Overblog Follow this blog
Administration Create my blog

Profile

  • 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: 

 

H

Haworthia

(Haworthia species)

Heartleaf Philodendron

(Philodendron scandens)

Hellebore

(Helleborus niger)

 Hibiscus

(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hyacinth Flower

(Hyacinthus orientalis hybrids)

Hydrangea

(Hydrangea macrophylla)

 

I

Impatiens

(Impatiens hybrids)

Iron Cross Begonia

(Begonia masoniana)

Ivy Geranium

(Pelargonium peltatum)

Ixora 

(Ixora coccinea)

 

J

Jade Plant

(Crassula ovata)

Janet Craig Dracaena

(Dracaena deremensis)

Japanese Aralia

(Fatsia japonica)

Jasmine Plant

(Jasminum polyanthum)

Jerusalem Cherry

(Solanum pseudocapsicum)

 

K

Kaffir Lily

(Clivia miniata)

Kentia Palm

(Howea forsteriana)

 

L

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)

 

M

Madagascar Palm                                    

(Pachypodium lamerei)

Maidenhair Fern                                       

(Adiantum)

Mandevilla Plant                                       

(Mandevilla hybrids)

Martha Washington Geranium                   

(Pelargonium domesticum)

Medinilla                                                 

(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)

 

N

Nerve Plant                                              

(Fittonia verschaffeltii)

New Guinea Impatiens                              

(Impatiens x hawkeri hybrid)

Norfolk Island Pine                                   

(Araucaria heterophylla)

 

O

Oleander Plant                                         

(Nerium oleander)

Orchid Cactus                                         

(Epiphyllum species and hybrids)

Ornamental Chili Pepper                           

(Capsicum annuum)

 

P

Paddle Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

Panda Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe tomentosa)

Pansy                                                     

(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

(Spathiphyllum)

Peacock Plant                                         

(Calathea makoyana)

Peperomia                                               

(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                                                 

(Plumeria rubra)

Pocketbook Plant                                    

(Calceolaria herbeohybrida)

Poinsettia                                                

(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)

 

Q

Queen's Tears                                         

(Billbergia nutans)

 

R

Rabbit Foot Fern                                      

(Davallia fejeensis)

Rex Begonia                                            

(Begonia rex)

Rosary Vine                                            

(Ceropegia woodii)

Rubber Plant                                           

(Ficus elastica)

 

S

Sago Palm                                              

(Cycas revoluta)

Satin Pothos                                           

(Scindapsus pictus)

Scarlet Star                                             

(Guzmania lingulata)

Scented Geranium                                   

(Pelargonium species and hybrids)

Schefflera                                                

(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)


T

Thanksgiving Cactus                                

(Schlumbergera truncata)

Ti Plant                                                   

(Cordyline terminalis)

Tiger's Jaw                                              

(Faucaria tigrina)

Tulips                                                      

(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                                                     

(Yucca elephantipes)

Zebra Plant                                              

(Aphelandra squarrosa)

ZZ Plant                                                  

(Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Sad News...

quote-10-06-2013-RIP.jpg

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!' 

August 27 2012 2 27 /08 /August /2012 22:53

candy-cornPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Manettia inflata

Type: Flowering

Origin: South America

Height: Left to grow without pruning back, the Candy Corn Plant can grow to heights reaching 1.8 m (6 ft) or above. 

Soil: Candy Corn Plants are quite happy in any quality potting mix.

Light: This tropical house plant likes plenty of bright light, even full sunlight.

Humidity: Moderate levels of humidity in the room will be adequate.

candy-corn-gtTemperatures: Temperatures ranging between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F) are perfect for the Manettia inflata, but if placed outside during the summer, it will cope with the heat. It must be moved back indoors as temperatures drop, however, as it will not tolerate being cold.

Water: While the soil should be kept moist - not soggy - during the months from spring to autumn, watering should be reduced in winter.

Fertiliser: A diluted (1:1) liquid high potassium fertiliser should be fed to the plant on a two-weekly basis during spring, summer and autumn.

