What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

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What plant is on your mind?

An area of The Sill dedicated to conversations about plants and gardening in the form of posted messages and threads.

New Post

Plant Care Tips

  • Calathea Medallion
    This is listed under low light plants but the needs say medium. How would it fare in an apartment in the Pacific Northwest? Thank you for your insights!
      • 1
      Pei Calathea does fairly well in medium to low light environment. However that does not mean they like it. I had one and put it a few inches away by my south facing window before. However, it was not happy. I moved to an east-facing window few months ago and it couldn't be happier!
  • Schefflera Arboricola Training into Tree
    I have 3 schefflera arboricolas that are pretty young and I want to raise them into trees instead of wide bushy shrubs.

    I know this will take years, but I am looking for advice on what I need to do to achieve this. I believe a crucial part is ensuring not to prune the tops so they continue to grow straight up instead of branching, but what else?
    • Should I occasionally be removing lower stems, or not yet?
    • Should I be doing something specific to increase the strength of their trunks?
    • Do I need to try staking them early or wait until necessary?
    • Are there specific fertilization practices I should be using other than the usual?
    I attached a photo of one, but the other 2 are very similar as they were all purchased at the same time from the same vendor.

    Thanks for any help people can provide!
  • Rattlesnake Calathea leaves drying and curling
    Hello!  I need some help please! I got this beautiful Rattlesnake Calathea just a few days ago and already the leaves are curling and drying.  Here it is next to a window so that you could see it better, however it is in my living room where it does not get direct sunlight.  I'm so sad, as this is the first plant we have purchased that is having a hard time in our home!  Any advice is appreciated.
      • 1
      Matt Humidity makes a world of a difference with these guys. I'd advise getting a pebble tray and mister from amazon (will run you around $15-20 for both). Try to mist the leaves at least once a day and keep the pebble tray filled with water so that it's constantly evaporating humidity up into the leaves. Make sure you arent over-watering too
      • 1
      Lisa Brighter light (although not direct sunshine), and use a pebble tray to increase the humidity. I would also mist the leaves. They like to stay a bit moist and the dry winter heat dries them up. Experiment with different spots for lighting and increase the moisture in the atmosphere around it! Good luck!
  • Calathea Pinstripe Care
    Hello! New plant owner and newbie. So, I ordered a Calathea Pinstripe, which I realize now was probably not the best choice for a beginner. Ha! Anyway, probably a silly question, but when it arrives, do I leave it in the pot it comes in and then set that directly into a planter? Or, do I need to cut it out and plant it? Recommendations for soil, etc? Also, I live in a drier climate and I know they like humidity. Will misting it be enough? Any tips for this beginner would be much appreciated!!
      • 1
      Andrea I just got it yesterday and I have a leaf curling. Anything to be worried about? I’ve been trying to baby it since it arrived!!
      X
      • 1
      Paris Lalicata Hi Andrea! I’m a Calathea owner myself and it’s definitely a plant that needs more attention. It’s always good to leave your plant in the nursery pot for a few days so it can acclimate to its environment first to prevent shock once transplanting to its permanent home. Do not cut your plant! It should already be rooted so when you repot you’ll only be breaking up the “root ball”. Usually a soil that has good drainage but also water retention as Calatheas like to stay moist! A soil mix with both perlite and peat moss will work best! As far as humidity goes, I tend to put humidity loving plants in my bathroom and mist them several times a day. Misting once a day won’t do much, so if humidity is an issue investing in a humidifier and grouping plants with similar requirements will work! Hope this helps :)
    • 2 more comments
  • Plant Apps
    Do you guys ever use apps to help oversee your plant maintenance? Like for identifying plants, watering reminders, etc? I tried one before it was a faulty, poorly designed app but I'm curious if any of you have recommendations. 

    This article was an interesting read. Have you used any of these? 

    https://www.opusgrows.com/blogs/journal/108690758-5-apps-that-will-kinda-guarantee-you-won-t-kill-yo...
  • This pep is a beaut
    But what kind of sunlight does it need?! Any other tips to keep its leaves dark green?
      • 1
      Sam Storch [278949,Christina Sotto] I have mine in bright indirect light and it seems to be really happy there. Mine is even blooming!
  • Christmas Trees?
    Any tips on how to keep them fresh? Of course, I water mine, but it still dries out pretty quickly. Do you have this experience too? Is it something to do with heat/humidity of the space? 


