Flowering Indoor Houseplant Plant Pictures

How to Grow Care Tips for Flowering Houseplant Bulbs

What could be better than beautiful blooming Houseplant BulbsA bulb is that part of a plant that contains the tender shoots of a new plant. Many flowering plants such as tulips, hyacinths, and lilies are propagated by bulbs. The energy a new plant needs to develop is stored in the bulbs. There is a large variation in the size of houseplant bulbs. They can be as small as a pea or as large as 15 pounds (7 kg).  Plants that develop from bulbs produce leaves and flowers each season, then gradually die back and go dormant for a few months. During this dormancy or resting period, the plant stores the nutrients that will help it bloom again the following year. Bulbs can be forced to bloom almost any time indoors, brightening up your house during the cold winter months. to brighten your home and office this winter? If your flowering plant bulbs have been resting in a cool area for at least 12-15 weeks, it’s time to plant them. The longer the plant bulbs have been “resting” the larger the plants will be. Plant bulbs that have been dormant in a cold area for less than 12 weeks, produce small plants that may not bloom.

Small white flowers, green leaves Lily of the Valley Plant

Lily of the Valley Plant

If you are buying new plant bulbs, they can be planted any clean clay or plastic pot that has drip holes in the bottom. Plastic pots do not dry out as quickly and they are much lighter to handle than clay pots. I like to make a soil mixture for my winter bulb plants using one part sand, two parts peat moss, and one part garden loam. You can fit 3 hyacinth bulbs, 15 crocus bulbs, 6 daffodil bulbs, or 6 tulip bulbs in a pot with a 6” diameter. Always buy large, good quality bulbs. Never select a flower bulb that is soft or has started to sprout. The quality of the bulb is extremely important because it contains the food needed for the flowering plant to eventually grow.

Place your pots of flower bulbs in a bright, cool area (50-60 degrees), water well, and feed with an all purpose plant food at ½ the recommended strength. Once leaves and buds appear, move the containers of bulbs to a warmer, brighter location (65-75 degrees). Never put them in the direct sun. Keep the soil damp but not soggy.

Once the flowers have died, plant the bulbs outside in your garden or store them in a cool place to be used again next year.

 

After Bloom Care for Poinsettias.

LATE WINTER/ EARLY SPRING

Poinsettias have long-lasting flowers so their bracts will remain showy for several months. During this time, side shoots develop below the bracts. To have a well-shaped plant the following year, cut each of the old flowering stems or branches back to 4 to 6 inches in height. Leave one to three leaves on each of the old stems, new growth comes from buds located in the leaf axils along these stems. Cutting the plant back in February or early March helps the buds grow and develop.  Keep you Poinsettia in a sunny area where the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees, and fertilize every 2 weeks.

LATE SPRING & SUMMER

Between July and August 1, prune all shoots to about 4 inches, leaving about one to three leaves on each shoot.

FALL

In order for the Poinsettia bracts to turn color again, the plant must be kept in complete darkness for 12-15 hours from the end of September until color shows in the bracts in early to mid-December. The temperature should remain between 60 and 70 degrees. Night temperatures above 70 to 75 degrees may delay or prevent the plant from turning red. Hopefully you’ll have a beautiful plant for Christmas.

How to Care for Your Poinsettia

We’ve all seen the poinsettias arrive at grocery stores, garden centers, Costco and Sam’s Club looking absolutely beautiful and then, a few days later, looking like they needed to be thrown out. This isn’t because they’ve been neglected, it’s because they’ve been over-watered and are not getting enough light. Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbia family and their leaves should become soft and droop a little before you water them. The green leaves fall off from too much water and then you’re left with an ugly bare stem that has a few red bracts on the top. If your poinsettias already look like this, go outside and cut a few small branches off of a fir or pine tree and fill in the bottom of the plant.

Follow these simple care instructions, and you’ll have lovely poinsettias into January.

Poinsettias need very bright indirect light but no direct sun. The light from a north-facing window is not adequate. If you place your plant close to a window, be sure none of the leaves touch the glass since the cold damages poinsettias.

Allow at least the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering to prevent root rot, green leaves falling off, and bare stems. Severe under-watering, when the plant badly droops, causes both green and colored leaves to fall off.  Water drops on the leaves makes unsightly white marks.

Poinsettias last longer and look better when the temperature is between 65-70 degrees during the day and about 60 degrees at night. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold damage the leaves and can also cause leaf drop. Keep Poinsettias away from drafty doors and windows, fireplaces, heaters, and the tops of appliances that give off heat.