Propagation: Stem tip cuttings (non-flowering) can be cut using a sharp knife or pruner in the months of spring, or during the early summer months, and allowed to root in moistened potting mix.

candy-corn-woDescription and Care Tips

Candy Corn Plants are vigorous climbers and can be trained on a trellis, wrapped around a support (where they look especially attractive) or allow to spill out of a hanging basket. 

The tubular, hairy, and somewhat unusual flowers of the Manettia inflata rise on short stalks from the leaf axils, can reach a length of around 2.5 cm (1 in), and have a reddish-orange colour, with the tips being yellow. Given plenty of light, this plant will produce an abundance of these delightful flowers throughout the summer and early autumn months. 

candy-corn-stTo keep this house plant full and bushy, it is best to trim the long trailing stems back by about half their length during spring, when the first signs of new growth become apparent. Using a sharp pruner to do this will prevent stems from tearing. Naturally, it is important to avoid removing flower buds in the process. 

When the roots of the Candy Corn Plant begin to show through the drainage hole, it is time to repot the plant. Done in spring, the new pot should only be one size larger than the old one, as this is a plant that likes to be slightly pot-bound. Repotting and pruning the Candy Corn is not a problem, as it is exceptionally vigorous and will take 'the pressure' with ease.

Repost 0
August 27 2012 2 27 /08 /August /2012 22:17

campanulaPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Campanula isophylla

Type: Flowering

Origin: Campanula isophylla originates from the northern parts of Italy.

Height: The stems of the Campanula Plant trail up to a length of around 30 cm (1 ft).

Soil: For this house plant, a good potting mix capable of holding moisture is needed. Potting mixes formulated especially for African Violets tend to work well.

Light: Campanulas like bright, but indirect light. During the winter months, a little direct sunshine will be acceptable.

Humidity: Average levels of humidity keep this plant quite happy.

campanula-gtTemperatures: Preferring slightly cooler conditions, this type of plant prefers temperatures between 7 and 18 degrees C (45 to 65 degrees F).

Water: During the growing and blooming period, the soil should be kept moist, but not soggy, as this will rot the roots. When flowering has ended, the soil should be allowed to dry out a little before the plant is watered again.

Fertiliser: One part of a liquid, balanced fertiliser should be mixed with one part of water and fed to the plant once every 14 days from early spring through into mid to late autumn.

Propagation: Stem tip cuttings may be taken in spring or early in summer and rooted either in moist potting mix or just water to propagate the Campanula.

campanula-woDescription and Care Tips

Campanula Flowers look particularly effective when placed into a hanging basket, on a pedestal, or in a tall, slender pot that will allow the lovely bell-shaped flowers to spill out over the side on their long stems.

Easy to grow indoors, the Campanula isophylla requires nothing but cool air, indirect sunlight and moist soil. Treated right, it will produce masses of white or violet-blue flowers from around mid-summer right into the autumn months. Pinching out spent flowers as soon as possible will encourage new blooms.

campanula-stBeing a perennial, the plant can be kept to grow and flower again for many years. Late autumn or early winter, the stems should be cut back to the base of the plant. Providing the same temperatures and light as the remainder of the year, watering is cut down during the winter months, allowing the soil to become a little drier. Once new growth appears, the usual watering routine can be resumed.

Campanulas need to be repotted when their roots begin to show on the potting mix's surface. This should always be done in winter, or at the latest in early spring. Under no circumstances should this plant be repotted while blooming.

Repost 0
August 25 2012 7 25 /08 /August /2012 13:38

camellia.jpgPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Camellia japonica

Type: Flowering

Origin: China, Korea and Japan

Height: Camellias kept indoors can grow up to a height of approximately 3 m (10 ft). If they are to be kept fairly small, regular pruning will be required. This house plant can also be grown into a Bonsai tree.

Soil: Camellias prefer their soil to be slightly acidic. Equal parts of peat moss and lime free potting mix will provide the perfect potting medium.

Light: This type of plant likes bright, but indirect light, although a little direct, cool morning sun is acceptable.

Humidity: The Camellia plant needs high levels of humidity. Foliage should be misted regularly, and the pot should be placed onto a tray of wet pebbles as well. If this does not adequately raise levels, a room humidifier may need to be used.

