Honey Bee's Florist
Plant Care Information
- Set the schefflera plant indoors in a sunny location, but not in direct sunlight. Bright, filtered light to one side of a window is best. If the schefflera's roots are crowded in the pot, transplant it into a pot about 2 inches wider in diameter. Loosen the roots and spread them out, then fill in the new pot with potting soil and firm it down.
- Water the schefflera only when the soil is dry to a depth of 2 inches. Water the soil well, but do not allow the plant to sit in a saucer of water, which can lead to root rot. If the leaves turn black, you are watering the schefflera too much. If the leaves turn yellow, you aren't watering it enough
House Plant Ivy
- Plant your hanging house ivy in a peat-based potting soil that is well-drained of water. Check the label to make sure it has the capacity to hold large amounts of water, which is required for the indoor ivy to thrive.
- Hang your house ivy somewhere that does not get direct sunlight. Strong sunlight dries out the plant. South and west facing windows, for example, receive the most sunlight and should be avoided.
- Water your plant until the soil feels moist. Add more water when it starts to dry out. Sometimes, watering won't be necessary each day.
- Know how the light conditions affect a pothos plant. The plant grows in low light places, but the leaves will attain their best color if you grow it in direct sunlight filtered by a transparent curtain. You also can grow it in indirect sunlight from an east or west window.
- Place a saucer under a pothos if it is in a hanging basket, and occasionally fill the saucer with water to increase the humidity.
- Let the potting mix dry to the touch before watering in spring, summer and fall. In the winter, let the potting mix thoroughly dry out in between waterings. The plant can sustain occasional drought if you go on vacation, but it should not go more than two to three weeks without water.
- Prevent a pothos from getting long and gangly by cutting stems back. Make a cut 1 inch in front of a leaf. The vine will not branch, but generates a new stem from the cut. A pothos plant grows indefinitely if you don't cut it back
- Place the prayer plant in medium light away from a south window or in front of a west or east window. However, if direct light comes in the plant's window, filter it with a transparent curtain. If exposed to direct sunlight, the leaf color will fade.
- Keep the temperature of the prayer plant's room below 65 degrees Fahrenheit or, if it rises higher, increase the humidity by misting it frequently with soft water and placing a tray of pebbles under the plant. High humidity is necessary for the plant to bloom.
- Water the prayer plant enough so the potting mix stays moist during most of the year. However, allow the top half of the potting mix to dry out in between waterings during the winter. This will give the plant a needed dormant period.
- Place the prayer plant in small, shallow pots which are as wide as or wider than they are tall. The roots of this plant are shallow. The plant can be given good care in rectangular pots which some other plants might not thrive in. It's best to use plastic or wood pots for prayer plants instead of clay or ceramic pots, which absorb water.
- ZZ handles Low Light Levels Well
Even though the plant does well in lower light levels, by placing it in brighter light it performs even better. Keep the plant away from any hot direct afternoon sun as the plant can burn. A good bright filtered afternoon sun would work well.
- Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Don’t Sit In Water
Don’t let this plant sit in water or stay wet. This plant is better to keep on the dry side. If you water it too much or the plant sits in water you may find yellowing leaves.
- A little more about watering from my side. I purposely neglect plants to test their toughness. In my office I have a ZZ which has been inside for about 16 months. Let me tell you – I don’t do anything to it. It looks pretty good considering I have not watered it… Ready for this – drum roll please – 6 times in 16 months.
- The best part of the ZZ may not be its toughness, or low light ability or low water requirements – but no insect problems. Or none that anyone has been able to identify.
- Eliminating this one element makes caring for your plant much easier. The plant has left you with only a couple of things to manage – light and water, what could be easier.
- The downside, yes there always is a downside. The downside is that ZZ is slow growing so the production is slow. Ask at your favorite nursery or garden center about the ZZ – the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.
