<![CDATA[Houseplant Homebody]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/blogRSS for NodeMon, 12 Apr 2021 13:17:15 GMT<![CDATA[African Violet- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#30]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/african-violet-plant-bio-podcast-ep-30605140adcbba8c00157fb572Tue, 30 Mar 2021 12:09:00 GMTOwner: HollyWhen I was first interested in houseplants, people always talked about how hard African Violets were. That turned me off to these plants. After a couple years of working in the garden center, I wanted to try one! They were only one of the few houseplants that consistently bloomed, so I definitely wanted that in my house! To my surprise, it wasn't that hard at all! Now I have six African Violets and I plan to collect even more!

Botanical Name

A few years ago, African Violets were reclassified to Streptocarpus. They were originally called Saintpaulia and people typically still refer to them that way. Saintpaulia ionantha is the botanical name of the majority of African Violets you will see in plant shops (new reclassified name is Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia ionanthus or Streptocarpus ionanthus). There are several others such as Saintpaulia goetzeana, Saintpaulia pusilla, Saintpaulia shumensis, Saintpaulia teitensis, just to name a few.

The original name Saintpaulia came from Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire who collected the first African Violet. The more you know!!!

Common Names

African Violet, or some people refer to it as it's previous botanical name, Saintpaulia.

Variety Names

Most of the time your African Violet won't be labeled with the specific variety name but there are 1000's out there! They vary in size, flower color, flower texture, leaf pattern, and leaf texture!

Sun Requirements:

African Violets do best in bright, indirect light but they can tolerate medium light as well. In medium light, leaves may not grow as large, flowers may not bloom as long and there may not be a ton of flowers.

I currently have all six of my African Violets in a north window which is probably considered a medium light situation. They are doing just fine in there! I actually bought five of them this past year so I know those will have to acclimate a bit to the new light conditions. There is one I've had for about three years now and last summer it bloomed from May through October in the north window! But I have noticed the leaves are very small and they almost look stunted which could be from the lack of bright, indirect light. But I am living proof, they still do okay in medium light if this is the only space you have for them!

Just make sure to avoid direct sunlight and very low light situations. If they are placed in direct light, the leaves will burn.

Water Requirement

Allow your African Violet to almost dry in-between waterings. Some sources have suggesting keeping the soil consistently moist but because of their succulent-like leaves, African Violet are prone to rot. I would avoid overwatering at all costs and allow the top layers of soil to dry before watering again.

In my own experience, I have ALWAYS allowed my African Violets to dry out in-between watering. I could be giving it a bit more water than I have in the past. Allowing the soil to completely dry could also be causing my plant's leaves to look stunted. All my African Violet's leaves droop a bit when the plant needs water but it is hard to see sometimes since the plant's leaves already have a low profile.

In regards to humidity, African Violets really don't need it! Their leaves are fuzzy, so increased moisture or humidity, could lead to mold or fungus. Avoid misting African Violets, putting them directly near a humidifier, or putting them in a terrarium or greenhouse. All of those may do more harm than good.

I would also avoid watering the crown of the African Violet or getting the leaves wet. As I said, the leaves are fuzzy so that extra moisture could cause mold or fungus. Water below the leaves, or you can bottom water by filling up your saucer, and allowing the plant to soak up the moisture from below. If there is excess water still in the saucer after about a half hour, make sure to remove it.

Fertilizer

Every source I've read says something slightly different, which proves that there are many ways to do this right! As I always say, I currently use Espoma Indoor! Liquid Plant Food and I fertilizer every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!

Here are what a couple other sources have said...

  • The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says, "Feed every 2 weeks with a high-phosphorous plant food or use a balanced houseplant food mixed at half the rate recommended on the package."
  • Gardening with Lights by Leslie says "A balanced formula is best. Use at each watering, following the manufacturer's instructions. Avoid bloom-boosting fertilizers with excessive phosphorus, as they can cause foliage to appear scorched."
  • So as you can see from those two sources, sometimes there can be contradicting practices! They both recommended balanced houseplant fertilizers but had different perspectives on phosphorus or bloom boosting fertilizers. You never know who is right until you try it yourself! I haven't tried a bloom booster fertilizer on my African Violets. I believe if you use a slightly lower dose and keep it out of direct sunlight, this would avoid the scorch marks. Using a balanced houseplant fertilizer (like I do) still helps my African Violets bloom successfully!
  • There are also "African Violet Fertilizers" that you could try but you DO NOT need! If you have multiple houseplants it is much easier to use a balance houseplant fertilizer on all of them instead of having separate fertilizers for all the different plants!

Fertilizing is completely up to you! There are MANY products out there you can try but a overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under fertilize than over fertilize. Always use the recommended amount or less when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.

Propagation

African Violets can easily be propagated by leaf cuttings. Cut off a healthy leaf with it's stem (AKA petiole) at the main stem of your plant allowing for about 1 to 1.5 inches of the stem to be available to work with. Place the stem at a 45 degree angle in potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist while the stem it's producing roots. You should see a small new plant starting to form in about 6-8 weeks. Allow the new plant to grow a bit larger before repotting it. Increasing the humidity of a propagated leaf cutting could help to speed up the process also. Do not fertilize until you have repotted your new African Violet.

I haven't tried propagating African Violets but I am definitely going to try after hearing how easy it can be!

Flowers

The main reason people buy African Violets is for their beautiful, long lasting blooms. They come in every color imaginable and have unique petal textures. I've seen them in white, yellow, pink, purple, red, and a combination of colors! I've also seen textures from ruffled flowers or double blooming flowers too!

Usually the blooms will start around April or May and keep blooming into September or October. African Violets appreciate the darker winters and this helps the plant bloom in spring. There is no need to add extra light in those times. Typically they like to be in about 10-12 hours of bright, indirect light, then 8 hours of darkness for optimal blooming.

I discovered after bringing my first African Violet home, it needs a year or so to adjust to the new light conditions you are giving it. The first year it may not bloom to its fullest potential so just be patient! After about a year or so sitting in the same window, my African Violet had blooms from May until October!

Other Facts

  • Part of the Gesneriaceae Family.
  • Other plants in this family are Goldfish Plant and Lipstick Plant.
  • Native primarily Eastern Africa, specifically Tanzania.
  • In its native habitat, you will find African Violets growing on the ground in-between rocks to get optimal oxygen to its roots.
  • African Violets have varieties that are considered standard, semi-miniature or miniature. The miniature plant may only reach 3" wide, while your standard could reach 15" wide. The plant growth will always be wider than it is tall.
  • There are some African Violet varieties with white variegated leaves! I have one and it is AMAZING! It adds another color dimension on your plant. Not only do the leaves sometimes come variegated but you can also find some African Violets with ruffled leaf edges!
  • These plants cannot tolerate cold water, so make sure to use lukewarm water. If you use cold water, it could cause some brown spots on leaves.
  • It is normal for the lower leaves to brown and shrivel. Just cut these back as it happens.
  • Wait until your African Violet is rootbound and the blooms are spent before repotting
  • These plants are non-toxic to pets and people!
  • Lots of people question what they should plant their African Violets in. I believe this is because there are "African Violet Potting Mixes" available and this makes everyone second guess their decisions! You DO NOT have to buy those potting mixes if you don't want to! You can use any potting mix as long as you're mixing it with something that helps with drainage. Adding vermiculite or perlite will do the trick! I use Happy Frog Potting Mix and Espoma Perlite for drainage. You also do not need to use these brands, this is what is available near me. That being said, I do love these brands (Fox Farm and Espoma). If you are looking for a recommendation, these are great!

Instagram Q&A

I asked followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for African Violets...

"How to rebloom" and "How to get to bloom"

  • I talk about this a bit in the Flower section but when I brought my African Violet home I assumed it may take a little bit to acclimate to the new sunlight I would be giving it. For about two years, it did bloom on and off throughout the summer but the third year I had it (last summer) it just exploded with blooms. I think patience is needed and an understanding of its requirements. I moved a couple times with this plant so it had to adjust to new lighting every time. If you keep it consistently in the same light it will adjust faster and you should see long lasting blooms. If you've had your African Violet for a while and you are having a hard time getting it to rebloom, consider moving it to an east or west window with bright, indirect light. In order for African Violets to bloom they do like the darker nights in winter so you don't need to apply extra light. If you aren't already, try applying fertilizer in early spring to help boost the flowers as well. If your African Violet is older, and has developed multiple crowns, I would remove them. This way the plants energy can focus on one central place to bloom (could propagate those crowns too).

"My cousin gave me stem cuttings and said they'd root. About how long will it take?"

  • I know I talked about this in the propagation section a bit but the timeline depends slightly on the conditions you have it in. Usually after about 1 month, roots will start forming in the soil you planted the stem cutting in. Just make sure to keep the soil moist. After about 2 months you should see new tiny leaves popping out of the soil. Around 3-4 months, the plant should be large enough, and established, to repot into a more draining potting mix.

#africanviolets #saintpaulia #bloominghouseplants #propagation #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #houseplantblog #houseplantpodcast #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

SAVE, COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACTS:

  • My Mom got me a book called The Language of Houseplants by Cheralyn Darcey which explains the meaning, energy, and qualities for each plant. Cheralyn says African Violets mean "protection, direction, self-confidence, higher learning." Its uses are to "lift the energy in any space and bring illumination to those who feel they are overburdened or lost." Not only does this book include those insights, it also addresses the care needs for plants too! Very insightful!

Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


]]>
<![CDATA[Spider Plant- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#29]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/spider-plant-plant-bio-podcast-ep-29604d261a94401800166c7fb8Tue, 16 Mar 2021 05:00:04 GMTOwner: HollySpider Plants are a staple inside any home nowadays, and especially in the 1970's! They aren't known for their many varieties, or collectability, but they are known for their reliability and showy growth. I've seen these in plant shops and garden centers, ranging from tiny terrarium size plants, to large 12" hanging baskets. The are not offered in a wide range of colors, but you can commonly find them variegated, plain green, and they do have some curly leaf forms.

Botanical Name

Chlorophytum comosum

Common Names

Spider Plant, Airplane Plant, St. Bernard's Lily

Variety Names

Variegatum, Zebra Grass, Bonnie, Variegated Bonnie, Vittatum, Hawaiian

Sun Requirements:

Spider Plants can handle low, to bright, indirect light. The non-variegated varieties do great in low, to medium, light, but the variegated varieties should be placed in medium, to bright, indirect light. If you have a space that has low light you can put your variegated Spider Plant there but it may not grow as fast, as full, produce plantlets (see propagation), or the leaves may stay thinner. My recommendation is to put the non-variegated plant in medium light and the variegated plant in bright, indirect light, in order for your Spider Plant to really thrive.

Water Requirement

During the active growing seasons (spring-fall) it is best to keep these consistently moist. This will help to avoid leaf tip browning. Spider plants can be sensitive to fluoride in tap water so if you have the means to use distilled water, or rain water, this will help to avoid browning tips. If you don't have that option, leave your watering vessel sitting out overnight before watering. This will act similarly to rainwater or distilled water. In the non-growing season (winter) you can cut back on watering and allow the soil to dry between waterings.

These guys do not need any extra humidity! Score! It won't hurt your plant if you end up giving it some extra humidity though.

Fertilizer

I've seen several different takes on fertilizing for Spider Plants, but they generally all have a similar message. Many sources say that without fertilizing this could be another reason why leaf tips are browning. Other sources say over fertilizing can cause browning tips! As long as you are using the recommended, or slightly less than recommended, amount of fertilizer, you shouldn't have that last problem.

Here are a couple good options for you...

  • The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says, " in spring and early summer, feed every 2 weeks with a balance houseplant fertilizer, mixed at half the normal rate. In fall, feed monthly."
  • Doctor Houseplant by William Davidson says, "feed every two weeks through the year with good liquid fertilizer, especially once the plant has started to produce plantlets."
  • I fertilizer every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of Feb, and continuing every 2 weeks until October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!

It's totally up to you how you want to fertilize and what you want to use! There is no "perfect" product that will solve all your problems! I currently use Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food but I've used MANY other brands and types before!

Propagation

Spider Plants produce 'plantlets' off the end of their stems. Using the plantlets is the easiest way to propagate a Spider Plant. The plantlets will keep forming one, after another, on the stem. They will continue growing larger and fuller the longer you leave it there.

For best practice, and to ensure you have a successfully propagated plantlet, place the base of the plantlet in soil (while letting it still use the parent plant's stem to sustain it). You can do this by placing it in the soil of the mother plant, and pinning it down, or putting it in its own pot. Once it's rooted, you can cut it off the stem and place it in its own pot.

If this is a hanging plant for you, putting it in its own pot before cutting it off the stem is kind of impossible. So, you can cut the plantlet off the stem (wait until the leaves are a couple inches long at least) and place the base in a constantly moist potting mix. Over time it will form roots.

When you are placing a plantlet in soil, don't sink it too far into the soil; only place the plantlet slightly below the soil line so it is stable.

If you have a mature Spider Plant you can cut it down the middle and divide it into two plants (like you would a Hosta or Daylily). I would wait until spring to do this so the plant has plenty of active growth time to recover. Place each half into potting mix and water like you normally would!

Other Facts

  • Part of the Asparagaceae Family.
  • Native primarily to tropical and subtropical regions in Africa, Asia and Australia.
  • Other plants in this family are Asparagus Fer, Hosta, Lily of the Valley, Dracaena
  • These plants can grow around 1-2' tall but their stems, with plantlets attached, can drape down as long at 3-4'!
  • Do not to leave in temperatures below 50 degrees F and keep out of drafty windows and doors (like you would with most of your houseplants).
  • They may produce a small white flower but these are not showy. They usually form along with plantlets at the end of the stems.

Instagram Q&A

I started asking followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. I plan to do this for future podcasts and blog as well! Here are the questions and answers for Spider Plants...

"I know spider plants like to be root bound, but when is too much? How do I know to repot?"

  • Most houseplants would rather be root bound or at least in a pot that isn't too much bigger. There are a few ways you can tell if your plant needs to be repotted.
  • One way is by pulling it out of its pot and checking where the roots are. If the root system is fully visible (all the way along the outside of the soil line), and its hard to loosen up the soil, this may be a good indication it is time to repot.
  • If you have a plant in its original nursery pot still and you start to see the pot deforming a little bit, or roots growing out of the bottom, this could be another sign it needs to be repotted.
  • My last suggestion is to pay close attention to its water consumption. If you notice less and less time between waterings (even in the less active season) this could be an indication that the root system is getting larger and there is more root than soil in the pot. The soil holds onto moisture for the root system to feed off of and this isn't happening anymore.

"Mine seems healthy, lotsa babies. But 1 of the offshoots has tiny babies that don't grow well. Why???"

  • This could be a few factors including inconsistent watering, not enough moisture or too much fertilizer. Lighting is actually a factor that affects plantlets and flowers too! This was something new I learned with my research. But basically Spider Plants are more successful at producing plantlets when they experience the fall/winter lighting change. Allowing Spider Plants to be in darkness at night for a few weeks in fall/winter will help produce healthy plantlets.