Temperatures: Cool temperatures of around 7 to 16 degrees C (45 to 60 degrees F) are perfect for this plant.

camellia-gt.jpgWater: Soil needs to be kept evenly moist, in particular during the budding and flowering periods. If the soil is too dry - or too wet - the buds will drop off. When the plant has finished flowering, the top of the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering sessions.

Fertiliser: Dilute a liquid high potassium fertiliser by half and feed it to the Camellia once every two weeks from the onset of the first few buds until the plant finishes flowering.

Propagation: Camellias can be propagated by taking stem cuttings during the winter months and rooting them in moistened potting mix.

Camellia-wo.jpgDescription and Care Tips

To successfully grow Camellias, they need to be kept in a cool room with bright, but indirect, light and high humidity, and the soil needs to be kept moist at all times.

The woody branches of Japanese varieties are covered glossy, thick and dark green leaves.They will usually bloom during the winter months or in early spring. The showy, large flowers may be single, double or semi-double, and can be between 7.5 and 15 cm (3 to 6 in) in size.

As a rule, the blooms are white, pink or red, often with contrasting stripes or speckles. Keeping the plant outside during the warmer months should help to encourage increased blooming.

camellia-st.jpgTo keep the size of a Camellia under control, it should be pruned back hard once flowering has finished in spring. Stems need to be cut at a 45 degree angle, immediately above nodes (the place where branches and leaves are attached to them) using a sharp pruner.

This period is also the right time to repot this plant. Typically, a new pot - just one size larger than the previous year's pot - is required once every two to three years. Larger plants are often content with having just the top 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 in) refreshed.

Common problems include scale insects and aphids (especially if the plant is kept outside),, as well as black spot. Black spot is a fungus that will nee to be treated with a suitable fungicide. Plenty of air circulation will help to prevent this problem.

Repost 0
August 25 2012 7 25 /08 /August /2012 09:56

california-pitcher-plant.jpgPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Darlingtonia californica

Type: Foliage

Origin: Northern California, Oregon

Height: California Pitcher Plants grow to a height of around 30 cm (12 in).

Soil: Nutrient rich soil will actually harm the roots of this house plant, so it is vital to get a medium poor in nutrients. If available, sphagnum moss is good, but a mixture of one part of sharp sand or perlite and one part of peat moss will suffice.

Light: This plant likes bright light, but should be kept out of direct sunlight. Strangely enough, it appears to thrive under fluorescent lighting.

Humidity: As the California Pitcher Plant likes moderate to high levels of humidity, it should be placed onto a wet pebble tray or misted daily.

Temperatures: During its necessary winter dormancy period, this plant needs to be kept at temperatures ranging from 4 to 7 degrees C (40 to 45 degrees F). The remainder of the year, it is at its happiest in temperatures between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F).

callifornia-pitcher-gt.jpgWater: The soil must be kept evenly moist throughout the year. The plant is sensitive to the chemicals contained in tap water, so it should be watered using rain or distilled water.

Fertiliser: When there are no bugs and things to eat, the California Pitcher Plant makes its own nutrients using photosynthesis. It therefore does not require fertilising.

Propagation: It is possible to grow this type of plant from seed, but germination is decidedly slow. Propagation through division when new growth appears in spring is therefore a more viable option.

Description and Care Tips

The carnivorous California Pitcher Plant is native to Northern California and Oregon bogs. As these bogs have nutrient poor soil, the plant has developed two methods of finding the nutrients it needs. The primary method of feeding is trapping and digesting insects, with the secondary method, employed when there are no bugs to feed on, is photosynthesis.

The plants long, tubular leaves are green with prominent veins in a purple-red colour. The top of the leaves arches, with the opening facing downward, almost like a hood. Forked leaves reminiscent of serpent's tongues hang down from the hooded tubes. Because this gives the upright tubes an appearance similar to a cobra that is about to strike, this plant is also known as the Cobra Lily.

Insects are lured into the hooded opening with the help of intoxicating nectar.Tiny, downward pointing hairs inside the tube then make it near enough impossible for the trapped insects to escape. 

