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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: 

 

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

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October 19 2012 6 19 /10 /October /2012 14:35

dragon-treePlant Summary

Botanical Name: Dracaena marginata

Type: Foliage

Origin: Dracaena marginata originates from Madagascar.

Height: Kept indoors, the Madagascar Dragon Tree is capable of reaching heights of around 1.8 m (6 ft).

Soil: Any quality potting mix will be suitable for the Dragon Tree.

Light: While the Dragon Tree does like plenty of bright light, it needs to be kept out of direct summer sun.

Humidity: Dragon Tree's are happy in average humidity levels and will even tolerate fairly dry air.

dragon-tree-gtTemperatures: This plant is quite happy in an environment with temperatures between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F).

Water: During spring, summer and autumn, the plant's soil needs to be kept lightly moistened. In winter, it should be kept a little drier. It is vital to ensure the potting mix does not get waterlogged.

Fertiliser: A liquid 10-10-10 fertiliser should be diluted with water (50:50) and fed to the Dragon Tree on a fortnightly basis from spring through to the end of summer.

Propagation: The Dragon Tree's cane can be cut off at any desired height and rooted like any other stem tip cuttings. 

dragon-tree-woDescription and Care Tips

For homes with plenty of space, the Madagascar Dragon Tree offers itself as an easy to care for, bold accent plant. Starting out as just a tuft of a mass of spiky leaves, Dracaena marginata's lower leaves will drop off as it grows, leaving a partially bare woody stem with a cluster of spear-shaped, dramatic leaves - which are narrow, feature a red edge and can grow as long as 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 in) - at the top. 

This plant will thrive in average conditions, tolerating even dry air and low light if need be. It can even handle changes in humidity levels and temperatures quite well. While the Dragon Tree usually shrugs off the threat of pests, dry air may attract spider mites. Misting Dracaena marginata regularly will keep these little pests away and simultaneously raise humidity for the plant. 

dragon-tree-stThe one thing Dragon Trees will not tolerate is soggy soil. Likely to cause root rot - a condition prone to kill off the plant - soggy soil should be avoided at all cost. Well draining soil and a pot with adequate drainage holes are essential to prevent over-watering Dracaena marginata.

Although this exotic house plant is rather slow-growing, it will eventually reach heights of up to 1.8 m (6 ft). The height this plant grows to can be controlled by simply cutting the top of the cane off at whichever height is suitable. It will grow a new leaf cluster from where the cut was made within a few weeks. The best time to do this is during the spring/ early summer months.

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October 19 2012 6 19 /10 /October /2012 13:54

donkeys-tailPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum

Type: Succulent/ Cactus

Origin: The Donkey's Tail, Sedum morganianum, originates from Mexico.

Height: The stems of this house plant will trail up to 90 cm (3 ft).

Soil: Ideally, the Donkey's Tail should be planted in a good cactus potting mix.

Light: Sedum morganianum likes bright light and can cope with a little direct sun, although it should be shaded from strong hot summer sun.

Humidity: This house plant prefers average levels of humidity, but will tolerate comparatively dry air. It must, however, be kept out of drafts.

donkeys-tail-gtTemperatures: Ideal room temperatures for the Donkey's Tail should range between 18 and 24 degrees C (65 to 75 degrees F). To promote blooming, a cool winter rest with temperatures of 13 to 16 degrees C (55 to 65 degrees F) is recommended.

Water: While the soil needs to be kept slightly moist during spring and summer, the Donkey's Tail should only be watered sparingly during autumn and winter. Shrivelled leaves indicate that the plant is not receiving enough water.

Fertiliser: Dilute a balanced liquid fertiliser by half and feed it to the Donkey's Tail once a month during the months of spring and summer.

Propagation: Sedum morganianum can be propagated from 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 in) long stem tip cuttings, which should be taken in spring. After exposing the stem by removing the lower leaves, the cuttings are inserted into a 1:1 mixture of peat moss and sharp sand. It is also possible to propagate this house plant from leaf cuttings, following the described method. Either way, the potting mix must be kept moist and, as this could take a month or two, patience is required.

donkeys-tail-woDescription and Care Tips 

The stems of the succulent Donkey's Tail, which is sometimes also referred to as Burro's Tail, are thickly covered in plump blue-green, overlapping leave, which will spill out of and trail down the side of the plant's container.

