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)


  • Paddy
  • Earthdragon's Endangered Species
  • Music Nature Wildlife Freelance writer Herbs
  • 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.


Plants & flowers

Saturday 1 december 6 01 /12 /Dec 14:29

While most people are quite adept in varying methods of propagating house plants from seeds, stems or leaf cuttings, few are familiar with the idea of air layering. 

The Concept of Air Layering

Essentially, air layering allows growers to root the branches of plants that are difficult to propagate through cuttings - in particular woody plants like Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig), Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig) and Ficus binnendijkii (Long Leaf Fig); Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant), Ficus elastica (India Rubber Tree) and Yucca elephantipes (Yucca, Elephant Yucca), as well as Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Tree) and many others - while they are still attached to their parent plant. 

materials This method is also useful if the goal is to have a new plant that is larger than a plant a stem or leaf cutting could provide in the same amount of time.

Required Materials and Tools

The following materials and tools are necessary to begin air layering plants to be propagated:

  • Sphagnum moss (available from most garden centres/ nurseries)
  • Bowl of water
  • Sharp knife
  • Piece of hard, thin plastic (a little longer than the diameter of the branch to be rooted; a piece cut out of a yoghurt pot, plastic bottle or plant tag will do)
  • Transparent plastic foil/ bag, approximately 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 in) in size
  • String 
  • Scissors

The Technique

cut1 The first step is to soak enough of the sphagnum moss to create a fist-size ball when pressed lightly (after squeezing out excess water) in the bowl of water. While the moss is soaking, the plastic foil or bag can be cut to size, followed by cutting two pieces of the string long enough to wrap a few times around the branch and tie with ease - around 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in) should be sufficient - and cutting the piece/s of plastic to size.

cut2After selecting the branch to be rooted, an upward slanting cut (approximately 45 degrees) needs to be made (using the sharp knife) just below a leaf-node (the spot where a leaf was/ is attached to the branch). As around 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) of leaf-free branch is required, it may be necessary to remove some leaves. 

The cut should go between half and two-thirds of the way through the branch. It is vital to ensure the cut is not too deep, as the branch may break if cut too far. Next, the small plastic piece is inserted into the cut. Doing this will prevent the cut from healing shut and encourage the branch to develop roots instead.

plant The soaked moss is now wrapped around the cut and the area around it, taking care not to wrap it too tightly. When finished, the moss should feel soft and sponge-like. Holding the moss-ball in place, the clear plastic now needs to be wrapped tightly around the moss (it may help to get some assistance at this point) and secured above and below the moss with the prepared string. It may also be a good idea to support the branch by tying it to a stake/ cane just above the moss-ball to stop it from snapping.

Depending on the species of plant, roots should begin to develop and grow into the moss over the next few weeks/ months. The clear plastic covering will make it easy to check on progress without having to disturb the process by unwrapping the moss-ball. If no roots show within the expected time period, it may become necessary to carefully open one end of the plastic and check whether the moss-ball is still moist enough. 

roots Once the roots are well developed, the branch can be cut off below the wrapped moss-ball, and after removing the plastic foil - taking care not to disturb the roots/ moss too much - the new plant can be potted up in a suitable quality potting mix. The pot/ container should not be much bigger than the root ball, as the soil in a larger pot will hold too much water for the young plant's roots to cope with, causing them to rot.

For the same reason, watering should also be done with care, especially for the first three or four weeks. While the soil should be kept slightly moist to prevent wilting, it should never be allowed to be really wet or soggy. 

By Paddy - Posted in: Plants & flowers
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Saturday 30 june 6 30 /06 /Jun 18:58

Many people shy away from having house plants because the majority of rooms in their homes are not filled with direct sunlight for most of the day. This is, however, not really a problem, as there are many house plants that will not only survive, but thrive in low or poor light conditions.

There are many excellent house plant encyclopaedias online, offering advice on which plant needs how much light, etc, but just for starters, here is a list of ten indoor plants that will easily tolerate or, in some cases, even prefer low light locations. This includes east and north facing windows, positions between three and five feet away from south or south-west facing windows, and artificially lit office environments.