Rabbits Foot Fern
- Sun - Rabbit's foot fern prefers partial shade and even survives in full shade, preferring indirect lighting. Direct sun can brown the delicate leaves, so place your fern away from full sunlight. Avoid windowsills that get all-day sun and western and southern outlooks, which have more intense sunlight.
- Water - Ferns love high humidity but don't need constant watering. Misting is a good technique to keep the plant moist but not over watered. A drainage tray with pebbles under the fern pot's base can help keep soil from getting soggy and pouring a thin layer of water around the pebbles will provide evaporation for more humidity. Rabbit's foot fern does not need constantly moist soil. You may also consider putting a room humidifier nearby, which can benefit both the fern and you
- Put nephthytis in indirect sunlight, if possible, but avoid intense, direct sunlight. If the light is bright enough to read a newspaper, it's bright enough for nephthytis
- Water nephthytis lightly once a week. Don't worry if the leaves get a bit wilted during hot weather, because they will bounce back with a little water. Feed nephthytis a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer twice a month, according to the directions on the label.
- As nephthytis matures, install a trellis or a stake for it to climb on. Nephthytis is a slow grower, so you won't need to worry about this for at least a year. If the plant gets bigger than you like, cut back the stems.
- Trim nephithytis if you prefer that it stay compact. If you want, put the cuttings in a jar of water to grow new plants.
Indoor Aloe Vera
- Make sure your indoor aloe vera plant is properly planted in an accommodating container and the correct type of soil. If your aloe plant has leaves about 12 inches long it should be in a pot about 6 inches in diameter, or whatever is half of the leaf span. Aloes in general like to be root-bound, meaning that the roots will grow together and intertwine. Soil should be a light, coarse, sandy mix that does not retain water. Succulent or cactus soil is ideal for all types of aloe plants. Make sure your pot has a large drain hole.
- Place the aloe plant in a warm sunny location. South and west facing windows with at least 6 hours of sunlight a day are ideal. In the warm summer months, after any chance of frost has passed, it's good to let your indoor aloe plant get some fresh air and direct sun. Bring the plant back indoors well before the first signs of frost or cold weather sets in. Never let your plant stay outside in less than 32 degree weather.
- Water your indoor aloe plants sparingly; over watering is the most common error gardeners make with aloe. During the winter months watering once a week until the soil is damp to the touch is plenty when aloe plants are dormant. April through October, twice weekly or more watering may be necessary. Just make sure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If the soil feels wet or damp, you can probably hold off on the water for a day or two.
Indoor Jade Plant
- Place in high light situations. Jade plants will tolerate some direct sunlight. They will thrive in front of a south window, but will also do fine in front of an east window. If given some direct sunlight, they will flower. If growth is spindly, the plant may not be getting enough light.
- Provide an intermediate temperature between 50 degrees F and 80 degrees F. While Jade plants will tolerate high temperatures, they do best if given low temperatures in the winter. In the winter, Jade plants will survive in temperatures down to 45 degrees F. Cooler temperatures will also encourage winter flowering.
- Allow potting mix to dry out between waterings. Water only when you can stick your finger all the way into the potting mix and not feel any moisture. Water less in the winter. If given too much water, Jade plants will rot.
- Put in a clay pot. Clay pots absorb water and will therefore help the plant dry out in between waterings. If grown in a bright window in a clay pot, monitor the plant and if the leaves become soft, the plant needs water.
- Use a potting mix high in perlite or sand. Buy a special potting mix for succulents or mix 1 part standard potting mix with 1 part perlite or sand.
- Pinch new growth occasionally to encourage Jade Plants to branch.
- Give crotons several hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. The more light the plant receives, the more colorful the leaves will be. Grown in inadequate light, the leaves will be mostly green with yellow veins. Leaves may also fall off in low light.
- Place plant on a tray of pebbles to give it the little humidity boost it needs. Water will be absorbed by the pebbles and create humidity as it evaporates.
