Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Madagascar Dragon Tree Care

Madagascar Dragon Tree
Common Name:Madagascar Dragon Tree
Scientific Name: Dracaena marginata
Lighting: Moderate to Low
Watering: Moderate

The Madagascar Dragon Tree is to me one of the most popular houseplants, yet one of the hardest to identify. I looked through many houseplant books before actually finding the name of this particular Dracaena. Needless to say, this is a great houseplant and one of my favorites. Long, narrow, spike like foliage characterize this plant. Foliage is usually green with a red outline, thus giving the houseplant its drama.

The Madagascar Dragon Tree is fairly easy to care for. The greatest thing I like about the Madagascar Dragon Tree is that it allows you to create your own look with it. As you can see from mine, I just let them go at will. However you can brace your stalks up, twist them or create your own attraction with them.


The Madagascar Dragon Tree requires moderate to low light levels. This Dracaena can usually withstand lower light levels than some of the other Dracaena's. As with many Dracaena varieties, if the dramatic coloring or variegation on the foliage begins to fade, the plant may not be receiving enough light.

This houseplant prefers to have moderate water levels. So keep the soil fairly moist at all times. Dracaena's are native to the African jungles, so they do require higher humidity levels. If the tips of the foliage begin to brown, it may be a sign that there is not enough humidity in the air. In the winter, simply running a humidifier may be enough to supplement their high humidity requirements. Otherwise you can also give your plant a nice daily misting instead.

Keep in mind, this houseplant sheds its bottom foliage frequently. This does not mean you are doing anything wrong in terms of caring for it. Just as the plant grows the bottom leaves shed.


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Goldfish Plant Care

Common Name: Goldfish Plant
Scientific Name: Nematanthus wettsteinii
Lighting: Bright to Moderate Light
Watering: Moderate to Heavy

The Goldfish plant is characterized by bright orange flowers radiating from glossy green foliage. The flowers looking like orange goldfish thus the name. This houseplant prefers a little more work than others due to the high humidity it requires.

The Goldfish plant prefers bright light. A nicely lit area out of direct sunlight will work perfectly. If the leaves begin to curl up, your plant is most likely not receiving enough light. Try moving it to a more lighted area.

The Goldfish plant requires moderate to heavy water levels. Keep the soil moist at all times, however prevent the soil from being soggy. This houseplant is in the same family as African violets and thus requires high humidity levels. Mist the plant daily to help fulfill its humidity requirement.

This houseplant also needs warmer temperatures. Keep temperatures above 60 degrees. Be sure to also avoid vents and drafty areas. Another area of caution. This houseplant can go into a resting period. If your plant begins to drop healthy looking leaves, keep the plant dryer than usual for about a month, then begin normal watering again. This should spring the plant back into gear.

Seeing as this houseplant can be a tricky one, please share any tips you have with everyone!


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Flame Violet Plant Care

Common Name: Flame Violet
Scientific Name: Episcia cupreata
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Moderate to Heavy

The Flame Violet is characterized by its flame red flowers amplified by white and green foliage. This houseplant also has a vining character to it. New plants will grow from the main plant. The Flame Violet grows very quickly. Not only the main plant, but also the new vining shoots, so this houseplant does best in a hanging basket or on a shelf.

The Flame Violet prefers bright light so keep within 5 feet of a window receiving sun at all times. Making sure your plant has the proper light is critical for blooming. If your Flame Violet does not flower, chances are it is not receiving enough light. Flame Violets prefer higher temperatures. Never let the temperature drop below 50 degrees or you take a big chance killing your houseplant.

This houseplant also prefers moderate to heavy watering and high humidity levels. Keep this plants soil moist at all times, but avoid soggy. Provide the plant with a nice daily misting to help satisfy its high humidity requirements, however do not mist directly on the plant, just around it. You can also set the pot onto a tray with pebbles and fill that with water to help with the humidity needs. Another little tip, avoid getting water on the foliage itself. If water does get onto the leaves, they will spot, so be sure to water directly into the dirt.

These houseplants do best when they can trail. So on a shelf, ledge or in a hanging basket works the best. Feel free to prune the plant in order to control growth. Remember these plants are fast growers and can easily get out of control without pruning. Be sure to also remove dead / dying foliage right away.


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