Posts Tagged Houseplants

What’s Growing Under the Light Shelves…

Today, I thought I would show everyone what’s underneath my fluorescent lights. I have a variety of flower and vegetables seedlings, houseplants, and more.

My coleus: I love the color variegation on these:

My coleus: I love the color variegation on these. (click to enlarge)

Coleus with flower buds. It’s pretty but I pinched it off to keep my coleus living. (click to enlarge)

I have some sweet and Thai basil. I have some in some self-watering pots but I thought I would grow some more in individual pots so I can grow them anywhere in the garden and not just in a pot.

Basil Seedlings (click to enlarge)

I have beans growing and sprouting! Yippee.

Top Crop Beans 12 Days (click to enlarge)

Endive seedlings (click to enlarge)

Under my lights, I have lots of African Violets:

A pretty pink African Violet (click to enlarge)

Propagated African Violets from leaf cutting (click to enlarge)

Older baby African violets (click to enlarge)

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Office Plants Update 01-19-08

Click on picture for larger image
I thought it would be fun to provide an overview of all the plants I have at work. At my work, we have L-shaped cubicles with a light source on one end of the cubicle. The size of the light is probably around 3 feet in length and it illuminates that whole side. I use that side for housing my plants and since I have two desks that are adjacent to one another so I have two lights to play with. I take most of my houseplants from my apartment to my office during the winter and take them back in spring when all my seedlings are outside and growing. I just don’t have enough space on my grow shelves to accomodate all my plants that need light so fortunately, I have lights at work. It’s an extension of my grow shelves.
Click on picture for larger image
Currently, I have 4 coleuses, 5 spider plants, 3 hydrangea cuttings, a Christmas cactus, 3 african violets, 1 Hawaiian Scheflerra, and finally 1 pothos. The coleus, african violets, hydrangeas, and Christmas cactus will come home with me in a couple of months but the rest permanently stay at work. The Hawaiian Schefflera and pothos are doing super well at work. The pothos was having some issues in the beginning like turning yellow and dropping leaves but it has adjusted well. I am currently rooting some pothos in soil so I can have a plant at home. I am also growing some pothos in a jar of water. It’s doing well and has already produced 6-8 leaves!

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I’m excited to see what color blooms will produce from my discounted Christmas cactus. I probably won’t know for a couple of months but it’ll be fun to know. I got another Christmas cactus at Walmart the other day. It was discounted 50% off to $3.44. It has pretty pink blooms. I currently have a red, white, and pink Christmas cactus. I hope this new one will be a pretty white one. Here’s hoping.

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Garden Update 01-12-08

Seedlings (click on image for larger picture)

The seeds I planted earlier this week which include three types of lettuces (bibb, iceberg, black seeded simpson), bok choi, swiss chard, brussel sprouts (de cicco variety), radish with have all sprouted with the exception of the celery (tall variety).

Impatien Seedlings (click on image for larger picture)

My impatien seedlings are doing well and growing tall. In a couple of weeks, I’ll put them in a big pot so they can bloom for me. Impatiens are said to be great houseplants.

The other day when I was out running errands, I went to Lowes to get another storage bin and could not resist the temptation to go out to the garden center. I was surprised to what I saw there. It was wonderful, they had all their seed starting equipment (i.e. seed trays, soil, peat pellets, pots, and seeds) aligned neatly in the middle of the aisle. I then went outside to the actual garden area and there were so many blooming things which include primulas, geraniums, violas, cyclamens, and more. I happened across an aisle that had these shelves with all these distressed plants lined up and I could not resist taking a look. There was a sign on the shelf that said everything on the shelf was 75% off. I immediately got excited and found a Christmas cactus for a $1.00waiting to be picked up and given some tlc(the Lowes employees neglect these poor things). My new Christmas Cactus, which I call Fred, is sitting prettily on my desk at work under a fluorescent light that is on most of the day. I don’t know what color the blooms are but maybe I can get him to bloom by spring and see! I bought his sister Christmas Cactus a couple of months ago at Walmart for a couple of bucks and she’s a beauty. She blooms these glittery white flowers.

I then went to Walgreens to pick up some toiletry items and found in their ad that they were having a sale on their seeds 10 for $1.00 with coupon. These were the American Seed company variety which are cheap anyway but this was a deal I could not resist. The coupon limited a person to only 10 seeds. However, I have a contact at Walgreens who happens to be the manager and he allowed me to buy $5.00 worth of seeds. I have a variety of basil (sweet), sweet corn, California wonder bell peppers, daisies, sunflowers, zucchini, cucumber, morning glories, eggplant, squash, and more! If you’re too late for this sale, they typically sell their seeds for only $.20. I would personally wait until they come out with another coupon for 10 for $1.00 seed.

