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  • Paddy
  • Born and educated in Germany, I came to live in the UK in 1982. After working in various jobs over the years, I am now a freelance writer. I have a passion for wildlife and nature in general and love my family, my dog Jet, writing, music and dragons.
  • Born and educated in Germany, I came to live in the UK in 1982. After working in various jobs over the years, I am now a freelance writer. I have a passion for wildlife and nature in general and love my family, my dog Jet, writing, music and dragons.

A - Z Plant List

A - B - C - D/E

F - G - H/I/J

K/L - M - N/O

P - Q/R - S

T to Z


The A - Z of House Plants is currently under construction. Plant names will be linked to their corresponding articles as they are added. Please be patient - there are a lot of plants, and there may be days when only one or two articles can be added at a time. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of these general care articles:


A brief Guide to Potting Mixes


When and how to repot House Plants


Grooming House Plants - the Basics


Indoor House Plants and Light


Ten House Plants tolerating low Light Conditions


Indoor House Plants and Humidity Levels


Watering Indoor House Plants


Fertilising House Plants


To save readers having to scroll through the whole alphabet when looking for a specific plant, each section will be moved to its own page once all corresponding articles have been added. 


Yet to come: 




(Haworthia species)

Heartleaf Philodendron

(Philodendron scandens)


(Helleborus niger)


(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hyacinth Flower

(Hyacinthus orientalis hybrids)


(Hydrangea macrophylla)




(Impatiens hybrids)

Iron Cross Begonia

(Begonia masoniana)

Ivy Geranium

(Pelargonium peltatum)


(Ixora coccinea)



Jade Plant

(Crassula ovata)

Janet Craig Dracaena

(Dracaena deremensis)

Japanese Aralia

(Fatsia japonica)

Jasmine Plant

(Jasminum polyanthum)

Jerusalem Cherry

(Solanum pseudocapsicum)



Kaffir Lily

(Clivia miniata)

Kentia Palm

(Howea forsteriana)



Lady Palm

(Rhapis excelsa)

Lantana Plants

(Lantana camara)

Lily of the Valley                                      

(Convallaria majalis)

Lipstick Plant                                          

(Aeschynanthus lobbianus)

Living Stones                                           

(Lithops species)

Lucky Bamboo                                        

(Dracaena sanderiana)



Madagascar Palm                                    

(Pachypodium lamerei)

Maidenhair Fern                                       


Mandevilla Plant                                       

(Mandevilla hybrids)

Martha Washington Geranium                   

(Pelargonium domesticum)


(Medinilla magnifica)

Ming Aralia                                              

(Polyscias fruticosa)

Miniature Roses                                        

(Rosa chinensis hybrids)

Mona Lavender                                        

(Plectranthus hybrid)

Money Tree Plant                                     

(Pachira aquatica)

Moses in the Cradle                                 

(Tradescantia spathacea)

Mother of Thousands                                

(Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

Mother-in-Law's Tongue/ Snake Plant        

(Sansevieria trifasciata)



Nerve Plant                                              

(Fittonia verschaffeltii)

New Guinea Impatiens                              

(Impatiens x hawkeri hybrid)

Norfolk Island Pine                                   

(Araucaria heterophylla)



Oleander Plant                                         

(Nerium oleander)

Orchid Cactus                                         

(Epiphyllum species and hybrids)

Ornamental Chili Pepper                           

(Capsicum annuum)



Paddle Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

Panda Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe tomentosa)


(Viola x wittrockiana)

Paperwhite Narcissus                               

(Narcissus jonquilla)

Papyrus Plant                                          

(Cyperus papyrus)

Parlor Palm                                             

(Chamaedorea elegans)

Parrot Flower                                           

(Heliconia psittacorum)

Passion Flower                                        

(Passiflora caerulea)

Peace Lily


Peacock Plant                                         

(Calathea makoyana)


(Peperomia caperata)

Periwinkle Flower                                     

(Catharanthus roseus)

Persian Shield                                         

(Strobilanthes dyerianus)

Persian Violet                                          

(Exacum affine)

Piggyback Plant                                      

(Tolmiea menziesii)

Pink Calla Lily                                         

(Zantedeschia rehmannii)

Pink Quill                                                

(Tillandsia cyanea)

Pitcher Plant                                           

(Nepenthes hybrids)


(Plumeria rubra)

Pocketbook Plant                                    

(Calceolaria herbeohybrida)


(Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Polka Dot Plant                                       

(Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Ponytail Palm                                          

(Beaucarnea recurvata)

Pothos/ Devil's Ivy                                    

(Epipremnum aureum)

Powder Puff Tree                                      

(Calliandra haematocephala)

Prayer Plant                                            

(Maranta leuconeura)

Primrose Flowers                                     

(Primula hybrids)

Purple Heart Plant                                    

(Tradescantia pallida)

Purple Passion Plant                                

(Gynura aurantiaca)

Purple Shamrock                                     

(Oxalis regnellii)

Pygmy Date Palm                                     

(Phoenix roebelenii)



Queen's Tears                                         

(Billbergia nutans)



Rabbit Foot Fern                                      

(Davallia fejeensis)

Rex Begonia                                            

(Begonia rex)

Rosary Vine                                            

(Ceropegia woodii)

Rubber Plant                                           

(Ficus elastica)



Sago Palm                                              

(Cycas revoluta)

Satin Pothos                                           

(Scindapsus pictus)

Scarlet Star                                             

(Guzmania lingulata)

Scented Geranium                                   

(Pelargonium species and hybrids)


(Schefflera actinophylla)