- Keep the potting mix moist, but be careful not to allow water to stand on top of soil. Reduce watering in the winter, allowing the top of the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Prune branches in early spring if plant outgrows its space or if a bushier plant is desired. Plant will branch where pruning takes place. Croton plants may get tall and spindly without pruning
- LIGHT: Your rubber tree [Ficus elastica] has evolved from plants naturally found in sub tropical and tropical areas of the world. For that reason they are happy to be placed in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. On the flip side they will not be happy near a drafty or cold window.
- WATER: Tropical plants are used to soil that gets saturated often yet have periods of time when the soil is able to dry out. Your rubber tree will thrive when you follow that natural pattern and water it thoroughly allowing it to dry a bit before watering again. For best results don't shock the roots with ice cold water and stay away from soft water as it has a high salt content. Water collected in your dehumidifier is perfect!
- FERTILIZER: Using a water soluble type fertilizer mix it to half strength. Fertilize it every three to four weeks when it is in a heavy period of growth. Cut back on the fertilizer in the fall and hardly use any during the short days of winter.
- PRUNING: Unless you want a huge tree in your house you will want to prune it once in a while. Pruning will help keep the plant shorter and will help the plant to branch out making a more esthetic plant. Prune as you would any woody plant, cutting just above a node [where a leaf is attached to the stem, or where another stem branches off]. New growth will come out of the scar area.
- Grow peperomias with all green leaves in bright light, but not direct sunlight. A west window or an east window shaded by a transparent curtain works best. Peperomias with variegated leaves can tolerate more light and need more light to generate bright colors. These plants can be grown in an unshaded east window or a shaded south window.
- Give peperomias warm temperatures of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Peperomias will tolerate most temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but prefer temperatures no higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Treat a peperomia like a tropical plant. It is important to remember that peperomias, despite the fact that many have thick, succulent leaves, are not in fact succulents. They are more like tropical plants and require high humidity. Placing the plants on trays of pebbles and misting the foliage once a week will help give them the humidity they need.
- Water peperomias sparingly because over-watering will cause them to drop leaves. This is one area where peperomias differ from a lot of other tropical plants. They should be watered only when their soil has dried out. If growing in a west or east window, they will need water once every 2 weeks and perhaps slightly more often. If you can not feel moisture by sticking your finger most of the way down to the bottom of the pot, it is probably safe to water a peperomia.
- Repot peperomias only when their roots have wrapped fully around the bottom of their pots. Peperomias have few roots and therefore should not be repotted often. They are unlikely to need pots larger than 4 inches.
- Commonly known as the Chinese evergreen, the aglaonema as it is more commonly known, is one of the most preferred plants for homes and offices because of its low-maintenance characteristics and its ability to be cultivated in low-light conditions. This does not mean that this type of plant can survive on its own without care. You can care for them at home.
- Where to Place - Aglaonemas prefer to be placed in indirect light or partial shade. They grow best in areas with shadowless light, such as north-facing windows. They do not like the cold--they must not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in temperature conditions between 68 F and 86F. High humidity is also essential. They are easily propagated from cuttings, which can root in a container of water.
- Soil Requirements - The soil should be a combination of bark, peat moss, wood chips, sand, sawdust and aerolite or Styrofoam in order for Aglaonemas to live longer indoors. In general, the soil must hold moisture and drain well.
- Watering - Soil must be moist and not wet or soggy. When watering, allow the excess to drain off. Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. For Aglaonemas that are exposed to higher light levels, allow the soil to dry about a third of the container's depth before watering it.
Older plants might require more soaking or watering, but do not overwater. Still allow the soil to dry in between waterings. Aglaonemas can dry out fast. The older leaves will start to turn yellow then brown.
- Plant outdoor-grown Philodendron Xanadu in well-drained soil. To plant Philodendron Xanadu in a container, use a sturdy container with a drainage hole in the bottom. Fill the container with a good quality, soilless potting mixture. Avoid using garden soil, which becomes heavy and shrinks from the inside of the container.