"Avoiding brown tips"

  • This was by far the number one question and problem I heard about. I discussed it at length above, but here are the basic reasons why...
    • Not enough moisture (Solution: keep consistently moist).
    • Fluoride in water (Solution: use rainwater, distilled water, or leave your tap water sit overnight before watering).
    • Not enough fertilizer or too much fertilizer (Solution: use slightly less than the recommended houseplant fertilizer every 2-3 weeks from spring to summer, minimize fertilization in fall and winter).

"How to make spider plants less scraggly!"

  • This could also be a few different factors. I would make sure you have it in enough light because that will help the overall fullness of your Spider Plant. If you aren't fertilizing, I would start. This will help with fullness and consistent growth. Lastly, make sure you are watering consistently. Don't allow all the soil to completely dry out, only allow the top layers to dry out. If you are worried about watering you can always invest in a moisture meter reader. They are fairly cheap on Amazon and it takes the guess work out of it.

"I wish mine looked that deep green! Mine are pretty dull greenish. Still thriving though!"

  • You may have it in too much, or too little, light! I can't say this definitely just because I don't know what your situation is, but if it seems washed out (and you have it sitting directly in a south window), it may need to be placed back away from the window or in a new space. If you don't have Spider Plants in enough light, the white variegation can begin to fade too. If this is the case, place it closer to the window or place it off of a south or west window.

"How long does it typically take for a spider plant to get old enough to produce babies?"

  • I don't have a definitive answer for this but as you can see in the pictures above, my tiny Spider Plant is already starting to produce plantlets! That plant is only about 3" tall and 4' wide and I've had it for about a year. If you have an older plant check your watering, fertilizing, and lighting situations as I explained a few questions ago.

"My cat keeps eating the brown tips of my spider plant, what do I do?"

  • Preventing them from coming near it may be your best option. Cats are sensitive to smells, so putting a citrus peal in the pot, or even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, could deter them from coming near it.
  • You could try spraying the plant with a pet spray specifically for this problem. I have seen granular versions of this as well that are fragrant. You could also combine one part vinegar to 4 parts water and spray the leaves. This could be another way to prevent them from bothering it.

#spiderplant #chlorophytumcomosum #airplaneplant #propagation #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #houseplantblog #houseplantpodcast #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

SAVE, COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACTS:

  • I ordered my Spider Plant at the beginning of quarantine in 2020 from Pigment based in California! I also got a Peperomia obtusifolia from them. The plants came in very healthy and safe in transit. Since it was the peak of the pandemic, shipping took a while but they were very communicative about it the whole time! Someday I hope I can visit one of their shops in California!
  • I got a message from one of my followers, Twylah, after she listened to the 5th podcast episode about Pothos. In that podcast I mentioned that Pothos are invasive species in the state of Florida and to really be careful with those plants if you live there. Twylah is actually a field technician in Hawaii removing invasive species that threaten ecosystems. She was happy that someone was bringing this to light since it does get pushed under the rug. After discussing this a bit with her, I wanted to put this at the end of the podcast just as a reminder to be responsible with your plants and houseplants. If you are curious if plants are invasive in your area, google it, you can find it easily! Thank you Twylah for what you do and for messaging me!!! I love learning from you all and sharing your perspective!

Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


]]>
<![CDATA[The Story Behind Houseplant Homebody: Podcast Episode #28 ft. Lindsay]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/how-houseplant-homebody-started-podcast-episode-27-ft-lindsay603b1cebc77a1000176dde1dTue, 02 Mar 2021 06:00:11 GMTHolly & LindsayIn honor of my sister and I's birthday week, I thought it was the perfect time to release a

podcast and blog all about the story behind Houseplant Homebody and my background! I am VERY happy to do another podcast with my twin sister, Lindsay, because she knows me better than anyone! She is also a big part of this podcast and I love to include her whenever I can!

Where I started...

Back in high school I was chatting with my Dad about what I wanted to do as a career someday. At the time I knew I loved interior design and architecture but I wished there was a career that combined them. My Dad and I were just searching online for jobs to see what came up and he came across landscape architecture! We looked into it a bit more and it sounded perfect!

How I gained plant work experience...

I applied to a job at Breezy Hill Nursery in Salem, WI because I believed learning about plants was the best way to start educating myself about landscape architecture. You have to know the plants you're using in a landscape, right? So I started working there in May of 2014 and planned to go to graduate school for landscape architecture in the southeast a couple years later.

While working the job, I learned a lot about annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees from my coworkers who had a ton of experience. I also learned so much through working directly with each plant! After a year or so I was able to help customers with plant recommendations and design small spaces for their landscape. While working at Breezy, I lived in an apartment so I couldn't bring any the perennials, shrubs, or trees home!

This is where my obsession with houseplants began. The annual/perennial buyer at Breezy gave me the responsibility of ordering all the tropicals and houseplants for the garden center! I quickly learned, through researching and taking care of them, how to work with these plants.

I worked there in the summers in-between school and eventually my manager, Cathy, told me she would be retiring in the next couple years and the manager position may be open if I was interested.

Things in my life happened that altered my future a bit, so this management position was the next perfect step for me! I worked at Breezy Hill Nursery for almost 6 years, managing the garden center for a couple of those years.

How I gained plant life experience...

While working at Breezy I was able to take some houseplants home at the end of the season or I would buy a new one every once in a while. I experimented with different houseplants in different living conditions. I ended up living in three different places, between then and now, with all different lighting situations and environments. Over time, through trial and error, I learned more and more about houseplants!

The best resources I use while trying to learn about houseplants...

If you are just looking to get a quick answer on basic plant care, I would look it up online. Keep in mind, many websites may say something slightly different. So I would check a few websites to get a good understanding of the care needs for your plant.

If you are in it for the long haul and plan on caring for houseplants for a long time, I would invest in some books. Books have accurate information and are a concrete way you know you are learning the right things. Just like websites, some books teach certain things slightly different as well. But there was a reason they were published and I find those resources very reliable.

When I am creating blogs and podcasts, not only do I use my own experience, but I also research more information online. I go through all my books that talk about the topic to ensure I cover the information in the best way possible.

Here are some books I would recommend to anyone about houseplants...

How Houseplant Homebody started...

In the spring of 2020, I decided it was time to move on from Breezy and learn from a new company. I got a job at Kohl's corporate in hopes that I would learn from a larger business. Because I left Breezy, I was worried that I wouldn't continue learning about plants so I started a podcast along with an Instagram, Facebook, Patreon, and Pinterest account!

My goal was to continue learning about plants while teaching everyone what I've learned so far! I called Lindsay first because I knew she would be a huge help with her marketing background. Lindsay was actually the one who thought of the name, Houseplant Homebody! She still continues to help me edit my blog and newsletter, along with assisting me in generating weekly content! I am SO grateful for all her help and encouragement with Houseplant Homebody!

What is the future for Houseplant Homebody...

I have many goals for the future and I'm not sure how long these goals will take or when I will be able to accomplish all of them. But when I set my mind on a goal, it will happen one way or another! Here are some of my future goals...

  • Release podcasts weekly instead of biweekly.
  • Consistently post blogs along with the plant bios.
  • Start a YouTube channel - videos and/or the podcast
  • Release Houseplant Homebody merchandise (working on this now!).
  • One of my end goals is to create a brick and mortar store called Houseplant Homebody with shopping and a coffee shop, smack dab, in the middle of the greenhouse!

#crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplantblog #houseplantpodcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #houseplantcommunity #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All of your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!

Get to know the people you follow: If there is someone you follow (including me) get in touch with them even if its just to introduce yourself! Speaking from experience, it MAKES MY DAY when someone messages me to just say hi, introduce themselves, tell me about their good or bad plant experience, or to tell me they found my podcast and love it! Not only do you make my day, you also help with the crazy social media algorithm! If you are DMing someone or commenting on a post, that helps out people, just like yourself, find Houseplant Homebody!


Fun Facts:

There is A LOT more to this story so if you want to hear even more details, go listen to the podcast! You can find it in the Podcast tab above!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Top 10 Low Maintenance Plants: Podcast Episode #27 ft. Lindsay]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/top-10-low-maintenance-plants-podcast-episode-276019950808a55700175d6045Tue, 16 Feb 2021 14:25:48 GMTHolly & LindsayI was so happy to do a podcast about these low maintenance plants with my twin sister, Lindsay! She was the perfect person to do it with because she doesn't have a lot of experience with houseplants, giving this blog and podcast a couple different perspectives!

With a hectic and full life you don't always have time to maintain a bunch of complicated houseplants. Yet plants are proven to boost your mood, lower stress, and improve air quality, so it is a benefit to have them in your home!

The subject of low maintenance houseplants has always been a hot topic of conversation between beginners and expert houseplant lovers alike! There are definitely more than 10 houseplants that are fairly easy. Below I have given you a look into my top 10 low maintenance houseplants based on my experiences with each of them, and a different perspective from a beginner, my sister, Lindsay's experiences. Conveniently I have already recorded podcasts on each plant on my list and wrote a blog on some of them so I will link those for more detailed information!

Snake Plant

Podcast link - Blog link

This is a staple low maintenance houseplant that is usually what beginners have the most success with and what expert houseplant lovers thrive with! Snake plants have thick, pointy leaves that range from tall and slender, to short and rounded. You can find them with shades of green, black, yellow, and white.

Botanical Name: Dracaena (reclassified from Sansevieria)

Common Varieties: Laurentii, Bantel’s Sensation, Black Gold, Moonshine, Cylindrica, Mason Congo, Futura Robusta, Twist, Golden Hahnii

Light Requirements: Can handle low to bright indirect light, more variegation or lighter color requires a bit more light.

Water Requirements: Water minimally! It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. The leaves may shrivel or curl if it needs water desperately. Make sure it is planted in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.

My Experience: This has always been a consistent houseplant in my house! I've had many of them at one time because they are tolerant of different environments, and there are many amazing varieties. My friend, Tye, asked me to get a few easy houseplants for his desk at work. The large Snake Plant I got him is the only one that has survived, 6 months later, proving how easy this plant is! I have a killed a few of them but only by overwatering. The ones I've overwatered have all been in non-draining pots, so that was my fault. I've learned my lesson!

Lindsay's Experience: She had one a few years ago that we believe was overwatered. Sometimes her husband would water it and without knowing, Lindsay would water it again! So that one didn't survive. But about a year and half ago I got her another one. We were waiting to repot it and left it outside on the east side of her house for a day. Unfortunately we learned that was too much light because a lot of the leaf tips burned in that short amount of time. Still, to this day, some leaves are burned, but it doesn't bother Lindsay because her Snake Plant is healthy and thriving!

ZZ Plant

Podcast link - Blog link

This ZZ Plant is on the same level of 'easy' as the Snake Plant. Lighting and water requirements are the same as well! There aren't a lot of varieties out there, but it is a trustworthy plant for any houseplant owner. They mostly come in dark green leaves but sometimes you can find them with black leaves or variegated leaves.

Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Common Varieties: Zamicro, Zenzi, Raven, Variegata

Light Requirements: Can handle low to medium, but thrives in medium to bright indirect light. If you have the variegated variety, it hold its white color best in bright, indirect light. The ZZ Plant stays fuller and grows faster in medium to bright, indirect light.

Water Requirements: Water minimally! It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. Wait to water until the soil is dry.

My Experience: I have the regular green variety and it has been doing well! I have put it in low to medium light over the last few years, and it continues to SLOWLY grow! I bought a Raven ZZ but the root system was very shallow and I didn't know that until it was too late. It should have been watered a bit more often as it was still becoming established. I also bought a variegated leaf and I am currently attempting to propagate it! So far I have been keeping this leaf in a tiny cup with the end of the leaf in water. There is definitely something forming (in a good way) but I have a lot more time before it becomes a real houseplant!

Lindsay's Experience: She had success with her regular green ZZ Plant placing it in either in an east or west window. At one point there was a lot of dust collecting on it but she cleaned the leaves and it looked brand new!

Philodendron

Podcast link

Philodendron are one of the most reliable and tolerant houseplants I've ever owned! They come in SO many different shapes including vining, mounding and upright growth habits. Sizing ranges depending on the variety. Philodendron can come in almost an color imaginable. All those different components make them a highly collectable houseplant.

Common Varieties:

Brasil, Lemon Lime, Pink Princess, White Knight, White Wizard, Imperial Red, Imperial Green, Majesty, Moonlight, McColley's Finale, Prince of Orange,

Rojo Congo, Thai Sunrise, Black Cardinal, Golden Goddess, Brandi, Birkin, Painted Lady, Jose Buono, Micans, Burle Marx, Silver Sword, Florida Ghost, Ring of Fire

Light Requirements: Medium light is sufficient but bright, indirect light, especially for variegated varieties, is best for faster and fuller growth.

Water Requirements: Water when the soil is dry or just about dry. It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. Leaves may start to curl if they are underwatered.

My Experience: I have these in almost in every room of the house! Peter and I have planned to use these for our wedding so we have LOTS of them. I've been experimenting with lighting but everything is growing, no matter where it is sitting! I currently have many varieties including Prince of Orange, Imperial Red, McColley's Finale, Brasil, Lemon Lime, Xanadu (technically reclassified) and regular Philodendron cordatum (solid green).

Lindsay's Experience: I have always told Lindsay she needs to get more of these because these are very easy and tolerant. Currently she has a Brasil Philodendron which is doing very well. She has moved it to different room with different lighting situations and it has done well in all of them.

Hoya

Podcast link - Blog link

These are beautiful houseplants that come in extraordinary patterns and shapes. You can commonly find them with heavy variegated or unique colored thick, waxy leaves.

Common Varieties:

Hoya carnosa (Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, Exotica, Tricolor, Compacta), Hoya pubicalyx, Hoya kerrii, Hoya kentiana, Hoya obavata, Hoya retusa, Hoya linearis, Hoya curtisii, Hoya australis

Light Requirements: They do well in medium light. But Hoya with heavier variegation do best in bright, indirect light.

Water Requirements: These like to be consistently moist, not drying out completely between watering. Allow the first half of the soil to dry, then water. If you start to notice the leaves shriveling a bit, this is a sign they may need water. If you are worried about knowing when to do this, a moisture meter takes the guess work out of it!

You may see some sources recommending humidity for Hoya. This always helps them thrive in your home, but it is not necessary. I have many Hoya that are not given extra humidity that are doing great, and I also have a couple in a small greenhouse and they are doing great too! It is really up to your preference. If you are wanting 'low maintenance' you wouldn't add humidity.

My Experience: I find these highly collectable because of the MANY shapes, colors, sizes, and different varieties they come in. I've had great success with these but the only time I struggled was underwatering a Hoya. I went about a week too long and a couple leaves shriveled and browned. The plant overall is still looking great though! I also had it hiding behind another plant so I couldn't see it.

Agave

Podcast link

This is a houseplant you don't see very often but did you know it is one of the easiest houseplants I've ever had? I've had one for 6 years and counting!

Light Requirements: Agave do best in bright, indirect light or bright direct light. That being said, they can tolerate medium light as well.

