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doodlebug
Ok, well, by not-really-popular demand, I am resurrecting the gardening thread. I'm also including "houseplants" in the descriptor, 'cause that's MY big interest, and also, I seem to remember people having TONS of questions about indoor plants. Also, I'm not taking responsibility for keeping this thread going, so everybody's in, or else it dies again! dry.gif

So....I went a little bit nutso at the garden centre today. I bought 3 - 4" dieffenbacchias, to fill out a spot where a fern passed away (don't know why I bother), an 8" birdsnest pilea, and an 8" clerodendrum (bleeding heart). (Also some glazed pots and metal hangers and stands, and fertilizer, and potting soil, and....it's sooooo easy to spend too much at the garden centre, isn't it?) The last two plants I wanted b/c I have no plants in my newly re-decorated bedroom (except a couple of fakes in the corner), and it's making me sad.

Has anyone ever grown bleeding hearts indoors? I didn't quite know that's what I was getting (it's not in flower) till I got it home and looked it up. It's a big gorgeous green trailer right now, but now that I KNOW it can flower, I'd like it to....I just don't know if it will indoors. My regular fertilizer is for green plants, but I found a pack of Jobe's plant spikes for flowering plants in my cupboard, so I pushed some of those into the soil....don't know if that will make a difference, but here's hoping! (Hopefully they're not too old! I can't even remember the last time I used plant spikes as fertilizer, so I have no idea as to their age. Does fertilizer lose its potency?)

Also, my latest project is that I'm going to grow some jade and some rattail cactus from cuttings, for a couple of my younger friends who don't have the financial luxury of actually paying for plants. Going to do that maybe tomorrow night...I was going to wait for the weekend, but I decided to cut back my (once again overgrown) jade tonight, so the cuttings should be dealt with in a day or two.

I've also got to pot up the dieffs, and transplant my chinese evergreen, which is rootbound.

I love my plants! I have over 30 indoor potted plants (plus a few fakes in the dark corners). Even though I don't have a "real" garden, pottering about and getting dirt under my nails still feels like "soul work." I wish houseplants were more popular, 'cause running a houseplant shop would be my dream job.

What is everyone else up to?
battygurl
Oh, yay, garden! Doodle, I know nothing about flowers or house plants. I love bleeding hearts though! When I was a kid I told my mom I wanted them as my wedding bouquet--she was horrifed but tried to pretend she wasn't.

This is the first year I've had the time and space to have a proper garden in awhile. When I was a kid we had a huge garden, but since then I haven't even been able to grow herbs (I was in a basement apartment with no yard for ahwile).

We put our vegetable garden in late, but it's looking hopeful. We have: zuchinni, cucumbers, beets, carrots, lettuce, bush beans and assorted herbs, including 2 kinds of basil. We just thinned everything yesterday, and today the beets have shot up and the zuchinni looks perkier (the thinning was way overdue). I can't wait to eat everything! The plan is to make and freeze lots of veggie chili and lasagne and have some good meals put away for the first weeks of school.

We started a worm composter as well. Too bad we won't have compost for a few months, but we've been using the compost tea (water that leaks out the bottom when you add moisture) to fertilize. We also save our household water to water everything with. Using water from boiled veggies means that some of the nutrients that leached out during cooking are transferred to the soil.

We're thinking it would be cool to have a winter garden (we're in Vancouver), but we've never done it before. Has anyone ever tried it? What did you grow?
ginger_kitty
Yay!! Doodle I am glad that you reinstated this thread! I love gardening and house plants. Bleeding hearts are so pretty. Are they a bulb or a root system? With some periennels you can place them in your fridge for 6 weeks then pot them in the house tricking them into believing they have been through the winter cold season. I know it works for lillies, daffodils, and other bulbs. Worth a shot though?

I have really happy b/c my rope plant that I thought was going to die began perking back up and now has long coiled vines. And the late summer flowers are begining to bloom in my garden. Last year, I accidently pulled my phlox mistaking it for a weed, but this year it came back with a vengence and tiny pink flowers have just started to unfold.



I am such a dork! Oh well check back later ladies......
lady_ell
Oooh, I'm glad about this thread, too! I just moved back home and my parents have a garden... they even planted okra for me, because you can't really buy it up here (no one eats it in New England, it seems). I picked cucumbers and zucchini yesterday and today, and the tomatoes are juuuuuuust starting to ripen. So exciting!

