Thursday, 19 January 2017

Trailing Watermelon Begonia - Pellionia repens Indoor Plant Care Guide

Although this exotic creeper grows in tropical forests, it adapts well as a house- plant and looks especially good in a hanging basket. It produces a profusion of succulent stems that carry fleshy, elliptic leaves up to 2in/5cm long. 

These are bronze to olive green with a pale green band in the center. This creeper enjoys plenty of light, warmth, high humidity, and a protected position.

 Trailing Watermelon Begonia - Pellionia repens plant

Pellioniapulchra, satin pellionia, has green stems with a pink tinge and pale gray-green leaves marked with brown-black veins.


ORIGIN Burma; Vietnam; Malaysia.

HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm.

POTTING MIX Soil-based.
           Trailing Watermelon Begonia

REPOTTING Move to a pot one size larger each spring until a 5-in/13-cm pot is reached. 

PROPAGATION In summer, by division; make sure that each section has some roots. Or take 2-in/5-cm-long stem cuttings at any time. 

KEEPING PLANTS The plant should live for several years, but divide it every 2-3 years to prevent it becoming spindly.

            Trailing Watermelon Begonia - Pellionia repens

 Trailing Watermelon Begonia PLANT CARE

  • Bright light or partial shade; no direct sunlight. 

  • Warm room temperature, 65°—85°F/ 18°-29°C. 

  • Water well all year. 

  • Humidity is essential; stand the pot on a dish of moist pebbles and mist the plant daily. 

  • Apply weak liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from spring to fall.

        Trailing Watermelon Begonia indoor plant

Friday, 6 January 2017

Washingtonia Filifera Palmae Desert fan Palm Indoor House Plant

One of only two species of washingtonia, this palm is a tall, handsome plant with spiny leafstalks some 18in/46cm long supporting grayish green fan-shaped leaves up to 2ft/60cm wide. 

Washingtonia Filifera Palmae

The leaves are split about halfway down into many narrow segments, from the tips of which hang fine, dry, brown fibers.

In the wild, the tapered red-brown trunk is densely clothed in dead foliage, which is generally cut away on cultivated plants.

This fringe of dead leaves gives the plant its name of petticoat palm.

In their arid natural habitat, these palms are a sure sign of subterranean water, into which they send down long, deep roots. Since they thrive in hot, dry regions, the palms do well in centrally heated homes.

                   Washingtonia Filifera Palmae Desert fan Palm Indoor House Plant


ORIGIN USA (California; Arizona).

HEIGHT To 10ft/3m; to 80ft/24m in the wild.

POTTING MIX Soil-based with added peat moss or leaf mold in a ratio of 2:1.

REPOTTING Move into a pot one size larger when roots appear on the surface of the soil— every 2 or 3 years—and then only when the plant is in active growth. 
Palmae Desert fan Palm Indoor House Plant
Plant the palm firmly, but be very careful not to damage the brittle roots, especially the larger, thicker ones.

PROPAGATION From seed in considerable heat; this is generally not practicable for the home gardener.

KEEPING PLANTS The palm will benefit from a spell outdoors in a sheltered spot during the summer. Bring it indoors again in the fall before the first frost.
Palmae Desert fan Palm Indoor House Plant image

Washingtonia Filifera Palmae Desert fan Palm PLANT CARE

  • Bright light with plenty of direct sun. 
  • Warm or hot rooms, with a minimum of 50°F/10°C.
  • Water plentifully in the growing period, more sparingly in winter.  
  • Stand the pot on a tray of damp pebbles in very dry conditions. 
  • Apply a standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks in the growing period.

Tulipa Hybrids Liliaceae Indoor House Plant Guide

Tulipa Hybrids  Liliaceae Indoor House Plant Guide
Tulips are less commonly grown indoors than hyacinths or narcissi, but several varieties make good short-term pot plants. The early-flowering single and double types are best. 

Singles include scented yellow ‘Bellona’; red ‘Christmas Marvel’; salmon pink ‘Apricot Beauty’; and ‘Flair,’ which is golden yellow with red feathering. Good doubles include orange-yellow ‘Marechal Niel’; white ‘Schoonoord’; and rose pink ‘Peach Blossom.’

Also attractive are varieties of the low- growing Tulipa greigii, with mottled foliage, and T. Kaufmann IANA, the water-lily tulip, with wide, open blooms.

Treat tulip bulbs like those of hyacinth and narcissus and give them a cool, dark period after planting so they will develop an adequate rooting system. Plunge the pot in the ground outdoors under a covering of peat moss or enclose it in a black plastic bag and stand it in a cool place.


ORIGIN Turkey; East Asia; hybrid.

HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm, depending on variety.