Water Requirements: These are considered a Succulent so they do not need much water. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering

My Experience: I have three of these right now and I love them! The only downside is that they do have thorns so you have to be careful with that! I've had one for about six years and it has experienced every sunlight option possible. Currently it is in a north window and it's doing good! I have my two others in a south window and those are also doing good! They do lose their bottom leaves ones in a while, but this is normal!

Pothos

Podcast link

This is a houseplant that makes EVERY low maintenance houseplant list since these are so easy. Some varieties of Philodendron are confused with Pothos because they look very similar! You will almost always see bright green foliage on a Pothos with sometimes yellow or white variegation.

Light Requirements: These can tolerate low to bright, indirect light. If you have more variegation, you want it in medium to bright, indirect light.

Water Requirements: Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. The leaves may droop if they are thirsty.

My Experience: I have had MANY of these over the years and they are just a classic houseplant now! There aren't a ton a different varieties so it is pretty easy to collect the common ones. I currently have a three Golden Pothos, one Pothos 'N Joy, Pearls, Jade Pothos, one Marble Queen Pothos, and a few Jade Pothos. Currently I have them in all different windows and they are all doing great!

Lindsay's Experience: She has had a couple Pothos but currently she is very hopeful for her Marble Queen Pothos. She was worried about it because it was losing some leaves, which is natural, but she noticed it needed water once a week. I told Lindsay to reduce the frequency of watering to every 2-3 weeks. I think she wasn't watering deep enough so now when she waters every 2-3 weeks she makes sure water drains from the bottom of the pot. This way the whole root system is getting a drink of water, not just the top layer of soil. So far, this seems to be doing the trick!

Peperomia

Podcast link - Blog link

Peperomia have a very similar care instructions as Hoya. They also come in many shapes, sizes, and colors including shades of green, blue, and pink.

Light Requirements: Peperomia do well in medium light, but varieties with variegation do their best in bright, indirect light.

Water Requirements: Staying consistently moist is preferable and not allowing your Peperomia to dry out completely between watering is best. If you notice the leaves starting to droop a bit, this could be sign they may need water.

My Experience: These have done very well in my household! I have them just off of east, west and south windows. My favorite one is the Ginny Peperomia because I love the pink tiny leaves, and Ginny is a character in Harry Potter (and I love Harry Potter)!

Dieffenbachia

Podcast link - Blog link

I believe this is a very unrated houseplant for beginners and experts alike! Dieffenbachia have striking patterns that mostly have green leaves with white or yellow patterns and variegation.

Light Requirements: These can tolerate low to bright, indirect light. If you have more variegation, you want it in medium to bright, indirect light. Mine have always done best in medium light (off an east window).

Water Requirements: Dieffenbachia need to stay consistently moist. You will notice the leaves start to droop when they need water. If you allow the soil to completely dry out, the plant will bounce back as soon as it's watered.

My Experience: I have a larger one that is doing very well! I originally had it in a southeast window but the leaves began to burn a bit. I moved it to an east window and it's doing great!

Lindsay's Experience: Lindsay actually struggled with this plant. She had it in the right amount of sunlight but the leaves were yellowing and dropping consistently. If it was just the bottom leaves, this is normal but it was all leaves that seemed to be struggling. Ultimately she had this plant in a cooler room and Dieffenbachia are notoriously known for not tolerating cooler temperatures. She gave it to me to nurse back to health and it is doing well! I have it in a warmer room and I placed it off of a south window with medium light.

Syngonium

Podcast link - Blog link

I think these are just as underrated as Dieffenbachia! They are super tolerant houseplants with beautiful full foliage. Colors range from shades of green with hints of white, to yellow, or pink.

Light Requirements: These tolerate low light but do best in medium to bright, indirect.

Water Requirements: These also like to stay consistently moist. If you let them dry out completely the leaves will star to droop a bit. They will bounce back after you water it though.

My Experience: I bought a Pink Butterfly Syngonium during the summer and noticed recently it was losing some of the pink tint in the leaves. I moved it into a brighter window with my grow light nearby. Hopefully this will help the color! Lindsay and I were shopping at Watter Farms in Neenah, WI and found a Syngonium variety called 'Holly M'! Of course I bought it, because of the name, but it was also so pretty with pale green leaves. It is currently doing great sitting off of a south window getting bright, indirect light.

Monstera

Podcast link

This usually doesn't pop up on other low maintenance lists but this definitely makes my list! Usually you find these beautiful plants with slits in the leaves, called fenestrations. Some Monsteras come with white or yellow variegation, or speckling, but even just the green Monstera deliciosas are amazing!

Light Requirements: These tolerate medium to bright, indirect. They do well in both of those! If the Monstera has variegation, it is best to place in bright, indirect light.

Water Requirements: Water these when dry! Simple as that! I have never had any leaf damage or plant damage from underwatering my Monsteras.

My Experience: I currently have two Monstera deliciosas and a Monstera adansonii. One of my Monstera deliciosas I bought a couple years ago and as it started to grow a bit more, I decided to secure it to a moss pole. Monsteras naturally grow upward and attach itself to the next closest thing. I put a moss pole in my Monstera's pot and tied the stems with twine to secure it. I did the same for my Monstera adansonii. My other Monstera deliciosa is a giant propagated cutting so currently it only has about four leaves that are each about 2 feet wide! I have all of them sitting off a south window and even through winter, they keep producing new leaves!

#snakeplant #zzplant #philodendron #agave #hoya #pothos #peperomia #dieffenbachia #syngonium #monstera #lowmaintenancehouseplants #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplantblog #houseplantpodcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #houseplantcommunity #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All of your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


Fun Facts:

If you have a space in your home that is low to medium light, all the houseplants I listed can work there! Any time I mention these houseplants need bright, indirect light this means they grow the fastest, and fullest, in this light. If you don't have a spot like this, that's okay! You would be amazed how well these plants do in medium light! If you are concerned, take a picture when you get the plant, and in 6 months, see how it looks! If your variegation isn't as bright, you may need to move it into slightly brighter light. Let me know if you have any questions about this!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Peperomia Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#26]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/peperomia-plant-bio-podcast-ep-26601340f866ba1e00176b87baTue, 02 Feb 2021 06:00:28 GMTOwner: HollyPeperomia has many varieties, all with different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. This happens to be a great starter plant for any beginner, but also a wonderful plant to collect for an experienced houseplant lover! Peperomia can take a little bit of neglect while you are trying to learn the ropes on how to take care of it.

Peperomia Common Name: Radiator Plant (for most varieties)

Botanical Name- Other Common Name or Varieties

  • Peperomia obtusifolia- Baby Rubber Plant, Variegata, Marble, Red Edge, Golden Gate
  • Peperomia argyreia- Watermelon Peperomia
  • Peperomia caperat- Eden Rosso, Emerald Ripple, Red Ripple, Ruby Ripple
  • Peperomia prostrata- String of Turtles (because the pattern looks like a turtle shell)
  • Peperomia clusiifolia- Ginny Peperomia, Tricolor Peperomia
  • Peperomia tetraphylla- Peperomia Hope
  • Peperomia Ruby Cascade
  • Peperomia polybotrya- Raindrop Peperomia, Coin-Leaf Peperomia
  • Peperomia orba- Teardrop Peperomia, Pixie Peperomia
  • Peperomia graveolens- Ruby Glow Peperomia
  • Peperomia puteolata- Parallel Peperomia
  • Peperomia scandens- Cupid Peperomia or Piper Peperomia
  • Peperomia rotundifolia- Trailing Jade Peperomia, Creeping Buttons
  • Peperomia 'Peppermill' (this is a hybrid that you will see in images)

This list DOES NOT include all of them! There are 1,500 other species of Peperomia out there but I just touched on the most commonly found varieties! I have seen each of the ones listed on social media, in plant shops or online plant shopping (and I of course have several of them at home!).

Sun Requirements:

This starts to get complicated because the light depends on the variety you bring home. Based on the requirement for each, I can summarize...

  1. Overall, the consensus is that MOST Peperomia can handle medium light (in nature you find them as an understory plant so this makes sense!).
  2. If you have a darker foliage, or dark green leaves with no variegation, MOST of those varieties can handle low to medium light.
  3. If there is variegation, or multiple colors in the leaves, these can handle medium to bright, indirect light. The more variegation in the leaves, the brighter light it needs. Always avoid direct sunlight for all Peperomia.

Of course there are exceptions for this that is why I wrote "most" in all caps! All the varieties I listed above work with these rules for sun requirement.

Water Requirement:

This is pretty simple since almost all Peperomia follow the same watering rule (hallelujah!). You may notice that most Peperomia have a rubbery texture with a thicker leaf. This allows them to retain water better than some houseplants.

That being said, Peperomia like to be consistently moist but never wet or waterlogged. When the soil is just about to dry out, that is when you can water again. If you are worried about overwatering, wait another day or two to make sure the soil dries out enough. Honestly, a moisture meter reader is the best tool to really understand if your plant needs your attention or not. Overwatering is the main way people kill this plant!

Normal household humidity for MOST Peperomia is sufficient. None of my Peperomia are near my humidifier and they are all thriving! Even though they don't NEED it, it can always help! They are natively from tropical and subtropical climates where the humidity is higher.

Here are a few ways to do that...

A humidifier or greenhouse will be the BEST way to increase humidity, but the other options will help!

Fertilizer:

As I always say, there are many correct ways to do this. Here are a couple recommended from the resources I have...

  1. In The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant it recommends the following, "Spring to fall, feed twice monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer mixed at half the normal rate. In winter, feed monthly."
  2. In Doctor Houseplant by William Davidson it recommends the following "in summer feed every two weeks using half the recommended dosage."

As you can see, fertilizing recommendations can change just by who you ask! I currently use Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food and use this at slightly less than the recommended strength every month in peak season (end of February- end of October). In winter, I fertilize every 2 months or so with the same diluted liquid fertilizer. Realistically I only fertilize in December because at the end of February I start my peak season fertilizing again. So far this has worked for me!

Propagation:

I've never tried this myself UNTIL NOW! I cut up my plants to show you some examples and with those, I am going to try and propagate them!

There are two ways of doing this and it (of course) depends on the variety. But most resources suggest allowing your cuttings (no matter how you do it) to dry out for a day before propagating. Below I listed the ways to propagate and the varieties that you should do each with (remember this doesn't include all Peperomia, only the varieties I listed above).

Stem cuttings: cut an inch or two below a leaf, with two to three leaves at the top of the stem.

  • Peperomia obtusifolia (in image)
  • Peperomia prostrata
  • Peperomia clusiifolia
  • Peperomia tetraphylla
  • Peperomia Ruby Cascade
  • Peperomia polybotrya
  • Peperomia orba
  • Peperomia graveolens
  • Peperomia puteolata
  • Peperomia scandens
  • Peperomia rotundifolia

Leaf Cuttings and Leaf/Petiole Cuttings: Cut the stem just before a leaf and place this on top of new soil (Petiole is the stem JUST below the leaf).

  • Peperomia obtusifolia
  • Peperomia argyreia
  • Peperomia caperat
  • Peperomia prostrata
  • Peperomia clusiifolia
  • Peperomia Ruby Cascade (in image)
  • Peperomia polybotrya

Let me know what method you used and how your propagation experience went in the comments below!

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Piperaceae family, which also contains Black Pepper!
  • Native primarily to tropical and subtropical climates in Central America, northern South America, parts of Africa and Australia.
  • Peperomia are epiphytes in their native habit.
  • Peperomia are known for their thicker waxy leaves that feel like rubber. Even though they are succulent-like, these are NOT a succulent.
  • The varieties I listed above come in shades of green, red, pink, purple, white, a combination of some, and variegation on others!
  • MOST of the varieties listed above don't exceed 12" tall/long and most stay closer to 8-10"tall/long. Yet Peperomia prostrata, Peperomia clusiifolia, Peperomia Ruby Cascade, and Peperomia scandens can exceed that! But they are VERY slow growing. It will take a hot second to get there! For example, my Peperomia prostrata in a west window grew about an inch in 5 months!
  • Because of their smaller sizes, they are GREAT tabletop plants and PERFECT for a small apartment!
  • Peperomia do not have an extensive root system so repotting isn't needed often. They love to be root bound! You can repot it every couple years to replace the depleted soil but you shouldn't need to increase your pot size for awhile.
  • If your plants leaves are drooping this could be a sign of underwatering or it could be a lack of oxygen.
  • Their roots like to have a bit more oxygen around them so using a lighter soil mix can help. If you are using a peat based soil or using extra perlite, this will do the trick!
  • Peperomia are pretty pest resistant but (of course) it can still be susceptible to common houseplant pests like spider mites or mealy bugs.
  • Peperomia does bloom but it is insignificant. It looks like a white rat tail is sticking out of your plant! Most people cut it off so the energy can be focused back into the foliage.
  • Because they are easy houseplants, they may do pretty good in an office setting! I specifically saw Peperomia obtusifolia recommended in The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, but I'm sure others would work as well! Maybe avoid the varieties with lots of variegation for your office since they prefer bright, indirect light.
  • Peperomia is pet-friendly! Score!!!

Images:

ALL images are taken by yours truly and they are actually my plants at home! Each image is labeled with their variety name below the image.

#peperomia #peperomiaobtusfolia #peperomiahope #stringofturtles #peppermillpeperomia #peperomiacaperat #peperomiaprostrata #watermelonpeperomia #peperomiaargyreia #ginnypeperomia #tricolorpeperomia #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplantblog #houseplantpodcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #houseplantcommunity #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All of your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


Fun Facts:

Here are some online places to search for Peperomia! I ALWAYS recommend checking your local plant shop or garden center first! But these are always good alternatives!

  • Bros with Hoes Plant Shop- I've bought plants here! They are very reliable and have a weekly plant restock on Wednesdays!
  • Pigment- I've bought plants here too! They were very nice and sent high-quality plants! They are based out of San Diego, CA with multiple retail locations there.
  • Etsy- You would be surprised how many houseplant growers you can find on here! Just make sure to read the reviews first.
  • Bloomscape- They don't have variety but they do sell the Ginny (as or right now).
  • The Sill- They only have Peperomia obtusifolia as of right now.
  • Planterina- Sometimes prices are a little bit high here but they do have a few varieties! Their social media is really fun to follow too!
  • Steve's Leaves- I haven't personally bought from here but I have seen people in the plant community groups on Facebook recommend them!

In this podcast I talked about how much I love Harry Potter and mentioned another podcast I love listening to called Swish and Flick! If you're a fan, check it out!!!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Hoya Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#25]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/hoya-plant-bio-podcast-ep-2560036785c284dd0017db67a0Tue, 19 Jan 2021 06:00:09 GMTOwner: HollyDiversity is definitely one of the perks of having Hoya plants! You can have different colors, growth habits, leaf shapes, and flower colors, all within the Hoya genus. Most Hoya have thick rubbery leaves, yet some, like the image below, have thin, long leaves.

Common Name: Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower, Waxvine, Honey Plant

Botanical Name- Varieties (not all Hoya...there are a lot out there!)