      • 2
      Christina Sotto OMG! I got my tree the first week of December and it's already dry too! I hear you have to cut the bottom off because the tree forms a sap around the base when it's initially cut that prevents it from absorbing water. I'd love to know if anyone has any tips as well!
  • Cats with Plants or Plants with Cats?
    I have recently adopted a kitty who has been very curious about plants. So far, I have already potted and repotted six plants now. She would jump into and dig in the soil of my floor plants. Anybody has tips how to keep the kitty away? I have tried the essential oil i read online, but it only worked for a sec and she jumped right back in as soon as the scent dissipated. HELP! 
      • 1
      Courtney Stroot I put pinecones in the soil to keep the cats from thinking is a second litter box. Doesn’t always help keep them away from the plants in general but it’s a start. They don’t like the sharpness or the crunch of the pinecone when they step on it.
      • 2
      NRD Some cats can be very persistent and unwavering, no matter what kind of plant it is. I had a bunch of Cacti many many years ago and my cat somehow found a way to pull out the needles without hurting himself and then left them around my house for me to step on!
      • 1
      Paula Diamond Roman A couple of things we learned with cats and plants . . . there are certain plants that just scream salad to cats; we've completely given up on ferns. We packed our plants together so there wasn't space to sit and mess with them. We had one cat who was obsessed with dead leaves so we learned to keep the plants trimmed neatly. And, the funniest lesson of all was how much respect cats will have for cactus, or, as we call them in our house, plants with claws!
    • 11 more comments
  • Calendar reminder to water plants?
    I set up a calendar reminder for watering plants every 7 to 10 days. Is that ok? I do want to learn if there's any tale-tell sign when plants are thirsty? Thoughts?


      • 1
      Pei Agreed with [278933,Erin Marino] . What I also find helpful is to feel the soil before watering. Meaning poke the soil a bit and make sure it is dry to touch by at least 1" to 2" (depends on the plants) Hope this helps :)
      • 2
      Erin Marino When I first started collecting houseplants- I was watering them every Sunday like clockwork. No surprise that most of them died from overwatering... Now (after a few years of trial and error!) I've learned to wait for visual signs before I water like Jam mentioned below (drooping leaves, wrinkling, etc.) Hasn't really failed me yet! And I find myself watering a lot less often than I was in the beginning.
      • 2
      Jam Y8 I check all of my plants soil once a week and only water if the soil is dry from the top 2". I think a tale-tell would be curling, drooping leaves or wrinkling (for succulents/cacti). hope this helps!
  • What should I do when my bromeliad bract starts to dry out??
    The bracts of my bromeliad are starting to dry out. What should I do? Separate the pup to plant and throw out the mother plant? Or just cut off the colorful bract?
      • 3
      Pei I think you need to behead it!
  • Good spot for Dracaena?
    Is this ok?  I know they're a low light plant??
      • 1
      NRD You can get a wooden radiator cover to put o er radiator and then put plant on top of that. From what I’ve heard, the box does not get hot, so plant should be fine. If you don’t want to cover whole radiator, you can make a small wood box (like a little stand) to put on top of radiator and then place plant on that
      • 1
      Pei Definitely not — if that radiator is ON. You are going to cook it :(
  • Should I water my plants with ice cubes?
      • 3
      NRD Yeah, I don’t get this philosophy. Everyone knows that cold water is shocking to roots. I use room temp spring water for everything. Ice cubes? Does not make sense to me. I’ve seen this recommended for orchids a lot, as well. I can not imagine an orchid especially would like cold water.
      • 2
      Elana Ice cubes are never good for plants! Not only will it probably not give the plants enough water, the cold water will probably shock the plant. Warm water is always best :)
      • 1
      Pei I heard about this too. Some people even suggested to use ice cubes with orchids. Thoughts?
    • 2 more comments
  • How do I care for this?
      • 1
      Pei What is that? Birds nest?