I've never grown bleeding hearts indoors... sorry, I'm no help there. But I love jade plants! What a great idea with the cuttings!
doodlebug
ginger, I think it's a rooted plant. I won't expect it to flower this year, since it wasn't in flower at the garden centre, and it's probably going to be in shock for awhile, after leaving that nice, safe space! But anyway, half the thrill of gardening is watching what the plants are going to do next, right? smile.gif

I think outdoor bleeding hearts are considered a weed by some gardeners, actually! And btw, does anybody remember the bleeding hearts story? My stepmom told me once, while picking apart the flower in layers....something to do with Henry VIII, but I can't remember....

lady ell, jades are dead easy to grow from cuttings! Just steal a leaf from someone's plant the next time you see one, let it dry out for a couple of days, and stick the cut end in the soil...soon you'll see two teeny-tiny leaves growing out of the base of the big leaf! Works even better if you use rooting hormone. I'm doing these ones from stems, though, since I cut my jade back quite a bit.

batty, what kind of winter garden, do you mean veggies and stuff? I think you can grow kale throughout the year, and lots of herbs. My mom (in Van) inherited my grandfather's little house in east Van, with garden (grandad loved his garden), and grows tons of stuff, but no food...except the raspberries, which have been there as long as I can remember. Yum! I'm going to be in Van in late August (Blue Rodeo tix, woot!)...you should come over and see the garden!

I only really know about container gardening (inside and outside), so I'm not much help.
pollystyrene
I just started gardening- I live in a second floor condo, so it's all in pots on the balcony. About the first week of June, I planted lemony basil, cilantro, pansies and violas. About a week later, I planted cosmos and shasta daisies.

The pansies and violas were a pain because they have to germinate in the dark, so I had to keep them covered for about a week or so. As of now, eight weeks later, the pansies are going strong, but no flowers yet. The violas didn't really make it- that was clear after 4 weeks or so. I asked my mom what she thought I should do (I had given up on the violas) so she half-jokingly suggested that I put green onions in the pot. I had a couple in the fridge, so I just stuck them in there- whaddya know, they took root and are quite happy. Now, whenever I need some green onion for a recipe, I just go out and cut some off. They just re-grow. I think next year I'm not going to grow pansies from seed- I'll just buy some pre-grown ones. Too much wait for flowers that won't even come back next year.

The basil is going very well, but the cilantro didn't work. Only 2 plants came up and they're really sensitive to too much heat, so they look pretty withered every few days and aren't getting any bigger. I think I'll try planting some more indoors once summer is over. How well do herbs grow indoors over the winter?

The cosmos are about a foot tall and there's buds, but no flowers. The daisies are doing well, but growing very slow- only a couple inches tall, and nowhere near having flowers yet. My mom said she though perennials grow more slowly, so mybe they'll be better next year.

I probably should have started growing this stuff earlier, indoors, but I was too lazy. We'll see what happens and maybe I'll plant indoors next spring.
doodlebug
Just a very quick post....

I've found that the easiest annual to grow from seed (and cuttings) is coleus. You can start it anytime, and it will keep going into the fall, even on a balcony. Just keep pinching out the flowers and the growing tips to keep it bushy. The flowers are crap anyway; it's the foliage that's the showy part of coleus!

I can't grow perennials on my balcony, 'cause it's too cold in winter where I live (unless I provide bottom heat). That's one of the reasons I haven't gotten back into balcony gardening yet.
doodlebug
Ok! I managed to get the two plant hangers up in my bedroom, avec new plants...I think I may have hung them a bit too high, but since I'll have to rehang them when I paint, I won't worry about it for now.

And I transplanted the Chinese evergreen (my favourite plant in the universe). By the way, if people are ever looking for an easy but gorgeous houseplant that grows in crappy to medium light (and thrives on neglect), this is your plant....just make sure to put two or three in the same pot so it looks bushy. Chinese evergreen was the first houseplant I ever tried growing, when I was about 20 or 21, and I kept it going for years. (Erm.....no, this isn't the same one! I gave that one away when I moved.)

And I've now got three pots with three jade cuttings each, and three pots with six rattail cacti cuttings each. Goddess bless rooting hormone. cool.gif

AND I forgot I was wearing a white cami, and got potting soil on it. dry.gif

Still have to pot up the dieffenbachias, but that will keep till the weekend.
doodlebug
Hmm....is this going to turn into my "blog," like the decorating thread did for awhile????