POTTING MIX Peat-moss-based or bulb medium.

REPOTTING Set bulbs close together in a pot in fall, with their noses just covered.

PROPAGATION Not practical for the amateur. Seedlings take 5-7 years to flower. Mature bulbs increase slowly by offsets.

KEEPING PLANTS Plant bulbs outdoors once flowering is over; it is not worth growing them for indoor use again.


  • Give bulbs a cool, dark period of about 10 weeks after planting; bring them into the light when they have about 2in/5cm of top growth. 
  • Keep in a bright location during flowering.
  • About 40 F/4 C for 10 weeks after planting; increasing gradually to about 55°F/13°C for flowering.
  • Keep the medium just moist at all times.
  • Give a balanced liquid feed every 2 weeks.

PUNICA GRANATUM Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate Indoor Plant

This compact and shrubby plant, with masses of l-in/2.5-cm-long evergreen leaves, is not difficult to care for. The tubular scarlet flowers, borne in summer, hang from the plant rather like those of fuchsia, but they are not as plentiful. 

 PUNICA GRANATUM Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate

If the blooms are pollinated with a soft brush, there is a good chance that small orange- red fruits will develop; these are not edible, but are interesting and attractive to look at.

 PUNICA GRANATUM Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate indoor plant


ORIGIN Eastern Mediterranean to Himalayas. HEIGHT To 90cm/3ft.

POTTING MIX Soil-based.

REPOTTING In spring, but only when roots have filled the pot.

          PUNICA GRANATUM Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate indoor plant image
PROPAGATION Take stem cuttings in summer, or sow seed in spring (named varieties do not come true).

KEEPING PLANTS To encourage flowering, shorten outward-growing shoots when the buds are breaking in early spring, and prune out old or weak wood in late spring or summer.
Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate Indoor Plant

 PUNICA GRANATUM Punicaceae Dwarf Pomegranate Indoor Plant PLANT CARE

  • Bright light with some direct sun. 
  • Normal room temperature, with a winter minimum of 50°F/10°C. 
  • Keep the soil moist at all times.
  • Feed every 2 weeks from spring to fall with a high-potash fertilizer.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

House Plant Propagation Guide -Indoor Plant Propagation Techniques 2017

Most houseplants are bought as young or established plants from garden centers and nurseries. Even so, it is advisable to have a supply of young plants ready to replace the originals once they are past their prime.

House Plant Propagation technique 2017

You may also wish to have several specimens of a particular plant around the house, or to have spare plants to give to friends. If this is so, you needn’t buy more plants—it is quite easy to increase your stock of many specimens by a variety of means.

No specialised equipment is needed for propagating the easier species, although a seed tray with a clear plastic lid is cheap to buy and always worth having. 

A propagator with bottom heat will certainly help you to increase your stock of some of the more difficult subjects. Cuttings Probably the method most often used to increase houseplants is to take cuttings. 

House Plant Propagation technique 2017
A cutting is taken from the parent plant and encouraged to make its own roots (or sometimes shoots). Two types are used to propagate houseplants: stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.

Stem cuttings.

These are generally taken in spring or early summer. Snap a healthy young shoot, preferably without flower buds, from the parent plant. If it will not snap cleanly, use a sharp knife and cut just above a node.

The length of the cutting will vary, but it should have at least three or four pairs of leaves or leaf nodes (joints) between the tip and the base.
House Plant Propagation Guide 2017
Use a sharp knife to trim the base of the cutting to just below a node and remove the bottom leaves to give a clear portion of stem. Rooting powder is recommended for some species, athough most do just as well without it. If it is used, a light dusting of powder on the base of the stem is all that is needed.

Fill a shallow pot or seed tray with moist rooting medium and press it until it is firm. Scatter a thin layer of sharp sand on top. With a pencil or dibble, make holes in the medium for the cuttings, and insert them into it, making sure the base of the cutting is in good contact with the medium. Firm the medium lightly.

Space the cuttings so their leaves do not touch and water the completed tray or pot, using a sprinkler head on the can. Put a plastic cover over the tray and place it in a warm (68°F/20°C), bright location out of direct sun.

The time the cuttings take to root will vary, but eventually they will start to look fresh and to grow from the center. Thev can then be potted up individually.

Leaf cuttings

Some fleshy-leafed plants can be propagated from their leaves. The new plants are produced from either the plant’s leaf­stalks or from the veins.

Saintpaulias, the African violets, for j instance, are generally increased from leaf stem cuttings. With a sharp knife or razor blade, cut off a fully opened, healthy leaf at the base of the leafstalk. 

Trim the stalk to l-lV2in/2.5-4cm long, dip the base in hormone rooting powder, | and insert it, at an angle, into moist I rooting medium close to the edge of a small pot; bury about two-thirds of the stalk. Firm the medium gently and then j place the pot in a warm location in light | shade. 

