Plant Care Guide
African Violets and Streptocarpus
Use a commercially produced African Violet soil mix. This mix contains lightweight, porous materials for good drainage and is the correct pH level.
Provide plants with about 12-14 hours of bright, indirect light each day. Water the plants after the top 1/2" of soil surface is dry. Fertilize plants regularly with African Violet fertilizer.
Ideal temperatures are 72 to 75 degrees F during the day and 67 to 70 degrees F at night. Humidity levels should be around 40-60%. Give plants good air circulation, but keep them out of drafts.
Keep plants clean and tidy. Remove all spent flowers, leaves and stems regularly.
Angel vine is a tough, high growing ground cover type plant. This plant likes full sun. Indoors this plant will do best in a bright location, but will tolerate periods of less than desirable conditions as long as it gets to recuperate under ideal conditions periodically.
Keep angel vine evenly moist at all times. This plant uses lots of water when warm. It will however recover from going completely dry and wilting, losing only the most dried out leaves. This plant is a fast grower, so limiting fertilizer will also help to limit its growth.
Transplanting angel vine into a porous container (like terra cotta) is not necessary. Keep it in a plastic or grazed ceramic pot to limit water frequency, but as with most plants do not let it sit in water.
Bold, multicolored leaves. The leaves grow from a rhizome. These perform well as house plants; give them bright light through a window and water only when the top inch or so of soil is dry. Plant them in wide, shallow pots. Rex begonias should get high humidity (at least 50%) to do their best. Provide this by misting with a spray bottle, placing pots on wet pebbles in a tray or keeping plants in a greenhouse. If you wish, you may cut the rhizome back to the pot. The old rhizome will branch and grow new leaves.
You can root rhizome pieces in a mixture of half peat moss, half perlite.
Outstanding indoor or outdoor plants. Outdoors, most grow best in pots on the ground or in hanging baskets in filtered shade with rich, porous, fast-draining soil, consistent, but light feeding, and enough water to keep soil moist but not soggy. Give indoor plants plenty of light in winter. In summer, keep out of hot noonday sun. Water thoroughly when top inch of soil is dry. Do not sprinkle leaves. Plant may get rangy, an indication of approaching dormancy; if they do, cut stems to 4-inch stubs. Most would like moderate humidity.
Most can be propagated easily from a leaf or stem.
Because a bonsai grows in a small container, there is a limited amount of soil to hold water. Regular watering is thus a priority. How frequently do you need to water? The answer depends on the size and type of plant, the soil volume, and the weather.
Keep your bonsai plant moist at all times. Check your bonsai plant each day to see if it requires water. To test for moisture content, press your finger into the media at the base of the tree trunk. Water should be applied when the media feels slightly damp.
The best means of irrigating your bonsai plant is by submerging the entire bonsai container in a tray or bucket of water for at least five to ten minutes. If water must be applied to the top of the pot, the stream should be directed to the media at the base of the tree trunk. Continue irrigating until water pours from the drainage holes on the underside of the pot.
Spring is the best season for repotting. Avoid repotting during extended hot days. Young trees under two years need to be repotted every two years. Deciduous trees should be transplanted every 2 - 3 years and evergreens every 3 - 5 years.
Plants should be fertilized through the growing season from spring to fall. Plants should not be fertilized until 3 weeks after is has been transplanted.
Cacti and Succulents
Plants should be watered thoroughly on a regular basis commencing in early spring, as signs of new growth occur, and be continued through late fall. If rainfall is below average or widely spaced, plants must be watered during dry winter periods. The key to watering is good drainage. As the plants grow and fill the container, the mix breaks down and becomes compost. This makes for poor drainage and aeration. Plants should be re-potted in new mix every two to three years depending on growth rate and size of container.
Fertilize at each watering with a general purpose houseplant food as per instructions on container. Fertilizing should be done throughout the year. A high potassium fertilizer such as Peters African Violet Food 12-36-14 is beneficial to bring on strong bloom.
When planting, use a commercially prepared cactus and succulent mix. We carry L&L Cactus Mix in 4qt and 8qt bags. Planting can be done anytime during the year. Re-potting as mentioned above is best done during spring and summer. Addition of P4 or Water Grabber to the mix will reduce the frequency of watering.
At least four to six hours of direct sunlight or the equivalent in indirect light is optimum. Unobstructed light from the east, west or south will meet this criteria. There is a group of cactus and succulents that prefer a shaded location. We have these separated in our sales area.
