Houseplants forum: Excited! Just ordered three plants

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Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
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seaecho
May 30, 2015 12:29 AM CST
I just ordered a Coral Black Sansevieria, a reverse variegated Spider, and a Little Prince banana. Just wanted to share, and I will post pics when I receive them. I've never kept any of these three, although I have the common Sansevieria, (Laurentii), a Moonshine Sans, the common Spider plant and a Truly Tiny banana. Any comments on the ease of the care of these three I'm getting?

Plantomaniac08
May 30, 2015 6:49 AM CST
Ooo, a 'Coral Black.' I bought one a couple years ago, but for some reason the BBS around here like to put their big plants in some of the worst "potting mix" I've seen. Its care shouldn't be any different than your 'Moonshine.'

With the 'Spider Plant,' I'd say a West window or even outdoors on a shaded patio would be best. As to respects with watering, they do have tuberous roots, so don't keep wet. I wouldn't let them dry out completely between watering, but I also wouldn't keep them moist all the time either.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about growing Banana.

Planto
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
May 30, 2015 7:28 AM CST
Those sound like some nice additions to your collection. Thumbs up

Planto, you are so right about the mix from the BBS. One worker at Lowe's noticed that I was bringing back several plants for a refund, and told me that their plants should not be kept in the same pots/soil, if I want them to thrive. Their plants have to be repotted after purchase, or they will die a slow death. I've been on a mission to repot most of my plants. I have been surprised/shocked on several occasions. For example, I had some dianthus in a hanging basket that weren't growing well. When I unpotted them, I found them still in the same shape of the 6 pack I got them from. The roots had not spread out, but kept circling the peat mix which either stayed bone dry or too moist. In this case, although the rest of the mix was moist, the peat was bone dry. I washed the peat off the roots and repotted the plants and they are growing much better now. I just couldn't believe it. The same thing is happening with plants put in the ground. If they are still in that peat or bark mix, they will die a slow death. They will either stay too wet or too dry, as peat is difficult to rehydrate. The same thing with peat/bark mix.

Plantomaniac08
May 30, 2015 11:59 AM CST
Deebie,
Makes me wonder how the greenhouses keep them so moist without them rotting lol. You're right, peat does turn hard when it dries out and is like watering a brick lol.

Planto
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
May 30, 2015 5:38 PM CST
Yes, the peat does dry out. I have a ledebouria (sp) or African Hosta that starts getting hard even before it's dried out! I've got plants in the same stuff, with perlite, and they don't dry hard like it does. The plant is droopy, and I can see why. And I DID repot it a week after getting it. I don't understand why the others stay light and freely draining when it's the same mix!

That's great that the worker at Lowe's told you, Deebie, that they needed to be in another soil. I personally think the growers send them out in that wet, soil retentive soil so they won't dry out on their way to their destination, and also so the store won't have to water them as much. I don't think I've ever bought a plant at Lowe's or Home Depot that had any perlite in it! I've been using Ortho Orchid potting mix (which contains some bark) mixed with perlite for the last couple of years, and have had good results. You do have to water more often, but it is light and freely draining. I used to use peat, but no more. I also don't use Miracle Gro anymore. It kept plants terribly soggy.

I do plan on having the spider in a west window. I heard about the "Ocean" spiders too, but heard they have trouble because of all the white on them. The black coral will only get a bit of morning sun, and no more. My Moonshine does well with that.

I should be getting them next week.

Plantomaniac08
May 30, 2015 6:12 PM CST
I use MG's cactus soil, but I mix in perlite. But... I also water, sit them on towels, come back in an hour or two, and then put them back. I get rid of a lot of standing water that way lol. Tedious, but it works.

Planto
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 30, 2015 7:47 PM CST
Oh, I would love to see that Little Prince Banana. I am more used to the regular banana plants grown in the Philippines. I would think like any banana plant, it would love lots of moisture, well draining fertile soil and full sun.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 30, 2015 7:55 PM CST
That is why I hate to water plants indoors. Too much work. They get a sip all winter and I have not had any die doing that but if I water them in the winter they die. Most of my plants do not have drainage holes so a sip goes a long ways. Hilarious!