Rarely known to bloom indoors, the Donkey's Tail can be encouraged to bloom by giving it a cool winter rest. Temperatures should not be allowed to drop below 13 degrees C (55 degrees F), and the plant should not be fertilised from the beginning of autumn through into the beginning of spring. Watering should also be reduced during this period. 

If successful, the Donkey's Tail will produce lovely, succulent red or pink flowers in summer. The flowers will appear in tiny clusters at the plant's stem tips. 

While the plant does require plenty of bright light, care should be taken not to expose it to full summer sun, as this will very quickly result in the plant suffering from sunburn.

donkeys-tail-stRepotting needs to be done in spring, but only when the plant has filled its pot. A shallow pot will be fine, as the Donkey's Tail's roots do not grow very deep, but it is essential to ensure the pot has drainage holes. 

As this house plant is exceptionally fragile - its leaves are likely to fall off even at the gentlest touch - it is best kept out of high traffic areas to prevent accidental damages. It is, in fact, best to place it into a hanging basket and only go near it to water and/ or fertilise it.

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October 18 2012 5 18 /10 /October /2012 23:02

desert-rosePlant Summary

Botanical Name: Adenium obesum

Type: Succulent/ Cactus

Origin: Adenium obesum has its native habitat in East Africa.

Height: Regular sized Desert Roses can grow up to 90 cm (3 ft) tall, while the bonsai varieties will typically only grow to about 30 cm (1 ft) in height.

Soil: Cactus potting mix, or a mix of equal parts of sharp sand and peat moss are perfect for this house plant, which requires a fast draining potting medium.

Light: The Desert Rose likes to be in direct sunlight.

Humidity: This house plant is quite happy in average levels of humidity.

desert-rose-gtTemperatures: This species likes average room temperatures to range between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F). 

Water: The aim when watering the Desert Rose is to keep the soil just moist. If there is one thing this otherwise fairly undemanding plant will not tolerate, it is over-watering. It is, in fact, better to err on the dry side.

Fertiliser: From the beginning of spring through to the end of autumn, the Desert Rose should be fed every two weeks. A balanced liquid fertiliser that has been diluted to half its original strength will be perfect.

Propagation: Adenium obesum is propagated from seeds.

Description and Care Tips

Branching naturally, the Desert Rose is a tree-like, most attractive house plant with evergreen, long leaves covering the plant's succulent stems from top to bottom. 

desert-rose-woIn summer, owners can expect an abundance of gorgeous red or pink flowers. Growing in clusters from the stems' tips, these flowers are a sight to behold for months, as the blooms will appear in succession.

Desert Roses are extremely easy to care for. All they require to happily thrive and bloom is a well-draining, sandy potting mix (a mix specifically for cacti is ideal), a sunny window and just enough water to keep it from drying out.

As the Desert Rose will store water in its thick trunk, it will not require frequent watering. It should be noted that getting the plant's base wet may result in it rotting (something the plant is unlikely to recover from), so making sure the water is only applied to the potting mix is recommended.

desert-rose-stIn winter, a lack of light, cold temperatures or dry soil may cause the Desert Rose to go dormant and drop its leaves. This is nothing to worry about - once the plant gets what it wants (light, water, warmth), the leaves will soon grow again.

A word of warning: As the sap of this house plant is toxic, it should be handled with care and must be kept away from curious children and pets.

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October 18 2012 5 18 /10 /October /2012 22:28

daffodilPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Narcissus spp.

Type: Flowering 

Origin: Daffodils originate from Europe.

Height: Miniature varieties of the Daffodil will grow to heights of around 15 cm (6 in), while regular varieties can grow up to 46 cm (18 in) tall.

Soil: Narcissus spp.grow best in peat-moss based soil, or, to be more precise, potting mix.