Sensitive Plant                                         

(Mimosa pudica)

Shamrock Plant                                       

(Oxalis species)

Shrimp Plant                                           

(Justicia brandegeana)

Siam Tulip                                               

(Curcuma alismatifolia)

Spider Lily                                               

(Hymenocallis littoralis)

Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum)

Split-Leaf Philodendron                             

(Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

Staghorn Fern                                          

(Platycerium bifurcatum)

Strawberry Begonia                                  

(Saxifraga stolonifera)

String of Pearls                                        

(Senecio rowleyanus)

Swedish Ivy                                             

(Plectranthus species)

Sweet Potato Vine                                   

(Ipomea batatas)

Swiss Cheese Plant                                 

(Monstera deliciosa)


Thanksgiving Cactus                                

(Schlumbergera truncata)

Ti Plant                                                   

(Cordyline terminalis)

Tiger's Jaw                                              

(Faucaria tigrina)


(Tulipa hybrids)


U - V - W

Urn Plant                                                 

(Aechmea fasciata)

Venus Fly Trap                                        

(Dionaea muscipula)

Wandering Jew                                        

(Tradescantia albiflora)

Wax Begonia                                           

(Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

Wax Plant                                               

(Hoya carnosa)

Weeping Fig                                            

(Ficus benjamina)

Windmill Palm Tree                                  

(Trachycarpus fortunei)


X - Y - Z


(Yucca elephantipes)

Zebra Plant                                              

(Aphelandra squarrosa)

ZZ Plant                                                  

(Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Sad News...


Stop Animal Cruelty

Instead of protecting the precious diversity of life on our planet, many countries, groups and individuals delight in performing acts of incredible cruelty to and on animals. To help stop this insanity going on, please go to The Petitions Site and add your voice to the thousands of individuals who are prepared to stand up and say: ' Enough is enough. Stop this now!' 

December 16 2012 1 16 /12 /December /2012 18:13

mealy-bugsMealy bugs are common, sap sucking pests that thrive especially well in warm conditions. Although they will infest a whole list of house plants - as well as greenhouse plants - they have developed a particular taste for begonias, coleus, African violets, cacti and succulents. They are active and will continually breed all year round, and tend to live in clusters, usually in protected parts - like leaf sheaths and axils, between twining stems or closely layered leaves, or underneath loose pieces of bark - of plants.

Colonies feed on the plant's sap and destroy its tissue in the process. The honeydew secreted by mealy bugs attracts sooty mould, which will form unsightly black patches on the plant, as well as ants. Some species also feed on roots, and can often be found at the bottom of pots or as woolly white masses around a plant's roots.

The adult female has an oval, soft body of up to around 4 mm (1/4 in) in length. While she may be pink, the waxy powder her body is covered in will give her a white appearance, which is enhanced by the waxy filaments projecting from her body's edges.

She will lay her eggs in a cotton-like pouch and protects them with the waxy substance she secrets. The nymphs hatching from these eggs about a week later look like tiny adults and will quickly crawl to a protected spot (earning them the commonly used name of crawlers) allowing them to feed in safety until they are mature, which will be a month or two later.

Male mealy bugs are extremely small, have two wings, do not feed, and basically live just long enough to reproduce.  Females can not fly and do not crawl far, either, so as a rule, infestations are introduced through new plants that are infested. Keeping such plants under quarantine for at least 4 to 6 weeks, regularly checking for infestations and, if necessary, treating the plant before placing it among existing plants should help to prevent problems, as will promptly removing dead leaves, bits of pruned-off stems and other waste material.

Signs of Infestation

mealy-bug-infestationSpecks or patches of fluffy white wax are typically the first sign of a mealy bug infestation. Both the females and their orange-pink eggs can be found below this substance. Accumulations of honeydew may also be visible, in particular if the infestation is heavy. In this case, blackened patches of sooty mould, which is attracted by the honeydew, may also be present. Root-feeding mealy bugs can be detected by easing the plant out of its container and looking for the tell-tale white mass among the roots. Mealy bug activity may also cause loss of vigour in the plant, as well as stunted growth and prematurely dropping leaves.

Dealing with Infestations

Infestations on plants kept in greenhouses can often be resolved by introducing Leptomastix spp., a parasitic wasp, or Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, a ladybird with larvae that have an appearance similar to adult mealy bugs. It should be noted, however, that both of these natural predators require comparatively high temperatures, making them effective only from May to September. They are also susceptible to pesticides, and should therefore not be used in conjunction with chemical solutions.

Naturally, they are also not suitable for use on plants kept in the home. Here, minor infestations can often be dealt with by using a solution of insecticidal soap, a little cooking oil and water. A cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol will also work, as will many home-made sprays. Root-feeders can often be effectively removed by washing the soil - complete with the unwelcome visitors - off the roots, removing affected parts and replanting the plant in fresh soil. It is vital to use either a new pot or wash the old one thoroughly before replanting to ensure no eggs likely to re-colonise the soil are hidden in it.

If the use of chemical solutions becomes necessary, it is worth remembering that organic pesticides with plant oils/ extracts and/ or fatty acids, as well as synthetic contact pesticides such as, for instance, Deltamethrin, will require repeated, regular applications to be effective, as they work only for short periods of time. Diazinon will also work, but it is essential to thoroughly wet the invaders with it.

For particularly heavy, stubborn infestation, systemic insecticides tend to be far more effective. Containing thiamethoxam, thiacloprid or acetamiprid, these pesticides need to be administered with careful attention to instructions/ warnings. Gardening/ house plant experts will be happy to offer advice on the most suitable solution.

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