Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Peruvian Old Man Cactus


This is the Peruvian Old Man cactus, Espositoa lanata, not to be confused with The Old Man cactus, Cephalocereus senilis. The old man cactus has stiffer "hairs" that stick out and give it a more unkempt appearance in contrast to the soft whispiness that surrounds the Peruvian Old Man cactus.

I spotted this sitting on the windowsill while visiting my friend and plant-appreciator, Suzy. at her house the other day. It is growing well in its own naturally amusing way. She's had for a long time in great light and allows it to dry out thoroughly before watering it.That's the recipe for successful cacti growing!

This living wonder with its snow-white cottony hair is indigenous to Columbia and Peru. It will eventually grow to about 3 ft. (or 1 meter) high. I will have to remember remember to let Suzy know that.  

 Care Instructions---
  • Direct sun.
  • Water when dry 1" (about 2-3 cm) below the soil surface for plants in a 6" (15 cm) diameter pot.
  • Water when dry about 2" (5 cm) below the soil surface in an  8" (20 cm) diameter pot. 
  • A moisture meter for indoor plants van be a great way to monitor when your plant will need water. The meters should be easy to find online or at your nearest garden center.
  • It is tolerant of drying out more, if you should forget.
  • Fertilize occasionally.
~~~~~

To see video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below

 The Indoor Garden TV Show


 ©2019

Monday, July 1, 2019

The African Violet's Cousin: The Streptocarpus

Streptocarpus caulescens


I was out visiting my friend, Suzy, who has a great appreciation for plants. Her mom is an avid African Violet fan. We talked about how African Violets are easiest to care for in front of a north-facing window. If one doesn't have a windowsill facing north, it can be a little tricky to find just the right spot where an African violet will thrive. 

Suzy does not have a north-facing window so hasn't grown any African violets. Fortunately, she was able to find just the right place in her home for this Streptocarpus in a hanging basket. During the summer, it lives in the shade under the eaves of her shed. The rest of the year, it hangs in a room with large windows and plenty of bright indirect light. 

Many nurseries and garden centers will carry different varieties of Streptocarpus. This one, the Streptocarpus caulescens is one of the easier ones to keep indoors. Its soft green foliage and lovely flowers make a beautiful hanging basket. 

Like African violets, the Streptocarpus is part of the Gesneriad family of plants. Sometimes known as Cape primroses, I've usually seen Streptocarpus' labelled for sale with their botanical name, not a common name. 

These enchanting, soft and fuzzy-leafed plants are native to East Tropical Africa.  

 



Care instructions--
  • Right in front of a north-facing window is the best place for them. Otherwise,very bright indirect light or a place with some morning sun, works too. Direct afternoon sun is too strong for these plants.
  • Water thoroughly as soon as the top is dry. A plant in a 10" diameter hanging basket will take about 1 quart or 1 liter of water, when ready.
  • Fertilize with African violet food regularly. Schultz Instant African Violet Plus works beautifully.

~~~~~~~~
***For a variety of video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click below:
©2019


Friday, May 31, 2019

About the Aralia balfouriana 'Roseleaf'



This graceful Aralia Balfouriana 'Roseleaf' is over 40 years old! As it has grown its branches have taken on curves and twists giving it an asymmetrical and intriguing shape. I think of it as a living sculpture. 

It is potted in a 14" diameter pot. Its been in that same size pot since 1991! Every few years I prune off some of the roots and foliage and add some fresh potting soil. Aralias truly don't mind staying pot-bound, as you can see. They are a wonderfully easy houseplant to keep. I believe the most important thing to keeping them thriving is to water them thoroughly when the top of the soil is dry. They appreciate a good soak.

Its botanical name is Polyscias paniculata 'Variegata''. Most Polyscias species are sold as Aralias, their horticultural name. This Aralia Balfouriana 'Roseleaf" is native to Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean.  


Care Instructions---
  • Bright indirect light to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun may prove to be too strong.   Directly in front of a north or east facing window will work out well.
  • For all Aralias:  Water when the top of the soil is dry. They like a good soak but not to sit in water for long.
  • in a 6" (15 cm) diameter pot, water with 1 pint of water (almost 1/2 liter)
  • in a 10"(25 cm) diameter pot will use about 2 quarts of water (or 2 liters) when necessary
  • in a 14" (35 cm) diameter pot, use 1 gallon of water (almost 4 liters)
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth.
  • Misting daily with water would be appreciated but is not necessary. 
  • Once in awhile clean the leaves in the shower or outdoors with a hose on gentle spray. You can mix up about a tsp. of mild dishwashing soap in a pint bottle and soap up the leaves first.  
 
~~~~~

Watch this plant on YouTube as it is repotted in 1991:

Repotting a Large Plant (this Aralia!)

***To watch short video clips from my 90's TV series, click below:

©2019

 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Blooming Snake Plant

Sanseivieria trifasciata

It's rare to see this indoors, but a wonderful surprise, when it does! Sansevierias are members of the lily family, Liliaceae. This bloom has a fragrance very similar to an Easter Lily!

Take good care of your snake plant and you may see one of these spring up one day. 

Care Instructions-
  • Low light to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun is too strong. 
  • In 4-6"(10-15 cm) diameter pots: Water thoroughly when dry about 1/2" (about 1.25 cm) below the soil surface for plants
  • For 8"(20cm) diameter pots or larger: Water thoroughly when the soil is dry about 1"or so (2-1/2 cm) below the soil surface
  •  Fertilize regularly.
~~~~~