As long as nutrient poor potting mix, kept continually moist, and high enough humidity levels are provided, this plant should thrive with ease. One of only a few plants that like cold water, the California Pitcher Plant, which is used to receiving its water from cold mountain springs and loves having cold roots, can be watered by simply placing ice cubes onto the soil.

california-pitcher-wo.jpgIn winter, the plant will go dormant for a period of three to four month. As it dies down, dead pitchers can be cut off using a sharp knife. Young pitchers should be left in place. It should then be kept moist and cool. As long as it will receive some indirect light, it can be moved into a basement or garage during this period, although frost should be avoided.

When the first new leaves appear in spring, the plant can be divided and repotted. It is essential to do this before the really vigorous new growth sets in, so keeping an eye on the plant as winter comes to an end will be necessary.

Repost 0
August 24 2012 6 24 /08 /August /2012 15:41

Animals of Europe are no more protected from becoming endangered than those in other parts of the world. The beautiful Apennine Chamois, scientifically known as the Rupicapra rupicapra ornata or Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata, a goat-like mammal found in European mountain areas, for instance, is already listed as endangered or vulnerable at least in Italy.

Apennine-chamois1.jpgDescription

One of the rarest groups of animals in Italy, the Apennine Chamois grows to a size of 110 to 130 cm (3.6 to 4.3 ft) in length and 70 to 85 cm (2.3 to 2.8 ft) in height. Typically weighing around 14 to 62 kg (31 to 136 lb), the Apennine Chamois has a comparatively short tail of around 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in).

The summer coat of this lovely animal is smooth, short and reddish-brown or tawny in colour. In winter, 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) long chocolate brown guard hair covers an under-layer of woolly hair. Under-parts of the Apennine Chamois are pale, with darker legs. A slight mane may be present around the throat area, and the cheeks, nose-bridge and jaw are pure white. Beginning at eye-level, a black stripe runs down to the muzzle.

Both sexes have black, slender horns. Up to 32 cm (12.8 in) long, these horns rise vertically from the animals forehead, with the top third bending sharply backwards, almost like a hook. Growing a little more each year, these horns do not fall off at any point, unless, of course, they are somehow damaged.

Biology, Ecology and Habitat

Found in alpine meadows and rocky areas throughout Europe (especially in the Carpathians and the Alps), as well as in Asia Minor, herds of the Apennine Chamois wander to meadows up to 1800 m (6000 ft) above sea level during the summer months. Their home ranges typically average at around 74 hectares, where they forage for their favourite diet of buds, fungi, leaves and shoots.

As winter approaches, the herds will retreat to altitudes around 1100 m (3630 ft), sometimes entering forested areas, but always remaining close to steep cliffs. 

When threatened - the Apennine has a range of natural enemies, including predators like bears, foxes, lynx and wolves- alarm signals including sneezing, whistling through the nostrils and foot stamping will be followed by the whole herd speeding to the nearest, most inaccessible places. This flight will see them making leaps spanning as much as 6 m (19.8 ft) in length and 2 m (6.6 ft) in height. Sure-footed and extremely nimble, Apennine Chamois can travel at speeds of up to 50 km/hr (30 m/hr), even on uneven or steep ground. 

Apennine-chamois2.jpgHerds typically consists of small flocks of five to 30 females and their young, with the males remaining solitary until the breeding season approaches. The autumn rut will see older males producing open-mouthed grunts and driving younger males away from the herd of females, killing them if necessary.

After a gestation period of around 170 days, the females will give birth to one kid, although occasional, relatively rare twin-births do occur. Typically born in May or June, the young are able to follow their mothers almost immediately, and will be weaned after a period of six months. 

Females will reach sexual maturity at the age of about two and a half years, while males will take a little longer, around three and a half to four years. The average life span of Apennine Chamois is 14 to 22 years.

