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Caring for your treasured plants can be a messy job with the water spillage, and the pruning, and all the dead leaves. I avoid this mess by inverting an umbrella under the plants I am working on to keep all the plant cuttings/dried up leaves off the floor and furniture. When finished simply shake out the umbrella.
Place two same sized containers together with plant inside to increase humidity for tropical plants. This is a thrifty method instead of buying a humidifier.
When you have a withered plant that just has lost its oommppphhs, instead of throwing out that "flat" beer, give your plant a drink of the brewsky and watch it spring back to life!
By Dori A. from Louisville, KY
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I tried having house plants years ago. I was in my early 20s and setting up house and was not successful so I just quit trying. We recently added on to our home and I now have more space, time, and with age, patience.
If any or all of you could give a house plants for dummies lesson for how to get started and what plants to choose I would like to try again. Believe me when I say there is no detail too small.
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By paula from mid MO
I have to say the Golden Pothos is my favorite...I am not an expert at all...I never use feeder, but I could. My favorite thing is to get an avocado and take the pit out of it and wash it and then peel the brown paper like stuff from it.
Then I stick three toothpicks in it, just a short way...and sit the toothpicks on the top of a mug filled with water.
After it roots, the plant will come out of the top and you can plant it in potting soil then.
Here are the details: http://video.ab vocado-Plant.htm
I like to put the pit in a glass of water with the pointy part pointing towards the sky.....they are so fun, and I never prune them, just stake them so they dont fall over!
I like to try all sort of things, sweet potatoes are related to morning glories and make beautiful climbing vines.
Choose a firm sweet potato from the produce section of your grocery store or the local farmer's market. If you find one that has started sprouting, even better.
Poke four toothpicks into the sweet potato in a cross shape (one on each side) a little over halfway up the sweet potato.
Fill a mug or jar with water and place the sweet potato in.
Plant your sprouting sweet potato in a pot with soil or in your garden after six to eight weeks. The leaves are beautiful and your plant might even grow some sweet potatoes for you to eat.
Now Spider plants are fun, they grow l ttle shootlests that can be replanted, and the Golden Pothos mentioned above can be sprouted in water, and you can have them all over your house, just cut off a piece of it about six inches and put it in water.
After it roots you can keep it in water or plant in potting soil!
Honey is supposed to help plants root out. Have fun with these projects!
House plants are a natural way to help remove pollutants from your home or office. House plants remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours! Use 15 to 18 "good-sized" house plants in 6- to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1,800 square-foot house.
Plants That Purify The Air
I love this site!
The first houseplant I had was a beautiful spider plant that my in-laws gave me. I killed it! I over watered it. I now have so many houseplants that my friends consider my house a greenhouse and ask me for info on plants. The most important thing is not to over water your plants. I cannot stress that enough. Most plants will forgive you if you forget to water them but soggy roots will kill many plants. Rule of thumb for most plants is not to water them until the soil is dry. Then give them about 8-16 ounces of water depending on the size of the plant.
Light is another issue, except for the summer months most houseplants like a lot of light especially sunlight.
In the summer months you may have to filter the sunlight. Take a cue from how your plants are doing.
If you take your houseplants outside for the summer, put them in partial shade and bring them back into the house in September. Spider plants are actually one of the easiest plants to care for and will help to keep your air clean. Have a great time getting to know plants.
I have 2 favorites that are so easy to grow it's almost ridiculous! And believe me I used to have a really black thumb!
Robyn Fed already told you about one---the golden pothos. Altho it comes in 5 different color variations.
The other is the Snake plant, or it's also called the Mother-in-Law's Tongue. Here's a good site for it:
There are also several color variations of this too.
Here's a pic of the golden pothos too.
I like to have some plants with flowers inside. Cyclamen are great because the flowers last a very long time, come back quickly, and the plant looks good in between too.
Very forgiving, my son had 3 that died all the way back to the big root ball. I watered them and they came back and are doing great now.
Aloe Vera is also easy and fun to grow, and great for burns.
Get a Basil plant if you like basil. It will live over the winter if you water it once in a while.
You have received such great advice, that the only things I can add is to make sure to rotate your plant so that all sides receive sunlight. Every day give it a 1/4 turn.
Moisture probes are available for plants - ask at your local nursery. Most plants like to be watered as soon as the soil is mostly dried out. They do not like to have their roots sitting in water, nor do they like to be in a stiff breeze. You'll probably have to re-pot annually.
Do not ever use garden dirt. This can contain contaminants and the advice to bake the dirt in the oven for purification will stink up the house most horribly! Do find out what you have, and then fertilize as needed - and it won't be needed much unless it's flowering. Remember, less fertilizer is better than too much. And, fertilizer will add contaminated solids to the soil, so you want to watch out for a crust (usually white) building up on the soil, leaves, or pot. If this happens, re-pot and cut back on the fertilizing. If you live in a hard water area, you may find the salts building up on the leaves and dirt through no fault of your own.
Try to water with purified water (something like you'd consider drinking) and wipe those leaves off top and bottom with a damp cloth if they become dusty! Most plants do not require daily watering and they don't like having their roots sopping wet. So have good drainage! I'd put the put in the kitchen sink, water it, and come back an hour later to retrieve it.
The one plant that I've learned is the easiest to take care of is the ZZ plant. You can google it for a picture. This plant removes more toxins from the air than any other plant. Besides that, it's the easiest plant to take care of. It's not fussy about light or dark rooms, doesn't care if you over or under water it. The best all around starter plant.
Otherwise, everyone here has given you great advice :D
Good for you, Paula, being open to trying again! As one who loves houseplants and has a collection numbering more than 40, I'll happily recommend a few easy ones. As you become more confident over time, don't be afraid to try others? Start with ivy and / or pothos. Both root easily, grow in nooks and crannies where the sun doesn't necessarily shine all the time and need little care. Choose pots which hold approximately 4 cups potting soil and mark your calendar with a reminder to water them twice a week (~ 1/3 - 1/2 cup each plant). Might not hurt to buy plant pot trays for under each pot, just in case you over-water a bit. Don't hesitate to be in touch with any questions you may have: wordswork at telus.net
I'm a student worker at a library, and I recently inherited the care of a bunch of plants when that student moved on. My only problem is, I don't know anything about plants. I'm learning a lot, and with the help of books I think I've identified most of the plants and their problems, but there's a few I can't find. Help identifying and any tips on care would be very much appreciated, as these are the two I'm most worried about, especially the one in the red pot.
Though I don't know what they are, the one on the bottom looks like it needs a lot more water than it has been getting. In general make sure they get enough water and light and it should be fine
You can water these plants with water vegetables or eggs were cooked in. It will give them some nutrients.
Possibly need watering more often?
Another thought - your heating may make the air too dry. Try leaving a small bowl of water near it.
My Zamioculcas (ZZ plant), is getting faded. Its leaves are getting twisted and it doesn't feel. I don't water it too much, just twice a month when the soil is completely dry. I don't know what to do. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.
You need to keep the plant evenly moist. You are waiting too long between waterings.
Many of us have picked up a houseplant at the store that was not labeled or have been given one as a gift. However, knowing what type of plant you have will help you ensure that you are giving it the best care. This is a page about identifying a houseplant.
Take advantage of the minerals left in water that has been used to boil eggs. This page has information about using water from hard boiled eggs for houseplants.
While you are on vacation your houseplants will still need care, specifically water. If you don't have a friend to come in and take care of them, there are still some ways to make sure your plants survive your trip. This is a page about watering houseplants on vacation.
Insects and mites can appear on houseplants at any time of the year and they are not always easy to see. This page contains solutions for insect pests on houseplants.
This page is about the best houseplants for low light. Finding the best plants to have in your home helps them to thrive.
This is a page about fertilizing houseplants.Your houseplants can benefit from proper fertilization.
This is a page about cleaning houseplants. The leaves of indoor potted plants can get very dusty and dingy looking if not cleaned off regularly. Cleaning your houseplants will help them grow happy and healthy.