**To see a video clip on the Snake plant from "The Indoor Garden TV Show", click here:

***For more video clips and episodes on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:

©2018


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Growing a Wax Begonia Indoors during Wintertime


How wonderful it is to have a plant blooming indoors during winter! This one was in a small pot and lived outside from spring to summer. I re-potted it into a 6" diameter pot and it has grown and continued to bloom ever since I brought it inside. It has been quite content sitting in this south-facing kitchen window since early fall.  

The wax begonia is probably the easiest begonia to keep alive indoors. And they can bloom almost constantly. There are many plants that will bloom indoors during the winter and they really do help keep a place cheerier, which is always a good thing!  

If you'd like to use them as houseplants throughout the winter, your outdoor wax begonias or impatiens should adapt well. If you have larger plants that won't work inside, take cuttings from them, about 4-6" in length at the end of the summer or early fall before a frost. They root easily in water.


Care Instructions:
  • Some direct sun; at least a few hours per day
  • Water thoroughly as soon as the top of the soil is dry..
  • Plants in a 4" diameter pot (10 cm) should use about 1/2 cup of water when ready. In a 6" (15cm) pot, use about 1 pint (almost 1/2 liter) of water. 
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth and blooming.
  • A daily mist of water would be helpful. 
~~~~~

***To watch short video clips from my 1990's TV series, click below:

©2018


Friday, November 24, 2017

About the Parsley Aralia

Polyscias fruticosa 'Elegans'

This Parsley Aralia was just picture-perfect and awaiting its new owner that will walk into this florist, sooner or later. This graceful and easy to grow plant is at a stage of growth where it would be best as a table plant but it can become a showy and elegant floor plants as it grows up. 

This one is great for a narrow space and does not grow nearly as wide as many other floor plants. I own a few Aralias, one is over forty years old now, and rarely have had trouble with them. The secret to keeping them going is to give them a good soak when they need water and find a bright indirect or fairly sunny spot for them.

If you ever visit the Polynesian Islands you may come upon one that is living there, naturally.

You can send houseplants and flowers from this delightful florist, anywhere in the world:



Care Instructions---
  • Bright indirect light to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun may prove to be too strong.   Directly in front of a north or east facing window will work out well.
  • For all Aralias:  Water when the top of the soil is dry. They like a good soak but not to sit in water for long.
  • -- in a 6" (15 cm) diameter pot, water with 1 pint of water (almost 1/2 liter)
  • --in a 10"(25 cm) diameter pot will use about 2 quarts of water (or 2 liters) when necessary
  • -- in a 14" (35 cm) diameter pot, use 1 gallon of water (almost 4 liters)
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth.
  • A daily water misting would be appreciated but is not necessary. 
  • Once in awhile clean the leaves in the shower or outdoors with a hose on gentle spray. You can mix up about a tsp. of mild dishwashing soap in a pint bottle and soap up the leaves first.   
~~~~~

***To watch short video clips from my 90's TV series, click below:

©2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

About the Birdnest Fern


As I walked into the florist, this splendid Birdnest fern was sitting on the the penny floor right next to the front door. If growing ferns interests you, the Birdnest fern is one of the easiest ferns to keep indoors. I'd really recommend this for a beginner.

It's called a Birdnest fern because its center crown looks very much like it could be a home for birds, although in miniature. It has stiffly spreading fresh green leaves that emanate from its center. The fronds can eventually grow 3 feet (or 90cm) long so make sure you'll have the space for it. !t will take a few years, at least, for this one to grow that large. 

Its botanical name is Asplenium nidus and if you are walking through Queensland, Australia or parts of Japan you just may happen upon on one growing naturally there. 

~~You can send plants or floral arrangements as a gift, almost anywhere in the world from this great florist:  Flowers and Plants Etc.
           

Care Instructions--
  • Bright indirect light or some morning sun is perfect. Sitting in a north-facing window is ideal. 
  • Ferns must stay on the moist side so give them some water as soon as the top is dry. A plant in a 6" (15cm) pot should take about 1 pint (almost 1/2 liter) of water when necessary. In an 8" diameter pot (20cm), use about 1 quart of water to thoroughly moisten it.
  • Provide humidity for your fern. A daily misting is recommended. 
  • You can also put pebbles in their saucer and keep water in the saucer so that the bottom of the pot sits just above water, not in it. The evaporating water does provide some humidity. The Birdnest fern is tolerant of less humidity than some other ferns.
  • Normal indoor temperatures should suit them just fine.
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth
~~~~~

***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click below: