Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to care for houseplants

Are you having difficulity growing the following houseplants: Aralia, Hibiscus, Cyclamen, Anthurium, Bromeliad, Croton, Bougainvillea, Orchids, Ficus, Assorted Ferns and many others?

Most houseplants like "indirect" sunlight. Use them in front of a window covered by venitian blinds, or underneath a skylight. Choose plants that like low light such as Pothos, Philodendrons, and Boston ferns. Always purchase healthy vigorous plants from a reputable Nursery. (Avoid Big Store Nurseries)
Be sure to fertilize your houseplants with a good "houseplant" fertilizer. Apply fertilizer every month during spring and summer. Very little fertilizing during the winter months. Do NOT fertilize dormant plants. A good 20-20-20 all purpose plant food will work. We recommend "Peters all purpose plant food".

Call your local nursery for other recommended fertilizers.
Watering depends on the type of houseplant you want, but as a general rule keep the top of container moist. Do NOT over water. Make sure all containers drain well. For Super Blooms try "Green Lights" 12-55-6. Be sure to read instruction carefully.
Check your plants at least once per week, look for pests, insects etc... Brown tip leaves could indicate over watering. Be sure to isolate the plant whenever insects are present. Use a good all purpose insect spray. We recommend "Schultz Expert Gardener Insect Spray". Be sure the product is specifically labeled for both the pest and plant species.

Organic gardening works great
Clean your plants often, remove dead or dying leaves. Dumping of an over infested plant may be the best solution. Mealybugs are a common houseplant problem. These are small white bugs that attach themselves to the leaves.
All houseplants require some natural lighting and sunlight is the best method. Remember most houseplants that bloom require MORE sunlight. Try to use south facing windows for houseplants that produce colorful blooms.

Ferns, Pothos, and Spathiphyllum like low light. Dark corners and bathrooms are an ideal place.
Over watering is just as bad as little or no water! Place your finger in the soil. If it is moist it probably does not need water.
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