Tag Archive | Houseplants

Wordless Wednesday

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It might be a little hard to see what this photo is. It’s a cylindrical snake plant with what I think is a flower stalk (the white thing) coming up in it.

This has never bloomed for me. And I am amazed that it might be doing so in February?!

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Here’s the whole plant (obviously with other snake plants near it). You can just barely see the little white stalk in this photo.

It’s going to be interesting.

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The Easiest Fern to Grow

Ferns are notorious for being finicky,  troublesome plants.  Look at them cross-eyed and they wither. They are forever full of brown tips, brown fronds, or just plain dead. Why do we bother?

For one thing, they are lovely. And they provide a lot of leaf textures and varieties.  If you can keep the humidity and temperature correct, they are wonderful plants.

I have too many plants to fuss over ferns but I do grow one with regularity because it’s easy, it’s cool looking, and it’s unusual in its own way: it’s the bird’s nest fern.

That was the plant you saw in my last Wordless Wednesday post–the upright green one on the left that sort of looked like wild romaine lettuce. Here it is again.

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But there are other varieties as well.

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And this is the reason they call it the Bird’s Nest Fern. The center almost looks as if it has a bird’s nest in it.

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These are easy plants that are not overly fussy about watering and don’t need extra humidity.  They will grow just fine in ordinary heated homes.

Filtered bright light–never direct sun–is what you want for these. Try one. You won’t be disappointed.

Are My House Plants Okay?

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It’s winter. And in winter, the glorious house plants you had over the summer suddenly start looking well–not so glorious anymore,  right? But how do you know what’s okay and what’s trouble?

Remember this hibiscus from a couple of weeks ago? It was loaded with pink flowers. Now? Nothing. Even the leaves look flat and dull.

All of that is okay because it’s December. It’s the darkest,  coldest time of year. What you want to watch for is what they call “stippling” on the leaves. That would indicate the presence of a sucking insect,  most likely spider mites, which are so tiny they’re almost impossible to see. Aphids can also cause this.

Honeydew, or a sap-like substance, also usually indicates insects.  It can mean scale (a brown coated creature) or aphids as well.

But just this general “malaise” means my very tropical hibiscus has the winter blues. Who doesn’t occasionally get that–especially if you’re a tropical plant?

Time for a Shower

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What? I know some people who shower with pets to give them baths. But showering with plants?

Actually I have been known to take my air plants into the shower with me for a quick watering but that clearly is not what’s happening here.  And although it may be TMI, I didn’t shower with these plants.  They didn’t even shower together.  I brought them up and showered them off one at a time.  This photo just shows them drying.

So what’s going on? Well, this.

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I first saw this–spider mites, I suspect–about a month ago. This is a pair of leaves from the plant that is the much larger of the two.

At that time, I just wiped all the leaves off and vowed to take a look again in a few weeks. Sure enough, they’re back.  And while they don’t look much like–or behave like–traditional spider mites, meaning that there are no telltale webs, this is very clearly an insect infestation.

So, once I decided that, I grabbed the other plant that had been near this plant when it was outside.  Sure enough,  same sort of little critter. That’s when I decided they both needed a shower to wash all these pests away.

Clearly I will need to watch these 2 plants–and all those around them–for reinfestation. But so long as I don’t mind giving the plants a shower, I think everything’s under control.