*taps feet while waiting for other gardeners to show up*

I'm posting so this will bump, anyway.

I did buy some more plant pots today. They had some lovely 6" ceramic ones at Safeway for 2.99 CAD....very cheap, and they're interesting shapes.....two lime green and two purple! (Those of you who know me from the decorating thread know why this matters! cool.gif)
battygurl
Doodle, I'd love to see the garden! I love gardens that are old and established like that, there's so many surprises in them, and they say so much about the person who kept them.

I'm kind of sad because I'm pretty sure we'll be moving next year, so a lot of the work that goes into the garden this year we won't get to enjoy next year. It's kind of cool how gardens grow and evolve over the years, but it's frustrating when you move every year or so.
doodlebug
Cool! I'll PM you this weekend!

Grandad was a carpenter by trade - he built the house, too! The land was all swamp when he bought it, and everybody said he was crazy...
quink
Hello,

I am new around here and kinda nervous about butting in on a subject but I LOVE my houseplants and got all excited reading about what you guys have been growing so I am ploughing on in...

I am so jealous of those of you who have balconies, I live in Scotland (little balcony action here) so it's hard to do outside stuff. I have big windows and a bright sunny flat so that makes up for it though I guess. I was considering putting window boxes out on the ledge but I have a fear of them falling off and killing my downstairs neighbour while she's in her garden!

So, I struggle on.... my problem at the moment seems to be that some of my plants (esp the banana plant) are doing really well and I just end up re-potting them bigger and bigger! Which is hard when you are doing it in the shower cubilce! Actually that's not a problem, at leat they are growing. Though I do have to buy bigger and better pots - nice ceramic ones obviously! - which I lug back on foot from the garden centre as I don't have a car. (Cue boyfriend giving me the 'more plants? look'.

Do you ever give your plants a shower? I have started doing it as it cleans the leaves too but I wonder if I get them too drenched? Any thoughts?

Thanks for the tip on the Chinese Evergreen, I am forever rearranging plants so they all get a turn in the sunnier spots so to have something that likes the darker zones would be great.
GiGi21
I love gardening- I have a small balcony now- loaded with herbs and pretty things. I also just inherited a huge India Rubber Tree, I was thrilled to see it in the new issue of BUST- does anyone know anything more about them- like can you cut them back (is that a crime?) It already takes up half my living room and I'm moving to a smaller place...
ginger_kitty
gigi, cut it sparingly and only when you absolutely have to. Rubber trees bleed when you cut them so over trimming can be catastrophic.
pepper
i just put up new planter boxes around the railing on my deck and now i have no idea what i can plant in there this late in the season? i want something that will look nice soon and last for a while. any ideas?
halcyon
Pepper, a few years back I bought a little plant of pineapple sage on a lark and it became the hugest, most lively plant I'd ever seen...big oval fragrant leaves, with deep pink-red salvia flowers. It grew a big root through the drain hole of the pot and into the ground...it only succumbed when I accidentally broke that when picking it up. I'd say it would definitely last for a while, depending on your location and conditions...what sort of things do you like? herbs, flowery things, foliage?
battygurl
Our zuchinni plants have little tiny zuchinni's on them! So exciting.

quink, I'm not sure with houseplants but I know it's not a good idea to water the leaves in a vegetable garden. Apparently it washes away stuff that's good for the leaves? In the summer in midday it also puts the leaves in danger of scorching when the water evaporates really quickly, but I don't think you have to worry about that indoors.

I'll await your pm, doodle. smile.gif
halcyon
Quink--welcome! Certain plants don't like having wet leaves, particularly african violets. It can burn the leaves. I'd say anything with fuzzy leaves shouldn't get a shower, but for other, smooth-leaved indoor plants, it's a great idea. I don't know if spider mites are a problem in Scotland, but I've had problems when leaves get too dusty and spider mites (and other pests) get a foothold. If you have problems with fungus, give the showers in the morning so the plants' leaves can dry before the cool evening. Enjoy your plants!
doodlebug
Hello! Quick post! I need to be working....shh!

batty, I'll PM you this week - sorry I didn't on the weekend!

gigi and quink, welcome!

I think houseplants love a good shower, and I wouldn't worry about saturating the soil, as long as you let it drain properly, and then let it dry back to whatever stage it should be in before you water again. What they really seem to hate is being left in standing water. I live in a really dusty desert-type area, and if I didn't shower my plants, they'd be desperately unhappy! Actually, I have a coil hose now that attaches to my kitchen faucet, and has a "gentle spray" attachment (it's from Lee Valley Hardware, if anyone's looking - you can order online)....in good weather, I can take my plants out on the deck for their shower!

