One houseplant that has been on the market for many years, but still gets overlooked is the Syngonium. These vining plants, also called arrowhead vines (especially in older literature), are perfect for beginners as they thrive in medium light, don’t have any special watering needs, and come in a variety of leaf shapes and colors
An unhealthy houseplant is most often the result of improper care. Too much or too little water, light, or air circulation cause many plant problems. If a plant is struggling or stressed due to improper care, the likelihood of pest infestation increases. Providing a houseplant with the growing conditions it needs is the best way to keep it healthy and minimize pest infestation.
No longer in the tropics, my orchids live indoors now and thrive in the high desert climate of Albuquerque, which shows how adaptable they are. They are treated like my other houseplants (African violets, Christmas cactus, etc.). I water them once a week and keep them near a shaded south-facing window where they get early morning and late afternoon direct sun. Different orchids have different humidity and light requirements, so I have learned to choose those that fit into a low-humidity, good light regime.
For many gardeners, reading about gardening and plants is the next best thing to working in their own garden or tending their containers or houseplants. If you are looking for a special book to give your favorite gardener this holiday season, consider one of the following Extension Master Gardener favorites.
Join Extension Master Gardener Interns Evin Morrison and Rebecca Secula to learn about getting plants to thrive in your home. Evin and Rebecca cover a variety of topics including ideal lighting conditions, potting soil recipes, and how to deal with pests.
phototropism: growth or movement of an organism stimulated by light either toward or away from the light source
You have observed phototropism if you grow houseplants–they bend toward the window. If you want them to grow vertically, then you have to routinely rotate the pots.
The houseplant I always recommend to beginners is Philodendron hederaceum (heartleaf philodendron). The No. 1 reason I recommend heartleaf philodendron to beginners is because it is extremely forgiving and thrives in a variety of conditions. Simply put, you probably won’t kill a heartleaf philodendron while you learn the ins and outs of caring for houseplants.
At the end of a long winter indoors, houseplants often become spindly and tired-looking. You can renew your plants by moving them outdoors for the summer. Finding the right spot for their “summer vacation” is key.
Lina Rodriguez has been keeping houseplants healthy for ten years and has over 50 in her home. Only four of them are succulents. Because here’s the secret: succulents are easy, low-maintenance houseplants if you have the perfect conditions for them. But a lot of people don’t.
If you’re looking to introduce indoor plants to your home, Tradescantia pallida (purple heart) and Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) are two good choices for starter houseplants. Following are growing basics for each plant.
If National House Plant Appreciation Day (Jan. 10) got you thinking about getting a house plant for the first time or if you are looking for easy-to-grow house plants to expand your existing collection, The Indestructible House Plant: 200 Beautiful Plants that Everyone Can Grow by Tovah Martin is a great resource.
Propagation techniques will not only give you more plants to sell, plant or give away, these practices are great for rejuvenating your plants and your soil at the same time. Kirsten Conrad, the Agricultural Natural Resource Extension Agent for Arlington County and City of Alexandria, discusses some easy plant propagation techniques like division, layering, and cuttings for use with both houseplants and common outdoor garden plantings.
Succulents come in all shapes and sizes with many suited to a small space. However, the defining characteristics of succulents is their ability to store water in their fleshy leaves, thick stems, or swollen roots. The variety of small succulents and their ability to survive in semi-arid environments with infrequent watering is what makes them a perfect choice for your small space.