Houseplants

Is Moving Our Croton And Mandevilla Indoors And Out Detrimental?

Q: My wife and I are having a debate. I take our croton and mandevilla outdoors when the temperature rises above 40 degrees. She wonders if moving them in and out is detrimental?  A: I think your wife is right....

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Sun Star – Wilting

Q: A few weeks ago, my friend bought me a small Sun Star from the grocery store. I have watered it sparingly, maybe 3 times per week. It is now slowly wilting. Any suggestions? A: Sun Star (Ornithogalum dubium), also...

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Blue Passion Flower – Indoors or Outdoors

Q: I have a blue passion flower in a pot outdoors. Is it necessary to bring it indoors? A: If you have a very sunny window you can keep your passion flower alive indoors over winter. Otherwise, plant seeds every...

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Indoor Palm – Scale Insects

Q: My indoor palm looks awful. What’s going on? A: The palm has scale insects. They are almost impossible to control. There are just too many of them and they reproduce rapidly. I recommend you throw this plant out and...

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Cold Dracaena

Q: I am in a big pickle with my wife. I moved furniture out of the house so I could redo our hardwood floors. I put her eight-foot tall dracaena plant on the back porch all night when it was...

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Houseplants – Cleaning

Q: What is the best solution for cleaning houseplants that have been outside all summer? A: Patio plants frequently become dusty after a summer outdoors. They will look fresher if you clean them up a bit. Find an old cotton...

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Houseplants – Watering

Q: I have a fiddle leaf fig. I was told to give a tree this size two quarts of water two times a week. Am I watering too much or too little? A: Watering houseplants on a set schedule with...

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Houseplant – Leaf Spot

Q: I have a houseplant that looks like it’s being eaten by something but I don’t see any insects near it or on it. A: I can determine by the yellow “halo” around the notches that this is caused by...

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Ivy Houseplant – Maintaining

Q: I need advice on how to nurse an indoor ivy plant back to tip-top health. My coworker has had it for ten years. For six months it has been limp and has been fading in color and in foliage....

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House Plants – Using Fertilizer

Q: Is it OK to use 10-10-10 fertilizer on house plants? A: I suppose you could but it would have to be a tiny amount each time. This quickly-soluble fertilizer would have a high chance of burning plant roots confined...

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House Plants – Keepign Winter Pests Away

Q: With what should I spray my scheffleras to eliminate pests before I bring them in for the winter? A: I once had a neighbor who would cover his houseplants with a paper sack and stick a lit cigar in...

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Houseplants – Winter Care

HOUSEPLANT CARE FOR WINTER The long warm autumn came to an abrupt end a few weeks ago. One of the first things I did when the weatherman predicted temperatures below freezing was to inventory the houseplants on our patio and...

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Houseplants – Propagating

PROPAGATING HOUSEPLANTS – A “ROOTS” EXPERIENCE My wife has a pothos vine that vigorously overflows and cascades down the sides of a fourteen-inch wide pot. The plant originated with three short cuttings her mother gave her for a housewarming gift...

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Indoor Plants – Diagnosing Problems

Q: Can you help me find a good Web site for diagnosing problems with indoor plants? A: Now that winter is approaching, houseplants are moved indoors from their summer home on decks and patios. Though most thrive in the dappled...

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Poinsettia – Pointers for Indoor Care

Poinsettias are NOT poisonous. That old myth was dispelled by a research project at The Ohio State University in 1975. While the latex sap may be irritating to the eyes, the plants are not toxic. All poinsettia flowers are yellow....

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Spathiphylum – Leaf Spot

Q: This is a leaf from my indoor Peace Lily plant, can you tell me what you think is causing the leaves to get like this ? A: This looks like bacterial leaf spot. I think there could be three...

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Houseplants – Care While on Vacation

House plants can be kept in good condition for several days while you’re on vacation by using clear, plastic bags as miniature greenhouses. Soak the soil thoroughly, allow to drain, then insert 2 – 3 wooden skewers around the edge...

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June Houseplant Tips

Divide an overgrown Boston fern into quarters; plant two quarters into each of two separate hanging baskets filled with potting soil. The ferns will look great in four weeks and you double your money in only thirty minutes. Spruce up...

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