Main Threats

Currently known to suffer from reduced populations in areas like the Molise, Latium and Abruzzo National Parks, groups of the Apennine Chamois are becoming increasingly isolated, resulting in reduced genetic variety. This, combined with relatively low survival rates of young during the first year, increasingly leaves them vulnerable to other factors. These factors could, combined with the already reduced numbers, result in local extinction, ultimately resulting in conservation projects already in action - thanks to the Life Natura project - being rendered futile.

Diseases transmitted by domestic animals grazing in close proximity to Apennine Chamois herds and hunting (the hide of this gorgeous creature is turned into 'shammy' leather, a soft, very fine cloth perfect for polishing - add to these threats. 

Conservation Measures

The Apennine Chamois is now protected under Italian law, and measures to increase population sizes to viable, sustainable numbers through release of additional animals into under-populated areas are in action and appear to be successful, at least in areas like the Gran Sasso and Majella parks. There is no doubt that other areas will have to be considered for this measure within the near future if local extinction is to be prevented.

Sources:

Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures - Apennine Chamois Facts" (Online).

Accessed 8/10/2012 at http://earthsendangered.com/profile.asp?sp=68&ID=6.

http://www.camoscioappenninico.it/en/contenuti/apennine-chamois

http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Rupicapra_rupicapra.html

Nowak, R. M. [editor]. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World (Fifth Edition). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Shackleton, D. M. [Editor] and the IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group.  1997.  Wild Sheep and Goats and their Relatives.  Status Survey and Action Plan for Caprinae.   IUCN: Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Walther, F. R. 1990.  Chamois (Genus Rupicapra).  In Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals.  Edited by S. P. Parker. New York: McGraw-Hill.  Volume 5, pp. 495-497.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder [editors]. 1993. Mammal Species of the World (Second Edition). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.  Available online at http://nmnhwww.si.edu/msw/

Repost 0
Published by Paddy - in Endangered Species
write a comment
August 24 2012 6 24 /08 /August /2012 14:24

Caladium.jpgPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Caladium hybrids

Type: Foliage

Origin: South America

Height: Caladium house plants can grow to a height of approximately 60 cm (2 ft).

Soil: This type of plant is happy in any good potting mix.

Light: While the Caladium does need bright light, it has to be kept out of direct sunlight, which may cause leaf burn.

Humidity: Moist air is definitely required. A wet pebble tray will help, but a room humidifier is likely to produce better results.

Temperatures: Caladium like to be kept warm and need temperatures of around 21 to 29 degrees C (70 to 85 degrees F) to be happy.

Water: This is a thirsty plant, and the potting mix needs to be continually kept moist, especially during the growing season.

Fertiliser: Dilute a fertiliser high in nitrogen by half and feed it to the Caladium once a fortnight during the spring/ summer months.

Propagation: Small tubers can be broken off during repotting and placed 2.5 cm (1 in) deep into separate 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) pots.

caladium-gt.jpgDescription and Care Tips

The masses of spectacularly decorated, heart-shaped and paper thin leaves of the tropical Caladium will rival even the showiest of flowering plants. 

Growing on slender, tall stems, the leaves grow to a size of around 35.6 cm (14 in) and come in a a plethora of colours and patterns, from marbled or spotted whites, greens, pinks and reds through whites with just a blush of pink to white leaves with deep green edgings and veins.

Lots of indirect light, adequate warmth and regular watering will keep this plant thriving and provide a beautiful accent to any home. Best grown in summer (see propagation for how to grow the Caladium), this plant will die down during the autumn months and remain dormant throughout winter. 

caladium-st.jpgUnfortunately, this, combined with the plant's need for high levels of humidity and warmth, often results in the Caladium being thrown out after its first season of growth. It is, however, possible to keep the plant for the following year. 

As the plant starts to die off, the soil should be allowed to dry out. The withered leaves are then cut off and the pots are stored in a dark place at temperatures ranging between 18 and 21 degrees C (65 to 70 degrees F). The following spring, they are repotted and cared for as usual. It is usually possible to keep Caladium tubers growing for at least two years before their quality will deteriorate.

Repost 0
August 24 2012 6 24 /08 /August /2012 12:35

 

cactus.jpgPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Cactaceae family

Type: Succulent/ Cactus

Origin: Mexico, South America and Southwest USA

Height: The height a cactus can grow to depends on the particular species and varies significantly.

