more delicate and lettucy. does that make any sense? whatever, i'll post some pictures when i get everything sorted out.
the mums on the deck are still gorgeous, really so pretty and colourful. i'm glad i splurged and put them in. next year is too long to wait for deck plants.
Sep 9 2006, 04:08 PM
Are mums annual or do they come back every year? I thought about getting some for fall color, but I/m not crazy about buying stuff every year.
Sep 9 2006, 06:38 PM
So I had to work overtime at the university today and, the horticulture club was having their annual plant sale!
What I bought:
(1) snake plant, about 2 1/2 feet tall
(1) prayer plant, in a six inch pot, decent size
(1) air plant, no pot and god knows what I'm going to do with it but it was just COOL beyond words.
Was a bit more expensive than buying at a store...but it's a fundraiser. It's okay.
I'm sorta psyched about the air plant. Do they actually grow, I mean, larger than it is, with no dirt and no water? So cool.
Sep 9 2006, 06:45 PM
Doodle, I love that you named your plant after the Sylvia! The jade seems to be doing okay since I moved it. The leaves were turning a sort of mushy brown--not brittle like they were drying out. Some of them fell off, but new ones are growing. A few of them still have brown at the tips but the rest of the leaf is still strong dark green. I have no idea what was wrong, but I'm keeping a close eye on them. They're so cute!
In other news, we have so many zuchinni. I don't know what to do with them all. And the cucumbers will be ready soon. They're lemon cucumbers, which are round and yellow.
ETA: cross post with tree hugger. I'm in intrigued by the air plant... I've never heard of one. Keep us posted?
Sep 9 2006, 07:28 PM
Well, what the student told me when I bought the air plant was, "you just set it in a dish or a plate in a windowsill and that's it." And when I exclaimed that THAT couldn't be ALL it took to keep a plant alive, she said, "well, if you think it needs it, maybe once a month or so, you could lightly mist it with water."
I wonder if this thing will actually grow or if it needs really, really good air to grow.
Apparently it takes all the water it needs from the AIR. Amazing. It just looks weird, laying there, roots exposed and all.
I have no idea what to do with it. The boy made a ring/type thing...like those egg dipper things in the PAAS easter egg kits....where I could hang it from a nail.
Anyway, I couldn't resist! It's somewhat small now...about four inches diameter. Will keep you posted.
Sep 9 2006, 07:38 PM
lemon cucumber! love them, so nifty.
as for the zucchini, what can't you do with that stuff? zucchini loaf, zucchini kebabs, slice it in 1 inch thick diagonals and marinate it in olive oil tamari garlic pepper and fresh rosemary then grill it on high until the outside is seared and the inside is still firm. omg, so good.
you can shave it with a veggie peeler or in a saladacco (look that one up, best kitchen gadget i own) and use it as a pasta substitute. it works as a lasagne noodle sub too if you can get the slices wide enough with the peeler.
i love zucchini. i should change my signature to that.
i need a garden!!!
hey, when i had an air plant i had to mist it a lot. if it got too dry for too long it shrivelled up and died. sad, that's what happened to every one of them we ever had. i'd google it.
Sep 10 2006, 01:53 AM
Thanks for the suggestions pepper! We haven't grilled any yet and I like the sound of your marinade. We're going to make muffins too. Mmmmmm....
My sister is super busy with school and I find it harder to cook without her (she's my main motivation for eating healthy). But I'll manage.
Sep 10 2006, 05:55 PM
whew! got them all transplanted. they look happier somehow.
giant pic of giant zucchini in the foody thread...
Sep 25 2006, 04:04 PM
I accidently drowned an aloe some one gave me as a gift! I didn't notice the pot didn't have drainage holes and it was bone dry so I watered the hell out of it. Today, I discovered leaves falling off and how soupy the dirt looked. Is it to late to save?
Oct 4 2006, 11:26 PM
Hey ginger, sorry I didn't see this sooner! What happened with your plant?