The Spider and BCS should be good too since you are growing Moonshine. I have only had one Sans die on me and I have no idea what happened. I had the plant for 10 yrs. Then after one winter I picked it up and all the leaves fell to the floor. That is one of the plants that had a pot with drainage holes and it looked like it had rooted over the winter.

I have never grown a banana plant indoors year round. I have one that I bring in for the winter but it goes out every summer. I have had Musa acuminata “Siam Ruby” for 4 yrs. I keep it by a window that gets morning sun because it is the biggest window I have for it and I water it about once a month until it goes out on the patio.

Thumb of 2015-05-31/Cinta/8feb29







Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
May 30, 2015 8:11 PM CST
That does make sense, limiting watering of your banana plant Cinta during winter when indoors. But once outdoors, I would think the banana plants would enjoy more moisture.

I almost killed my first Sans, did not understand how it hates being cold. I was growing it outdoors in a container and even my container was wrong, I should have removed the lower part of the self-watering container, so the base of the leaves were rotting. Luckily, caught it in time and have carefully nurtured it back. But now I know better, so I just have all my Sans indoors, by my west facing window in a very well draining media and in a container with good drainage. They get dappled light since our house is shaded by the city trees in the afternoon. During summer, I can freely water them, but when cooler Fall temps start to come, I start slowing down in watering them.
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
May 30, 2015 11:50 PM CST
I killed a Sans recently, Cinta. It just fell over, like yours did. All I can figure is rot, since I read they shouldn't have a lot of soil under the roots, as they are so small, and this was a fairly deep pot. I took a healthy growth off it. It was like a division, but only has one leaf so far. I potted it. That "Siam Ruby" is to die for! I LOVE the color! I tend to underwater more than anything, for fear of rotting. Sometimes 2-3 weeks go by, and I don't water my orchids. Lost a few, then realized they need watering at least every 7-10 days--more often if small. I've also rotted orchids over the years. But it's true that every plant is an individual, and potting soil, light, etc. all come into play. The fan I have running also dries plants out quicker. Here's a pic of the Sans I planted. Should I have let it dry out before planting it? You can see another leaf starting at the base.
Thumb of 2015-05-31/seaecho/3debbd

Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
May 31, 2015 2:35 PM CST
Yes that is what mine looked like too rot. I am such a under water I could not imagine that it would rot.

Trev yes in the summer when the banana goes outside it gets lost of water. I keep it moist and fert once a week.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
May 31, 2015 11:15 PM CST
saecho, I think your plant is going to make it..it is already making a new leaf, so that is good! Just be careful in watering for now.

Sans are quite cold temp sensitive..that I learned very well now. I got blindsided knowing it was the only plant that survived inundation during flooding at my in-laws in Manila which lasted for a month. I realized afterwards, after I almost killed my Sans, it survived those flooded conditions, since temps there are always warm to hot. Unlike here, we got such varying temps especially when cold temps sets in. Colder temps and less light in winter, so it just slows down growing..so got to lessen or no watering at all to keep it alive indoors, but still giving it bright light and keep it as warm as you can.

Orchids are of varying kinds. I do grow some, but I choose which ones will thrive here. It took me awhile to understand the cultural differences of growing them. Slowly getting the hang of it. Still hit and miss at times, still learning a lot along the way. But it does take a certain amount of discipline in watering them, got to be attentive to the media if it is still wet and learning to observe when it is resting before it resumes active growing again after it blooms. But I do love them..so addicting to collect, especially when you get the hang of making them rebloom. They give me cheer in winter, when I get some to rebloom when all other plants are just resting.
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
Jun 3, 2015 12:21 AM CST
I got my Sans and Little Prince banana yesterday. They look really good! I'm waiting on my Reverse Variegated Spider, which should be here tomorrow, and I will post pics then.