- Plant outdoor-grown Philodendron Xanadu in partial shade, or in an area where the plant is sheltered from direct afternoon sunlight. Indoors, keep the plant in moderately bright light. Place the plant 5 to 8 feet away from a bright, sunny window, or near a bright window with light filtered through a sheer curtain. A window with a northern exposure is also appropriate.
- Water in-ground and containerized Philodendron Xanadu when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Water in-ground plants enough to saturate the roots. Water containerized plants until water trickles through the drainage hole, then allow the plant to drain thoroughly. Always allow the top of the soil to dry before watering
Bird’s Nest fern
- Provide the bird's nest fern with plenty of daytime sunlight. Direct sun will scorch the fronds, so at least six to eight hours of filtered light is preferred.
- Maintain a constant temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For some, this temperature may not be sustainable. In such cases, a plant heating pad set to the required temperature will suffice.
- Supply the bird's nest plant with moist soil. The soil should not dry out in between waterings. Water the soil deeply on a weekly basis, allowing the water to flow through the layers of soil and out the drainage holes.
- Feed the bird's nest fern a diet of organic fertilizer. Follow the package labeling for application instructions and allocation amounts. Most bird's nest ferns appreciate a dose of fertilizer in the early spring and mid-summer.
- Remove pests with a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Run the cotton ball over the top and bottom of each frond. The isopropyl alcohol will kill pests and render the foliage of the plant less attractive to future pests.
- Keep the areca palm tree in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Find a location about five feet from a sunny window and away from any drafts.
- Water the areca palm tree until you see water drain out the bottom of the pot, but never leave any water in the drainage tray that may cause root rot. Do not use water that contains any salts or minerals. Wait until the soil dries a few inches down to water again.
- Apply a palm-type fertilizer monthly or as directed throughout the growing season from spring to fall. Or use a time-released formula once or twice a year as needed.
- Prune the areca palm tree only as required to remove any fronds that have already died or to get rid of any unwanted shoots that emerge. It is common for the tips of the fronds to turn brown and it is not recommended to trim them, which could stop further development of that branch.
- Repot the areca palm tree in the spring when it outgrows its container. Use a container one size bigger and a palm-type potting soil, and never plant the areca palm tree deeper than it was before.
Potted Annuals Care
- The soil in pots dries out more quickly than soil in the garden. Check the pots once a day during summer and every few days in spring and fall. Use your finger as a dipstick. If the soil is dry, water the plant. Don't water if the soil is moist. Annuals require good drainage so the pot must have drainage holes. If it's a decorative container with no drainage, plant the annual in a pot that does have drainage holes, then put that pot in the decorative container. Remove the pot when watering. Return it to the decorative container when water is no longer leaking out of the drainage holes.
- Growing Conditions - Choose annuals for the same pot that require the same growing conditions. Plant drought-tolerant flowers such as four o'clock, lantana and cleome together. Plant shade-loving annuals such as begonias and impatiens together, not with sun-loving annuals.
- Cool Season - Spring-blooming annual flowers include pansy, viola, nasturtium and sweet pea. They do not need warm temperatures to germinate and prefer cool temperatures to bloom. Their season is finished by the time the weather gets warm in early summer. Plant nasturtiums near the edges of the container so they trail down. Insert a small trellis, no more than 24 inches high in the back of the container, for dwarf sweet peas to climb. Add ready-to-bloom spring bulbs, such as crocus and miniature daffodils. Finish by planting pansies and violas in the center of the container. Larkspur, stock and dianthus are other cool season annuals.
- Warm Season - Summer-blooming flowers require warm temperatures, preferably above 80 F during the day with nighttime temperatures above 70 F. The soil should be above 70 F for germination to take place. Orange zinnias, yellow marigolds and blue daze are warm season annuals that would make a striking color combination in a pot. Celebrate the Fourth of July with a pot edged in white sweet alyssum and blue lobelia with red petunias in the middle.