Light: This plant likes indirect bright light. Turning the pot every now and then is recommended, as Daffodils lean towards light while growing.

Humidity: Average levels of humidity will be adequate for this house plant.

daffodil-gtTemperatures: Being spring flowers, Daffodils like to be cool. Temperatures around 16 degrees C (60 degrees F) are optimal.

Water: The soil needs to be checked frequently to ensure it remains lightly moistened, as Daffodils are thirsty, especially while growing.

Fertiliser: A diluted (to half its strength) balanced fertiliser should be fed to daffodils every two weeks.

Propagation: It is not possible to force Daffodil bulbs into blooming indoors for a second year. They can, however, be kept planted outside, although it may take a couple of years before they bloom again even there. To keep them, their foliage should be allowed to naturally die back. The bulbs should then be stored in a dry, cool place until autumn, when they can be planted in the garden.  

Description and Care Tips

Naturally blooming in spring, Daffodils can be forced to bloom from mid-winter to early spring. The process of forcing them is comparatively easy and should be started between October and November.

To force Daffodils, a 15 cm (6 in) deep, wide pot needs to be filled loosely with a suitable potting mix. The bulbs are then set - nose end up - into the soil, taking care not to press them in too much, as the soil needs to be loose enough to allow the tender roots to grow into it. The bulbs should not be allowed to touch, and their tips should be roughly at level with the rim of the container. A little extra potting mix is then added to barely cover the bulbs' noses. 

daffodil-woUnless the bulbs were purchased pre-chilled, the pot then needs to be stored in a cool - temperature should be between 4 and 7 degrees C (40 to 45 degrees F), not freezing - and dark place for 8 to 10 weeks. Regular checking to ensure the soil remains moist is essential throughout this period, which is known as the 'cold treatment' period. A refrigerator, unheated garage or basement will be perfect. Potential damage caused by the ethylene gas given off by ripening fruit/ vegetables needs to be avoided by keeping the pot well away from such fruit/ vegetables.

When the young shoots reach a height of around 5 cm (2 in), the pot can be moved into a slightly warmer (maximum temperature 10 degrees C, or 50 degrees F, low light position. Moving the pot slowly and gradually closer towards a sunnier place will result in the Daffodils lasting longer. To ensure the plants grow evenly, the pot should be turned daily.

Once in full bloom, the potted Daffodils can be placed into direct sunlight. Keeping temperatures down to a maximum of approximately 16 degrees C (60 degrees F) will help to make the flowers last for a month or so.

daffodil-stAs far as varieties are concerned, there are plenty to choose from. Shades range from white and pink to cream, yellow or orange. The cup, often also referred to as the trumpet, may contrast in colour from the surrounding petals, some of which may be frilly. Some varieties offer double blooms or blooms with  two colours, too. 

Then, of course, there are the miniature varieties, which are especially good for indoor use and make a charming display when planted closely together in a pretty pot. On some of the larger varieties, by the way, the flower heads tend to get rather heavy. To avoid them breaking off, they should be staked.

Although mixing colours in one pot is a tempting thought, it should be avoided, as Daffodil varieties tend to flower at different times. The most attractive displays are achieved with just one variety per container.

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October 6 2012 7 06 /10 /October /2012 15:12

coverThis list includes a selection of common, not quite so common and unusual house plants beginning with the letter 'C'. 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. 

C

Cactus

(Cactaceae family)

Caladium

(Caladium x hortulanum)

California Pitcher Plant

(Darlingtonia californica)

Camellia

(Camellia japonica)

Campanula Flowers

(Campanula isophylla)

Candy Corn Plant

(Manettia inflata)

Cape Primrose

(Streptocarpus hybrids)

Cardboard Palm Tree

(Zamia furfuracea)

Cast Iron Plant

(Aspidistra elatior)

Cat Palm Tree

(Chamaedorea cataractarum)

Celosia Plumosa

(Celosia argentea var. plumosa)

China Doll Plant

(Radermachera sinica)

Chinese Evergreen

(Aglaonema commutatum)

Christmas Cactus

(Schlumbergera hybrids)