  • Hoya carnosa, Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, Exotica, Tricolor, Hoya carnosa 'Compacta' AKA Hindu Rope or in variegated form)- Hoya carnosa has the most varieties that are popular in the houseplant community!
  • Hoya pubicalyx- Splash, Pink Silver, Red Buttons, Bright Garden, Dapple Gray, Royal Hawaiian Purple, Jungle Garden, Silver Sheen, Black Dragon, White Dragon, Pink Dragon
  • Hoya kerrii- Sweetheart & Variegated Sweetheart
  • Hoya kentiana- Hoya kentiana 'Variegata'
  • Hoya obavata- Hoya obavata 'Splash'
  • Hoya multiflora- common name is Shooting Star
  • Hoya retusa
  • Hoya linearis
  • Hoya curtisii
  • Hoya australis
  • Hoya wayetii
  • Hoya callistophylla
  • Hoya shepherdii
  • Hoya lacunosa

Sun Requirements:

Hoyas are fairly easy plants because they can tolerate moderate light but they really thrive in bright light. Bright indirect is great but most Hoya can even handle partial direct sunlight (not all day). If you don't have a south or west window, they can tolerate being in front of a north or east window. If you have Hoya with any kind of variegation, or if you want your Hoya to bloom, (yes it's possible!), it is best to put them in bright light (south or west window).

Water Requirement

Different varieties require slightly different things, but overall these like the same watering consistency. Most Hoya will show you when they need water. When the leaves start to shrivel this is a sign that they are thirsty. Obviously it's best not to let the plant stress out, but that is still a good indication it needs to be watered!

MOST Hoya like to be kept fairly moist while letting the top of the soil dry out between watering. In winter, cut the water back a bit since the sun won't be shining as bright and it won't be as warm. Allow almost all of the soil to dry out before watering again in winter (for me, this means end of October- end of February). Emphasis on 'almost' because if you let it dry out completely that is when you will see those shriveled leaves.

Also keep in mind, the type of light and environment you have it in can change how often you need to water it! If you have it in bright direct light, you will need to water it more often than a Hoya sitting in a north window. Kapeesh?!

Humidity can REALLY help these guys grow to their full potential. Then can grow in a low humidity situation but they will grow much faster and healthier with medium to high humidity. Place your Hoya in a greenhouse, put a tray of pebbles below the pot, mist daily or place it next to a humidifier.

Fertilizer

In the Practical Cactus and Succulent Book it recommends the following, "Apply a half-strength liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to late summer."

I currently use Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food and use this at slightly less than the recommended strength every month in peak season (end of February- end of October). In winter, I fertilize every 2 months or so with the same diluted liquid fertilizer. Realistically I only fertilize in December because at the end of February I start my peak season fertilizing again. So far this has worked for me!

  • Comment below if you've done it differently. There are SO many correct ways to do this!

Propagation

I've never tried this myself but I definitely plan to! You can propagate with stem cuttings easily just like you would with a Pothos! Once you've cut below a leaf (or pair of leaves) you can place your cutting in water or in moist soil. Increasing the humidity for propagation will definitely help your results! The Doctor Houseplant book says "Maintain humidity by securing all inside a plastic bag, or by protecting with a propagator. Rooting happens within six weeks, after which the cuttings can be removed from their protection." If you have plastic to-go containers this can act a good propagator too (Noodles & Company have good to-go containers for this).

  • Let me know how your propagation experience went in the comments below!

Other Facts

  • Part of the Apocynaceae family or Milkweed Family.
  • Native primarily to tropical rainforests in Australia and Asia (also found in Philippines, New Guinea and Polynesia according to Plantopedia).
  • Other plants in this family are String of Hearts, Star Jasmine, Milkweed, Periwinkle, and Amsonia.
  • The foliage on Hoyas can be thin and stick-like, completely round circles, willow-like shaped leaves, oval, or spade shaped!
  • Before you see the foliage, the stem grows first! DO NOT cut off a really long empty stem because you think it's struggling! Eventually leaves will form on it (see the Hoya below for an example of the new leaf forming on the stem).
  • You can find them in a range of green, white, cream, red, or pinks. Some have white speckles that look like you dipped your fingers into white paint and flicked your fingers at the plant!
  • These do flower!!! Yes, you heard me right!!! Putting them in as much sun as possible and raising the humidity can increase your chances of flowers significantly. The flowers range from white, yellow, pink and red. They form like balloons and burst with fragrance when blooming. I've seen LOTS of people on Instagram with flowering Hoya so it is definitely possible! (FUN FACT- Hoya linearis has a slight lemon scent).
  • Their flower drips nectar, so make sure to place in your home accordingly.
  • These plants can grow can grow as long or tall as you will let them! Most varieties are epiphytes and can be trained to grow on trellises.
  • Most varieties are not considered succulents even though they have thick rubbery leaves resembling a traditional succulent.
  • These are not toxic to pets according to the ASPCA!
  • Hoyas cannot tolerate any cold weather so make sure they are not near draft windows or doors. Keep in a bright window to help increase the temperature.
  • Their roots systems like to be snug so make sure you wait 2-3 years before repotting and only increase the size pot slightly.

#hoya #hoyacarnosa #hoyapubicalyx #krimsonqueenhoya #sweethearthoya #waxplant #waxvine #hoyalinearis #hoyacurtisii #hoyaaustralis #hoyakentiana #hoyaobvata #hoyaretusa #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and PodBean. Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc.

COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE.

All of your engagement on my podcasts, blogs, and social media posts help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

Here are the Hoya varieties shown in the images from the top of the blog to the bottom...

Hoya retusa

Hoya carnosa 'Krimson Queen' (I called this Tricolor in the podcast but it is Krimson Queen)

Hoya carnosa 'Compacta'

Hoya pubicalyx (this is not the 'Splash' variety that has much more white speckles than mine)

Hoya carnosa 'Krimson Princess'

Hoya pubicalyx (potentially 'Spalsh' variety)

Hoya retusa

Hoya carnosa 'Krimson Queen'

Hoya curtisii

Hoya 'Krimson Princess"


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Calathea & Goeppertia- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#24]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/calathea-goeppertia-plant-bio-podcast-ep-245fea7bef0da8700017ee6c90Tue, 05 Jan 2021 13:33:27 GMTOwner: HollyCalathea and Goeppertia have some of the most unique patterns and colors. These plants are for the tolerant, understanding, and experienced houseplant owner. If you are new to houseplants and REALLY want that cool-looking Goeppertia, keep reading! This blog post will hopefully give you all the tools you need to succeed!

Reclassification- Yup this again!

As some of you may know some Calathea has been reclassified to Goeppertia. If you didn't

know...now you do! Visually and maintenance-wise these plants are basically identical. Since these plants are SO similar, this blog will include both of them (and the podcast does too)! The images you see will be a mix of Calathea and Goeppertia.

  • The Plantopedia states it best... "A series of genetic tests undertaken circa 2012; however, revealed that one of the subgenera of Calathea had, in fact, a different ancestor and, as such, the Goeppertia genus was revived and 250 species were reclassified back."

After doing more research I realized lots of the popular Calathea varieties have been reclassified to Goeppertia! But I found VERY conflicting data about whether or not some plants should be Calathea or Goeppertia. What is listed below is based on my own detailed research. But I wouldn't take these variety names to the grave!

Here are some of the most popular varieties that are now Goeppertia...

  • Goeppertia insignis (was Calathea lancifolia) Rattlesnake Calathea
  • Goeppertia majestica (was Calathea majestica)
  • Goeppertia makoyana (was Calathea makoyana) Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows
  • Goeppertia kegaeljanii (was Calathea musaica) Network
  • Goeppertia orbifolia (was Calathea orbifolia) Round-Leaf
  • Goeppertia ornata (was Calathea ornata) Pinstripe, Beauty Star, Sanderiana
  • Goeppertia zebrina (was Calathea zebrina) Zebra Plant
  • Goeppertia roseopicta (was Calathea roseopicta) Rose-Painted, Eclipse, Medallion, Rosey, Dottie, Corona
  • Goeppertia concinna (was Calathea concinna) Freddie
  • Goeppertia warszewiczii (was Calathea warscewiczii) Jungle Velvet
  • and MANY more...

Here are some of the most popular Calathea varieties...

  • Calathea lietzei-White Fusion Calathea
  • Calathea rufibarba- Furry Feather Calathea
  • Calathea Crocata- Eternal Flame
  • Calathea picturata- Argentea
  • and MANY more...

Even though they have been reclassified, the majority of the plant community still calls ALL of them Calathea or one of the common names (Zebra Plant or Peacock Plant). Similarly, many people call Snake Plant, Sansevieria, even though they are now reclassified to Dracaena.

Plantopedia listed Goeppertia kegaeljanii, Goeppertia orbifolia and Calathea lietzei in its book under those specific botanical names. I am 100% confident those are correct!

Sun Requirements:

Calathea and Goeppertia both thrive in moderate to bright indirect light. This light ensures the most bold color and distinctive patterns. Some varieties can handle low to moderate light (Goeppertia orbifolia and Goeppertia majestica for example) but most need moderate to bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight all together. If you are noticing leaves looking bleached or turning white, that could be a sign it is in too much light. Placing Calathea or Goeppertia just off an East or West facing window is best!

Water Requirements:

Calathea and Goeppertia are notoriously known for having browning leaf tips and edges. You can see them in almost every image I put on this blog. Some of these pictures were taken in the humid, tropical dome of the Milwaukee Domes and still had browning leaves!

The best way to prevent that is a good watering routine and increased humidity. Keeping the soil evenly moist is a MUST for these plants. You don't want them to dry out completely. Only water once the first layer of soil is dry. The best way to measure that is to stick your finger in the soil or use a moisture meter reader. Calathea and Goeppertia are also sensitive to fluoride and salts in water so using rainwater or distilled water can also prevent browning leaves (NOTE: in the winter you may cut back a little bit on watering- emphasis on a little bit).

Just as keeping the soil evenly moist is a must, increased humidity is ALSO a must! There are only a few varieties that don't require as much humidity. For example, Goeppertia kegaeljanii is one of those varieties. You can increase humidity by...

  • Misting it with a spray bottle.
  • Placing a humidifier near by.
  • Placing a tray of water and pebbles below the plant (you can use a larger saucer for this).
  • Put your plant in the shower! Make sure the water beating down on the leaves isn't damaging them first! Putting them in the shower can definitely help increase humidity, help water your Calathea or Goeppertia thoroughly, and even help prevent pests.

Overall, misting will not provide as much humidity as an actual humidifier. Or even a tray of water filled with pebbles underneath. But it still helps!

Fertilizer:

I know I repeat this every time but there is not a bad way to fertilize unless you are applying too much. Always use the recommended amount (or even a little less) on your houseplants.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says "from spring through summer, feed with a high nitrogen foliage plant fertilizer every 3 weeks. In fall and winter, feed monthly." Nitrogen fertilizer is meant for plants that are strictly grown for its foliage. There are other fertilizers, for example, that focus on blooms but that wouldn't help your Calathea or Goeppertia because you bought this plant for its lush foliage. If you want to learn more about fertilizer composition check out the Fun Fact section of my Dieffenbachia blog!

I fertilize about every 2 weeks in peak growing season and every couple months in winter. I use Espoma Indoor! Houseplant Food on all my houseplants. Every source you will find says something slightly different about fertilizing. If you are using a houseplant or indoor fertilizer use the recommended amount or slightly less. If you are using a fertilizer that is not specific to houseplants, I would reduce the recommended amount.

Propagation:

Calathea and Goeppertia can only be propagated by splitting the plant. Since they are sensitive plants you want to make sure the plant is very mature before you decide to split it. I would also expect the plant to suffer a bit from splitting it. It may take awhile for the plant to bounce back from the disturbance to its root system.

If you do split them successfully, plant both of your split sections in brand new well-draining soil.

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Marantaceae Family
    • Other plants in this family are Prayer Plant, Ctenanthe, Stromanthe, Stachyphrynium
  • Just like Prayer Plants, Calathea and Goeppertia visually respond to lighting changes, which almost looks like the leaves are dancing!
  • Native Southern Tropical Americas
  • Calathea range in size, from 1ft up to 3ft, depending on the variety
  • These plants come in a range of colors, from shades of green, pink, red, purple, and white
  • Calathea and Goeppertia are not toxic to pets or humans! One of the few houseplants.
  • One of the most common pests are spider mites. It is best to cut back most of the infested foliage and apply an insecticide immediately to prevent spreading. I've used insecticidal soap, systemic houseplant insect control (the link is a 2 pack), and neem oil all to help prevent and get rid of pests. I've always used the Bonide brand items but there are many others out there!
  • If you can avoid using terra cotta pots for Calathea, Goeppertia or even Maranta, Stromanthe or Ctethanthe that would be beneficial! Terra cotta absorbs water and could take the moisture away from your Calathea! Keeping it in its nursery pot or transplanting to a plastic or ceramic pot is best. If you want to put it in terra cotta (like I always do!) keep it in it's nursery pot and use the terra cotta pot as a cover. Or if transplanted direct into the terra cotta pot make sure the plant is placed somewhere you monitor it frequently for water and humidity.

#calathea #goeppertia #reclassified #whitefusion #medallion #marantaceae #peacockplant #zebraplant #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT

I do have a Goeppertia! Originally I thought it was a Calathea but I now know it is Goeppertia ornata 'Beauty Star' (pictured to the right). I got it from Lurvey in Des Plaines, IL around May 2020 but it was struggling a bit. They had it on their clearance shelf for 50% off so I decided to bring it home and try to revive it! About a month later, I noticed it had spider mites and as of December of 2020, it still has spider mites. I have them somewhat under control but they just won't completely go away. Even though it is being harmed by mites it gained a few new leaves. So that is positive! Next spring I am going to remove all the soil and repot it in new soil and hopefully that will help more! Do you have a Calathea? If so, how has your experience been? Comment below!!!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Syngonium Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#23]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/syngonium-plant-bio-podcast-ep-235fdc134bdf48cd00174d3731Tue, 22 Dec 2020 14:31:00 GMTOwner: HollyThese plants are wonderful because they are very tolerate of the environment around them. They show beautiful colors, speckling, and variegation, depending on the variety you have. Some varieties look VERY similar to Caladium, but unlike Caladium, these do not defoliate in winter!

Botanical Name

Syngonium podophyllum

Common Names

Arrowhead Plant, Arrowhead Vine, Nepthytis, Goosefoot Plant, African Evergreen, Trileaf Wonder

Sun Requirements:

Syngonium survive in many different types of sunlight. They can tolerate low light situations but they thrive in bright indirect light. They will grow faster and have a bit more brilliant color in bright indirect light versus being put in a low light situation. Putting them in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn, so I would avoid that!

Most of the time your plant will lean and "reach" towards the sunlight. This is not necessarily an indication that the plant needs more light. You can rotate the plant so it gets even light all the way around but this is also not necessary! You will actually find that lots of houseplants "reach" towards the sun (my Monsteras do this too).

Water Requirement

Allow Syngoniums to dry out a bit before watering. In my experience they will droop when they need more water. BUT if you allow them to dry out too much, the leaves will start turning brown and get crispy. Because the plant droops when it needs water, this should be decently easy to avoid!