Soil: While special cactus potting mix is obviously the ideal solution, mixing 1 part of perlite or sharp sand with two parts of a quality all-purpose potting soil will do the trick. Adding a half inch thick pebble layer to the bottom of the pot will assist drainage and add weight to the lower end of the arrangement, as large cacti have a tendency to be top-heavy.

Light: Cacti need a minimum of two to three hours of full sun light per day.

Humidity: As a rule, a cactus will prefer dry to average air.

cactus---gt.jpgTemperatures: An average of around 18 to 24 degrees C (65 to 75 degrees F) will do nicely, with the cactus needing a cooler night time temperature of about 10 to 16 degrees C (50 to 60 degrees F) during the winter months.

Water: Most cacti need to be watered regularly during their growing periods, from spring through to autumn. In winter, watering should be reduced to a minimum. Under-watering will result in the plant appearing wrinkled and shrivelled (which can be easily remedied by watering lightly on successive days), while over-watering will cause its roots to rot and should subsequently be avoided. 

cactus---Aylostera-kupperiana.jpgFertiliser: Because cacti need lower nitrogen levels than foliage plants, while needing extra amounts of potassium and phosphorous to promote strong roots and better flowering, a 2-7-7 cactus  fertiliser should be used according to instructions.

Propagation: Many members of the Cactaceae family grow offsets at the base. These offsets can be cut off using a sharp knife during spring/ early summer. After allowing the cut surfaces to dry for a day or two (this prevents the sap from oozing out and causing the new plant to rot), the offsets should be placed onto the surface of a sandy, moist potting mix. They then need to be kept in a bright, warm place. For the first month, however, they should be kept out of direct sunlight.

cactus---Coryphantha-andreae.jpgDescription and Care Tips

Comparatively easy to grow, cacti vary significantly in shape, size and flowering habits. As there are hundreds of different species, it is difficult to give detailed descriptions of any one particular species here (perhaps a special cactus encyclopaedia will be added at a later date).

Until it becomes possible to go further into different species of cacti and their individual care here, readers may find Easy Cactus and Cacti Guide will provide a wealth of useful information. There are also some great posts about cacti at House Plants Decor.

cactus---Echinopsis-chamaecereus.jpgEssentially, cacti can be distinguished from other succulents by the raised or sunken spots (areoles) from which flowers and spines emerge. What is for sure is that all cacti love plenty of sunlight. Most of them will flower, although some species need to be mature to bloom, which can in some cases take years.

In spring, or when the roots have completely filled the pot, the cactus should be repotted into a pot one size larger than the original container. Choosing a pot that is too large will result in too much water being retained in the soil, causing the plant's roots to rot. Terra cotta pots are, by the way, the best solution, as this porous material will assist adequate drying of the soil. 

 

Repost 0
August 11 2012 7 11 /08 /August /2012 21:07

 

button-fernPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Pellaea rotundifolia

Type: Foliage

Origin: New Zealand

Height: Button Ferns usually grow to heights up to around 30 cm (1 ft).

Soil: To provide adequate drainage, the plant is best kept in a peat moss potting mix to which sand or perlite has been added.

Light: This type of plant likes bright light, but should be kept away from direct sunlight.

Humidity: The Button Fern prefers moderate to high levels of humidity.

button-fern-gtTemperatures: A plant with few issues, the Button Fern is happy in rooms with temperatures of 16 to 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F).

Water: Water this plant thoroughly, but allow the top 2.5 cm (1 in) of soil to dry out before watering again. 

Fertiliser: Button Ferns should be fertilised monthly throughout the year, using a diluted (1:1) liquid 20-20-10 fertiliser.

Propagation: While it is possible to propagate fern spores, germination is not always dependable and may take several months. It is better to divide the plant with a sharp knife in spring, taking care to get roots wit attached stems for each section, and potting the individual sections up. 