Well, I have to report that the palm I bought for my room started turning brown, very rapidly. I thought maybe it was too much sun, so I went back and bought another one recently. But I just learned it is a "majesty palm" which I discovered (after investigating online tonight) apparently doesn't do well indoors - they turn brown rapidly! Apparently discount growers like them because they grow rapidly, and they can sell many of them, all the while knowing they will not last long indoors (hence the cheap price). So maybe it will die too. I guess you DO get what you pay for! Anyway, I'll see what it does. I tried to save what was living from the old one - gave it a huge root prune and jammed the trunks into a pot alongside the new one, with some rooting hormone. Who knows?
At least I know it wasn't my fault! So I won't fret so much if this one starts to bite the biscuit too.
I'm going to have to invest in a really good indoor palm.
I also bought a pothos (that never-dying vine everyone and/or their mother has) for my bedroom when I bought the palm, to replace the bleeding heart, which is dropping all its leaves - which I expected it to do for winter. I've cut the bleeding heart back and I'm going to try and overwinter it, see what happens. I'm also going to try and root a couple of the cuttings in some water. Nothing to lose, there! The pothos is a bit unusual - instead of being marbled yellow/green or white/green, it is green with white spots. Very healthy, too. I love those things, they grow under the worst conditions. My brother (who kills everything) has had a yellow/green pothos for 5 years, which was my mother's for 20 years before that, and which my stepmother once grew from a cutting taken from a restaurant plant! You just keep cutting 'em back....rooting the cuttings in water for your friends....etc.
Oct 5 2006, 05:15 PM
It's okay, doodle. I replanted the aloe with some really dry succulant potting soil and haven't watered it yet.
It seem like it's going to pull through, but I am just not sure right now. I took cuttings of some of the leaf that fell off and am attempting to get them to root.
Palms are tricky indoors. I used to have a beautiful one in my turtle's teriarium, but when it grew to large for the space and I placed in one of my plant stands, the leaves started turning brown and dropping left and right.
Oct 5 2006, 05:31 PM
doodle, is there a place on your balcony for the palm? mine is a majesty and that's exactly what mine ws doing: turning brown. once i moved it to the back porch, where it gets maybe two-three hours of direct sunlight and indirect the rest of the day, it's looking great. i've got new fronds growing on it each week.
i hope you can save her!!
*dammit... posted as the mr again, WTF!*
Oct 5 2006, 05:42 PM
Oct 5 2006, 05:45 PM
Heh....for a minute I thought, what the hell is Mr FJ doing posting about palm trees??
Yeah, if only I could put it outside, but it's starting to be cold here....this being Canadaland and all!
It's not the light (apparently this one needs full sun, which it's been getting), it's that they aren't really meant for indoors, from what I've read. (Here's one article
out of many that I found saying basically the same thing about it.)
They apparently do very well outdoors in Florida, specifically. Too bad I can't just send it to you!
crassy, aloes and other succulents are usually pretty forgiving, so it should be okay!
In early September, I pretty much ripped apart my senecio ("string of pearls") to divide it, and then ended up burying half of it under the earth - it's already coming back strongly. Also, I always divide and hack up my jades and aloes, and they just keep on a-goin'. If you have a lot of sun and you don't water very often, succulents and cactis are the Energizer Bunny of houseplants!
Oct 5 2006, 06:04 PM
doodle, from now on, don't even read my posts. i'm retarded. that whole canada thing sorta escaped me. sorry, i'm in friday mode since i'm taking tomorrow off...
can i get a "duh" pass
Oct 5 2006, 06:19 PM
Oct 17 2006, 04:58 PM
I'm not terribly pleased with my friend right now. I'm the (very) reluctant permanent caretaker of a six foot tall rubber plant! Not that I dislike this plant but, as you can probably tell from my handle, I really would like to not kill it!!!
ANY advice would be helpful. I'm in a condo and the only light I get is sort of northwest. I'm told that this plant was in a very shady room before.
Damnit I don't even know where to put this thing....
Anyway, how can I not kill it? All I've tackled before is, cactus, pothos, and snake plant. I have a hibiscus that I feel fortunate I haven't killed yet.