These guys prefer to be in a bit more humidity if you can provide it! You can do this by placing them near a humidifier, misting the plant/soil around it, placing them in a terrarium or putting a pebble tray under the plant. If you can't do any of those things, don't worry, the Syngonium will not die! It can still survive on your average household humidity. But it thrives with a little more humidity added to its environment.

You can actually find Syngonium being sold in tiny 1-2" plants. They fit perfectly in a terrarium!

Fertilizer

There are a TON of correct ways to do this but here is a couple good options for you...

  • The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says " From spring through fall, feed every 2 weeks with a balance houseplant food diluted to half the normal strength. In winter, feed monthly"
  • I have mostly been following what Barbara Pleasant recommends. I fertilizer every 2 weeks when I water my plants starting around the end of Feb and continue fertilizing every 2 weeks until October. I honestly probably only fertilize twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!
  • It's totally up to you how you want to fertilize and what you want to use! There is no "perfect" product that will solve all your problems! I currently use Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food but I've used MANY other brands and types before!

Propagation

"Take 6-8 inch tip cuttings and root in a moist potting medium. Because of their thin leaves and love of humidity, covering the cuttings while rooting may be helpful."

  • This is not the only resource that has recommended that same thing! I've seen other books, blogs and websites recommend the same propagation method. Some of the sources do not recommend covering the cuttings, but I think that will definitely help your cutting root the best! I haven't seen a secondary way of doing it but that could be because this is the best and easiest way to do it!
  • I've never propagated one myself simply because my Syngonium has not been mature enough to take a stem cutting. Let me know how your propagation experience went!

Other Facts

  • Part of the Araceae Family
  • Native primarily in Central America
    • Other plants in this family are Dieffenbachia, Monstera, Philodendron, Anthurium and Elephant Ears!
  • You will usually see them in white, green, pink, or a combination of those colors
  • Syngonium are actually vining plants! Usually you won't see this habit until they are a little bit more mature. But eventually you may need to stake them or allow them to grow up a moss pole or trellis.
  • These plants can grow around 1-1.5' tall but if put on a moss pole or trellis they can get upwards of 3-4' tall!
  • You can cut back your Syngonium to keep it more compact if you want!
  • Do not to leave in temperatures below 60 degrees F and keep out of drafty windows and doors (like you would with most of your houseplants).
  • They may produce a small white flower that looks VERY similar to a Dieffenbachia flower. But they rarely flower as a houseplant.

#syngonium #syngoniumpodophyllum #arrowheadplant #arrowheadvine #nepthytis #goosefootplant #africanevergreen #trileafwonder #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

The Syngonium that is pictured to the right (also the pictures by the Water Requirements and Propagation sections) is called 'Holly M.' Which is hilarious and ironic BECAUSE that is literally my name! So, of course, I had to buy it! I picked up this plant from Watter Farms in Neenah, WI!

You will probably always be able find some type or size of Syngonium at your local plant shop or garden center! Whether they are in the tiny terrarium size, or the larger vining ones! They are pretty easy to find and easy to obtain from wholesalers!

P.S. In the podcast I mentioned I would link the Moisture Meter Reader here! Also thought I would link Mod Gen, Watter Farms & Milwaukee Domes here!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Poinsettia Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#22]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/poinsettia-plant-bio-podcast-ep-225fcd24c6fbc4950017916a5eTue, 08 Dec 2020 11:32:00 GMTOwner: HollyPoinsettias are the classic holiday flower that everyone recognizes as the start of the most wonderful time of the year! These astounding houseplants are well known for their brilliant color, ranging in any color combination imaginable! BUT did you know, the color is from their leaves changing and the flower is actually the tiny yellow-looking stem in the middle of the bright leaves? The leaves that start to change color are called "bracts"

  • Botanical Name: Euphorbia pulcherrima (meaning "very beautiful")
  • Poinsettia are part of the the Euphorbiaceae Family.
  • Common Names: Poinsettia, Mexican Flame Leaf, Christmas Star

Native Habitat:

These guys are native to tropical rainforests of Mexico and Central America. They typically grow in a shrub like form that can reach around 15' tall and wide. It grows similarly to how a shrub like Serviceberry or Lilac grows around here (meaning the Midwest)! The colors traditionally found in Mexico or Central America are red and white but they have been hybridized like CRAZY to have many other colors and variegations. In their native habitat, in the months of April and May, the leaves are just plain green. The top leaves turn red once the winter days become shorter. Shorter days mean that the daylight spans only 12 hours or less (in this case, about 10 weeks). Once February and March hit, the leaves begin to drop but are soon replaced with brand new green leaves. As the plant matures, the bottom leaves will drop creating more of a shorter tree canopy.

Houseplant Information:

Poinsettias are usually temporary houseplants for most of the world. They are notoriously hard to rebloom! But here is the info you need to try to get them to rebloom...

Water Requirements:

Water only when the top layer of soil is dry. Do not leave this plant in standing water. Making sure there is drainage will help prevent overwatering and standing water. Most of the time Poinsettias have that colored foil on the outside of the pot for decoration (which is very pretty) but can cause standing water! So make sure to empty that foil after you water! Increasing the humidity can help the overall health of the plant, but isn't necessary.

Sun Requirements:

They thrive in bright indirect or filtered light. If you place it near a West or South window, that will be best. For the holidays, it is okay to shift them around for decoration though. It won't cause them to loose color or anything. Avoid putting them in a room that gets cooler than 60 degrees F and keep them at a consistent 65-75 degrees F. Usually people have their houses set to those temperatures, so you should be good!

Flower Info:

This is where it gets complicated! If you want a nice green plant then you've got that year round! But the point of buying a Poinsettia is the color. Here is how to (hopefully) get yours to rebloom...

  • After it blooms in winter and looses its color (around March/April) let up on watering a bit. Allow more than just the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Once spring rolls around (April/May) you want to cut them back about 4-6 inches and make sure some leaves are still present.
  • Once it gets warm enough in May or June, move your Poinsettia outside where it can get plenty of morning light.
  • Once new growth starts to emerge, begin using an all-purpose fertilizer or high phosphorus fertilizer.
  • If you want a fuller plant you can also pinch off the tips of the stem once in a while to create a much fuller plant. You can actually do this with flowering annuals during the summer as well!
  • If the plant is getting much bigger and the roots are becoming rootbound it will need to be repotted. This may not need to happen the first year.
  • Once the outdoor nighttime temperatures get close to 40 degrees F, move your plant inside where is can get many hours of continuous darkness. This is VERY important. It needs to be in about 14 hours of COMPLETE darkness (not lamps, TV light, grow light, etc.) and 10 hours of bright indirect, or filtered light, during the day.
  • After about 2 months of keeping the plant in the darkness you may start to see the leaves changing color and the flowers emerging at the top of the stems. *Keep in mind, if the plant was dyed when you bought it, the color may emerge differently the next year.* THIS is why the Poinsettia is considered a "temporary" houseplant for most people. It is much less work and not that expensive to just buy a new one.

Other Facts:

  • Where the name came from... William Prescott named Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Poinsettia' after Joel Robert Poinsett who was the first US Ambassador to Mexico appointed by Andrew Jackson in the 1820's. He apparently found a Poinsettia shrub in the wild in Mexico and took a cutting back to South Carolina. This is how Poinsettias were introduced in the United States!
  • December 12 is National Poinsettia Day in the United States in honor of the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Joel Robert Poinsett who first brought these beautiful plants to the United States
  • These are on the ASPCA's list of toxic plants for pets. It can cause irritation in the mouth and stomach with potential vomiting. Although they do also say Poinsettias are "generally over-rated in toxicity". As I researched a bit more, other sources claimed it can cause irritation, but it not poisonous. Apparently that is a big myth that has been proven otherwise. To be safe, I would just keep it out of reach of your pets! They are very sensitive to the cold so make sure to keep them out of drafty windows and doors. When you are purchasing a Poinsettia in a colder climate, make sure to wrap it up before taking it outside

#poinsettia #euphorbiapulcherrima #mexicanflameleaf #christmasstar #homefortheholidays #christmashouseplants #bloominghouseplants #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACTS:

I have never tried to get a Poinsettia to rebloom but I am DEFINITELY going to try now for the 2021 holiday! I bought a red one with cream speckles, bright red, and one with pink and yellow/cream colored variegation. I know it is very difficult to rebloom but I think the key to success is moving them outside for the summer, a change in temperature and a change in lighting! Let me know in the comments if you've been able to do it successfully, and tell us if there are any tips you can share with everyone else! Happy Holidays, everyone!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Cactus Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#21]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/holiday-cactus-plant-bio-podcast-ep-215fb803ea05903a0017b70d14Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:27:47 GMTOwner: HollyDuring the holidays, you will see brightly colored pink, red, and sometimes white, blooming plants with scallop-like stems. That means you are looking at either a Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, or an Easter Cactus! Most retailers commonly call all of them Christmas Cactus since they all look freakishly similar and they generally bloom around the same time.

Common Name- Botanical Name- Growth Differences:

  • Christmas Cactus- Schlumbergera bridgesii- scallop-like pad edges with fall/winter blooms
  • Thanksgiving Cactus- Schlumbergera truncata- tooth-like pad edges with fall/winter blooms
  • Easter Cactus- Hatiora gaertneri- rounded pad edges with early spring blooms
    • Formally names Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, but reclassified to Hatiora gaertneri

Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus look very similar, including their flower, buds and stems. The only major difference is their distinct edges. I will be referring to all of these as Holiday Cacti, to keep it simple.

***Go to FUN FACTS to learn about my experience with these guys***

Sun Requirements:

Holiday Cacti like bright indirect light or dappled light. Here is the catch...these guys need to be placed in a cool, darker room in order to encourage blooming. So here is what you should be doing by season:

  • Spring/Summer- place in bright indirect light or dappled light
  • Fall/Winter- place in a room or area in your house that can gets at least 12 hours of darkness. Temperatures need to be consistently below 65 degrees F and even cooler at night. When you start to see plenty of flower buds, you can move it (carefully) back into a space with bright indirect light or dappled light.

Water Requirement

These cacti like to stay evenly moist. Once the first inch or so of soil dries out, then you can water it again. There is another catch though...only follow those watering instructions in spring, summer, and while your cactus is blooming. Reduce the watering significantly so the soil almost dries out between watering. This helps prepare the cactus to form flower buds and also helps after your cactus flowers.

Holiday cacti thrive in high humidity environments. If you can place them near a humidifier, on top of pebble trays, or mist the plant, (and environment around it) frequently this would increase humidity.

Flower:

You typically see the flowers in a range of red and pinks while sometimes running into white or coral blooms. Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus have layered looking flower, while Easter Cactus have a Daisy looking flower but with pointed petals. To the left, you can see a Thanksgiving Cactus blooming. You can see tiers of petals (layered look) for the flower.

Once these guys start budding you want to avoid stressing them out. If the plant is stressed when budding, it could lose its flower buds. Stress can be caused by moving this plant around too much, placing it in a drafty window or door, or not providing the appropriate amount of water they need. There is potential for your Holiday Cacti to bloom again! It is rare and there is a drop in the number of flowers produced. But it is possible!

Fertilizer:

I usually say there isn't a right or wrong answer for fertilization. But since this plant needs more help blooming there are definitely certain fertilizers (and certain times to apply it) that can help with blooming.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual recommends fertilizing in spring and summer (every 2 weeks) and monthly in fall and winter, with either a balanced fertilizer or a high phosphorus plant food. Using a phosphorus focused fertilizer encourages flower production. They also mention to use a slightly reduced rate of fertilizer, rather than what the fertilizer packages recommend.

***To learn a bit more about the commonly used nutrients in fertilizer and how that can benefit your plants, check out the FUN FACT part of my Dieffenbachia Blog Post***

Propagation:

There are only a couple ways to do this...

1. Splitting the plant- this can only happen once you have a mature cactus, which could take years! Make sure you are doing this around early summer. You don't want to stress out any bud formation that may be happening if you split them too late in fall.

2. Stem cuttings- this is the easiest way to do it and the most common way of propagating these cacti. Cut a stem right before where a new pad is connected. Make sure you have at least 2-3 pads for your stem cutting and allow it to dry for a day. The next day, you can plant that stem in moist soil. In the image to the right, you can see some roots growing where those few stem pads meet. That would be a great place to cut!

Other Facts:

  • Holiday Cacti are all part of the the Cactaceae Family.
  • Their natural growth habit is a hanging form once they mature and stems become longer. Lots of people love to use these in hanging baskets!
  • These guys are perfectly content being a little rootbound, so you shouldn't have to repot your Holiday Cacti for a while.
  • These cacti are considered Epiphytes in their native rainforest habitat in Brazil. This means they grow on the surface of other plants, similar to orchids.
  • Since these are Epiphytes they need very well-draining soil! A cactus soil or even an orchid soil works great!
  • These cacti are not poisonous to dogs or cats! That being said, I wouldn't let your pets chomp on these guys because it can still cause vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in mass quantities. But according the ASPCA, it isn't poisonous! Yay!!!
  • Did you notice the white spots and dots on the cactus pads in my pictures? That is just from hard water. That can easily be cleaned up with some neem oil, but since I didn't want to disrupt the blooming cycle, I will have to wait to clean it off until spring!
  • According to The Healing Power of Plants, Christmas Cactus remove "airborne toxins including formaldehyde and benzene"
  • Holiday Cacti can grow anywhere from 1'-2' tall and wide, or larger, in ideal environments!

#christmascactus #schlumbergeratruncata #thanksgivingcactus #eastercactus #hatioragaertneri #epiphytes #schlumbergerabridgesii #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACTS:

MY EXPERIENCE

I've had one Christmas Cactus for about 2 years now and I recently bought one that was in bloom in the last month. I knew this plant could be difficult to produce blooms but I never realized the watering, lighting AND temperature had to change in order to encourage blooming. Honestly, the Midwest time and temperature change bodes well for Christmas Cactus! Depending what temperature you keep you house, and where you have it positioned, you may never have to move your plant!

I also learned that both of my Christmas Cactus are actually Thanksgiving Cactus based on the tooth-like stem structure they have. I currently have my older Thanksgiving Cactus in a bathroom with a North facing window. It gets plenty of humidity from the shower but potentially not enough light. I've had this Cactus in that spot for about a year and it has not rebloomed so far. Just as an experiment, I am going to move it into the basement now (in late fall) because it is much cooler and darker. With luck, this will encourage some blooms!

The Thanksgiving Cactus I recently bought is currently blooming and positioned just off of a South window. I will keep it there and will try moving it to the basement next fall in attempts to encourage blooms.

I killed a Christmas Cactus a few years ago because I underwatered it! At the time I assumed since it was a cactus, I didn't need to water it much. Obviously that was wrong and I learned my lesson!

Even if I can't get these guys to bloom again, it's okay! The structure of the plant is beautiful in itself so I am just happy to have these amongst my other houseplants! I'm not here to tell you I am perfect at taking care of every houseplant. But I am here to give you the honest truth and share my experience. Hopefully you learned a bit from this blog/podcast, as I did, while researching even deeper!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Pilea Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#20]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/pilea-plant-bio-podcast-ep-205fa8609c6f1fbb001711e840Tue, 10 Nov 2020 06:00:20 GMTOwner: HollyPilea is one of the most diverse houseplants because of the many shapes, sizes, and colors it comes in. When people hear "Pilea" they typically think the plant with those weird UFO-looking leaves. BUT there is more than just that!