Keep the medium just moist, and plantlets will appear within about eight weeks. Once they have grown into I strong young plants that can be handled easily, remove them from the pot, tease the plants apart carefully, and pot them individually. Saintpaulias will also root quite easily in water.

Some plants—streptocarpuses and begonias, for example—can be propaga­ted by leaf vein cuttings, which are taken in one of two ways.

House Plant Propagation Guide -Indoor Plant Propagation Techniques
Remove a healthy, fully formed leaf 1 cleanly from the parent plant. Cut the ‘ leaf horizontally into three or four sections, or split it lengthwise straight up the center of the midrib. Use a razor blade or sharp knife to make the cuts. 

If you cut the leaf into horizontal sections, make sure you know which is the top and which the base (the part nearest the leafstalk) of each section.

Dust the bases or the split midribs with rooting powder and insert them to about one-third of their depth in moist rooting medium in a pot or seed tray. Plantlets will be produced in the same way as with leaf stem cuttings.


House Plant Propagation Guide -Indoor Plant Propagation Techniques

Several plants naturally produce small plantlets around the outer edge, which can be carefully removed and potted. 

This is an easy way to propagate succulents such as echeverias, bromeliads, some cacti, and bulbous plants. Wait until the offsets are a reasonable size and can be handled easily; remove the plant from its pot, then carefully

separate the offsets from the parent plant; you may need to use a sharp knife to cut through the rootstock. Keep as many roots on the offset as possible. 

If there are none, keep the newly potted offset in a warm, humid atmosphere and treat it like a cutting. Roots should form within a few weeks.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Buddleja madagascariensis Indoor Plant care Guide

The name of this plant is now correctly spelt Buddleja, but it is still generally known as Buddleia. It is a showy evergreen pot plant for a large, bright sunny room or a border plant for a greenhouse. Vigorous, with an upright habit, it can easily reach 6-10ft/1.8-3m or more in height.
Buddleja madagascariensis

It has 5-in/13-cm-long lance-shaped dark green leaves whose undersides are covered with a downy white felt. The small, bright yellow-orange flowers are borne in slender, pyramid-shaped clusters between late fall and spring. 

Unlike other buddleias, which have fruits like dry capsules, the flowers are followed by fleshy, berrylike purple-blue fruits.


ORIGIN Madagascar.

HEIGHT To 10ft/3m.

POTTING MIX Soil-based.

REPOTTING Only when roots completely fill the current container.

PROPAGATION Sow seed in spring or take stem cuttings in late summer.

KEEPING PLANTS Stems can be cut back by about half after flowering, to keep the plant in shape or to reduce its size. Flowers are produced on the current year’s growth.

Buddleja madagascariensis indoor plants


  • Full sun or partial shade. 
  • Minimum temperature of 45°F/7°C in winter. 
  • Water moderately all year-round. 
  • Do not overwater, but do not allow the plant to wilt, since that can cause serious leaf loss. 
  • Feed every 2 weeks from spring to late fall with a dilute standard fertilizer.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Calliandra Haematocephala (inaequilatera) Powder Puff Plant

The ball-like flowers of this plant, which blooms in winter, are made up entirely of stamens, and the bright red 3-in/8-cm-wide “powder puffs” last for almost two months. The dark green foliage is divided into leaflets, each of which is about 2in/5cm long. 

Calliandra Haematocephala Powder Puff Plant image

In time the plant will develop into a bushy tree, but it will tolerate hard pruning, so can be kept to 2-3ft/60-90cm by cutting it back in spring. It can even be used as a subject for bonsai.

Calliandra needs moist air, bright light, and warmth, three conditions generally found in a sunroom rather than in a living room. But if these requirements can be met, it will do well in the house. Calliandra tweedii has smaller red flowers and its leaves are feathery.

                         Calliandra Haematocephala (inaequilatera) Powder Puff Plant image


ORIGIN Bolivia.

HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m or more.

POTTING MIX Soil-based with some added leaf mold and coarse sand.

REPOTTING In spring move into a pot one size larger, until the plant has reached the desired size, then top-dress annually.

PROPAGATION Take stem cuttings in spring. 

                  Calliandra Haematocephala (inaequilatera) Powder Puff Plant

KEEPING PLANTS This plant is tough and will last for many years. Set the pot outdoors in summer to ripen the wood and improve flowering the following year.


Full sun except for the strongest summer sunlight, or partial shade. 
Warm conditions, with a minimum winter temperature of 16°C/60°F. 
Keep the soil damp at all times.
Mist regularly to increase humidity. 
Feed every 2 weeks from spring to fall.