Cacti and succulents will tolerate extremes in heat and dryness. Cactus as a general rule will take freezing temperatures for short periods. Most succulents prefer climates above 32 degrees.
Feel the top of the soil with your finger (digging down 1/2" is best). If it feels wet, do not water; if it feels moist do not water, but check again the following day; if it is dry, water immediately. Ivy likes to dry out slightly between waterings; this doesn't mean that it is ok to forget about it for two weeks. Going from very dry to very wet more than a couple of times will cause vines to die of root rot.
Fertilization is only needed if the plant turns chlorotic (yellow or light green) over time. In a typical home location, this would be once or twice a year.
If grown outdoors, place in an area that receives direct sunlight in the morning. Our ivy can be grown in full sun, but must be acclimated first, or it will burn. If placed indoors, ivy will do best in a high light area out of direct sun.
Ivy is a favored host of spider mites especially in the summer. They love warm, dry, dusty spots on the tops of plats. The best way to deal with spider mites is to prevent them from becoming a problem. Mist the plants frequently every day or wash them once a week or so. Chemical such a insecticidal soap or Diazinon work on spider mites.
Our ivy should be transplanted into a terra cotta pot that is larger than the plastic pot it comes in. Ivy roots need lots of oxygen and the porous nature of terra cotta allows plenty of oxygen in while also preventing over-watering by evaporating excess water through the sides of pot.
World’s Most Unusual Air Plants
These rather unusual looking plants come from the family of Hora Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads). The Bromeliad family includes a wide range of plants such as the Pineapple and the famous Spanish Moss. It is an epiphytic genus (able to grow without soil) comprised of over 400 recognized species. Tillandsias are tremendously adaptable, tolerating a wider range of conditions than most other plants. They will tolerate almost freezing temperatures and extreme heat. Tillandsias vary greatly in sizes, shapes and textures. Some characteristics are soft leaves, stiff leaves and are also rosette shaped. Beautiful flowers are a remarkable feature of these plants. Most tillandsias come from Latin America.
Tillandsia kept indoors, should received plenty of strong light. Outdoor Tillandsia should receive bright but filtered light (April-October). Tillandsias love direct sun from November through March.
Optimum temperature range for outdoor Tillandsias is 50-90 degrees F. Tillandsias love fresh air breezes.
Thoroughly west your Tillandsia 2-3 times per week, more often in a hot, dry environment, less often in a cool, humid one. Plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours after watering. An exaggerating of natural concave of each leaf evidences under-watering.
Foliage fertilization is recommended once a month. Dilute to 1/4 of the indication.
Blooming may take 7 years from seedling. Tillandsias will reproduce by offsets and will mature to adult size in 1 to 4 years.
Plants may be attached to driftwood, rocks or other items with clear silicone or Liquid Nails available at most hardware stores.
Tillandsia Cyanea (Pink Quill)
Bright pink flowers will continue for up to 3 months. When the pink quill has stopped producing the purple offshooting flowers, you may cut the quill out of the plant. This mother plant will no longer produce a quill, but will produce baby plants.
Cyanea like medium to high light. Allow the plants to slightly dry between waterings and fertilize as you would for other houseplants. Cyanea prefer temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees F.
If you wish to produce more quills on the baby plants you may put the entire plant in a bag with a overripe banana for 24-48 hours. This will hopefully jumpstart the flowering process.
Melaleuca Nesophilia (Pink Melaleuca)
This Plant is a fast growing tree or large shrub; it can possibly grow up to 15 to 30 feet. It grows naturally as a small tree; un-pruned, it produces gnarled heave branches the sprawls or ascends in picturesque patterns. Thick spongy bark and gray green thick roundish 1” leaves. It produces a mauve bottle brush like flower faded with a white ends that are about 1” wide that produces most of the year. The plant can take beach winds, and spray, poor rocky soil; desert heat. In the beginning stages of the plant it like ample amount of water and once in gets established, it is a drought tolerant plant. Use as a big informal screen, tree, or shear as a hedge. Or you can bonsai like the one we have.
Melaleuca nesophila resembles a bottlebrush plant, but the name is more generally applied to Callistemon. Clusters of woody seed capsules hang on for several years, forming odd, decorative cylinders around twigs and branches. They have contorted and bark that peels in thick paper like layers.