Aechmea Bromeleads, or Urn Plants

Surprising as it may be, this tropical plant much prefers moderate shade or indirect light to direct sunlight. Commonly sold already flowering, the Aechmea will usually hold its shape and bloom for months on end in artificial or poor light conditions.

Aglaonema commutatum, the Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen is easy to please, with little light being required. It prefers moist soil, and likes to have its roots confined for optimal growth, so it rarely requires repotting.

Aspidistra elatior, the Cast-Iron Plant

This is a tough plant that can survive not only low light, but also high heat, dry air and infrequent watering for prolonged periods. It does, in fact, prefer not to have soggy soil.

low-light-plants.jpgAsplenium nidus, the Bird Nest Fern

Moist, partially shaded environments are ideal for the easy going Bird Nest Fern, which easily shatters the myth of ferns always being fussy in their requirements.

Chlorophytum, the Spider Plant

One of the most undemanding house plants, the spider plant, is perfect for beginners, as it is almost impossible to kill. It generally prefers fairly bright light (although too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves), it will quite happily tolerate semi-shaded, low light positions. 

Cyclamen persicum, or Florist Cyclamen Plant

Cyclamen bloom only for a short time and do not like too much direct sunlight, making them an ideal choice for adding a spot of instant colour to groups of non-flowering foliage house plants in shaded locations. 

Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana', the Corn Plant

This hardy plant will tolerate all sorts of abuse, including low light, but it does not like over-watering or over-fertilising. It much prefers to be left to dry out a little before being watered.

Dracaena sanderiana, the Lucky Bamboo

Technically not actually a bamboo, the Lucky Bamboo will tolerate low light better than too much light. If, however, the green starts fading or the plant starts to stretch, a little more light may be necessary. This plant, which can be placed directly into water or soil, is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals present in tap water, so it is best to use bottled water, or leave tap water standing for 24 hours to allow evaporation of the chlorine before watering this plant. 

Epipremnum aureum, the Devil's Ivy, or Pothos

Quite content with comparatively low light, the Devil's Ivy is a hardy plant that is fairly easy to keep. It may loose a little of its variegation on the leaves in low light, but apart from this minor problem, it will be relatively happy.

Epipremnum pinnatum, the Golden Pothos Vine

This house plant acts somewhat unlike any other plant by thriving in dark, dry conditions. Its leaves do, as a matter of fact, lose their yellow, distinctive marbling if exposed to too much direct sunlight, making the Golden Pothos Vine a sure winner for shady locations.

By Paddy - Posted in: Plants & flowers
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Thursday 21 june 4 21 /06 /Jun 20:36

Regular maintenance and grooming will help to keep a house plant looking attractive and healthy. In addition, cleaning, deadheading (flowers), pinching and pruning plants will assist in preventing harmful diseases and pests.

Cleaning House Plants

a-violet.jpg Cleaning the leaves of house plants may seem to be a strange task, but removing dust from the leaves will not only ensure the plant gets adequate light exposure, it will also help to get rid of tiny insects. 

Smooth, shiny leaves can be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge. To avoid transferring insects from one plant to the next, the sponge or cloth should be given a quick rinse before moving on to the next plant.

Hairy leaves, such as those of the African violet, for example, need to be gently cleaned with a dry, soft brush, as using water may cause irremovable water spots. For plants with fine foliage, a gentle, all-over spray with water will do the trick.

Obviously, it is necessary to ensure the soil does not get soggy in the process. Excess water should be shaken off gently, followed by allowing the plant to dry away from direct sunlight to prevent scorching.

Deadheading Flowers

Removing dead flowers from house plants using sharp, clean scissors or pruners will stop the plant from looking unsightly and prevent dead flowers from rotting and becoming targets for grey mould. Removing flowers as they begin to fade will prolong blooming times by allowing plants to devote their energy into growing new buds.

This process naturally also prevents the plant's energy from being wasted on seed production, so if the idea is to collect and use seeds, the flowers should not be removed until after the seeds have been developed and collected.