Rubber tree may or may not be happy about being pruned. I pruned one and it never grew back properly. Best thing to do is go for it, but make sure you leave some branches unpruned, and then root the cuttings....that way even if the mother plant doesn't make it, it will still "go on." You could also try air layering. I can explain how to do these things if you're not sure!
pepper
thanks halcyon. i have the kind of planters that hang over the balcony and am thinking that anything, herby flowery or otherwise, would be lovely. just something nice and green that i can plant this late and that will stay green and lush for a while. one side of the deck doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight (i have all the house plants out there, they LOVE it) but the other side gets light for a few hours in the afternoon. that side has stuff in the planters already but it's all dying off, i picked the wrong kinds of things (strawberries and carpet of snow). there are some pinks in the sunny side planters that are really flourishing, no flowers yet but so much green stuff, really gorgeous.
i'm wondering too about clematis, how much light does it need, will it do well in a planter or should i choose something else for next year? i think clematis is such a gorgeous plant.
doodlebug
Hey pepper, this site says clematis needs about 6 hours of sun a day. Do you get that much?

Yesterday after work, I had to stop in at Home Despot, and to my surprise, they had this huge shipment of 6 foot indoor palms from a greenhouse...for only $15 each! So naturally, I had to get one. Some of them looked a bit rough around the edges, but I found one that had three solid trunks and a lot of new growth, and it seems mainly healthy.

I had been wanting a nice big palm for my bedroom for months, but I put it out of my mind, 'cause I never thought I'd find one I could afford! cool.gif So now it's in the corner, and the flowerless bleeding hearts are hanging above it, and the birdsnest pilea just to the side. So nice to have real plants in the bedroom! It feels so peaceful in there now.
doodlebug
Is anyone out there? Yoo-hoo! Anyone gardening this weekend?
guapa
Hello lovely gardening experts. I've recently moved into a flat with beautiful indoor and outdoor plants. I'll be away for 10 days with no one to care for the plants. My question is, will my indoor plants survive the drought? I've got some potted grasses, spider plants, tropical palm looking things, etc.
doodlebug
Hi guapa! This is a quick response as I'm up too early and trying to get back to bed! But I did bookmark this awhile ago in case I ever needed it....maybe it will help you for temporary watering!

Make your own pop bottle drip irrigation system
GiGi21
So I decided to not trim back the rubber tree- it's just too cool. Last night I was concentrating on my stained glass project while the bf was reading away- when all of a sudden our cat jumped into the rubber tree plant taking the whole thing down with her! We both screamed and jumped to grab it and I instantly started crying! What the hell- I'm not even pms-ing. lol To my relief it's all o.k no damage done! Whew!

So I decided to not trim back the rubber tree- it's just too cool. Last night I was concentrating on my stained glass project while the bf was reading away- when all of a sudden our cat jumped into the rubber tree plant taking the whole thing down with her! We both screamed and jumped to grab it and I instantly started crying! What the hell- I'm not even pms-ing. lol To my relief it's all o.k no damage done! Whew!
ginger_kitty
Great link doodle, for the irrigation system.

I am kinda sad all my outdoor plants are starting to die back for the season. sad.gif But on the other hand a few of my indoor plants that I put outside for the summer are looking fabulous!! My croton literally doubled in size!
doodlebug
Apologies for cross-posting, but I've posted some updated pics of my apartment that include some pics of my newest plants! smile.gif (The new pics are the first link on that page.)
battygurl
Oh wow, I love how you can see plants in almost every one of those pictures. Your place is like an indoor jungle!

btw I got your pm and I'll reply soon.
ginger_kitty
doodle your place is amazing!! It looks so calm and cozy!
doodlebug
Aw t'anks, youse guys! *toes ground*

I got my dieffenbachias potted up last night. I'm going down to Vancouver next week and my mama is coming back with me....I'm saving a couple of things for her to help me with. I need to transplant my prayer plant, but it's huge and growing in a macrame, and I don't want to wreck it trying to get it out (and back in). And I want to divide my senicio (string of pearls) also, but it seems very fragile when you mess around with it, so I'll wait for the assistance.

My parlour palm (the little one in the living room, on the TV) is going brown and crispy on some of the fronds. Not from the TV - I never turn it on. I think it might be too bright there. *sigh* Maybe I'll have to move it till summer's over.