I should post pics...it really is a handsome plant.
Damn it anyway.
Oct 17 2006, 09:11 PM
Hey treehugger! *tries not to giggle at treehugger's plight*
I wrote this in the decor thread too, but it you really start to feel like you can't handle a big plant, keep in mind that you could donate it to a hospice, women's shelter, or counselling centre. (Actually, I once knew a woman who made a killing selling four healthy palms, which had outgrown her house, to a hotel for their lobby.)
Of ficus plants in general, the trusty Houseplant Expert (the book, not me!) says light should be a "bright spot for tree types, partially shaded site for others. A Rubber Plant will adapt to a few hours of sunshine each morning, but this would be fatal to a Creeping Fig." It also says the biggest danger to the rubber plant is overwatering, and you should let it dry out to some extent between waterings - also that you should wash the leaves occasionally, and avoid frequent re-potting.
Your rubber plant will probably do well in your northwest window.
Oct 19 2006, 07:24 AM
I've come to terms with it. And it's got the prime focal spot place in the house (simply because it's the biggest window)
Here's a pic:
I would sort of like to put it up in my loft, though. I have a corner that's just BEGGING for a plant like this. Unfortunately it'd get NO natural direct light. The only natural light near it would be a couple skylights...but unless the sun suddenly moves north of Wisconsin it'd never get directly in the light from it. It would, however, be about three feet away from where the sun hits the floor off them.
A whole bunch of spotlights on it wouldn't cut it, eh?
It's just that in the loft I could tie it off to the loft railing. It's really tippy.
It went through some shock arriving here...it had to lay on its side in the back of a pickup truck for about 40 minutes, in perhaps 50 degree weather. And it lost some dirt out of it's pot so it's even MORE tippy now.
I think I need to repot it in a larger pot, just to give it some bottom weight. How long should I wait? I mean, is it too soon after the initial "moving" shock, to give it another shock, or is it more of a distressing thing to be tippy and not really supported in the pot it's in?
I've got the pot sitting in a big box right now. It's precarious but it's sort of leaning back on the window.
Oct 19 2006, 02:58 PM
treehugger, it's lovely!
You should check the roots to see if it needs repotting. This will be harder with a big plant, but if you see lots of roots coming out the drain holes, that will be a sign. The best way to know for sure - this will require two people with a plant this big - is to pull the entire soil ball out of the pot, and if roots are covering more than 3/4 of the outside of the soil, then re-pot. If not, stick it back in the pot and leave it be till spring at the soonest.
If you don't HAVE to replant it entirely, you can still stop it from tipping. What you can do is get a bigger cache pot or even a big wooden tree planter, stick the pot inside the bigger container, and fill the space in between with peat moss or potting soil. And you can do this as a temporary measure if you still want to re-pot - just put the old pot inside the new pot while the plant acclimates to your space.
The main reason you don't always want to re-pot with a plant this big is because that encourages it to keep growing bigger!! You can "top dress" the soil when a plant gets too big for re-potting - just take off the top few inches of soil and give it fresh stuff.
I don't think a rubber tree necessarily needs direct sun. How high away from the plant would your skylights be? Another thing to think about is that rubber plants are one of the plants that would do well under fluorescent lighting - like plants in offices. You just have to make sure you follow the annual seasonal patterns of "natural" light in terms of how long you leave the fluorescent on, because plants stop growing and need more rest in the winter, so too much light = spindly growth. You could try it under the skylights, and supplement it with a couple of spots with those new fluorescent bulbs. Cool blue = best for foliage plants, warm red = best for flowering plants.
If you're not sure, the best way to know if a plant is getting enough light is to get a light meter - they're not too expensive at a garden centre or a camera shop. The general range for houseplant lighting will generally read between 100 and 1000 lux, the higher number being the most intense light. Light meters take the guessing out!
Don't worry! Rubber plants are VERY forgiving! I'm sure she'll be a very happy part of your family! (Oh yeah....a tip to keep kitties from digging in big plant pots....cover the soil with tin foil or lots of decorative rocks.)