Variety Names (Common Names) Growth Habit:

  • Pilea peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant, Pass It On Plant, Sharing Plant, UFO Plant, Pancake Plant) Dark green, round leaves that has tree-like growth when more mature.
  • Pilea cadierei (Aluminum Plant, Watermelon Pilea) Upright growth with green foliage and white/silver pattern on the leaves.
  • Pilea microphylla (Artillery Plant, Rockwood) Upright growth with tiny leaves with green and sometimes pink or white leaves (see FUN FACT at bottom).
  • Pilea mollis (Moon Valley) Upright growth with rough textured leaves. Light green foliage with the center of the leaves being dark red/bronze
  • Pilea involucrate (Friendship Plant) Upright growth with rough textured leaves. Light green foliage with dark red/purple veins.
  • Pilea nummulariifolia (Creeping Charlie) Trailing habit with bright green, rough textured leaves.
  • Pilea glauca (Red Stem Pilea, Grey Artillery Plant, Aquamarine, Silver Sparkle, Silver Sprinkles) Low growing and trailing habit with blue or green foliage. Some varieties have red stems.
  • Pilea spruceana (Norfolk, Silver Tree) Low growing with dark red/bronze foliage. Some varieties have silver stripes on the leaves.
  • Pilea depressa (Baby Tears) Tiny, bright green leaves that have a trailing habit.
  • There are MANY more varieties but the list above details the most commonly seen and sought after varieties. There are actually over 500 different species of Pilea!

Sun Requirements:

It really depends on the species of Pilea for what kind of sunlight they prefer. But it is safe to say, Pilea typically like medium to bright indirect light.

  • In a South window (inside of a small greenhouse from Ikea) I have a Pilea peperomioides. There is another building close by so we don’t get direct sunlight all afternoon. But for many hours we do. I had the plant originally up against the greenhouse wall, closest to the window, but I noticed the leaves were turning black. This is burning from direct sun so I moved it away from that side of the greenhouse wall. Since then I haven’t had any issues with burning leaves.
  • My Pilea glauca is sitting a couple feet from a South window getting filtered light through other houseplants and it is doing great! The branches stretch towards the light which is deceiving. If I move it closer to the window it will start burning due to direct sunlight. Either way, it's doing good!
  • I also have a Pilea depressa (picture to the right) in an East window that is growing vigorously! I've tried this plant in a West window and a North window previously. In the North window it grew VERY slow, but when I placed it in the West window I gained about 5" of growth in just a couple months!

Water Requirement:

Pilea typically like to be in evenly moist soil. If they are underwatered you will start to loose some of the leaves. As I always say, it depends on the environment you have the plant. If you have it in a warm space (more sunlight or outside in the summer) you will need to water more often than a space with less light (or having it indoors constantly).

Pilea prefer moderate to high humidity. After doing research on all the varieties, there were pretty conflicting answers to the humidity question. Some sources said all Pilea need high humidity. However, some sources said most Pilea don't need any extra humidity.

So to help you out, I split the varieties up based on my experience with their humidity...

High humidity: Pilea microphylla, Pilea glauca (in terrarium image above), Pilea spruceana (in terrarium image above), Pilea depressa

Medium humidity: Pilea peperomioides, Pilea cadierei, Pilea mollis, Pilea involucrate, Pilea nummulariifolia

The high humidity varieties are commonly found in 1-2" pots, PERFECT for terrarium settings. Those terrariums will be the best way to provide the highest humidity possible. You can also use a humidifier, place your plants on top of pebble trays, or mist the plant (and environment around it) frequently.

Fertilizer:

I always start by saying there isn't a wrong answer for fertilization methods UNLESS you fertilize too often or too much. I always use the recommended amount or a bit less on houseplants.

I currently use a concentrate indoor fertilizer every 4 weeks in peak growing season and I reduce it to every 6-8 months in the off season. I do this on ALL of my houseplants. It just keeps everything pretty consistent and I would rather under-fertilize than over-fertilize. This method has worked well for me this season but previously I just used a granular slow release fertilizer and this also worked fine (not as well as the liquid fertilizer though!).

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual recommends fertilizing Pilea much more frequently. To be fair, the only Pilea they discussed was Pilea cadierei but they recommend "in spring and summer, feed plants weekly with a balanced houseplant food diluted to half the recommended rate. In fall and winter, feed monthly." I may try fertilizing my Pilea a bit more often and see if that helps even more! Let me know how you fertilize your Pilea in the blog comments!

Propagation:

There are a few different ways to propagate. It all depends on what variety you want propagated.

Pilea peperomioides form what are called “pups” or offsets which are basically mini plants growing off the parent plant (the original plant or main root system). In the image to the left, the pup is forming left of the parent plant. Sansevieria can grow like this as well! Once you see a pup forming you can cut those off the parent plant and repot as a new plant. Make sure you have a sharp knife or sharp pruners to make a clean cut. You don't need to take the whole plant out of it's pot to remove the pup. You can cut the pup off the parent plant as close to the soil level as possible. You will need to place this in water, or moist soil, until it forms its own root system.

Pilea depressa, Pilea glauca, Pilea cadierei, & Pilea spruceana can be propagated by taking cuttings and placing it in water, or a moist soil mixture, until rooted. I've learned soil propagation is much faster than water propagation, but either one works! You can split Pilea depressa & Pilea glauca once they are more mature.

Other Facts:

  • Pilea's are part of the Urticaceae Family or Nettle Family.
  • Well-draining soil is preferred! A cactus soil or a potting mix (mixed) with extra perlite works great! Even though the soil needs to stay evenly moist, you don't want them sitting in water.
  • Pilea are fairly easy to find in most houseplant shops or garden centers! In the image to the right, I am shopping at Watter Farms in Neenah, WI! Pilea peperomioides are on the table and Pilea glauca are in the hanging baskets above!
  • Peperomia is often confused with Pilea. There are some plants that look very similar with rounded leaves and variable colors. They also start with P so that doesn’t help either!
  • Many people call Pilea glauca or Pilea depressa, Baby Tears but there is another plant that is not a Pilea who's common name is also Baby Tears - Soleirolia soleirolii. Soleirolia soleirolii looks freakishly similar to to Pilea depressa! Soul-E-roll-EA Soul-E-roll-EI
  • Some Pilea do bloom but you probably will not see it as a houseplant. If they do form, most of the varieties have varying size small white clusters of flowers.
  • Fun Instagram accounts that share some amazing Pilea: Jamie from Jamies_Jungle has an amazing house full of incredible houseplants and he posts pictures of his amazing Pilea pretty frequently! Botantistbyheart is also known for his huge Pileas!

#pilea #pileababy #babytearsplant #pileapeperomioides #pileaglauca #pileadepressa #pileaspruceana #pileacadierei #chinesemoneyplant #aluminumplant #artilleryplant #friendshipplant #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

Why the common name Artillery Plant (Pilea microphylla)? The male flowers explosively release pollen into the air! The more ya know!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[From Holly: THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/from-holly-thanks-to-all-of-you5fa41dbe52c4cf00178eb9baFri, 06 Nov 2020 15:03:51 GMTOwner: HollyBecause of each and every one of you, Houseplant Homebody is considered a top houseplant podcast AND blog on Feedspot! Thank you SO much for your support and love in just the few months I have been bringing you as much plant information as I can!

I can't WAIT to continue bringing you podcasts every other Tuesday and blog posts as often as I can! I am committed to bringing you the facts and the honest truth about my experience with plants and what I've learned.

Thank you to Feedspot for considering me for as a top podcast and blog!!!

Check out Feedspot's Top 15 Houseplant Podcasts- Houseplant Homebody is currently #10!

Check out Feedspot's Top 35 Houseplant Blogs- Houseplant Homebody is currently #20!

I hope you all continue listening and learning with me! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

- Holly Muenchow


DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc


#tophouseplantblog #tophouseplantpodcast #planttips #houseplanthomebody #plantlover #crazyplantlover #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy

]]>
<![CDATA[Nerve Plant- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#19]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/nerve-plant-plant-bio-podcast-ep-195f98ab2a57942b001767a324Thu, 29 Oct 2020 18:04:09 GMTOwner: HollyThe Nerve Plant (or Fittonia) is well known as the "drama queen" of the houseplant world. But we also know this guy for its brightly colored leaf veins. I've seen them at almost any plant shop, from a 2 inch pot size to a 6 inch pot size! Since you can find these almost anywhere, they are usually priced fairly reasonably.

Common Names:

Nerve Plant, Mosaic Plant, Silver Net Plant, Jewel Plant, Silver Threads, and some people call them Fittonia.

Cultivar Names:

Every time I have seen these available in plant shops, the variety name is not provided. A lot of the varieties I am listing are almost identical so it is hard to tell the difference. Most varieties were found on Costa Farms' website!

  • White Fittonia- Daisy, Leather Leaf, Superba, Mini Superba, Mini White, Stripes Forever, Titanic, White Ann, White Brocade
  • Pink Fittonia- Josan, Frankie, Pink Angel, Pink Star
  • Red Fittonia- Black Star, Juanita, Mini Red, Purple Vein, Red Ann, Red Star, Red Vein, Ruby Red

Sun Requirements:

The Nerve Plant can't handle hanging out in full sun, but loves to be in medium to bright indirect light. If you plant this guy in direct light, the leaves will burn. But if it isn't in enough light, it may become leggy. It's kind of like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears! That being said, this guy can handle being grown in florescent light too. Great for an office setting BUT I wouldn't recommend it since it needs to be watered much more frequently. Bring a Snake Plant to work instead, mine is doing great at my office!

Water Requirement:

Speaking of the Three Bears, watering this plant is a similar concept! If you overwater it, you can kill it but if you underwater it, it will droop and massively "complain," therefore referring to it as the "drama queen". The pictures to the right show my sister Lindsay's Fittonia before and after she watered it! Usually people kill this plant by underwatering it rather than overwatering, but both can still happen! If you are noticing the leave are yellowing, that means it is being overwatered. It's okay to let the Nerve Plant droop because it is a good indication that it needs attention. If you do allow it to droop make sure you place it in a space you walk by often and keep track of how many days you can go in-between watering. This will give you a good idea of when to water more consistently. In general, this plant does need more moisture, more often, than your normal houseplant usually does.

This plant also LOVES to be in a humid environment so place it by a humidifier, mist it constantly, put a tray with pebbles underneath or plant it in a terrarium-like setting. These guys are commonly found in 1-2" pots so they can fit perfectly into a terrarium. If you don't have any of those options for giving it humidity, Amazon sells spray mist bottles for a great price (see here) or you can make sure you keep you Fittonia close to your other plants. Placing plants together happens to increase the humidity a little bit!

Fertilizer:

There is never a wrong answer here (as I always say) EXCEPT for fertilizing too much! If you are using a non-organic fertilizer and you apply too much, your plant may start to burn. Always use the recommended amount or even a little less on your houseplants. Usually the browning won't happen with an organic fertilizer but it is still best to use only the recommended amount.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says to feed "from spring through summer, feed monthly with a balanced houseplant food. In winter, feed every 6 weeks." I basically do as they describe in the book. I use Espoma Indoor! Houseplant Food on my houseplants approximately every 4 weeks when watering. But I will reduce fertilizing to probably every couple months in winter for all my plants.

Propagation:

The Fittonia can be propagated from Stem Cuttings! Cut stem at least a few inches long just before a leaf node, which is where the leaves meet the stem. Take off all leaves except for the very top ones. Some people use a rooting powder to help stimulate root growth but it isn't necessary.

You want to place your stem in a soil that will hold more moisture, such as a soil with more peat moss in its ingredients. Avoid using a well-draining soil like a cactus mix. Mist it daily and water when the soil starts to become dry. Make sure it is kept in a warm, humid environment but not in direct sunlight. There should be healthy root growth in about 2-3 weeks! You will know it's growing roots if it has new stem growth or if you gently pull on the plant and there is resistance. The resistance will be the roots hanging on for dear life!

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Acanthaceae Family
    • Other plants in this family are Shrimp Plant, Zebra Plant, Mint, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Oyster Plant, Caricature Plant
  • Native Southern Tropical America
  • This plant typically grows 6" tall and 12" round but there are miniature versions that will stay smaller.
  • The Nerve Plant does flower but most people pinch it off so the plant can focus its energy on the beautiful foliage.
  • Regular pinching (AKA pruning or cutting back) is encouraged to keep this plant's shape. Sometimes the plant can get a bit leggy with its growth, so it's best just to cut it back right before a leaf node.

#nerveplant #fittonia #mosaicplant #dramaqueen #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

The Nerve Plant is commonly confused with the Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)!

From a distance the leaf shape, plant size and colors are exactly the same, but when you get a closer look there is one major difference. The Nerve Plant's color is strictly from their veins versus the Polka Dot Plant has white, pink or red speckled or polka dotted (hence the name) markings with green veins. The Polka Dot plant also tends to be a bit brighter in color since the color covers most of the leaf. I actually have a pink one of these in my terrarium (pictured to the right)! The more you know, right?!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Dieffenbachia Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#18]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/dieffenbachia-plant-bio-podcast-ep-185f8084b8e33f7f001899cd54Tue, 13 Oct 2020 05:00:29 GMTOwner: HollyThe Dieffenbachia is a very underrated plant in many ways! The pattern and variegation is striking and very diverse! So many people are fighting to get a Pink Princes Philodendron or a Thai Constellation Monstera but honestly, go check out the crazy patterns these guys come in! They are a lot cheaper and very easy to take care of! I've seen them at almost every garden center, plant shop, or greenhouse I have been to.

Common Names:

Dumb Cane- see where this name came from below in Other Facts.

Cultivar Names:

And there are MANY out there, but here are some common ones...

Amy (my Mom's name!), Camille, Camouflage, Carina, Compacta, Delilah, Exotica, Green Magic, Hilo, Honeydew, Mary, Rebecca, Rudolf Roehrs, Sarah, Sequine, Snow, Sparkles, Star Bright, Sterling, Tiki, Triumph, Tropic Honey, Tropic Marianne, Tropic Snow and more!

Sun Requirements:

Based on the variegation, I originally thought this planted needed bright light. But actually, the leaves start to burn during the summer months! I had it in a southeastern (mostly east) window and moved it away from the

window. It is doing much better now that it isn't getting direct sunlight. All that being said, the plant needs medium to bright indirect light!

Water Requirement:

This guy needs slightly more moisture. If you aren't providing enough moisture the leaves will droop a bit and the tips of the leaves may start browning. Now to make it even MORE confusing, you don't want this plant to be over watered. They tend to bounce back a lot better if under watered than over watered.

I typically water my Dieffenbachia once a week during peak growing season and maybe every 3 weeks during the winter. Take this with a grain of salt because it all depends on the environment you have it in! For example, if you put your plant in a shaded spot outside during the summer, you will need to water much more because of the heat and humidity.

