Viewing comments posted by plantladylin

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[ Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides) | Posted on July 23, 2020 ]

I'd tried growing Pilea peperomioides as a houseplant a few times over the years but I never seemed to have much luck keeping one alive for very long. My current plant was purchased in February 2019 and it did okay for a few months but eventually began to decline as had those I'd owned in the past. A year ago, I decided to try wick watering as I've done with all of my other indoor plants. I cut a short strip of nylon pantyhose to use as a wick and using a small wooden dowel, I very gently pushed the nylon up into the soil through a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. I placed the plastic nursery pot inside a more decorative container with pebbles in the bottom and I always keep a small amount of water in the cache pot to wick up into the soil. I've now had this plant for seventeen months and it seems quite happy and healthy.

[ Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) | Posted on July 10, 2020 ]

When grown as a container plant, Peace Lilies need a light, airy potting medium and a container that allows for proper drainage. If the water has nowhere to go, it becomes overly saturated, depleting the oxygen at root level and causing the rhizomes and roots to rot. This plant likes consistently damp to moist soil and will only survive wet soil if the soil adequately aerated.

One of my Peace Lilies has been sitting in the water of a fountain for almost 3 years and it is extremely happy. The pump runs 24/7 so the water is constantly in motion as it moves from the fountain, spilling into a small pond below.
Thumb of 2020-07-10/plantladylin/1029ab

[ Chinese Crown Orchid (Eulophia graminea) | Posted on January 20, 2020 ]

Eulophia graminea is a terrestrial orchid native to tropical and subtropical Asia. It has small leaves and tall spikes of 1 inch flowers that are green with brownish-purple venation and a purple spot on the white lip. Chinese Crown Orchid grows from pseudobulbs that produce numerous, small root attachments, making it very difficult to dig and remove entirely. It grows in many types of soil, including sand, rock and mulch.

The Chinese Crown Orchid has become naturalized in many parts of the world and is considered invasive in some areas. Here in Florida, the plant is listed as a category I on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's 2017 list of invasive plant species.

[ Rhaphidophora tetrasperma | Posted on January 19, 2020 ]

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (commonly called "Mini Monstera" due to its resemblance to the much larger Monstera deliciosa) is a trailing or climbing evergreen, reaching heights of 6 to12 feet or more. Leaves are a glossy, green but much smaller in size than those of Monstera deliciosa. As an indoor houseplant, Rhaphidorpha tetrasperma prefers bright, filtered light, well draining, moist soil and good air circulation; it does not respond well to low light situations and if continuously subjected to low light, it will be an extremely slow grower and the leaves will remain small.

[ Japanese Dodder (Cuscuta japonica) | Posted on September 27, 2019 ]

Japanese Dodder is a parasitic vine that requires a host plant to survive, obtaining its food and water from the host plant. The invasive vine attaches its peg-like roots (called haustoria) to the host plant, climbing and twining until it eventually covers the host plant. The Japanese Dodder vine may appear leafless but actually has small, scale-like leaves. During the summer months, it produces very small, inconspicuous flowers that are pale yellow in color. The fruits are small 2-celled capsules, each containing four, tiny light brown to black seeds; each plant can produce up to 2,000 seeds. This non-native vine can kill its host plant within just a couple of years and is considered invasive in areas of the U.S. where it is found.

[ Chamber Bitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) | Posted on June 25, 2019 ]

Phyllanthus urinaria is a low growing plant, reaching heights of about 14 inches. It grows in both sun and shade and has small, alternate leaves which are larger at the tip and smaller towards the bottom. Chamber Bitter leaves resemble those of Mimosa, opening during the day and closing at night. The tiny flowers are borne in the leaf axils and are greenish-yellow to white in color. The also tiny, round fruits are green to red in color and are borne along the reverse side of the stems. This plant is prolific in producing seed, which germinate from summer to fall and the seed can remain dormant for extended periods. Phyllanthus urinaria is adaptable to a wide range of ecological habitats; it is considered a noxious weed and is listed as invasive in some areas.

[ Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) | Posted on February 18, 2018 ]

The Desert Rose is a wonderful ornamental plant with its unusual bulbous, caudex base and beautiful blooms that come in shades of red, pink, and white. In nature, Adenium obesum reaches heights of 8 to 10 feet, but smaller specimens are grown as patio container plants or indoor houseplants and they are also popular trained as bonsai. Desert Rose is drought tolerant and prefers high light, doing best in full sun situations. It is considered evergreen but will lose its leaves during severe dry periods. The sap of Adenium obesum contains toxic glycosides, and care should be taken when pruning or handling the cut stems.

[ Giant Leather Fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium) | Posted on February 18, 2018 ]

The Giant Leather Fern is a Florida native, often found in brackish and fresh water marshes in the central and southern regions of the state. This fern is a long-lived perennial that grows to 12 feet in height with a spread to 10 feet and can be grown in sunny or shady conditions but requires consistent moisture to thrive; tolerates flooded conditions and has a high tolerance for salt spray.

[ Pineapple Guava (Acca sellowiana) | Posted on February 18, 2018 ]

Acca sellowiana is a multistemmed, evergreen shrub that can be grown as a hedge, pruned to a desired shape or form, or trained as a small tree with a single trunk. Although adaptable to most types of soil, it prefers a slightly acid, well drained soil. If grown in very dry climates, supplemental watering will be needed. Pineapple Guava is also tolerant of salt spray, which makes it suitable for coastal gardens. This is a relatively disease and pest free, low maintenance plant with very beautiful flowers that usually appear during April and May.

[ Huisache (Vachellia farnesiana) | Posted on February 18, 2018 ]

Acacia farnesiana is a shrub to small tree with clusters of sweetly scented golden-yellow flowers that resemble little puffballs. The blooms attract many bees and butterflies to the garden. Sweet Acacia is deciduous in some areas but remains evergreen in warmer climates. The plant is fairly drought tolerant once established but holds its leaves better when given adequate amounts of water. Acacia farnesiana can become naturalized and is considered a pest plant of concern in some parts of the world.

[ Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) | Posted on February 17, 2018 ]

I've grown the Polka Dot Plant many times over the years, as indoor houseplants (including planted in terrariums), as well as annual bedding plants in shady spots in the garden.

Hypoestes prefer bright, indirect light, but no direct sun, which will scorch the foliage, and well-draining soil is extremely important. Plants should be pinched back to maintain an attractive, uniform and bushy shape. I've read that Polka Dot Plants can grow to 24 inches in height, but mine have only attained heights of about 8 to 10 inches at most. Some may prefer to remove the flowers, but even though the blooms are rather inconspicuous, I still think they are pretty, so I allow them to bloom.

[ Spiral Ginger (Costus barbatus) | Posted on December 31, 2017 ]

According to the IUCN Red List:, the TRUE Costus barbatus is Critically Endangered and NOT found in cultivation. It is apparently confused with the more commonly cultivated Costus comosus which is sold as an ornamental plant AND misidentified as C. barbatus.

Costus barbatus is endemic to a small area of Costa Rica in the central valley of San Jose but with major urbanization of the area over the years, the plant has experienced great loss of habitat.

The true Costus barbatus can be distinguished from other species by its long ligules, fibrous margins on the bracts, bracteoles and calyx, as well as the densely pubescent corolla.

[ Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia) | Posted on July 17, 2017 ]

Momordica charantia, a member of the Cucumber (Cucurbitaceae) family of plants, has escaped cultivation here in Florida, becoming a real pest in many areas. In 2013, the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council listed it as a Category II non-native invasive here in the state. Its range in Florida extends throughout the central and southern part of the state, but it is also present in parts of the panhandle. Bitter Gourd forms a dense groundcover and also forms dense thickets, covering shrubs and other vegetation as well as climbing high into trees where it grows along with native air plants (Tillandsia species).

The fruit and leaves of Momordica charantia are said to have medicinal purposes, but the seeds are highly toxic.

[ Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) | Posted on February 20, 2017 ]

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is a compact, single trunk palm, native to the rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala. It attains heights of 4 to 6 feet in bright, semi-shady, moist locations. As the lower fronds die and fall off, the attractive green stem comes into view.