Oct 21 2006, 04:47 PM
Is anyone doing any garden stuff these days? I guess it's hard to do the outdoor stuff right now.
I've been doing indoor stuff today. I got a garden urn planted up with three different indoor varieties - a ponytail palm (spikey), some pilea (bushy), and some pothos (viney). I really like it! I've also potted 3 little succulents up together....one of them grows in stem-like leaves that look like Shrek's ears!! I've never seen anything like it.
Got to pot up 5 more containers, hopefully will get that done today, but if not, there's tomorrow!
Nov 1 2006, 09:39 PM
hey doodle (or anyBUSTie else with potted plant skills) i have a question:
my pepper and tomato plants are past their prime here in *sunny* florida. the leaves are yellowing and they haven't bore fruit in over a month.
i am planning to pull them up from their pots and i'm wondering if i could reuse the soil? the plants were healthy and didn't have any pests; they're simply losing their luster because of the change in seasons. i was thinking to plant some fall/winter flowers or something (if that exists even here in zone 9/10) and hate to toss out all the soil. they're fairly large containers.
what say you?
thanks in advance...
by the way, doodle, that urn sounds beautiful. i love planting several plant types in one container. i have my herbs that way.
Nov 2 2006, 08:06 PM
Thanks, FJ! The urn is doing well! I also got a huge deal on a big tree planter for the croton "tree" (which isn't supposed to grow as a tree, but it was passed along to me in that form).
You can re-use soil, but you should mix it about half and half with fresh, new soil....mix it up really good. The problem with only using old soil is the previous plant has already taken a lot of nutrients out of the soil, which can't always be replaced with artificial fertilizers. Also, don't re-use soil if your plants had any diseases or infestations - if this is the case, sterilize or get rid of the soil, and bleach out the pot(s) before re-using them.
Nov 5 2006, 03:28 PM
So I'm having a clueless gardening moment. I brought my pots of plants in from my balcony a couple weeks ago, when it started getting really cold at night. There are two issues- first, I think I've brought fruit flies in with the plants. Is this possible? All I know is that since the plants have come in, we've been inundated with annoying little flies, moreso than when I've let a banana get too ripe on the counter or something. We've gotten rid of any other sources of these bugs- threw out the pumpkin and gourds we had on the coffee table, dumped out the water in some dishes we had in the sink, etc., but they're still here and seem to be hanging around the couch mostly, behind which are the pots of plants.
The second issue is that I guess I assumed the plants would just wither and dry up, and the perrenials would come back next year....well, they're all still alive. I'm hardly watering them (I think they've been watered twice in the three or so weeks) and they won't die! Is this going to cause problems when I want them to grow again in the spring- is there something I should do to make them go dormant? How does this work? I've never had outdoor --> indoor plants before!
Nov 6 2006, 02:14 PM
polly, sorry, i've got no words of advice. i'm having my own winter plant issues.
my plants that love the sun (aloe, jade) are turning red. they've been loving their spot next to my windows all summer, but now it's pretty cold there. anyone know if that's the problem?
also, doodle, maybe you or someone else can educate me...what do you do differently with houseplants in the winter? i know they're supposed to rest, so you stop fertilizing. do you also water less? i feel like i've heard something like that.
i've been doing something really fun lately...volunteering in the gardens at the congressional cemetery. (i'm in dc.) it's a beautiful spot and there is tons of work to be done. i've been doing lots of digging up old plants and turning the soil, adding mulch, planting bulbs, etc. the woman who runs the volunteer program is really interesting and encouraging. she's been encouraging my friend and i to do a training program to become "master gardeners." i had never heard of that before! it's something like 10 sessions of coursework and then a bunch of volunteer hours. then when you're certified you can volunteer at fancy places like the national botanic gardens. anyway, it's been years since i got to garden anywhere except my fire escape, and i'm loving it!
doodle, your pots do sound lovely!
