Is That Your Natural Color?

A first it may look fun.  Who wouldn’t be attracted to brilliant hues of green, blue, yellows?  Glitter?  You can never not have enough glitter during the holidays!  But what happens once the season is over?  What do you do with that poor hot pink cactus?  How do you keep the lime-green poinsettia alive? You…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Streptocarpus

If you have ever grown an African violet you are may want to try your hand at growing Cape Primrose AKA Streptocarpus (strep-to-car’pus).  Streptocarpus are in the Gesneriaceae family which includes the florist gloxinia, lipstick plant, guppy plant, flame violet, African violet, and many more.  Recent genetic studies have determined that both the African violet…

Moving Houseplants Indoors

September is the best month for transitioning our houseplants from the outdoors to inside.  At this time of year, we don’t have the impending crunch of time when frost is imminent and our only choice is to hastily move plants indoors. By planning ahead, we have the time to pay attention to our houseplants by…

Plant Societies

This week we kick off National Indoor Plant Week.  As an avid houseplant enthusiast I belong to a few different national plant societies.  The two national societies I belong to are the African Violet Society of America and the Gesneriad Society.  Sadly, with today’s capabilities to connect to with people around the globe membership has…

African violet no more!

I am a huge African violet nut.  Huge.  African violets belong to the family Gesneriaceae and belong in the genus Saintpaulia.  Until recently taxonomist have pretty much left this genus of plants alone.  At one time there was about 21 recognized species of African violets until a few years ago when the “Great Merger” occurred. …

How Much?

How much water should I give my houseplant?  Simple.  You water until it comes out of the bottom of the pot.  We often get asked to quantify the amount that is needed.  Does it need to be a cup (8 oz.), a few tablespoons, or a gallon?  Every container is different in size and the…

False Christmas Cactus

Growing up my mom always called her Christmas cactus a Thanksgiving cactus because it would be in full flower by the end of November.  Being the good son, I never questioned Mom or try to correct her.  Twenty something years and a few advance degrees later, Mom was right.  The popular plant that’s now arriving…

3 Things to Know about Fungus Gnats

When you bring in those potted plants, you may not be bringing in just your photosynthetic pals! Many different kinds of arthropods may take up residence in the potting medium, one of the most annoying of which is the fungus gnat. Fungus gnats are small flies that infest potting mixtures, soil, and anything else that…