Christmas Palm Tree

(Veitchia merrillii)

Cigar Plant

(Cuphea ignea)

Coffee Plant

(Coffea arabica)

Coleus Plant

(Coleus blumei)

Coral Bead Plant

(Nertera granadensis)

Coral Berry

(Ardisia crenata)

Corn Plant

(Dracaena fragrans)

Corona Prayer Plant

(Calathea corona)

Creeping Fig

(Ficus pumila)

Crocus

(Crocus hybrids)

Croton or Joseph's Coat

(Codiaeum variegatum)

Crown of Thorns

(Euphorbia milii)

Cyclamen

(Cyclamen persicum)

Cylindrical Snake Plant

(Sansevieria cylindrica)

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.

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October 6 2012 7 06 /10 /October /2012 15:05

coverThis list includes a selection of common, not quite so common and unusual house plants beginning with the letters 'D' and 'E'. 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. 

D

Daffodils

(Narcissus spp.)

Desert Rose Plant

(Adenium obesum)

Donkey's Tail

(Sedum morganianum)

Dragon Tree

(Dracaena marginata)

Dragon Wing Begonia

(Begonia hybrids)

Dumb Cane

(Dieffenbachia)

Dwarf Chenille Plant

(Acalypha pendula)


E

Easter Cactus

(Hatiora gaertneri)

Easter Lily

(Lilium longiflorum)

Echeveria

(Echeveria species)

Elephant's Ear

(Alocasia amazonica)

English Ivy

(Hedera helix)

European Fan Palm

(Chamaerops humilis)

 

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.

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October 6 2012 7 06 /10 /October /2012 14:57

cylindrical-snake-plantPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Sansevieria cylindrical

Type: Succulent/ Cactus

Origin: The Cylindrical Snake Plant originates from South Africa.

Height: Sansevieria cylindrical typically grows to a height of up to 60 cm (2 ft).

Soil: A cactus or other soilless potting mix is perfect for this striking house plant.

Light: Cylindrical Snake Plants love bright light.

cylindrical-snake-plant-gtHumidity: Average humidity levels are required for the Cylindrical Snake Plant, although it will tolerate dry air to a certain extent. It should, however, be kept well away from drafts and/ or air vents.

Temperatures: Preferably kept at room temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees C (65 to 75 degrees F), Sansevieria cylindrical will tolerate temperatures that are fluctuating, as long as they do not drop below 13 degrees C (55 degrees F).  

Water: After watering thoroughly, the potting mix should be allowed to dry out before watering this house plant again. It is important not to water the Cylindrical Snake Plant from the centre of its rosette, as this will cause the leaves to rot.

Fertiliser: A balanced - like NPK 15-15-15, for example - liquid fertiliser diluted to half its strength with water should be fed to this plant on a monthly basis during the spring, summer and autumn months.

cylindrical-snake-plant-woPropagation: Like all Snake Plants, this species can be propagated by separating its offsets - known as pups - growing from the parent's base. Dividing this plant is easy enough: after turning the pot onto its side, the plant is eased out carefully. The pups can then be cut off the parent plant using a sharp, serrated knife and planted into their own containers.

Description and Care Tips

Round leaves with a pattern of dark green stripes give the carefree, eye-catching Cylindrical Snake Plant - an African succulent - its name. Another name commonly used for this house plant is Spear Plant, a name it owes to the pointed tips at the end of its leaves. Owners are advised to be careful, as these points tend to be rather sharp.

Growing in a rosette, the tubular, grey-green leaves of the Cylindrical Snake Plant are approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) in thickness. Mature plants will occasionally produce creamy white, long flower spikes with a beautiful fragrance.

cylindrical-snake-plant-stRelated to the Mother-in-Law's Tongue - and just as carefree and easy to grow - this plant has a bold, fresh style that will add a striking accent to a collection of house plants. Because Sansevieria cylindrical is so easy going and highly tolerant of both dry air and dry soil, it lends itself perfectly as an office plant. 