Dec 1 2006, 04:59 PM
It's been so gloomy lately my plants are craving some sun. I am thinking about maybe buying a plant light of some sort. Any suggestions?
My mom gave me a giant Chistmas Cactus a while back and it's blooming like mad! Soft little pinkish flowers.
Momo, definately water less in the winter unless you have a really dry house.
Dec 26 2006, 12:07 AM
I was given a camellia for Christmas- all I can find about it is that's is a camellia sasanqua, called "Hot Flash". Anyone have any idea how I'm supposed to take care of this thing? Camellia's need acidic soil, like azaleas, right? It's blooming now. The tag just says "outdoors" and "water daily in spring, summer and fall".....um, okay? This is Chicago in winter- I don't think I can put it outdoors. I'm not sure if it should even be blooming right now.
I'd like to keep it alive for at least a little while. Any tips?
Dec 26 2006, 04:33 PM
Hey all! Sorry I missed some questions! I was really sick, and then totally tied up with work...mea culpa!
polly, my book, my plant "bible,"* says, quote: "It is a waste of time and money to try to grow this temperamental shrub (Camellia) if the conditions are not right. The room must be cool and airy. Buds appear in profusion in early spring, but they will rapidly drop if the plant is moved or if there is a sudden change in temperature or soil moisture. Stand the pot outdoors in summer. Keep in the 45-60 F range...(in a) brightly lit spot away from direct sun in summer. Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Use soft water. Do not repot unless rootbound." So basically, it's not your fault if it doesn't make it!
(*The House Plant Expert, Dr. D.G. Hessayon)
Plants can bloom out of season if they are forced in a controlled environment, and I think commercial greenhouses are producing a lot more varieties now for holiday retail. Pointsettias are usually forced to bloom over Christmas, too. And you can force bulbs in pots at any time of the year...but with bulbs, you have to plant them in the ground next time around.
Personally, I've come to accept flowering plants as temporary but beautiful visitors in my home. I'm actually a lot better at accepting plant death in general now, since there are several species that I just can't grow for more than a few months.
Did you figure out your fruit fly problem? You could try an insecticidal soap, from the garden centre. Also, did you figure out the outdoor -> indoor plant sitch?
ginger, plants need a resting period, so unless you are planning to start seeds/cuttings, or force plants to grow out of season (and then provide a resting period), I don't recommend investing in a grow light - unless you're in the southern hemisphere right now, of course!
Which leads me to answering momo's question...
As I mentioned above, plants need a resting period. This usually happens in the winter, when the sunlight is too weak to produce healthy growth. (Just like humans - did you know our hair and nails grow slower in the winter?) With plants, if you feed or over-water plants during winter, they will produce spindly, weak growth. Here in the northern hemisphere, I stop fertilizing altogether in between mid-October and mid-March. I also cut back a bit on water. Cacti and succulents will hardly need any water at all (once every month or two), and the rest of them, I water maybe every 1.5 - 2.5 weeks (EXCEPT for those plants that have been forced, like seasonal flowering plants). Depends a lot on the size of the pot - smaller pots will dry out faster, so should be checked more frequently. I also don't generally drench them like I do in summer, though a few of them do benefit from wetter soil. I live in a really dry climate, of course - though when plants are grouped, they do create their own "microclimates," so the humidity around them is not necessarily as dry as the general air. If there is any way to reduce the temperature a bit, that can help them remain temporarily dormant, too, by slowing down their systems. (Not cold, but cooler than a living room, like a room you'd be slightly uncomfortable in without a sweater.)
Jades and aloes turning red - I've honestly not heard of that one! Are they otherwise healthy? You could try moving them back from the window maybe a foot? I have a number of succulents and cacti right next to my windows, and have no problem in winter, so...hmmm. Is it red or brown they are turning? Could be too much water, if they are turning brown.
