The Q&A Archives: Taking Care Of A "Bridal Veil" Houseplant

Question: I had a Bridal Veil hanging house plant. The planter I had it in did not have a drainage system. The plant was doing just fine until one day when I decided to take it down to pull out some of the dead leaves at the top. The bottom part of the plant still looked wonderful, but the top part was completely dried up. Well, by the time I got done, there was pretty much nothing left of the plant. The soil was just soaked, however, I only watered it a little once a week. I saved what I could and put it in water to root. Now, I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on planting and care of this plant, so I don't kill it off again!

Answer: It's important to have drainage holes in the pot to prevent the problem you described. Plant roots need oxygen to survive and if the soil is constantly soaked, they literally drown. In winter when growth slows, it is best to cut back on the watering somewhat; check to see if the top layer of soil is dry before you water. When you do, make sure the water soaks the rootball and isn't just running straight out between the pot and the soil. Leach the salts out of the soil once a month by allowing water to run slowly through the pot out the drainage holes.

Bridal veils likes a bright location. Fertilize about once a month with a houseplant fertilizer. When this plant becomes rangy it is a good idea to trim it back.  Since your plant looked healthy for quite a while, I'm sure you'll do fine if you plant in a container with drainage holes!

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