I then went to Walmart and they too had a selection of racks of seeds from the Walmart brand and Burpee. There are some on the burpee rack I’m interested in (specifically the supersweet 100s that I tried last year and it produced tons of tomatoes). There were some herbs I was eyeing too like (thyme, lime basil, and fennel). I’m just so excited to see all the garden things out so soon. I couldn’t wait til all the Christmas decor was moved out of the garden center and replaced with what is supposed to be there: gardening accoutrements. Walmart also had some 50% off sales on some of their houseplants. My husband pulled me away before I got a chance to pick one up but as I was being tugged away I saw that most of their pothos were on sale for $2.22, which originally went for $4.44. I might just have to take a little trip to Wally world in the near future! hehe. Well, that’s all for now. Check back next week for more gardening updates!

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Easy Way to Get Rid of Black Gnats On Your Houseplants

Lately, since I’ve overwintered some of my plants which include coleus, hydrangeas, and geraniums, and also some of my African Violet leaves I’m trying to propagate, tangerine plants, Christmas Cactus, spider plants, etc. I’ve noticed a lot of black gnats around my plants. I’ve tried a lot of remedies to get rid of these things including cutting little yellow rectangles with petroleum jelly to trap these little suckers.

The only remedy that works with these pests is a dish of soapy water. All you need is a saucer (I got some at the dollar store in a pack of 4 for a $1.00), water and a couple drops of dish soap (I use lemon dish soap: it attracts these bugs). I add dish soap to the saucer and fill the saucer with a cup of water. I allow the soil in my houseplants to dry out to kill the baby fungus gnat eggs. I then put the saucer near the inflicted plants and the gnats eventually seek water and go to my “trap” saucers. The soap prevents them from flying away and they eventually drown. In a couple of days, you’ll notice that there are dozens of gnats in the water! Success proven! I hope this helps anyone who are burdened with these pests.

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Coleus Seedlings and Cuttings

Last Thursday, I was at Lowes looking at all the pretty plants and I happened across a seed rack of fall vegetables. I stopped and perused the different types of lettuces, peas, beans, spinach, radishes, and lettuce seeds. As I was leaving, something caught my eye: a packet of coleus seeds. Two weeks ago, I had ordered some coleus seeds from groco.com and they hadn’t come in yet so, on an impulse, I bought it (since then, I’ve received them). On Friday, I potted these tiny little seeds in a leftover salsa container with holes punched in the bottom for drainage. I covered the container with plastic to keep the humidity high and placed them underneath my grow lights. Today, I noticed I had some growth! They are very minute and tiny but nonetheless some action!

Some advice I would suggest in planting coleus seeds is

  1. Mix the seeds with sand and sprinkle the mixture lightly over dry potting soil (I
    use regular potting soil rather than the seed starting mix b/c it’s a lot
    cheaper).
  2. Cover the seed/sand mixture with a light dusting of more potting soil
  3. Sprinkle enough water to moisten the mix
  4. Cover the container with plastic wrap (I use a rubber band to secure the plastic
    wrap to the container) to maintain humidity
  5. Once the seeds have germinated, slowly take off the plastic and
Coleus Seedlings (very tiny) For a bigger picture, click on the picture.
It took 7 days for the seeds to germinate so all in all, I believe it was quite successful. Now I patiently wait for it to grow bushy so I can take cuttings and propagate them and give them away as gifts!

Speaking of cuttings, I recently went around my work and got some cuttings and seeds. I work at a university and I know the facilities employees very well and they know me as the plant girl. I am always asking them for cuttings from wisteria vines and left over seed trays. The university is well known for its landscape and abundance of ponds (we have 6-8 ponds sprinkled across the campus). The plants vary from rose bushes (the president’s donor rose bushes that go for $200.00 a plant, needless to say I didn’t “sponsor” one) to geraniums, wisteria, ginkgo biloba trees, Japanese maples, pines, daylilies, agapanthus, etc. etc. etc.

Daylily Plant I collected seeds from…

So, about two weeks ago, I went on a break and noticed that the daylilies were producing a lot of seed. I asked the gardening department if I could collect these and they of course said go for it (they’re super nice). So I went around and collected a ton of daylily seeds. I probably have ½ a pound of daylily seeds from all around the campus. Anybody want some? Check out my trade list for trades. I also collected agapanthus seeds as well.

I also took some geranium cuttings (red and bright pink colors), semi- wood cuttings from different bushes and plants and some pine cones. I put the cuttings in a pot with a freezer-size zip lock bag over them. I put them under my grow lights and will let them stay there for a couple of months. They have good company with my ivy and boxwood cuttings. Well that’s all for now. Happy gardening everyone.

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