Pinching House Plants

coleus.jpg Pinching, or removing the young tips of stems by using the forefinger and thumb, will help a plant to become fuller and bushier. Especially effective on soft-stemmed plants, such as the coleus, for instance, pinching just above the growing point where leaves are attached (the node) will force branching below the pinch or cut. This prevents plants from becoming too 'leggy'.

Pruning House Plants

corn-plant.jpg House plants with woody, thick stems need to be pruned using pruning shears. Preferably done when the plant is in an active growing period, any dead branches or stems need to be pruned off to prevent decay, which may cause fungus attacks. Yellow or brown leaves, which will attract insects and diseases, should also be removed.  

While serious pruning is best done during spring or early summer, a light trim to keep things tidy can be given to the plant at any time throughout the year. Brown and yellow leaves should, of course, also be removed whenever they happen to appear. If they tend to appear en-masse at frequent intervals, it may be a sign that the plant is not happy and needs repotting, so it helps to keep an eye on how often they have to be removed.

By Paddy - Posted in: Plants & flowers
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Tuesday 19 june 2 19 /06 /Jun 21:02

Every now and then, it becomes necessary to repot house plants, because unless adequate space for the plant's roots is provided, they can become pot bound. Pot bound roots form a tightly packed, cramped mass and will eventually inhibit the growth and well-being of a plant.

Signs that a Plant has pot bound Roots

pot-bound-roots.jpg It is usually possible to notice that a plant is ready for a bigger pot when roots start appearing on top of the soil, or when they start growing out of the drainage hole at the bottom. If a plant's growth seems to slow down or stop altogether, easing the plant out of its container to inspect the roots will determine whether repotting is needed or not. 

When to repot Plants

Freshly purchased plants should not be repotted, as they need to acclimatise to the humidity, light and temperature of their new environment first of all. It can take a couple of weeks before a plant gets over the shock of coming into a new home, and repotting it would do it more harm than good. If the plastic container it came in is considered to be too unsightly, it should be placed into a cache pot for this period.

Actively growing, young plants should be given a slightly larger pot and new potting mix once every 12 months, while large, established house plants are repotted at two year intervals, or when they appear top heavy, As long as a plant is thriving, it can be safely assumed that it is happy in its current pot.

In general, it is best to repot plants at the beginning of active growth periods, such as in spring; or, in the case of winter-blooming plants, early autumn. 

Choosing a new Pot

growing-plants.jpg The new pot should be no more than 2 in deeper and 2 in wider than the current pot, because if a pot that is too large is chosen, the top of the plant will not grow until the roots have filled the excess space in the pot. In addition, a pot that is too large will hold too much water, which could potentially cause the roots to rot.

It is vital to ensure that new pots have drainage holes. If these holes are quite large, placing a large pebble or a piece of broken pottery over the hole will prevent soil from falling out, while still allowing excess water to escape. If pots without drainage holes are used, some drainage can be provided by a layer of pebbles underneath the potting mix. 

Previously used pots should be scrubbed thoroughly to prevent diseases. Pots can be disinfected with a solution of nine parts water and one part of chlorine bleach. Naturally, they will have to be rinsed extremely well with clear water afterwards. New terra cotta pots need to be soaked in water for several hours before placing plants into them, as they tend to be quite dry and may rob moisture from the plant. 

Repotting a House Plant

The first step of successfully repotting a plant is to ease it gently out of its old pot. This can usually be done quite easily by turning the pot on its side and gently pulling the plant as close to the soil as possible. If it refuses to budge, a tap on the bottom of the pot tends to help. If all else fails, running a knife around the edge of the pot - taking care not to damage any roots - should do the trick. 

Any roots coiled around the bottom need to be pulled straight, again taking care not to damage them. Pruning the roots a little before potting the plant again will stimulate their growth and help the plant to settle in the new container. 

The new pot is then part-filled with new potting mix, after which the plant is centred in its new home, followed by adding mix and tapping it down around the plant. The plant then needs to be watered thoroughly to settle the potting mix (this will determine whether more mix needs to be added) and moisten the roots.