Oh, and one of my prayer plants - not the big one - has what looks like a fuzzy fungus! Probably botritis. I can't figure out how it got it, 'cause this is a desert climate. But anyway, I sprayed it with some anti-fungal stuff, and hopefully it will be okay. (The last time I had to use that, it was 'cause I had a burst pipe inside my apartment in the middle of winter...the plants that survived got mushrooms!)

By the way, the plants on the black shelves are fake. Nothing grows there...it's too dark! dry.gif
emtee
I'm a bad houseplant keeper- I had this lovely little rubber tree plant, that had travelled from home to home with me throughout the past two years of university. Well, I moved again recently, and sure enough, little plant got left in a hot car for a few days too many and didn't make it. I'm so sad...

But I think I have to make a trip up to Home Depot to see if I can score one of those palms you got, Doodle! How much light do they need? I've got a bedroom without a lot of direct sunlight- can anyone recommend a large plant that would do well?
doodlebug
Hey emtee! Most palms are very tolerant of low light, actually. I'm worried that I have mine too close to the window, in fact, although the fact that it's in a corner helps. I'm watching it.

I don't know if all Home Depots sell the same plants? I'm in BC, Canada, so I don't know if they sell the same stuff in the U.S.

I think I posted it before, but Chinese evergreens (my most favourite plant) are wonderful for low light environments, and look fabulous if you do a mass planting. And they are so EASY. They practically thrive on neglect. Other easy ones for low light....sansevieria (mother-in-law's tongue - I hate that name - aka snake plant), dracaenas (false palms), golden pothos (devil's ivy), and aspidistra (cast iron plant). You could also do helxine (baby's tears), ferns, ivy, and prayer plants - though you have to keep the humidity up with these ones - don't neglect them, and keep in mind prayer plants especially can be tricky. (But they're gorgeous, especially the ones with red ribs and purple undersides...plus they fold up their leaves at night.) If you want to do these latter plants, group them together and keep them on pebble trays - get deep saucers and fill them with pebbles - keep water in there just below where it would touch the bottom of the pot. Or grow them in a bathroom with a window.

Actually, most plants do better if they are grouped together. They create their own "microclimate"....plus, if you believe The Secret Life of Plants, then the next leap is that plants are more likely to be admired when they're grouped together, and thus thrive on the admiration and appreciation. I believe this. smile.gif If you feel "love" for your plants, they will love you back by being gorgeous and growing like crazy. I think that's why they used to tell people to talk to their plants, but I don't think you have to go this far. I think they "sense" it. Yes, I'm a weirdo. Read The Secret Life of Plants and you will be one too.

If anyone is interested, the absolute BEST houseplant book, IMHO, is The House Plant Expert by D.G. Hessayon. (The first one - volume 2 is a big bunch of nothing, IMHO.) Mine is completely dogeared and filled with highlighting and scribbled notes, and I wouldn't ever be without it.
falljackets
i have a palm that i was keeping on my front covered porch. i thought it was getting enough light. it's been there for a few months now and it's getting brown around the edges. so i moved it this past weekend to the back porch, which isn't covered. now it's going to get 3-4 hours of direct sunlight.

is that too much? i got mine at home depot too and it appears to be the same kind as yours in the picture, doods.

does anyone know how long it takes for pepper plants to produce? i've got four that look really great; covered in leaves all nice and green and big. they're about a foot and a half tall. there are new leaf buds all over them, but no flowers/peppers yet. any ideas?

my tomatoes look awful. they're getting plenty of sunshine but they have these sick little whitish- yellow lines on the leaves. the leaves aren't very full either.

i grew both the tomatoes and the peppers from seeds. they were all planted about in may or very early june. did i wait too late? i know here in fl we have a second season in late august for the 'maters. i might go buy some plants while they're still out and start again.
doodlebug
Hey fj!

If your palm is like mine, then it's probably either a sentry palm or a kentia palm. These actually prefer medium to low light.

Are the leaves getting brown on the tips, or are the whole fronds going brown? Are they going brown near the bottom or all over?

If they are getting brown on the tips, the problem is probably lack of humidity. This is not abnormal for indoor palms, since their natural climate is a rainforest! You can trim away the brown parts with scissors, without harming the plant. You can also try increasing the humidity with the pebble tray idea I mentioned in my last post, and by grouping it with other plants.

