Plant Problem: Leaves Droopy and Dull Looking

Hi Sharon,

Your plant looks like a Schefflera also called an Umbrella Plant because of the way the leaves hang down. If the soil is dry, the plant needs a lot more water. Water it really well until the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot and then allow the plant to sit in the drip saucer filled with water  for about 15 minutes. Water again when the top 50% of the soil has dried out. If the soil is wet and the leaves of your plant look like that, you have over watered, destroyed the roots of the plant, and the plant leaves cannot get enough water to survive. Hopefully it is a dry soil problem. Let me know what you think.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants




 

 

 

Plant Identification: Dieffenbachia

Hi Tony,

Large green and white patterned dieffenbachia leaves

Dieffenbachia Plant

You are exactly right. Your plant is a Dieffenbaachia compacta (some call it exotica).

These plants are considered very poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

Dieffenbachia Houseplants require medium to high light. Direct sun burns the leaves and too much bright light causes the vibrant leaf color to fade. When an indoor Dieffenbachia Plant does not get enough light, the new leaves are small and far apart on the stem.

Water Dieffenbachia Houseplants well and then allow the top 2″-3″ of soil to dry out before watering again. These plants do best when watered on a regular schedule.

Fertilize your Dieffenbachia only when the plant is actively producing new leaves. Most Dieffenbachia houseplants should be fed every two weeks in the summer and once a month in the spring and fall. Never feed a Dieffenbachia in the winter. Excess plant food causes browning around the edges of the leaves.

Dieffenbachia Plants prefer temperatures above 60 degrees. The lower leaves on a Dieffenbachia turn yellow when exposed to cold drafts from doors, windows, or air conditioners.

You can read more of my care tips for a dieffenbachia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/dieffenbachia-how-to-grow-care

 

 

 

Ti Plant-Cordyline Terminalis-Turning Brown

Hi,

You plant looks like a Ti Plant (CORDYLINE TERMINALIS), though if I had a closeup of a leaf I could be more certain. Here is what a Ti Plant looks like.

Green and red Ti Plant

Ti Plant  Cordyline Terminalis

Proper watering is the most difficult part of taking care of your Ti Plant. The soil needs to be moist but never soggy and should never totally dry out. Use bottled water if your regular water contains fluoride, chlorine, or passes through a water softener since chemicals damage the leaves of a Ti Plant. Fluoride toxicity is especially harmful, causing brown leaf tips. You can read all of my care tips for this plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/ti-plant-how-to-grow-care-tips

 

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants


 

Identify My Plant: Chinese Evergreen

Hi Will, Your plant is a Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), the variety is probably Miss Thailand Here are some care tips for this very beautiful houseplant. These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets (esp. cats) and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

How to Propagate Bromeliads

Hi Breana,

Pink Bromeliad with thick gray leaves

Aechmea fasciata
Silver Urn Bromeliad

Bromeliads are propagated using the “pups” or  offsets that grow at the base of the plant. Wait until these  offsets are at least 6” (15 cm) in size before digging them up and planting them in a 4” pot of their own.

The longer the pups are left attached to the mother plant, the better they will grow once planted on their own. If the pups have roots that’s great, but roots are not necessary for them to survive.

Use a sharp, sterilized knife or scissors to remove pup (offset), cutting as close to the mother plant as possible.

Once the pups have been removed, simply replace the soil around the mother plant and it should continue to provide you with additional offsetsHouseplant offsets, or pups as they are sometimes called, are the baby plants that form at the base of certain houseplants.Plant offsets can be used to easily propagate new plants. Wait until the plant offsets have grown at least several inches, then gently detach them from the "mother"plant. Hopefully the plant offsets will have a few roots of their own at this point. Plant the offsets in a small container and keep the plant barely moist but never soggy at all times. though there won’t be any more flowers.

Dip the cut ends of the pup in a LITTLE FungicideFungicides are chemical compounds that are used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. Fungi can cause serious damage to your houseplants. with Rooting HormoneRooting Hormone helps plant cuttings produce new roots and is very important to use if you want your propagation attempts to be successful. Always dip the cut end of a stem or leaf into water and then dip it into the rooting hormone before planting it. Tap off any excess powder since too much hormone is worse than too little. before planting it in a small 4″ pot with a light, fast-draining soil.  When planting the new baby bromeliad be careful not to plant too deeply.