Description and Care Tips

Small, button-shaped and leathery leaflets densely cover arching fronds, making this lovely plant an eye-catching accent within any bright room, whether placed among other plants in a window, on a table, or cascading out of a hanging basket.

button-fern-stCaring for this type of fern is exceptionally easy. Unlike other ferns, it will tolerate fairly dry conditions, but it will not tolerate soggy conditions at all. Over watering will result in yellowing and wilting of the fronds. If this happens, cutting the damaged fronds will only help if the roots have not begun to rot. It is best to check for this - if the roots have turned black, it is too late and the plant should be discarded.

Button Ferns do not go dormant and require indirect bright light and fairly constant temperatures throughout the year. In spring, it is time to check if the roots have filled the pot. The plant should then be moved on to a slightly larger pot. Selecting a pot with drainage holes will prevent soggy soil and rotting roots. This is also a good time to divide the fern if so desired.

 

Repost 0
August 11 2012 7 11 /08 /August /2012 20:30

coverThis list includes a selection of common, not quite so common and unusual house plants beginning with the letter 'B'. If the name of a plant is not known - sometimes well meaning friends remove details before giving a plant as a present because the price happens to be on the label - it may be possible to first of all identify it by taking a peek at the images shown in the Green Thumb Photo Album

Plants are listed purely in alphabetical order, as opposed to splitting them by type, to make finding them a little easier. It can be difficult to find a plant if only armed with a name, rather than knowing whether it is of the flowering, foliage, succulent or cactus type. 

B

Baby's Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

Begonia (Begonia x hiemalis)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)

Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae)

Blue Agave Plants (Agave parryi)

Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata)

Bottle Brush Plant (Callistemon citrinus)

Bougainvillea Plant (Bougainvillea glabra)

Button Fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)

Nobody is perfect, and there may well be some plants readers are aware of that are not featured here, so if any one has an idea or knows of a plant that should be included here, please leave a comment. The plant in question will then be researched and included as soon as humanly possible. 

It would also be appreciated if a photo that can be used here would be included with such suggestions, as the writer obviously does not have these plants readily available to take photos (otherwise they would already be included), and finding images that are not bound by copyrights is not always as easy as one would imagine. 

In the hope that this list and the associated images and articles will prove helpful, enjoy having a read, please share the articles with family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances, and please feel free to leave comments of any kind - as long as they are not rude :-) 

While it is appreciated that it will not be possible to please everybody all the time, constructive criticism is worth far more - and will be taken note of - than raving abuse, which will simply be deleted.

Repost 0
August 11 2012 7 11 /08 /August /2012 20:11

coverThis list includes a selection of common, not quite so common and unusual house plants beginning with the letter 'A'. If the name of a plant is not known - sometimes well meaning friends remove details before giving a plant as a present because the price happens to be on the label - it may be possible to first of all identify it by taking a peek at the images shown in the Green Thumb Photo Album

Plants are listed purely in alphabetical order, as opposed to splitting them by type, to make finding them a little easier. It can be difficult to find a plant if only armed with a name, rather than knowing whether it is of the flowering, foliage, succulent or cactus type. 

A

Achimenes (Achimenes hybrids)

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

Air Plant (Tillandsia ionantha)

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aluminium Plant (Pilea cadierei)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids)

Amazon Lily (Eucharis x grandiflora)

Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia x candida)

Angel Wing Begonia (Begonia x corallina)

Anthurium Plant (Anthurium andraeanum)

Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)

Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri')

Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)

Nobody is perfect, and there may well be some plants readers are aware of that are not featured here, so if any one has an idea or knows of a plant that should be included here, please leave a comment. The plant in question will then be researched and included as soon as humanly possible. 

It would also be appreciated if a photo that can be used here would be included with such suggestions, as the writer obviously does not have these plants readily available to take photos (otherwise they would already be included), and finding images that are not bound by copyrights is not always as easy as one would imagine. 

In the hope that this list and the associated images and articles will prove helpful, enjoy having a read, please share the articles with family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances, and please feel free to leave comments of any kind - as long as they are not rude :-) 

While it is appreciated that it will not be possible to please everybody all the time, constructive criticism is worth far more - and will be taken note of - than raving abuse, which will simply be deleted.

Repost 0