If whole fronds are going brown, but it's just the lower fronds, it's quite normal for them to go brown as they die off. Just cut them away (don't pull).

If the whole fronds are going brown all over the plant, then you want to look at light and watering.

I'd probably start by making sure it doesn't get any direct sunlight. North light would be best, though if you keep it several feet away from an east or west window, it would be okay, too. From a south window, keep it even further away, to a maximum of about 8 feet. Sunlight usually enters windows in a long "bubble," so think in terms of "around" the window...sometimes you can have a plant closer if it's off in a corner, for instance.

If the leaves are going yellow before they go brown, then the problem is more likely to be underwatering, and if they rotting as they go brown, then the problem is more likely to be overwatering.

Also, one thing to know about palms is that they really hate being re-potted, and they prefer to be root bound. Only repot when about 3/4 - 4/5 of the soil ball is covered in roots.

Hope that helps!
falljackets
doodlebug,

well, the fronds are going brown at the tips and spreading inward. so maybe i should move it back to the front porch but just concentrate on humidity/watering? thing is, we have very HIGH humidity here. does that matter? is it different for plants? maybe i wasn't watering it enough. they do seem to be going yellow before going brown... not rotting though.

it's been in the same pot since i bought it and planted it.

i'll trim all the brown off this weekend and have mrfj go ahead and move it back to the front (which is where i wanted it in the first place). then i'll look into the pebble tray thing you mentioned.

oh, and we planted sweet potato vines on sunday evening. they're already growing new foliage. so so pretty with their lime green to purple leaves! i got two kinds, one with sort of pitchforked leaves and the other with heart-shaped leaves. they are in a place that was previously just a little dirt patch that didn't get enough sun to really grow any grass, right beside a patch of philodendrons, which are wrapped around a couple oak trees. (i say a patch because we have two large ones that are spreading so now we have three or four smallish ones growing in underneath. boy, they love our yard!)

oh, and i'm right there with you on the *love your plants* front. mrfj and i go all googly over our ferns that we planted in the front yard. we look at them three to four times a week, checking for new sprouts and such. i talk to them and tell them how pretty they are. and they're just so lovely. i think my ivy must be deaf though. it's not spreading nearly as much as the ferns.

i need to take pics. i wish i had some before pics of the yard. actually, maybe my dad has some. i shall post pics this weekend. promise!

wow, i just had a flashback to a family ties episode where jennifer did a science project about whether or not talking to plants made them grow better and alex said mean stuff to the plants and they died overnight! ha!
ginger_kitty
I saw an episode of Mythbusters on the Discovery chan. where they tested the whole talking to plants theory through several controlled experiments. There were some interesting findings. The plants w/ stimuli showed marked growth and health compared to plants kept in the quite. But the funny thing was it didn't seem to matter what kind of stimulus the plants recieved; nice talk, heavy metal, or yelling at them they all grew better and looked healthier.

My plants are healthy, so they must enjoy the punk rock I blast daily. tongue.gif
pepper
i LOVE that book, The Secret Life of Plants. so good. made me not have plants for a long long time though, when i wasn't sure i could take the best possible care of them. i am more fond of them than my pets to be honest.
doodlebug
FJ, prolly not the humidity then! I'd say underwatering, or maybe too much heat? Or both....anyway, unless the plant is dying off, I wouldn't worry too much. When plants come from a greenhouse environment, it can take them quite awhile to adjust to their new home....especially if they were stressed out in between. I don't think Home Depot takes very good care of their stock, frankly....I normally buy from Art Knapps, which is a huge BC garden centre.

pepper, I was that way for awhile, too. There was a period of time when I felt like I was travelling all the time...well, I was! Between the political fight and a long distance relationship. It's only been in the last few years that I've got my collection really going strong again.

ginger, your plants are probably thrilled it's not the same old classical music everyone else plays for them!

I read somebody...was it Zamfir? Say that "rock music upsets the cosmos." Wonder what he'd make of punk rock lovin' plants? Heh.

Mine like Blue Rodeo. And Johnny Cash. And jazz. And blues. And reggae. And soul. And rock. And Indian music. And sometimes classical. And sometimes CBC Radio One.
pollystyrene
I finally have a pansy! Just one. White with a yellow center. My cosmos have slowed down and seem to be really sensitive to the heat all of a sudden and keep wilting. Poop. These so-called "full sun" plants aren't so "full sun"....I'm also worried that by the time they would be ready to bloom, it's going to be fall and it will be too cold out.