It will take at least 2-3 years for the new bromeliad to bloom.

When you repot the Mother plant use a container that is 6″wide and about 5″-6″ deep. Be sure the container has drip hole in the bottom.

Learn about poisonous houseplants.


 

 

Plants Identification: Miniature Rose Plant & Calathea

Hi Abdullah,

Red Miniature Rose Plant

Miniature Rose Plant

The first plant is a a miniature Rose Bush. These indoor houseplant roses  look lovely when first purchased but are difficult to keep indoors on a permanent basis. Enjoy your Miniature Rose Bush plant your home  and then plant it outside as soon as the weather permits. Miniature Roses grow much better outdoors in the fresh air and  bright light. A Miniature Rose Bush plant produces small flowers about 1”-2” (2.5-5cm) in size in red, yellow, pink, white, peach, and orange.  Since this plant is a hybrid of the regular rose, it needs the same type of care and attention. here are some care tips:

Houseplant identification: Variegated Peperomia Plant

Hi Kay,

Green and yellow peperomia plant

Variegated Peperomia Plant

Your plant is a variegated peperomia plant. These are semi Succulent PlantsLearn how to grow and care for succulent plants at Houseplant411.com. Here are some care tips for you.



A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants


How to Care for Devils Backbone Plant

Hi Denise,

Pink and green Devils Backbone Plant

Devils Backbone Plant

Here are some care tips that I hope will help you.

Flowering: A Devil’s Backbone (Pedilanthus tithymaloides) rarely flowers indoors.

Light: This succulent plant likes very bright light but avoid direct intense afternoon sun during the spring and summer.

Water: Water a Devil’s Backbone Plant moderately and consistently throughout the year, allow the soil to dry out a little more during the Fall and Winter.  Leaves fall off of a Devil’s Backbone if the soil gets too dry and the plant gets root rot if the soil stays too wet.
Temperature: A Devil’s Backbone Plant likes warm temperatures and does not do well in temperatures below 55 degrees.
Fertilizer: Feed once a month when it is actively growing in the spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer.
Pot Size: These plants like to be root-bound in small pots.

Soil: Devil’s Backbone Plants are very tolerant of even poor soil but it’s best to use a sand based soil that drains well.

Pests: Look out for plant pests such as Mealy Bugs and spider mites
Diseases: It sounds like the plant has powdery mildewPowdery mildew is a plant disease that puts a grayish white powder on plant leaves and stems. View a picture of this plant disease and learn how to treat it., which looks like a white powder covering the lesions on the leaves, stems and flowers. To prevent powdery mildewPowdery mildew is a plant disease that puts a grayish white powder on plant leaves and stems. View a picture of this plant disease and learn how to treat it. keep the soil slightly moist soil, watering in the early morning to allow the soil to dry out before experiencing cooler night temperatures. Avoid crowding the plants, so there is good air circulation around them. Once infected, immediately remove any diseased foliage to prevent spread of the fungus. Spray the plant with my “ green solutionIf you don't want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil.    ,” a non toxic, inexpensive spray you can make in 5 minutes. You can read how to make it in the Glossary of the website.
Toxicity: The latex based sap of a Devil’s Backbone Plant is caustic so always wear gloves when pruning the plant.
These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants



 

How to Care for Calathea Plants

Hi Cynthia,

Your plant is a Calathea rufibarba. There are so many different varieties of calathea beautiful unique leaves and interesting flowers. Here is a Rattlesnake Calathea, a lanata calathea, and a crocata variety.

Rattlesnake Calathea has long, green leaves with dark decorative spots

Calathea Lancifolia
Rattlesnake Calathea

Pink flower on Calathea lanata

Calathea Lanata

You can read all about Calatheas in the Popular Houseplant section of the website The picture is of a totally different variety but the care is the same.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/calathea-how-to-grow-care-tips


 

 

Learn to recognize Poisonous HouseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them.

Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

 

Plant Identification

Hi Angela,

The first plant is a Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura). The large patterned leaves of a Prayer Plant, with hues of red, green, brown, and cream, lift up and fold together each evening as though praying and open again the next morning. Here are some care tips for a prayer plant. You can read more on how to grow a Prayer Plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/prayer-plant-how-to-grow-plant-care