The only problems likely to arise with this plant are usually related to over-watering. The soil should definitely be allowed to dry out between watering sessions, and it is vital not to get the leaves wet - they will rot easily. Leaves that get soft, even mushy, at the base or turn yellow are a good sign that the plant is being over-watered. Apart from soggy soil, the only other thing likely to kill a Cylindrical Snake Plant is prolonged exposure to temperatures close to or below 13 degrees C (55 degrees F).

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October 6 2012 7 06 /10 /October /2012 13:45

 

cyclamenPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Cyclamen persicum

Type: Flowering

Origin: Cyclamen persicum plants are hybrids with parents originating from the Middle East and Southern Europe.

Height: Florist Cyclamen will grow approximately 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) tall.

Soil: Cyclamens are happy when planted in a quality general purpose potting mix.

Light: Although the Cyclamen likes bright light, it should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Humidity: This house plant needs moderate to high levels of humidity. Levels should be raised by misting its leaves or placing the pot onto a tray/ saucer filled with wet pebbles.

Temperatures: Cyclamen persicum likes to be cool at average temperatures of around 13 to 18 degrees C (55 to 65 degrees F).

Water: Keeping the soil slightly moist is best done by placing the Cyclamen's pot onto a saucer filled with tepid water for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Fertiliser: During the budding and blooming period, Cyclamens should be fed with a diluted (50:50) high phosphorus fertiliser every 14 days. Any other time fertilising is not required.

Propagation: Florist Cyclamen can only be propagated through seeds.

cyclamen-gtDescription and Care Tips

The beautiful, backswept petals of the Cyclamen plant, commonly known as the Florist Cyclamen, come in various shades of white, pink, red or purple, and rise on upright stems above the plant's lovely silver and green, heart-shaped foliage.

A winter-blooming house plant, the Cyclamen is typically purchased already flowering. Sadly, it is often treated as an annual, getting thrown out when deterioration begins to set in early in spring. Few people know that the Cyclamen is actually a perennial that can be enjoyed for many years with a little care.

Well cared for, this flowering cool-season house plant will last for months before its flowers die and the foliage starts to turn yellow. Once this happens, the now dormant Cyclamen persicum should be cut back and placed into a dark, cool location for the summer. Watering it just enough to stop its soil from completely drying out throughout this period, the Cyclamen can be returned to a spot in bright light, resuming normal watering and fertilising at the onset of autumn. Within 2 to 3 months, new blooms should appear.

cyclamen-stPoor ventilation and wet soil may encourage the growth of a fuzzy, grey fungus called botrytis. This fungus is capable of very quickly killing off the plant. Affected leaves therefore need to be removed as soon as the first signs of an infection - brown patches on yellowing leaves - appear. Plants that are very badly affected may need to be discarded completely. 

To assist air circulation and subsequently help to prevent fungus growth, shrivelled or yellow leaves and spent flowers should be cut off as soon as possible.

 

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October 5 2012 6 05 /10 /October /2012 15:36

crown-of-thornsPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

Type: Succulent/ Cactus

Origin: The native habitat of the Crown of Thorn is in Madagascar.

Height: Euphorbia milii will grow to heights of approximately 60 cm (2 ft). If required, the plant's  height can be controlled by pruning off growing tips.

Soil: This house plant needs to be planted in a fast draining potting mix. A specialised Cactus mix is the ideal choice. 

Light: Plenty of bright light and even lots of direct sunshine will be appreciated by the Crown of Thorns.

Humidity: Dry to average humidity conditions are perfect for the Crown of Thorns.

Temperatures: Room temperatures averaging between 16 and 24 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees F) will have this cactus growing nicely. Allowing a cool rest with temperatures around 13 degrees C (55 degrees F) will encourage the Crown of Thorns to bloom.

crown-of-thorns-gtWater: The top 2.5 cm (1 in) of the potting mix should be allowed to dry out between watering sessions. To prevent this house plant from rotting, it is important to avoid getting its stems and leaves wet. During the plant's resting period in the winter months, watering should be reduced to a bare minimum.