Higher humidity is preferred by Dieffenbachia but it can adapt and survive on lower humidity. Misting it, placing a humidifier near by or placing a tray full of pebbles below the plant are all ways to help increase humidity. If you are like me, misting your plant is therapeutic and a super easy way to help your plant thrive!

Fertilizer:

As I say every time with fertilization, there is really no wrong way to do it! Here are a couple recommendations I found and what I typically do...

  • The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says to feed "in spring and summer, high-nitrogen foliage plant food or balanced plant food every 2 weeks. In fall and winter, feed monthly" (check the Fun Facts at the bottom for more info).
  • I have always used a slow release fertilizer simply because it is much less maintenance. Lately I have started using a liquid all purpose fertilizer to see how that compares. I only have to use it when watering, approximately every 4 weeks.

Propagation:

There are a couple ways to do it...

  • Cut the top few inches of the plant off and leave in water. It will take a few weeks to root and be ready to repot. You can also put that cut off part of the plant directly in soil. Just make sure you keep the soil evenly moist while it is producing new roots.
  • Pups (which are basically mini versions of the plant) can form on the lower part on the stem. You can cut these off and put them directly in soil to grow a brand new little Dieffenbachia!

Flower:

White flowers may appear! They will look insanely close to a smaller version of a Peace Lily flower. They do not bloom very often, but if you are providing your plant with an ideal location and care, it can happen!

My Dieffenbachia actually formed a flower when it was in front of the southeastern window. Since I have only had this guy for a year, I haven't experimented to find out if it will grow more flowers in the new space I have it in.

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Araceae Family
  • Native in Central and South American rainforests
  • These guys can grow anywhere from 1ft to 5ft depending on it's environment and the cultivar you have.
  • Dieffenbachia are poisonous and is actually where its common name, Dumb Cane, came from. It's not the nicest common name, but it is what it is!
  • The plant's sap contains calcium oxalate crystals that can burn your mouth and throat, potentially causing temporary paralysis of the vocal chords. So keep them out of reach of children and pets!
  • Earlier I talked about underwatering causing leaf tips to brown but it can also be from inconsistent watering. Here are a few ways to stay consistent...(1) Learn what the weight of the pot is after its been watered versus needs to be watered. We used to do this all the time in the Garden Center I worked at! (2) Get a moisture meter reader! You can find these anywhere including Amazon. (3) Try a plant care app! My friend, Sierra uses Vera: Plant Care Made Simple created by Bloomscape on her phone. It can track your watering, fertilization, your plants growth and more!
  • The plant loses its leaves pretty frequently. If you are noticing the lower leaves turning yellow and dropping, this is natural. Just cut those puppies back! Now, if they are dropping without turning yellow this could be a sign that the plant is a little chilly. Dieffenbachia need to be in a space that is always above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

#dieffenbachia #dumbcane #bloomscape #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody #blog #helloplantlady #plantparenthood #fortheloveofplants #plantaddict #plantgang #plantsarefriends #thatplantlife #houseplantlove #tellyourplantfriend #plantssparkjoy #plantsmakepeoplehappy


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

In reference to the fertilizer section...

High nitrogen fertilizer is recommended when plants are known for their foliage, and not their flowers. Nitrogen gives the Dieffenbachia plant an extra boost of green and healthy foliage. Urea, Dried Blood and Blood Meal are all examples of organic high nitrogen fertilizers you can find in common brands like Espoma or Jobes.

What if you can't find those fertilizers but still want to buy a higher nitrogen fertilizer? On any fertilizer it should have a number sequence that looks like this, 0-0-0. This indicates Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. As long as that first number is the highest, it is a higher nitrogen fertilizer. If the middle number is highest this helps root stimulation and blooming growth by providing the plant with more Phosphorus. If the last number is highest it is providing Potassium to help with strong stems and faster growth. Cool. right?!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save the blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[How I Control Pests]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/how-i-control-pests5f73888687de910017183ffdThu, 01 Oct 2020 12:49:33 GMTOwner: HollyI have always had the most problems with Spider Mites and Mealy Bugs on my houseplants. It's nothing to be afraid of because you can get rid of them over a little bit of time. Once you agree to love a houseplant you are also going to agree to fight off these pests, just like you would on your landscape plants in your yard! Below I talk about how to get rid of these guys and how to prevent them.

https://video.wixstatic.com/video/56c2f2_474e6f36228b45fcb35c7270f9bdf8c9/1080p/mp4/file.mp4

Mealy Bugs

These evil pests can be found in all the nooks and crannies of your houseplant. It almost looks like tiny parts of cotton ball are stuck on your plant as seen in the picture to the right

Want to know how you have them? They are very easy to see because they are stark white fuzzy specks on your plant. You will mostly see them where leaves meet the stem but they aren't too picky about where they want to sit down and enjoy their meal. They remove the plant's sap which can weaken your plant and stunt its growth. If there is a larger infestation, the leaves may begin to yellow, wilt or you may lose some leaves overall. There will be be a noticeable decline in your plants health too. No type of plant is safe from this guy. I have had these bugs on a Pothos, Monstera, Philodendron, Prayer Plant, Hibiscus, Mandevilla, Dieffenbachia and more.

What is the best way to get rid of them and prevent them? You need to visually check your plants often and just look for tiny cotton looking bugs in the corners of the leaves and stems. Using a Systemic Houseplant Insect Control to prevent an infestation from the beginning is a good rule of thumb. If you already have an infestation problem, I would suggest cutting back some of your plant. This will help control the spread and you have less surface area to maintain. That being said, if you really don't want to cut back your plant because the overall health of your plant is okay, you don't need to. It may take longer to clean and it may take a bit longer for the pest to go away. As discussed in the video, Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil are the products I have had the most luck with to remove Mealy Bugs. You will need to repeat the cleaning process, discussed in the video, (weekly) until there is no longer a sign of them.

Spider Mites

But most of the time Spider Mites live and feed on the underside of the leaves. In the image on the top right you see a Hibiscus leaf covered by webbing and little tiny white dots. Those white dots are the spider mites and the webbing is what the product looks like ALL over your leaves.

Want to know how you have them? Well it's actually pretty easy to spot once they've produced webbing. But most people don't notice them until they have already done damage to the leaf.

The image on the bottom right shows an Elephant Ear leaf that is discolored and has a somewhat specked texture. This is because when the Spider Mites feed on the leaves they also remove chlorophyll which gives leaves their color. But since they live on the underside of leaves it is best to visually check your plant's leaves often. A trick one of my co-workers from the garden center, Marianne, taught me was to take a white sheet of paper and gently rub the bottom of the leaf onto the piece of the paper. If you see little tiny dark dots or what looks like tiny bugs smeared onto the paper, you have spider mites!

What is the best way to get rid of them and prevent them?

As I talked about in the video, visually check your plants often while using a Systemic Houseplant Insect Control to prevent Spider Mites from infesting. If you already have an infestation problem, I would suggest cutting back some of your plant so the mites are easier to control and you have less surface area to maintain. That being said, if you really don't want to cut back your plant you don't need to. It will just take longer to clean and it may take a bit longer for the pest to go away. Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil are the best products to spray onto your plants to remove these mites. You will need to repeat the cleaning process, discussed in the video, (weekly) until there is no sign of them.

Below are links to the products I like to use...

Insecticidal Soap

Neem Oil

Systemic Houseplant Insect Control

Compact Pruners

And you can use any old makeup brushes, paint brushes & towels! But remember to clean them after EVERY use!

#pestcontrol #spidermites #mealybugs #aphids #insecticidalsoap #neemoil #prevent #pothos #elephantears #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

All insect images (Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs) were taken from University of Wisconsin Master Gardener online resources. Interested in their program? Click HERE!

One insect that was not discussed that I also had issues with are Aphids. They are also very difficult to get off, but not impossible. They usually feed on strictly newer growth, so check those spots first. You can use the same preventative measures and insect control sprays I discussed above but I would also spray down this plant with your hose outdoor to shock and remove the insects before you begin treatment every week. If you don't have a hose, you can use a spray bottle that has a bit harder stream option.


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[Fall Annuals- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#15]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/fall-annuals-plant-bio-podcast-ep-155f67b343d29ed100187e0e2eThu, 01 Oct 2020 12:48:13 GMTOwner: HollyFall annuals are a wonderful addition to your deck, porch, patio or even dining room table! They

add a pop of fall color and replace the summer annuals that have been pushed to their limits.

*** FYI, I will be referencing commonly used terms within the horticulture industry when talking about container gardening, such as "Thriller," "Filler' and Spiller." The best container gardens have a taller, more prominent plant, called "Thriller;" a mid-height plant that fills the middle of the container called "Filler" (shocker...); and a plant that hangs off the edge of the container, bringing your eyes down, called "Spiller." In the picture to the left the white blooming Mandevilla is the "Thriller," the blue Lobelia is the "Filler," and the lime Creeping Jenny is the "Spiller" (the container shown is a summer container, not fall).***

Mums- AKA Chrysanthemum

  • These usually come in pinks, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, white & a combo.
  • The flowers look JUST like the cut flowers but there are varieties that look closer to a daisy-like flower too.
  • They come as annuals most of the time BUT some GCs have them available as perennials!
    • They are VERY hard to find as a perennial around here (at least in my experience).
  • Usually the cooler it is and the more shade these are in, the longer the flowers will last.
  • These need lots of water so make sure you are watering about every day if you planted it outside in a draining pot.
    • They will wilt if they are thirsty so it's easy to tell.
  • Mums are mostly commonly used as a 'filler' in container gardening.
  • According to GardenDesign.com- mums symbolize different things in different countries: life and rebirth in Asia, sympathy in Europe, and respect, and honor, in America.

Pansies

  • You can find these in pink, purple, white, blue, yellow, orange and a combo.
  • Around here they are only available in early spring and fall because pansies prefer cooler weather over hot humid summers.
  • I would consider these to be a 'filler' or 'spiller' in container gardening. They still tend to be shorter so they would be best placed near the front or edge of your pot.
  • Weird fact- these flowers actually creep me out a bit! They look like little faces!

Ornamental Kale & Cabbage

  • These guys come in purple, green, shades of blue, white, and yellow.
  • These don’t flower or anything (as you could imagine) but they add amazing color and texture.
  • I would also consider this a 'filler' or spiller' for the same reason as the pansies. Although there are some varieties that come ALOT larger. In that case, it could be a 'thriller'.

Ornamental Peppers

  • These plants are leafy green with small ornamental peppers that come in red, orange, yellow, green, and purple
  • These add bright, vibrant colors, a little more height and a totally different texture.
  • These could be considered a 'thriller' or 'filler' depending how large your container is.

Celosia

  • This is one of the few fall annuals that are also great in a summer container garden!
    • Usually in fall, they come into greenhouses and nurseries much larger than in summer.
  • You can find them in pink, yellow, red, and, orange.
    • In fall, they are commonly seen in bright pink or purples.
  • They look pokey but they are super fuzzy and have amazing color!
  • FUN FACT- they are perennial in zones 10-11 (southern tip of FL or Hawaii).

Ornamental Grasses

  • I LOVE grasses because they are super versatile in your perennial landscape and your containers.
  • They can be a "Thriller," 'Filler," and "Spiller" in you landscape because they come in every color and size imaginable, but they are definitely a "Thriller" or "Filler" in your container.
  • You can use perennial grasses or annual grasses in your container! You can also use them all summer long and into winter.
  • They come in (obviously) shades of green, red, and blue. The plumes range from red, white, tan, green, and purple.
  • The plumes also range from super fluffy to thin.
  • Some examples of perennial grasses are Karl Forester, Grazilla, Elijah Blue, Shenandoah Red Switch, Morning Light, Northern Sea Oats, Purple Flame, Tall Moor, and MANY more!
  • Some examples of annual grasses are Fireworks Fountain Grass, Purple Fountain Grass, Blue Mohawk Grass, King Tut Grass, Prince Tut Grass, Baby Tut Grass, Fiber Optic Grass, Hakone Grass, and more!
  • Grass adds so much adds fullness and height within your container and landscape.
  • You can also use this in your summer annual pots that way you can enjoy it all season long.

Sunflowers

  • These usually have pretty short flowering life.
  • These are not the SUPER tall ones you see in fields. They are smaller varieties that kind of fit perfectly inside a pot.
  • These bring amazing yellow flowers with that traditional fall look.
  • You can definitely use these as a "Thriller" or "Filler."

Rudbeckia

  • These are commonly used as a perennial (Goldstrum Black Eyed Susan and Little Viette Suzy are common varieties seen around the Midwest).
  • As a fall annual, you will more commonly see then in shades of orange but they do come in yellow, and red.
  • The flowers are much larger and fuller than the perennial Black Eyed Susan.
  • You could use this as a "Thriller" if the plant is tall enough...or a "Filler."

Aster

  • These are commonly used as a perennial which come in varieties of Wood’s Blue, Wood’s Purple, Wood’s Pink, Purple Dome, New England Aster.
  • But they are available in fall as great annual fillers.
  • As a perennial and annual, they typically come in pinks, purples, and shades of blue.

Pumpkins, Gourds, Squash OH MY!

  • Never underestimate the color orange! Pumpkins!
  • Some squash and gourds have amazing texture and great colors that can definitely add that extra pop!
  • If you are on a budget, instead of buying an $8 fall annual, consider buying a $0.50 colorful gourd or squash to put in your pot!
    • Or instead of planting up multiple pots, plant up only one and buy a few pumpkins to place around it to fill up your space!
  • Be careful not to “water” the gourd or squash because they could rot easily. Instead remove it when you have to water the pot or place them in an area you know they won't sit in water

Other Facts:

  • I want to start by saying that just because, in the Midwest, garden centers are putting fall annuals out at the beginning of August does not mean you should be bringing them home yet. August is still considered summer and the hotter temperatures do not work well with these cooler weather-loving plants. Now, of course if you wanted to bring them home, it's up to you. But you will more than likely have to replace them before Halloween.
  • These plants will not get much larger because this time of year is cooler and it's a short growth season. Typically they are sold a little bit larger than normal because of this.
  • The more shade your plants are in and the cooler the weather, the longer the flowers last.
  • Mums are the MOST popular which usually makes them the MOST expensive- never underestimate the the impact of the other annuals I listed above. Some Garden Centers have mums in smaller 4-6” pots which is much more cost effective. The GC I worked at had HUGE mums and they would sell out super fast because it would make a big impact and they didn’t have to create their own pot of mixed annuals.
  • If you struggle with making your own pots if you just type in “fall container ideas” in a google search you will find lots of great, reliable websites with already made-up pots so you can just copy it! DIY Network, Better Home & Garden, Southern Living and OBVI Pinterest has TONS of ideas. You could also do this with spring and summer pots!
  • Don’t limit yourself to just outdoors! These plants can easily survive for the season inside! You can find a cute decorative pot at some GCs or even Hobby Lobby or Michaels to put the nursery pot in! No planting needed! Just make sure you either have a pot with no drainage or a saucer underneath so you aren’t destroying furniture. On your dining room table you could have a spread of a mum, a pepper, and some gourds. A truly easy way to make your home feel like fall!