Repotting After-Care

Plants can get seriously stressed and weakened by the repotting process, and they will need a little extra care to begin with. A newly repotted plant should, for example, not be placed into direct sunlight, as this may be too harsh for an already weakened plant. 

The soil should be kept moist, without getting it soggy. Too much water will turn the leaves yellow, while too little water will make them go limp. High humidity usually helps plants to recover, so it may be a good idea to raise humidity slightly for a while. 

As fertilisers can burn the pruned roots of freshly repotted plants, they should not be fertilised until at least a month after they have been repotted. By this time, the root system will have established itself and will be able to deal with the fertiliser without suffering damage.

By Paddy - Posted in: Plants & flowers
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Sunday 17 june 7 17 /06 /Jun 07:39

The variety of potting mixes available for house plants at garden centres can be confusing, to say the least. In spite of the fact that potting media is generally referred to as potting soil, most mixes do, in fact, not contain any kind of soil at all. The reason for this is that soil can compact easily, and when packed into a plant pot will end up robbing the plant of the oxygen it's roots need.

The Triple Threat of Garden Soil

Garden soil should never be used as a cheap alternative to potting mixes, because first of all, it will compact and starve plant roots of oxygen. Secondly, the soil may contain the seeds of weeds, which will very quickly thrive and make the pot look like a patch of wasteland. Finally, garden soil may contain insects that may ultimately harm a house plant. This is not how a house plant should be started off in its new home by anyone's standards.

The Benefits of Potting Mixes

ingredients.jpg Potting mixes not only provide a house plant with the support it requires to stop it from falling over, they also store and provide the nutrients and water required by the roots. At the same time, potting mixes ensure plants do not get water-logged by providing good drainage, as well as allowing sufficient air to circulate within the potting medium to allow vital oxygen to get to the roots.

What's in the Bag?

Most good potting mixes do not contain any soil, but consist of a base of peat moss or other partly decomposed plant material (hence the term 'potting compost'), such as, for instance, fir bark. As a rule, other components, like sand, perlite and/ or vermiculite are added to this base in order to improve drainage and air circulation.

The Ingredients of Potting Mixes

  • Peat moss, the base ingredient of the majority of potting mixes available today, is a coarse brown powder consisting of ground up, partly decomposed bog plants. It keeps the mix light and improves overall water retention, making it perfect for plants that prefer a moist potting medium. Begonias, African violets and ferns, for example, particularly like peat moss mixes.
  • Composted bark, which is easily recognisable within a potting mix as large chunks, assists drainage and also helps to stop the potting medium from compacting, thereby improving air circulation. Potting mixes for orchids and bromeliads typically contain composted bark.
  • Sand assists in speeding drainage and dries out very quickly, making potting mixes containing sand perfect for cacti, other succulents requiring comparatively little water and palms native to sandy habitats. It is, of course, essential to use washed or horticultural sand, in order to ensure that there are no impurities or salt lkely to damage thee plants contained within the sand.
  • Vermiculite, which looks a little like small flakes of gold, consists of natural mineral deposits. In addition to assiting air circulation, Vermiculite can also absorb minerals and water at a rate of several times its own weight. The water and minerals are then gradually released back into the mix.
  • Perlite consists of expanded volcanic rock and looks like little white puffs. Thousands of minute air pockets allow perlite to soak up and release water rapidly, making it perfect for water regulation and drainage. While most potting mixes contain a certain amount of perlite, those for succulents typically have an extra helping of this ingredient.
  • Horticultural charcoal is used to absorb odours and keep soil from becoming sour in bottle gardens and terrariums. It is only required below the potting mix in enclosed plantings, as they do keep in moisture that may in time cause the soil to become sour if no charcoal is added.

Basically, it is important to consider what a particular house plant needs in terms of drainage and nutrients, and carefully studying the details listed on bags of potting mixes before making a purchase to ensure the right type of mix for the plant is provided. 



By Paddy - Posted in: Plants & flowers
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