Fertiliser: From the beginning of spring right through onto the end of autumn, the Crown of Thorns should be fed every 14 days with a diluted (1:1) balanced liquid fertiliser. Over the winter months, feeding should be reduced to once every 4 weeks.

Propagation: To propagate Euphorbia milii, 7.5 cm (3 in) long stem cuttings need to be taken some time during spring or early summer. The cut end is then dipped into warm water for just a few minutes. This will stop the sap's flow. After allowing the cuttings to dry for a day, they should be inserted into barely moistened potting mix, where they will root within approximately 6 weeks.

crown-of-thorns-woDescription and Care Tips

One of the few succulents that are able to bloom almost all year round, the Crown of Thorns produces flowers - which are actually bracts and will last for weeks on end - in a variety of colours, from white and yellow to bright red or pink. The best seasons to see an abundance of blooms are, however, spring and summer. As long as sufficient light is provided, a Crown of Thorns can be depended on to bloom, and many of the hybrids on the market today will produce increased masses of larger flowers than ever before. 

Euphorbia milii features bright green leaves along its thorny, thick stems. As the plant gets older, some of its lower leaves will drop off. If it starts looking to leggy, it should be pruned back to around half its size during spring. This will result in new stems growing from below the cuts, making the succulent Crown of Thorns bush fuller and bushier again.

crown-of-thorns-stEasy to grow and comparatively drought tolerant, these house plants prefer to live in sandy, slightly dry soil. Because they store water within their thick stems, they do not need to be watered as often as other house plants. Watering should be reduced if the leaves begin to turn yellow and/ or fall off.

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October 4 2012 5 04 /10 /October /2012 20:45

croton-plantPlant Summary

Botanical Name: Codiaeum variegatum pictum

Type: Foliage

Origin: Croton Plants originate from Malaysia, Northern Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Height: Codiaeum variegatum pictum grows to heights of up to around 90 cm (3 ft).

Soil: This plant should be potted in a mix based on peat moss.

Light: The Croton house plant likes bright like and requires a minimum of 3 hours worth of direct sunlight per day.

Humidity: Being a house plant that loves high humidity, the Croton Plant should be placed onto a wet pebble tray and misted daily.

croton-gtTemperatures: Crotons like to be kept reasonably warm. Temperatures ranging from 18 to 29 degrees C (65 to 85 degrees F) are ideal.

Water: Using tepid water, the soil should be kept moist (evenly) at all times, without allowing it to get too soggy.

Fertiliser: From early on in spring all the way the summer, the Croton Plant needs to be fertilised with a balanced liquid fertiliser that has been diluted to half its strength on a two-weekly basis.

Propagation: Croton stem cuttings should be taken during the spring months and dipped into rooting hormones before being placed into a 1:1 mixture of peat moss and sand, where they will root within a month or so.

croton-woDescription and Care Tips

Leathery, stiff leaves in bold greens, yellows, oranges, pinks and reds make the Croton Plant, which is also commonly known as Joseph's Coat, a very popular, beautiful house plant, in spite of the fact that it is not an easy to please plant. The Arrowhead Croton in particular is well thought of, as its unusual leaves will add a wonderful contrast to any group of house plants.

To successfully grow and keep Crotons, lots of sunshine, high humidity levels, moist soil and a warm environment free from drafts are essential. Dry soil or dry air will invariably lead to the leaves of this house plant dropping off.

Naturally bushy, Crotons rarely need pruning, but, if the plant should become too tall, it can be topped (cut back) during spring. The stem cuttings can then be used for propagation.

croton-stUntil the Croton gets to the desired size, it should be repotted in spring, moving up just one container size at the time. Once it has grown to the right size, it can be kept from growing larger by keeping it in the same container and just top dressing it once a year. 

Top dressing is done by removing only the top 5 to 7. 5 cm (2 to 3 in) of the soil - taking care not to damage any roots close to the surface - and topping up again with fresh soil. 

It is quite common for 2 or three plants to be sold in the same pot. After being kept together for a year, they should be separated to give them the space they need to grow. Separation is done by carefully cutting through the roots with a sharp serrated knife and potting each section in its own container.

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