Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

White Cloud Ficus Care

Common Name: White Cloud Ficus
Scientific Name: Ficus species
Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Water: Moderate

The White Cloud Ficus is characterized by cream colored and dark green spotted foliage. This particular Ficus is one of the more common varieties second of course to the Benjamin.

The White Cloud Ficus requires moderate light levels so keep within 5 to 8 feet of a sunny window. If the leaves begin to fall off, there's a good chance that your plant is not receiving enough light. Try moving it closer to a window or a better-lighted area. However, be cautious of where you move and how often you move your Ficus. This species does not like to be moved so do it sparingly. Also, be sure to keep your Ficus away from drafts and heat vents.

Moderate watering is what the White Cloud Ficus prefers. Water thoroughly once a week for best results. Be sure not to over water your Ficus plant. If the leaves begin to fall and are not yellowing, try watering it less. If the foliage begins to yellow try watering the plant more frequently. Ficus varieties in general, not just this particular one, usually prefer higher humidity levels, so a couple time a week give the plant a misting to help fulfill its humidity requirements.

Though a very common houseplant, the Ficus does require a great deal more care and attention to detail than others. The main tips I can give to you is to keep your plants environment as consistent as possible. Once variables such as water or lighting change, these plants seem to retaliate.


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Aloe Vera Plant Care

Aloe Vera plant

Common Name: Aloe Vera
Scientific Name: Aloe vera
Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Water: Low

Thick, light-green succulent leaves characterize the Aloe Vera plant. The Aloe plant is one of the easiest houseplants to care for. The Aloe Vera is a great plant to have around. When the leaves are broken open a gel is released that works wonders on sunburns, cuts and even bug bites.

The Aloe Vera's care needs are just that of a cactus. It thrives in bright light so keep it within 5 feet of a east or west facing window. This houseplant also just like the cactus tolerates very infrequent waterings. You will only need to water this plant once every 2 weeks. I have even gone three weeks without any problems.

This houseplant can grow very big, very fast. If the plant begins to outgrow its pot, like it probably will, you may simply transplant sections and place it in another pot with dirt. I have done this multiple times. The plant also does not appear to be very picky about its soil type either. My biggest aloe (pictured) is growing in plain dirt from the yard. As you can see with my aloe pictured, these plants can spread very quickly. Mine needs some serious downsizing.

Aloe Vera plants are very easy to care for. They withstand quite a bit in my opinions. Please take a minute and view my list of easy to grow houseplants for other plants that are great for the busy person.

The sap of Aloe plants works great for sunburns and as treatment for other topical problems. However, from what I have found, certain varieties are poisonous if eaten, thus I have it listed on my poisonous houseplants list. So just to be safe, please keep these plants up and away from your pets and children.

Please add your comments about caring for this plant.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Areca Palm Care

Common Name: Areca Palm
Scientific Name: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Watering: Heavy

Feather-like green fronds radiating from several trunks characterize the Areca Palm. This houseplant is beautiful when new, however overtime the Areca Palms attractive appearance can diminish slightly. Fronds when bigger may droop and bend over. The Areca Palm is a slow grower. It will grow wider before taller.

Tips of the Areca Palm may also turn brown. The browning tips of the palm are normal. All of the Areca Palms that I have had, the tips did turn brown eventually. One main area to beware of with this palm is that you should only prune off dead branches. If you clip the browned tips you will stop the growth of that branch.

Requires bright indirect light so keep it within 5 to 8 feet from a sunny window. If put in too much direct light, the fronds may get burnt from the sunlight. When a frond becomes yellow or dead like in appearance be sure to remove the entire frond.

The Areca Palm requires heavy watering; however do not allow the plant to sit in water because this could lead then to root rot. The Areca Palm will wilt drastically if you allow the soil to dry out completely. On a good note, once you water it, the plant will stand back up. This houseplant is extremely sensitive to salts and minerals, so if your home uses a water softener, water from a source that does not go through the softener first, such as an outside faucet. As most tropical plants, an occasional misting will make your plant look and feel healthier.

A common pest to this plant is the spider mite. If the appearance of spider mites is present, try misting the plant twice daily with a soapy water mixture. If this does not work, go to your local plant or hardware store and try a professional grade pest remover.

Overall this plant requires a great deal of attention to maintain its beautiful appearance. However with its majestic like appearance and ability to fit into any decor all the work may be a great payoff.

Please feel free to share your comments and experiences with this plant.


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