Poinsettias, despite all rumors, are not poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets., though themilky sap of the plant may cause minor skin irritations, especially for people who are allergic to latex.

Is Mistletoe Poisonous?

The old tradition of kissing under the mistletoe has been around for a very long time, and the temptation for a small child or pet to munch one of the pretty red berries is always there. So is mistletoe really poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets. or is it just an old wives tale? The truth is that it really depends on the variety of mistletoe that you have and what part is eaten. Since the side effects of eating mistletoe, such as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and diarrhea, can be very serious; and since we are really never sure what type of mistletoe we have, always keep mistletoe away from children and pets. The poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets. ingredient, Phoratoxin, is found in all parts of the plant, but especially in the leaves. If any part of mistletoe is ingested immediately call:

American Association of Poison Control Centers

                                    1-800-222-1222

 

mistletoe2

How to Get a Christmas Cactus to Bloom for Christmas

Flowering Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

We all hope our Christmas Cactus, (Schlumbergera or Zygocactus) will bloom for Christmas. If you’ve taken good care of your Christmas Cactus during the year, about now you should be seeing the tips of the leaves beginning to grow. Soon the flower buds will develop at these tips, and around Christmas your plant should be in full bloom.

There are several things that play a key role in helping a Christmas Cactus to bloom at the right time. A Christmas Cactus is a thermo-photoperiodic plant, so starting about 4-6 weeks before Christmas it needs 12 hours a day of light and 12 hours a day of darkness. During this time, the ideal night- time temperature should be 50-60 degrees. Reduce your watering slightly and do not soak the soil, only moisten the top few inches.  Although a Christmas Cactus needs fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. when actively developing leaves, once the buds appear, do not feed the plant.

For more information on how to care for a Christmas Cactus go to:

http://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/christmas-cactus

 

 

How to Get Poinsettias & Christmas Cactus to Bloom

Two of everyone’s favorite plants for the Holiday Season are the Poinsettia (Euphorbiaceae pulcherrima) and the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera briggesii or Zygo Cactus)). However, these plants don’t necessarily bloom naturally during the month of December. They are both photoperiodic plants and have to be tricked into flowering at the right time. Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus, as well as other flowering plants such as Kalanchoes, use a photoreceptor protein to sense when seasonal changes are occurring and nights are getting longer.

Starting in October, we need to keep these plants in total darkness for up to 14 hours a day and then place them in bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. the rest of the time. This way, we can force them to bloom exactly when we want. Read more about how to care for these plants in the Popular HousePlant section of the website.

Flowering HousePlants That Bloom All Year

Cut flowers are beautiful, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy care flowering house plant that will bloom year after year? Here are a few of my favorites with links to learn all about caring for them.

Lipstick Plant:      http://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/lipstick-plant

lipstick-plant

 

Goldfish Plant:  http://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/goldfish-plant

 

goldfish-plant

 

African Violet:    http://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/african-violet-plant

African-violet-plant

Largest Flower in the World

I had to share this with everyone today. A friend emailed me these remarkable pictures of an Amorphophallus titanum (Araceae), also known as the”cadaverous flower.”
 
It is largest flower in the world was photographed blooming in Blanco, Veracruz , Mexico. It is over 6 feet tall (2 meters) and weighs over 165 pounds (75 kilos).
  It blooms three days every 40 years. 

You’d only see it once or twice in a lifetime!

Calla Lilies Make Great Indoor and Outdoor Plants

As Easter approaches, the stores are going to be filled with Easter Lilies. They are quite beautiful but the blooms don’t last very long. My favorite “houseplant lily” is the Calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica).  Alternate Names for this plant are Trumpet Lily, Lily of the Nile,  Arum Lily, and my favorite, Varkoor Lily (an Afrikaans name meaning Pig’s Ear).

The Calla Lily is a beautiful plant whether grown outdoors in your garden or indoors in a decorative pot by a sunny window. This elegant plant, native to the marshes of South Africa, is not really a lily at all but a member of the Araceae family. The extraordinary funnel or trumpet shaped waxy flowers of a Calla Lily grow on tall thick stems and have a yellow spadix emerging from the center of the spath. Faint white or yellow spots may dot the long tapered green leaves. Today, thanks to the many new hybrids developed by breeders throughout the world, Calla Lilies can be found not only in white, but also pink, orange, fuchsia, red, yellow, and cream. The long lasting flowers are especially popular in wedding bouquets where they are used as a symbol of purity and beauty.

There is a picture of a Calla Lily and complete care instructions for this plant in the Popular HousePlant Section of the website.