Sunday, October 3, 2010

Do Ficus trees like to stay in one place? If you move a Ficus, does it die?

We rent ficus trees. They're are in constant motion. They are hearty, strong plants. Ficus trees will drop leaves when they are in shock . That may be the reason for their reputation as being finicky. But Ficus are just like any other tropical plant. They like stable temperature and even soil moisture levels. There was a time when the chemical in fresh paint reacted with Ficus and caused total defoliation. Ficus seem to be more chemical sensitive than other plants. The great thing about a Ficus tree is that it will always try to come back. So sweep up the leaves, make sure it gets some light, check the watering, convert to hydroponic substrate if you can, and give it a trim. It will be fine. Move your Ficus all you want.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Does talking to your plants help them live?

Like any relationship it's listening that matters.

Do plants like coffee?

Splashing your plant with coffee will discourage leaf eating pests but in most case won't help the roots or soil. Coffee in the soil will decrease the pH level and possibly cause mold to grow. Coffee bean plants make beautiful indoor plants.

Do plants like being cleaned and polished with mayonnaise?

A clean plant is a beautiful plant, and wiping leaves individually with mayo seems laborious. If I really wanted a food product on my plants I would reach for the nonperishable vegetable oil. A Jojoba bean or no-stick spray sounds delicious.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do declining plants need fertilizer?

Plant food or fertilizer is not medicine. It is intended for healthy plants that are growing vigorously and are using up the essential nutrients in the soil. You cannot force plants to use more nutrients than they need. Excess nutrients accumulate in the soil and burn tender roots and cause leaf discoloration. Ailing plants absorb fewer nutrients than healthy plants.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do most indoor plants go dormant in the winter?

Most indoor plants come from tropical regions that are warm year-round. Unlike temperate zone plants, tropical plants grow actively all year long. Indoors in northern climates the winter months bring shorter hours of daylight. This reduction in light will cause plant growth rates to slow leading some observers to believe they are dormant.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Does misting increase the humidity for plants?

Misting plants once or twice per day increases the humidity by so little that it has no practical value for humidity-loving plants. Misting does help keep plants clean, however.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do yellow leaves indicate over-watering?

Yellow leaves are a  common symptom. There are multiple causes including too little water, inadequate light, excess fertilizer, insects, too much light, disease or chlorides in the water.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do interior plants need to be in the window?

Only some indoor plants benefit from direct sun. Often, plants acclimate to different light intensities. A ficus leaf will thicken and actually grow to a smaller size in full sun. But when your plant is happy, don't move it.  Indoor plants are often acclimated to the shade. These plants might suffer when exposed to direct sun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do plants need nutrients to make them grow?

Houseplants in a controlled production greenhouse are kept in an ideal conditions for rapid growth. Some plants and production flowers are even hybridized for fast growth characteristics.

Nutritional needs of a plant in a production green house are greater than in a typical personal house plant environment where humidity, light, irrigation, and air circulation are not ideal. After being removed from the production greenhouse the plant slows evapotranspiration. Likewise after being brought into a typical household the watering and nutitional requirments decline, the plants growth rate declines and the nutritional needs decline. Plants use most of the carbon that they release from Co2 to create energy but some of the carbon feeds plant growth. Far less plant food comes from the soil.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Do plants need a big container to get big?

The fastest growing plants are those that are moderately potbound. Frequently repotted plants put much of their energy into growing more roots, at the expense of leaves and flowers. Plants in large pots are also much more likely to suffer from root rot..

Do indoor plants only grow indoors?

There's really no such thing as an "indoor" plant in nature. They're all exterior plants. But most are shade loving and temperature sensitive because they are typically from tropical zones.