#fallannuals #celosia #mums #rudbeckia #aster #pumpkins #gourds #pumpkinspice #sunflowers #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

Want some help designing a fall planter? Feel free to contact me, I can give you some ideas! DM me, email me or go to the Contact Me page on my website.


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save the blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[ZZ Plant- Plant Bio: Podcast Episode #17]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/episode-17-zz-plant-plant-bio5f7136d48caf6200185e3b3bTue, 29 Sep 2020 05:00:15 GMTOwner: HollyThe ZZ Plant is one of the most popular houseplants because of its gorgeous upright structure, thick, waxy-like leaves and its resilience in shade.

All the Different Names

Common Name: ZZ Plant

Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Variety Names:

  • Green variety that is commonly found everywhere.
  • Zamicro is the dwarf variety that stays around 2ft tall in maturity. This is not a commonly known variety.
  • Zenzi is a type of ZZ that has a much more dense foliage with slightly curled leaves. This is also not a commonly sought after variety, but I did find it available on Planterina.
  • Raven is in-demand because the foliage is black. The new growth begins green, and turns black with a bit more maturity.
  • Variegated ZZ Plants are SUPER rare, highly sought after, and very expensive. These have white and/or yellow variegation throughout the leaves. I have seen cuttings of this plant for upwards of $300. Crazy! But it does look REALLY cool.

Sun Requirements:

Obviously this plant is known for its tolerance of low light but the key word is "tolerance." It actually prefers to be in medium, or bright, indirect light. For this plant to grow well, and produce new growth more frequently, you should place it in a bit more light.

I have mine along the opposite wall in a room with a South and West facing window and it has grown a lot better in that location. I previously had it in a darker room with a window that faced Northeast and I didn’t see any new growth on it for over a year- or at least I didn’t notice any.

This plant is perfect for any office setting because they are so tolerant to low light.

Water Requirement:

This guy is extremely drought tolerant. It prefers you put longer periods of time between watering. If it is too dry, it will start dropping its leaves.

If the leaves are yellowing and dropping, that indicates overwatering.

The plant doesn’t not need a lot of supplemented humidity but can benefit from an occasional misting or a humidifier near by.

As always, watering needs all depend on what kind of environment you have the plant in. For example, if you have it outside during the summer, more than likely it will need to be watered more often. In the outdoors in summer it is much warmer than your indoor environment.

Fertilizer:

There is no end to the countless number of ways to fertilize, but these are the two most common ways to do it...

  • Apply half strength all-purpose liquid fertilizer during growing season (spring-beginning of fall)
  • Apply a granular slow release fertilizer during the growing season

Those are definitely not the only ways to do it. I have also heard of people using earthworm castings, fish emulsion or certain food remnants. Do what is most comfortable for you!

Propagation:

The ZZ plant is very unique because new plants can come directly from the leaves! All you have to do is cut a leaf and place it in soil. Keep the moisture at a higher level and the humidity at a much higher level than normal.

This is a SUPER slow growing houseplant so patience is needed when propagating. This could take MONTHS before you see progress.

If you don’t want to wait that long for a new plant to grow, you can also divide them just like you would a Hosta or Peony in your yard! That being said, be as gentle as you can and expect both plants to recoup from the “procedure”. The ZZ Plants grow from rhizomes, similar to Iris, so you can also separate and replant them too!

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Araceae Family (along with Dieffenbachia, Monstera & more).
  • The ZZ Plant is native to Eastern and Southern tropical Africa.
  • It is hardy in Zones 9 & 10.
  • The ZZ Plant can flower but it is very rare indoors. It has a white flower that looks very similar to a Dieffenbachia flower. The flower usually pops out at the base of the plant so it is easy to miss within all the leaves. The plant is known for its foliage, not its flower.
  • New leaves and stems shoot out as a lighter (almost lime green) color.
  • Dusting these leaves is important for the health of the plant, and for proper photosynthesis to occur.
  • Well-draining soil is best- cactus soil is great since it is so drought tolerant.
  • The plant can reach upwards of 3 ft. tall in your home over a long period of time.
  • The ZZ Plant is toxic if ingested so be careful with pets and children. There are some cases where it cause skin irritation so watch your hands after handling.

#zzplant #zamioculcaszamiifolia #ravenzzplant #variegatedzzplant #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

This plant helps clean the air by filtering out toxins found in solvents, paint, and inks.

NASA did a large study and recognized the ZZ Plant as a great air purification plant along with many other houseplants! Check out the study below...

NASA: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[String of Hearts Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#16]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/string-of-hearts-plant-bio-podcast-ep-165f5d6a6c4a31470017b1b18eTue, 15 Sep 2020 12:43:09 GMTOwner: HollyThis guy could win anyone over with its style, class and overall cuteness! It is impossible to look at the plant and not think, "well that's just adorable". Then when you learn that this guy grows like wildfire, you now do everything you can to own one!

If this sounds like you- welcome to my world!

Varieties:

The weird things is- there really isn't any major variation unlike lots of houseplants that have tons of cultivars! There is a regular String of Hearts and variegated String of Hearts. The only difference is the added streaks of pink and white that can be found along the leaves and stems.

The String of Hearts' botanical name is Ceropegia woodii. Which is is actually the same botanical name for the not-as-cute relatives String of Spades and String of Daggers. These are also known as 'Heartless' String of Hearts because they have a pointed or triangle shaped leaf instead of a heart. The String of Daggers (as you can guess) is a thinner, longer leaf.

Sun Requirements:

This plant would like the most amount of light you can give it. If you can't give this plant enough light you may find the stems getting leggy with much more space between the leaves. They need bright light that is mostly indirect light but they can handle (and they like) direct sunlight for a bit of time. Leaving this plant in direct sunlight all afternoon in the summer is not ideal because the leaves can burn. But allowing this plant to enjoy a few hours of direct sunlight can be beneficial!

Water Requirement:

You need to allow the soil for the String of Hearts to dry out completely between watering. In order to make sure this happens, use a well draining soil like a cactus soil. If you can't find cactus soil, you can add perlite or sand to a regular potting mix. If you are wondering whether or not you should be watering again, wait a few more days. It is best for the plant to underwater than overwater.

Suggestion: Lift up your potted plant (obviously if it is small enough- don't break you back!) when

your plant is saturated to understand how heavy it feels when watered versus needing water. We used to do this at the garden center to understand if the hanging baskets needed water.

Fertilizer:

As always, there is no "right" product to use here. The active growing season for String of Hearts is spring, and summer, so make sure you are only fertilizing during those seasons. Usually I am seeing increased growth activity in late February/early March, and slowing down in August. You can...

1. Apply a half strength liquid houseplant or all-purpose fertilizer every couple weeks or every month (depending how often the packaging tells you to).

2. Apply a slow release fertilizer. This can free up some time since you may only need to apply this fertilizer once or twice.

This is completely up to you! I have always used a slow release fertilizer because of convenience, but I have started switching over to a liquid all purpose fertilizer just to see if there is a difference. I haven't used it enough to understand quite yet, but will update this when I do!

Propagation:

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! There are a couple ways to do it...

  1. Take a longer stem cutting and place it on top of soil. There are "tubers" that form on the stems right below the leaves. Roots will begin to grow in those spots creating multiple root zones along the stem. Make sure to spray the top of the soil and to keep it moist while establishing roots.
  2. Take a stem cutting and place in water or plant in soil. If you are taking a cutting and placing it in soil make sure to use a well-draining soil. But keep the soil a bit more moist while the roots are being established. If you are placing cuttings in water... well there isn't much explaining to that! Just make sure to pull of the leaves on the stem that will be in the water.

Flower:

This plant has a light pink/white/purple flower. Just because it is a houseplant doesn't mean that it is rare to see these flowers! The picture on the right shows my String of Hearts blooming!

These flowers can bloom indoors as long as you are giving it the appropriate light, water, and fertilizer.

Other Facts:

  • Semi-succulent because the stems can store water
  • Best grown as a plant that drapes over your planter- place this up high and watch those stems flow like a waterfall over the edge of the pot!
  • SUPER fast growing, especially when providing the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer.
  • Your normal home humidity is okay for these guys! Spraying every once in a while is healthy, but not necessary!

#stringofhearts #stringofdaggers #stringofspades #trailingtuesday #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

I purchased my plants at Equinox Botanical Boutique in Kenosha, WI but I have also seen them available at Watter Farms in Neenah, WI. I have also seen SEVERAL online plant companies selling them but they are typically much more expensive (in my experience).


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog and podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>
<![CDATA[From Holly: Note to Followers, Listeners & Supporters]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/blog-holly-s-note-houseplant-homebody5f2750863944b00017167d14Sun, 02 Aug 2020 23:47:18 GMTOwner: HollyWELCOME to my blog everyone! Thank you so much for your support and I can't wait to provide EVEN more hands-on information for you to explore.

Why a blog?

My number one goal when creating Houseplant Homebody was to create a comfortable space for the plant lover community to learn and explore. Creating the podcast episodes is a great start but I wanted to create an additional space where that information is accessible and can be visually seen!

What kind of content will the blog have?

I want to include AS MUCH fun and helpful information as possible, so here it is...

- Podcast Plant Bio information

- Plant Spotlights

- Tips & Tricks

- Featured Shops

- Holly's Favorites

- Guest Blog Posts

AND MORE!

I hope you all enjoy this new space and use it often! Let me know if there is anything you want to see- I would love to include anything you all are curious about!

- Holly Muenchow


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


#blogging #planttips #houseplanthomebody #featured #spotlight #plantlover #crazyplantlover

]]>
<![CDATA[Sansevieria Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#1]]>https://www.houseplant-homebody.com/post/podcast-plant-bio-sansevieria5f2750863944b00017167d13Sun, 02 Aug 2020 23:47:18 GMTOwner: HollyThe Sansevieria is one of the trendiest plants around the world right now, probably because it is SO easy to take care of as a houseplant. You see them staged in houses, magazines and you can find one at almost any garden center, nursery or plant shop you go to. And they are, in fact, a type of succulent!

All the Different Names...

Common Names:

Even though people still commonly refer to them as Sansevieria, there are still lots of other common names used...

Snake Plant, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Devil’s Tongue, Bird’s Nest, Saint George’s Sword, African Spear, Spear Orchid, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp & more!

Species Names:

So these are the fancy botanical names you would typically see after the name Sansevieria...

Trifasciata (reg & dwf), Masoniana, Zeylanica , Fischeri, Patens, Ballyi, Ehrenbergii & more!

Cultivar Names:

And these are the names you typically see denoted with single quotes...

Laurentii, Bantel’s Sensation, Black Gold, Moonshine, Whitney, Cylindrica, Mason Congo, Futura Superba, Futura Robusta, Twist, Golden Hahnii & MANY more!

***most trendy & rare right now is Mason Congo or the Whale Fin cultivars***

Wait, Sansevieria?! Isn't it Dracaena?

Well, yes it is... we don't like to to admit it though...

Wondering why it changed? Well taxonomists are able to run DNA tests on plant now-a-days! When plants were originally classified, they were placed in a class based on look or flower type since the technology we have today wasn't available. These guys are still widely known as Sansevieria in the plant community so I'm rollin' with it! Deal!

Sun Requirements:

This plant is known for being very low light tolerant but it can handle almost all forms of sunlight except direct sunlight. In my experience, the brighter light you have it in, the faster is seems to grow yet in very low light it does not harm the plants growth. Capeesh?

Water Requirement:

As I said in the beginning, this plant is technically considered a succulent. And you know what that means? Not much water needed! Water minimally and DO NOT over water this plant! Because it is able to store water in it's leaves it can rot easily if water to often or too much.

In my experience, I typically water my Sansevieria every few weeks in peak season and maybe every 5 weeks in the winter. This also depends on location, sunlight and type of pot it is in.

If you are questioning whether or not it's too soon to water, more than likely it is. Wait another few days and feel the soil. If it is bone dry and dusty then you can water. Sansevieria tend to shrivel a bit if they are under watered so this is another way to tell if it needs water.

If you are really worried about this part, there are soil moisture meters you can buy that will take the guess work out of it.

Here is an Amazon link to some soil moisture meters: https://www.amazon.com/slp/soil-moisture-meter/c836mozkce8c728

Fertilizer:

So this is a tricky topic because there is no one right way to do it.

In my experience, I have used a slow release fertilizer and that has worked fine. But a lot of other resources I check said slightly different things...

  • Practical Cactus & Succulent Book by Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway says "apply half strength cactus fertilizer once a year in spring"
  • Planterina & The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant both said to feed monthly from spring-fall of houseplant fertilizer at half the strength
  • Planterina also said using a slow release fertilizer in spring can do the trick too

Do what is most comfortable for you! If you don't have a lot of free time, maybe slow release fertilizer is the answer for you! Up to y'all!

Propagation:

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work EVERY time! Sansevieria can rot when being rooted (especially in water). There are a couple ways to do it...

  • Cut a leaf/leaves off the plant
  • If you are rooting in soil, you can cut them into 1-2" sections and stick directly into soil
  • If you are rooting in water I would leave a longer section just in case it rots
    • Leave at least 5" of the leave- this way you can cut the rotten part off and try again
    • Make sure to keep the bottom of the cut sections down, otherwise roots won’t grow
    • You can leave the cut as a straight cut or you can cut a V in the bottom
    • Typically if you are cutting a V in the bottom you are rooting in water
    • The V cut is NOT necessary, but I was successful with with the V cut water rooting

Flower:

I have seen Sansevieria bloom several times but only when they have placed outdoors or in hot greenhouses for extended periods of time during the summer months.

As a houseplant, you will rarely see these guys bloom, but never say never! A friend of mine has one in a bright window in his office and it bloomed this summer! So it is definitely possible!

Before the plant blooms, it will shoot up a thin stem which contains all of the buds. If may take a little bit before those buds poke out and flowers emerge. They have small white tubular flowers that grow all the way up the small of the stem- like mini white fireworks!

Other Facts:

  • Part of the Asparagus Family
  • Native primarily in Africa & Southern Asia
  • Other plants in this family are Yucca, Agave, Hosta, Hyacinths & Lily-of-the-Valley just to name a few
  • Sansevierias are poisonous to pets so please be careful!
  • Make sure you know the variety you are buying! If the plant is small, it may stay close to that small or it may get huge! Sansevieria come in standard and dwarf forms.
  • They are not dependent on higher humidity levels so there is not much extra care needed to add humidity to its environment
  • They do best when tightly packed in a pot and don’t need to be re-potted often
    • I actually planted a smaller 8" Sansevieria in a 15" pot and it slowly started loosing the outer leaves. I am not 100% sure if this is the reason but the outer leaves were very loose.
  • Try not to leave in consistent temperatures below 60 degrees F- like most tropicals

#snakeplant #sansevieria #dracaena #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody


WANT TO LISTEN?

Go to Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts & PodBean and search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more!

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW!

Stay connected on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @houseplanthomebodyllc

COMMENT/LIKE/FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE/SHARE on podcasts, blogs, and social media posts! Help other plant lovers find me too!


FUN FACT:

I Love Lucy is one of my favorite classic shows! I have all the seasons on DVD and I usually like to re-watch them all around Christmas time!


Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


If you want to save this blog or podcast episode, pin it to your Pinterest board!

]]>