My daisies are hardly getting anywhere- they're perennials, right? Maybe they'll be better next year. The green onions are going really well. The cilantro is as hopeless as ever.

Any ideas for plants that thrive in lots of sun?
doodlebug
polly, I'll think of some to post tomorrow....

FJ, I was just on my way to bed when a thought occurred to me....you said you've had the palm for a few months? Have you fertilized it at all? It could simply be hungry!

Ok, 'nite!
doodlebug
Ok, polly, I hope you were asking about indoor plants, 'cause I don't know tons about outdoor gardening....

Good plants for full sun (like a south-facing window) are any of the cacti and succulents, except forest cacti (easter/christmas cacti), which prefer a bit less sun. Also most flowering house plants, miniature orange and lemon trees, coleus, and sansevieria (you can pretty much grow this anywhere, actually).

If you pull the plants back from the south window a bit (3-6 feet), you can really increase what you grow. These will also grow in an east or west window: ficus elastica (rubber tree), croton (but they're fussy), impatiens, African violet, forest cacti, tradescantia (aka the unfortunately named wandering jew), spider plant, beaucarnia (pony tail palm - I have one of these and love it; it's survived EVERYTHING) and again, most of the cacti/succulents should be happy here.
falljackets
FERTILIZER!?!

*slaps forehead*

rolleyes.gif

ummm, i'm the worst potted plant mommy in the world. i'm always afraid of adding too much fertilizer and wind up erring on the side of never. and yes, we've had the plant there for months and it only started exhibiting these signs a few weeks ago. i bet that's exactly what she needs.

i was going to tell you: i went out to look at it yesterday and since i've put it in the back, it has two new fresh fronds growing (and they're completely green!)!! i think i will fertilize it and leave it where it sits now. i'm going to try to monitor the sunlight on that porch for the next couple weeks though. i think it gets 2-4 hours of direct light right now, but when we get some limbs cut next tuesday, it's going to let a LOT more light in (at least we think so...).

i can't wait for the limbs to come down. not only are they right over our house and causing worry over potential hurricane damage, they're blocking a lot of sun. so we have patches in our grass that don't grow well. but i'm more excited about my flower garden. i have red salvia, pink, orange, and yellow lantana, and purple mexican petunias in a patch (about 8'x8') by our dining room bay window. they bloom a little bit now, but when they get more sun, i know they'll really take off. i can't wait to be able to open the windows let the smell of the flowers come in! not to mention the view! we also have teh petunias planted along the entire front porch as well. i'm hoping they'll create a natural screen so we can sit on the porch without the neighbors/passersby seeing us. my mil's mexican petunias grew to about six feet just this summer (they were maybe 2-1/2 ft when she planted them).

squeee! i never thought i'd get this excited about my yard!!!

(my sweet potato vines are already looking so good! i told them how pretty they were when i was walking to my car this morning and then giggled to myself when i realized the neighbor was out watering his yard.)

polly, all the flowers i just linked to area full sun. they'll grow in partial sun, but bloom best in full. look for butterfly garden varieties. i am also partial to jasmine and firebush. oh, wait... you asked for plants - not flowers necessarily. hmmm... i'll have to get back to ya. smile.gif
doodlebug
LOL! FJ, if you're "not good" with fertilizer, I highly recommend buying the Jobe's plant spikes. You determine how many to use by the diameter of the pot - it tells you right on the package. Add new ones every 2 - 3 months (can't remember which, but it tells you on the package), and don't fertilize in winter.

I use either MiracleGro or Shultz liquid fertilizer for houseplants. I add it right to the water every 2nd or 3rd watering. Again, not in winter....that's when plants need to rest. If you fertilize in winter, when there's not enough sunlight, you end up with spindly, weak new growth. I don't fertilize at all between early/mid-October and mid/late-March.

ETA: also, I should add...if you have recently repotted a plant with new soil, you won't need to fertilize for a couple of months, because potting soil - IF you buy really good potting soil - is full of fresh nutrients. Some of what's out there is crappola, though. You can spot the crappy stuff if it gets really hard and/or shrinks away from the sides of the pot in between waterings, and/or if water goes all the way through right away instead of holding in the soil. I will only buy potting soil from a real garden centre now....I don't even like the stuff Home Despot sells. I buy Art Knapps' own brand, which they make themselves. It's "fluffy" and smells really rich....it reminds me of growing up on the west coast and playing in forests full of cedar, ferns, and mosses.
emtee
Doodle, do I have to fertilize if I have just purchased a plant? Should I re-pot right away?