I don't know what possessed me this holiday season, but the only thing I decorated with are zillions of candles, and live, seasonal plants! I have a tiny conifer (8" tall, plus the height of the pot) on the coffee table, four rich red pointsettias in the big urn with the spiky ponytail palm*, and three purple and white cyclamens in with a dieffenbachia in a bigger grouping of plants. (*I killed the pothos and pilea that were in the urn...I knocked that thing over twice before I figured out I should stand it on a big, heavy clay saucer.)
Dec 26 2006, 05:52 PM
Huh, at least I won't feel so bad when it inevitably dies, because there's no way I can maintain that environment. Now, do I tell Le Boy's aunt, who gave it to me, that it died, when it does? For some reason, she thought it was a bonsai (I had some bonsai books on my Amazon list from a couple years ago when I was considering taking it up as a hobby...I never did, but I never took them off my list either. She bought me one and the plant.) I guess when they put a plant in one of those little rectangular pots and plant it in sort of a high position, people assume it's bonsai.
At least I can re-use the nice little pot, though. It's only about 4 inches deep- can I plant a daffodil bulb or two in there? I missed my pre-frost chance to plant the bulbs I bought.
The fruit flies are gone. I don't know that they were actually fruit flies, but the plants I brought inside from the balcony were the source of them. When I figured it out for sure and took the plants back outside to trim them down for the winter, there were lots of flies under the leaves. No white powdery stuff or fuzzy webby stuff, as my mother said there would be if they were white flies (I think that's what she said.) I still don't know exactly what they were, but hopefully they'll freeze over the winter and won't be back next year.
Dec 26 2006, 06:32 PM
Ha ha! polly, I just looked up bonsai in my book (just to see if Camellia was a typical bonsai plant - but it's not listed as one), and the first line says, "The word bonsai
simply means 'a plant in a tray.'" And then goes on to give the "official" horticultural definition of bonsai as we know it. So there ya go!
Well, when it dies, it would be your chance to attempt growing a bonsai in it's place! Then just tell the auntie you trimmed it to look different...and gosh, you're just waiting for it to flower again. Obviously she won't know enough about indoor plants to know the difference!
You could try bulbs, though I'm not a bulb expert! ETA: You could also try something like a tuber or a rhizome, given the shape of the pot.
ETA again: or a cacti/succulent garden, which always do great in shallow pots.
Another thing that would look GREAT in a low rectangular or square pot is Baby's Tears (helxine)
....I think it's called Mind Your Own Business in the UK. It's an easy, fast growing creeper with tiny little leaves. You can give it "haircuts" to keep it in shape! It could be like a low, surface topiary, shaped to the pot, maybe on a coffee table or side table?
You could also try a moss, though IMHO, these are harder to keep indoors, unless you live in a very humid climate. But that could be me - I can't grow ferns or ivy here, either.
Dec 26 2006, 07:08 PM
Mmm, no humidity's not a regular thing around here. I've heard you can encourage it to grow on rocks by slathering them in yogurt. I love those delicate little plants like that- I think that could be done. Do you think I'd be able to buy seeds for it somewhere? I'll have to look around....Thanks!
Dec 26 2006, 07:14 PM
Yeah, the yogurt is supposed to work, but I think there has to be some moss there to begin with....I think you can puree a bit of moss in with the yogurt to make it happen....lots of people grow moss on pots and statuary this way, too. Almost forgot this was in my bookmarks....here is an easy recipe
for making moss graffiti!!
Not sure where to get helxine seeds...I've always picked up helxine plants really cheaply at garden centres and home stores. You can ask them to bring it in if they don't stock it. A small container or two (4" pots) should do you, as it will grow fast...you shouldn't have to spend more than $5, even for 2.
Dec 26 2006, 09:05 PM
Oh, if nurseries usually sell the started plants, that's good too. There's an indoor nursery near me- maybe I'll stop there soon.
LOL on the yogurt/moss puree- wonder if some health nut would eat that or use it as a yeast infection treatment
Dec 26 2006, 10:27 PM
Hey guess what, polly? It actually does list the Camellia
as a bonsai species on Wikipedia!
(main Wiki bonsai page
And thank you, btw, for the visuals of a moss-growing cooch!