I grow orchids as well, tarev. You are right---they are all different. Some I can't grow to save my life, and I have good luck with others, mainly cattleya hybrid types. They bloom for me every year as well. (Most of the time). And yes, the watering of orchids is practically a science! I always rotted phals, so gave up on them. And I tend to underwater! Yet, each one eventually died. Same happened to paphs. I'd have them for months or even a couple of years, then it would decline and die. I have a Psychopsis papilio I've had many years. It bloomed quite a few times, but no blooms from it in the last several years. Yes, orchids are temperamental plants. I grow ferns successfully here in the desert, inside, believe it or not. Asparagus and Boston. The fancy ones don't make it though. As long as they're watered often enough, I've found they do very well, which really surprised me.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jun 3, 2015 10:00 AM CST
Looking forward to seeing the photos of your new babies saecho! I also have spiders but the regular variegated ones, they grow like grass here.

Phals do very well here, after I finally understood what it wants. And something I have observed, they do respond well to Miracle Gro orchid food mist. So that is how I fertilize them now, really triggers good root development.

I still have to understand growing Cattleyas..so far I am bad with them..so staying away for now, to spare them the torture. Hilarious!
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
Jun 3, 2015 8:26 PM CST
Tarev, I couldn't seem to get the watering right with phals. They are said to like more moisture, but that often also causes rot. They drove me crazy! I never did use Miracle Gro orchid food on them though. It's funny how one species of orchid will be easy for one grower, and impossible for another. I have have good luck with Cattleyas. Anyway, I'm going to start a new thread and post the pics of my new plants now.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jun 3, 2015 8:41 PM CST
Actually, I find it is the reverse for Phals..so I pretty much grow them like succulents, though not in soil and not with strong light. I give them a thorough watering once a week then let dry for about 5 days, before I repeat again, if weather is warm. But if weather is cooler like in winter, interval is much greater. That is why I do not use sphagnum moss on them.

Excited to see your photos!!
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
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seaecho
Jun 4, 2015 10:47 PM CST
Some of my phals I wouldn't water even once every five days in my very arid climate, and they STILL rotted! I tried sphagnum moss, peat and perlite, etc., and they always ended up rotting eventually. Maybe I should have kept them more dry than I did, after reading your post. I never gave them direct sun either. I love the mini phals that bloom so often with those 1 inch or so blooms.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
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Deebie
Jun 5, 2015 8:28 AM CST
OK, you two, stay in touch. I can't grow either, but I have one of both. Maybe some of your good fortune and success, will rub off on me. With the phals, I always end up with a mealy bug problem. I just took my one outdoors, washed what I could off and sprayed it with malathion. I'm sorry, but I wanted the bugs gone. I've thrown away too many plants because of them. Anyway, I left it out under a shady tree for a week or so. When I checked on it 2 days ago, the roots are growing and were very green. I checked further and realized that the little pot it was in was a decorative one and didn't have drain holes. When I took that off, it shows that plant is in serious need of repotting. So, I'm headed out to get some orchid medium.

As for my cattleya, it's sitting in the house doing nothing. But I think it needs repotting also. Maybe I can take pictures to post later.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jun 5, 2015 10:02 AM CST
Hope your phals recover Deebie! I have kept my Phals indoors, and I always repot once I get my any Phal, just to check the condition of the roots or to see if there are sneaky crawlers lurking there. That is good to hear new roots forming, hope you get containers with side holes and drain holes. Some would use plastic containers with the holes mentioned and then just return them to a cache pot after watering is done.

I think Cattleyas will thrive better outdoors too, since they love higher light levels than Phals. One of these days, I will try again. And will try to be more careful about it. Smiling

I am trying to behave and not get any new plants this year... Hilarious! Hilarious!
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Jun 5, 2015 12:46 PM CST
OK, I just got back from running my errands and have some coarse orchid medium for repotting. I have some pots with side holes, but I have to look at them again. I think they are not too small. I don't like the look of plain terracotta pots, but if that's what they prefer, I'll live with it. This is my 1st time placing these plants outdoors. I've always kept mine in plastic pots and placed them inside a larger decorative pot with rock to increase the humidity level. This is indoors, not out. Outdoors, we have no shortage of humidity here in the southeast. It can be unbearable at times. Sighing!

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