I'm so useless when it comes to plants!
falljackets
doodle, thanks for the info. i DO know that i used naturizer potting soil that had time release fertilizer in it. but it has been a few months of very high heat. i think i will get some this weekend. that reminds me, i need to feed my flowers and my bottlebrush bushes too.

doodlebug
emtee, you shouldn't repot right away, only because the plant will be stressed out from the change of environment. Put it where you intend it to live and let it be for a couple of weeks. The best way to know if you should repot is to water it, and leave it overnight. The next day, tap the pot and carefully slide the entire soil ball out of the pot. If there are roots covering more than half of the outside of the soil, it's time. If not, just pop it back in and leave it. Also re-pot if there are lots of roots growing out of the drainage holes - a few are normal, but lots means the plant is looking for new soil. Re-pot only up to the next size pot...if you put a plant in a pot that's too big, it will focus its energy on growing roots instead of leaves and flowers!

Some plants prefer to be a bit more rootbound, like palms, sansevieria, and jade. The best way to grow a sansevieria is to keep it in a clay pot and don't re-pot till it cracks the one it's in. Also, with jade especially, if you keep repotting it, it will grow like crazy until it's unmanageable. If I have a plant that seems too big for the pot it's in (like how jades will topple over!), but I know I shouldn't re-pot, I will stick the pot inside a bigger pot, and fill the surrounding area with soil to weight it down. You have to be careful about watering if you do this, especially if there's no drainage holes.

Whether or not you should fertilize depends a lot on the seller. If it's from a reputable garden centre or florist, then it will be a healthy plant in fresh soil, usually recently propagated or recently potted up for sale, so you can probably leave it for a couple of months. If it's from a less reputable retailer, then it's pretty likely to have been under a lot of stress, so I'd go ahead and fertilize...if for no other reason than to give it a fighting chance!

The only thing I ever bought from Wal-Mart in my life were two big plants. One died within weeks, and the other spent months dropping it's leaves without stopping, until I gave up on it. I was VERY careful in choosing and caring for them, too. Heaven knows what they'd been through, but that's what can happen when you buy from poor quality retailers. (And I figured it was my karmic lesson for shopping at Wal-Mart.) Home Depot and Safeway, where I've also bought plants....their plants usually arrive from good greenhouses, but they aren't necessarily treated well during shipment or in-store, because the staff aren't always knowledgeable, especially when it comes to houseplants. I do buy plants from them, though - I'm just really careful about which ones I choose, and I've learned to be more accepting if they don't make it. Proper garden centres and florist shops are the best source for houseplants - the staff are knowledgeable, their plants come from good greenhouses, and are maintained well in the store. If you're not feeling confident about your plant knowledge, I highly recommend buying your plants from a garden centre or florist, and even asking for advice in choosing and caring for them. I rarely have a minute's worry about garden centre plants...I feel completely free to "fall in love" with them like puppies in a window, and bring them home with me...no paper training required! smile.gif

eta: x-posted with FJ! You're welcome! Good luck....let me know how your palm progresses!
battygurl
Whoa. There are so many things that wouldn't occur to me to think about when it comes to plants.

Does anyone know why a plant's leaves would go red? I have cilantro, outside in a pot and it was a healthy green for awhile, but now the tips of the leaves are red.
doodlebug
I just replied to your PM, batty.

I'm not sure what would cause red tips in cilantro??

I've taken to hanging a semi-sheer shawl across part of the window during the day, to shield the little parlour palm (and also my prayer plants) from the midday sun. (I face south in a very sunny area.) Bit late in the summer to realize I should do that, but I never had those plants so close to the window in the past, so I never thought....anyway, maybe it's not too late to prevent the rest of the palm from dying off.
pollystyrene
Actually, doodle, it is an outdoor garden. All potted plants. But I like your suggestion for succulents.

I do flowers and plants, falljackets and I love those Mexican petunias- can they be planted in pots? I wasn't sure since it sounds like they get pretty big.

I have a western exposure. There's a medium-sized tree in front of the balcony, but I'm on the second floor, so it's only about as tall as the balcony and basically useless for shade. So, from about 3:00 until 7:00 I have full direct sun, and lots of sun before that, too.
sunshine
Does anyone have any tips about keeping mums happy (and alive) when potted outdoors? I've had it with my summer flowers!!
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