Tips & Inspiration
Newly planted trees and shrubs should be slowly soaked to a depth of 3-4 inches, which is about an inch of rain per week. This is required for the first year or two.
Let the hose run slowly at the base of the plant until the water has penetrated evenly around the roots.
Too much water can be a problem. Feel the soil. If it is wet, do not water.
Your finger is the best water indicator.
Frequent light watering is not as good as a thorough soaking once per week.
House Plant Care in Winter
Winter can be a difficult time for our houseplants as the sunlight they receive is diminished in quantity and intensity. As the temperature drops outside we turn on our furnaces and radiators, which force drier air throughout our homes and businesses, when many house plants prefer slightly humid environments. Unfortunately, many of us will suffer from pest and disease complications. There is no reason to just throw in the towel and throw out your houseplants, with just a few minor adjustments of our own and helpful tips, your plants can be healthy and happy.
A few basic winter tips are:
∙Water only when necessary.
∙ Move plants to sunnier locations.
∙ Cleaning windows and washing dust off plants' leaves, will also help plants to absorb more light.
∙ Use artificial light, such as a grow lamp.
∙ Move plants away from radiators, heat vents/ducts, and make sure they are not in contact with cold window panes.
It is common for house plants to be afflicted with insects every once in a while, and when we turn our heat on many insects will hatch and crawl out of the soil to enjoy our warm homes. Prevention is the first step to keeping unwanted creatures off your plants and out of your home. Insecticides should only be used as a corrective, not a preventive measure. Check your plants daily for any insect damage. If you suspect insects are on your plant, immediately remove and isolate the plant from any other plants you may have in the nearby vicinity. Provide plenty of room for air circulation between plants and if you do have an infested and damaged plant, try not to be too compassionate. Your best bet is most likely to get rid of the infested plant (sorry). Always use clean pots, soil, tools, watering cans, etc.. when working with plants.
Oh no, I have an insect problem!
You have done your best to prevent insects from making a home of your plant, but they still arrived. Once you have isolated the plant, if possible using a kitchen or bath spray nozzle lightly spray with warm water to remove insects. If you cannot remove all insects by spraying or if it is not possible, wash/wipe the plant with a dampened (tepid or warm water) soft cloth. Insecticidal soap or a mild washing detergent may also be used. Clean all leaf surfaces, where leaves and stems connect, and the bases of stems and crowns. If the insects are large enough for you to remove them with tweezers, do so. Any portion of the plant that is severely infested you should trim and dispose of immediately. Make sure you wash your hands and disinfect any tools you used in extracting the insects before handling another plant. If an insecticide is necessary it is best to apply in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or basement or outside if possible. Read and follow all instructions on the label, do not think that you know how to better apply the product than the company that makes it. Common pesticides used to control house plant pests are malathion, pyrethrins, and insecticidal soap. The most common insects found on houseplants are aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and fungus gnats. A great article on identifying houseplant pests is "How to Identify Common Houseplant Pests". The photos are great reference tools. Another helpful article is "Common Houseplant Insects & Related Pests" from the University of Clemson cooperative extension. This article contains photos to help identify your insect pest. We are always more than happy to help you with your pest problem. Feel free to call or visit the store with any houseplant-related questions.
Luckily for you, you do not have a pest problem. Unfortunately for you, you have a disease or fungal problem. You have noticed that your once beautiful Peace Lily (spathiphyllum) has yellow and brown spots on its leaves. The leaf spots can be an indication of a bacterial or fungal leaf spot disease. Another common problem among houseplants is powdery mildew. Remove all affected leaves, move the plant where it will receive good air circulation away from neighboring plants in a less humid area, and avoid wetting the foliage. Once the disease is identified you may use a fungicide, making sure to follow all the directions on the chemical's label. One of the most important steps in stopping the spread of disease amongst your plants is to always wash your hands, pruners, scissors, or any tool that comes into contact with a sick plant before being used on another plant. For more information on diseases and fungal problems, including viral leaf curling and root rot diseases read "Houseplant Diseases & Disorders". The article and accompanying table is a great tool to use in helping to diagnose a sick plant. We are always more than happy to help you with your disease problem.
We are always more than happy to help with any problems your houseplant may be experiencing. Feel free to call or visit the store with any houseplant-related questions.