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Tropical House Plant Care – Introduction

September 25th, 2008

An article like this one is featured on Ezine Articles

Now that you have brought many of your outdoor tropical plants indoors for the winter, it’s time to go over some of the things you need to know about how to care for them indoors. This article begins a series on Tropical House Plant Care.

You don’t have to be an expert to grow beautiful plants indoors. Most varieties require a minimum of care, and will provide you with all of their benefits in return. There are three basic areas that you need to consider for a plant’s envirnoment: nourishment, their container, and their location.

  1. Nourishment: a) What type of plant fertilizer should you use, and how often should you apply it? b) How often should you water, how much water should you use, and what’s the best way to do it?
  2. Container: The size of the pot should be appropriate to the size of the plant, and it should have sufficient drainage. The potting soil used can make it easier to protect against mold and disease.
  3. Location: Where you place your plants will require consideration for the amount of light they receive, the temperature to which they are exposed, and the humidity of the air that they breathe.
Caring for your tropical houseplants simply involves providing them with an environment that simulates as closely as possible the conditions that they would experience in the wild. Once you establish a routine, they require very little of your time, and will provide you with beauty, as well as cleaner and fresher air for you home.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual

Essential Gardening Know-How for Keeping
(Not Killing) More Than 160 Indoor Plants.

Posted by Professor and filed under care, tropical house plants, water | 2 Comments »

House Plants for Health

September 21st, 2008

There has been quite a bit of interest in this topic, which was introduced by the previous video, Go Green With House Plants. So here is another video on the same topic.

Botanists agree that many houseplants can actually filter the air, and absorb toxic chemicals given off by items in your home, such as rugs, furniture, and appliances.

But not everybody agrees that it’s practical to depend on plants to rid your home of toxins, nor that those “toxins” are really all that dangerous. See the second Related Link below for an opposing point of view.

Duration : 01:46

Related Links

  • Top 10 Houseplants for Cleaner Air. Houseplants are our often-overlooked helpers in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins, counteracting outgassing and contributing to balanced internal humidity. …

  • Indoor Plants as Air Purifiers. I see a lot of people asking … about which plants are good at removing chemicals from the air, and where one might find these plants. …

How to Grow Fresh Air
Combat Sick Building Syndrome
Cleanse Your Home of Common Pollutants

Posted by Professor and filed under health, tropical house plants, video | No Comments »

Go Green With House Plants

September 17th, 2008

Looking for a simple way to go green?
How about some house plants?
Here are good some choices for cleaner air.

Duration : 00:03:34

Slate-Top Nesting Plant Stand
Put a Well-Deserved Spotlight on Your
Beautiful Tropical House Plants.

Posted by Professor and filed under health, tropical house plants, video | 7 Comments »

Bringing Tropical Houseplants Indoors for the Winter

September 13th, 2008

Is winter on its way?

Do you live in the temperate zone? Don’t forget that most of your houseplants are native to the tropical zone, and they don’t like it when the temperature falls much below 55 °F.

If you have been giving your indoor house plants an outdoor vacation this summer, you had better decide what you’re going to do with them this fall. Tropical plants are perennials, so most of your houseplants could probably survive the winter months indoors.

Some plants, such as coleus, are easily propagated by cuttings. So you may decide to give birth to some daughters instead of preserving the mother plant. If so, you should start the process about 6 weeks before the first frost, in case your cuttings don’t “take” the first time. After potting your new plants, treat them just like your other indoor tropical plants.

Don’t move your tropical plants indoors too quickly. Sudden changes in temperature, light, or humidity could shock them into losing all their leaves, or even death.

If daytime temperatures are still high enough, just bring them indoors overnight for a while. When it gets too cold to bring them out again, start their days in a sunny room, or closed-in porch.

Don’t forget to check thoroughly for insects and disease!

Never bring an unhealthy plant indoors. If you can’t cure it, throw it out! It could infect your other healthy plants.

  • Start by soaking your pots in a tub of water first, to force any insects out of the rootball.
  • Carefully inspect stems and the underside of leaves. Mites and mealybugs can usually be washed off with a rag soaked in soapy water.
  • Remove cocoons using a Q-tip and alcohol, to unstick them from the foliage.
  • Lift the plant out of its pot to examine the roots, and remove any remaining insects.
  • If there is white gauze-like stuff in the roots, you may need to soak the rootball in some insecticide.
  • You may decide to repot, using fresh potting soil, and a little fertilizer.

How to care for houseplants during the winter.

  • Don’t use any fertilizer for at least two or three months. Since your plant is not growing, it’s not absorbing as many nutrients, and the excess salts could damage the roots.
  • Don’t over-water. When indoors, plants don’t lose as much water due to evaporation caused by wind or hot sunlight. Only water when the top of the soil in the pot is quite dry to the touch.
  • Many plants react poorly to the lower humidity indoors during the winter. Some may prefer living in a bathroom, which has periods of higher water vapor content. Another solution my mother used to use is to group plants together on shelves that are lined with a tray of moist pebbles.
  • Finally, all plants need light. Unless they are native to the jungle floor, tropical plants are used to about 12 hours of sunlight each day. Place pots close to a window, and consider using fluorescent light to prolong their daylight hours. Don’t forget to rotate the plants regularly, so they don’t develop a permanent lean toward your window.

Good luck. And may your thumb always be green!

Posted by Professor and filed under tropical house plants, winter | 7 Comments »