The Parlor Palm is a popular houseplant, often sold as a group of seedlings or small plants, close together in the container. It is a slow-growing palm and more drought tolerant than other varieties. Although the Parlor Palm prefers the bright light and medium humidity levels of rainforest conditions, it seems to adapt very well to the lower light and lower humidity situations found in homes and offices. The plant should be kept away from direct sun, which will burn the foliage. Although the flowers are not very interesting, if the plant is provided with enough bright light, it may produce a panicle of yellow flowers in the spring.

[ Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex) | Posted on January 27, 2017 ]

Although Ruellia simplex has lovely blooms, due to its invasive tendencies it is not a good plant for Florida gardens. We moved into our current home nine months go and I've been trying to eradicate this plant from two separate areas of my yard ever since. It is a difficult task to remove and must be dug up due to the fact that that it travels via underground rhizomes; if you try to pull it by hand, the stems break off and you are still left with pieces of rhizomes in the soil. Mexican Petunia is a popular landscape plant because it is a prolific bloomer, it tolerates many different landscape conditions, from shade to sun, and it even thrives in poor soil. The plant is listed by the FEPPC (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council) as a Category I invasive here in the state. To deter its spread, it is best grown in containers in Florida.

[ Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) | Posted on September 20, 2016 ]

Dracaena fragrans, commonly called Corn Plant and Cornstalk Dracaena, can get quite tall in nature, 25 to 30 feet or more, but it is a slow-growing plant, making it very popular as an office plant or houseplant. Cornstalk Dracaena has glossy, broad, green leaves with an erect to spreading habit; larger leaves cause the plant to have a drooping appearance. The plant does well in a broad range of conditions from full sun to low-light situations. If you are fortunate enough to see your plant in bloom, you will surely enjoy the fragrance!

There are several cultivars of Dracaena fragrans that have variegated foliage:
D. fragrans 'Massangeana' (Mass Cane) has green leaves with a yellow central stripe.
D. fragrans 'Lemon Lime' has leaves with yellow margins and a wide green central stripe.
D. fragrans 'White Jewel' has leaves with dark green edges and lighter green and white central stripes.

[ Wax Plant (Hoya australis subsp. australis) | Posted on April 13, 2016 ]

I acquired a small Hoya australis subsp. australis in August, 2008 and it was at least five years later before it showed any blooms. Compared to H. australis subsp. tenuipes, this one has smaller leaves and is not as prolific a bloomer as H. australis subsp. tenuipes, but I love the soft, pubescent leaves on this one. This plant blooms for me between mid November to mid December and the flowers are extremely fragrant in the evening and at night.

[ Fancy-leaf Caladium (Caladium 'White Queen') | Posted on April 13, 2016 ]

One of my favorite Caladiums! It has medium to large white leaves with green margins and dark red veins. It will sometimes show different leaf colorations depending on fertilizer amounts and soil type. Highly fertilized plants are more pink and red. Although this one is sun tolerant, I prefer the look in deep shade, where it seems to shine!

[ Aloes (Aloe) | Posted on April 11, 2016 ]

My Aloe started as a single small pup gifted to me by a co-worker in 1975. It was identified on another site as Aloe maculata, but a few knowledgeable growers have since told me that it is not A. maculata and I'm not sure of its exact identity, but I love it just the same. I kept it in a container for a few years and then planted it in the ground, where it took off and produced hundreds and hundreds of additional plants. They began overtaking a large area of the yard, so I had to begin digging them out and giving them away. For the past ten years, I've only grown them in containers in a full sun location and they bloom off and on all year.

[ Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) | Posted on April 11, 2016 ]

Wild Petunia can reach heights to 24 inches, but usually stays about 12 inches in height; it can have an erect or sprawling habit. The stems and leaves are soft and hairy and the flowers resemble small Petunias, varying in color from pale lavender-blue to a medium purple shade with darker purple lines radiating from the center.

I've grown this plant in both full sun and dappled shade, and in my opinion it looks prettier and performs better in partial shade locations. It blooms in my area from early April through October and into November.

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