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.

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Plant Care Tips

  • Planter for Lavender?
    I brought a lavender plant home to test it out, and it seems to be doing well in my south-facing windowsill! Now that I know it'll survive – I want to move it from its plastic grow pot into a planter. Any recommendations? Is drainage key here? 
      • 2
      Sadni Yes sadly my lavender died of root rot very quickly and I had planted it in a ceramic pot with small drainage holes. So I would suggest a pot that has good drainage!
      • 1
      Pei You are so luck!! South facing widow is the best for caring lavender.

      Drainage is definitely the key here. Lavender likes to dry out between waterings so it's best to use a terra cotta pot IMO.
  • Bird of paradise root rot?
    Hello! I’ve had my bird of paradise plant for about 2 years, but the past few weeks it’s been looking pretty sick. I water it every other week with tap water (when the soil is dry ~2 inches down). I’ve already had to cut the bottom 2 leaves off since the leaves have been curling, then turning brown, then die. And now it’s spreading to the next leaf and I’m worried the plant is dying! I did a little reading and am wondering if it’s root rot, and whether I should replant or do something else? I really love this plant so any suggestions are much appreciated! 
      • 1
      Claire Casaregola @pei I don’t measure how much water I give it, but if I had to estimate maybe 2-3 cups. I wait to see how fast the water is absorbed- once it starts absorbing slowing I stop adding water. The lighting in my apartment isn’t great :/ it’s indirect sunlight all day, but strongest in the morning. I haven’t reported in about 8 months later
      • 1
      Pei [293996,Claire Casaregola] how much water do you give each time? Also what kind of light does it get? When was the last time your refresh the soil?
  • Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion) - To Trim Or Not?
    I have a purple passion that has been growing like crazy and now has 3 pretty solid stalks with big leaves, each around 12"h.

    I'm not sure what my next step with this should be. Sometimes I've seen these grown in hanging planters to cascade a bit, which could be cool. Will these stalks naturally (and safely) just start bending over and growing downward?

    OR should I be pruning it down to make it into more of a bush? Part of me feels like I should be doing this and maybe even trying to root the clippings in the same pot to make the whole thing fuller. In this case, I'm more afraid of doing something that will damage the plant. Not so worried if the clipping don't take root, but it's been growing so well I'd be sad if I hurt the main plant.

    Anyone have experience with any of this?
      • 1
      Pei i think it's a personal preference. I am a sucker for any hanging plants :)
  • Aralia care
    I am a fairly confident plant parent, but definitely struggle with keeping my Aralia happy. Does anyone have any tips to share?

    Specifically, what do you do when it goes in a "shedding mood"? The photo is what it looks like now – it was twice fuller and compacted before :( 
      • 1
      Pei [291063,Plants_Armstrong] here it is!
  • What to do with these succulents?
    Hi all, a friend gave me a pot of these succulents and I really like how they look! However, I have no idea how to care of them or what to watch out for, and I'm worried about possibly over/underwatering them.

    Could anyone tell me what kind of succulents these are, and what to expect as time goes on?
      • 1
      Pei [293438,Stephen] i think it's up to you. Some people like it full and spill out of the planter look, some people don't :) Also, succulent roots are usually shallow so it's ok to have many in a same pot.
      • 3
      PlntNrd Here’s s pic of one of mine and you can see I like them crowded. I squished as many as I could in this pot and it’s been flourishing for a long time.
      X
      • 2
      Pei Hi @stephen it's a mix of assorted Echeveria, Haworthia, and possibly a Jade (in the back). Succulent care is all the same - lots of sun (6 hours of direct sun if possible) and water once every 10 days.

      Make sure the soil is completely dry out between waterings. Also you want to fully saturate the soil by soaking the plant for about 10 mins and dump out any excess water. Hope this helps!
    • 6 more comments
  • Corn plant - help needed
    We have had this corn plant for a year and half and we have been struggling with browning/yellowing leaves and wanted to seek some advise on how best to look after it. We live in a flat in London with ceiling to floor windows which means the room does get very warm and very cold- depending on the time of the year. The plant does not sit in direct sunlight. We ensure the soil is always damp and it has a large pot which we have recently placed on stones to airate it. Please can anyone provide any hints or tips to get it back to full health. Thank you. 
      • 1
      PlntNrd When you say that you ensure the soil is always damp, how much and how often are you watering it? I know it seems odd, but overwatering can actually cause leaf tips to get brown/yellow and crispy like this. When you give a plant too much water, the cells fill up, passing the water on to the next cell, and eventually it gets to the leaf margin and there’s still excess water, but no more cells to absorb it. The water has to go somewhere, so what ends up happening is the cells along the margins of the leaves end up rupturing, which causes brown and yellow crispy tips. These also like humidity, which can cause crispy leaves. It looks like you have a pebble tray under your plant. Fill that pebble tray with just enough water to keep the level below the top of the rock line. That way there’s no issues with there being too much water and your plant absorbing the extra water through the drainage hole. Whenever the water dries up, fill up the tray again. This will provide a consistent level of humidity around the plant. Another issue that could be causing the margin to brown is the temperature. How cold are we talking here? Ideal temps for these guys are between 65-75 F. If it’s getting below 60-55 in this room, that is too cold and could be causing the damage. You might consider moving it to warmer spot in winter or getting a small heater for that room, but place it far enough away from your plant.
    • 3 more comments
  • Should I repot bigger and/or separate the two plants?
      • 1
      Pei [293286,Lauren Lemen] I agreed with [288486,PlntNrd]. because how slow growing Snake plant is, i don't recommend to repot or separate the two just yet. You could though :)
      • 1
      PlntNrd Sansevieria cylindrica do fine when rootbound and it’s usually advised to repot these guys every 2-3 years in the spring or if they have gotten so big that their roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot, they have so many offsets they’re really overcrowded, or sometimes the rhizomes get so big they even break the pot. You can look at the bottom of your pot to see if any roots are coming through the drainage hole and, if you would like to really see the roots, let the soil dry out and then carefully slip it out of the pot. Or, if you think the offsets are just overcrowding the parent plant, you could either uppot or separate. That’s really personal preference. Would you rather have multiple pots of this sans or share it with someone. Or, would you rather let it form in to a large clump? If this was my plant, I would probably separate this one and have two. Then, I would allow one of them to grow in to a large clump, keeping all of the offsets together in one pot and I would use the other one for making new plants to keep and share.
  • Spider Mite Treatment
    Hello,
    Two of my plants have been discovered to have spider mites so I was wondering if anyone has any holy grail treatment options to get rid of them. I've washed the plants, cut off the leaves of one that is very rough and has probably had them for awhile, and both are quarantined. 
      • 1
      Pei Hi [291379,Alyssa Rogers] I have the same battle! My Aralia has spider mites the whole winter :(

      From my research, spider mites usually occur when the environment is too dry and there's too much dust accumulate on the leaves. There are some plants are suseptable to mites, such as Aralia, Palm, Fiddle leave and Rubber plant (same family), and etc.

      My understanding is that you can either apply Neem or insecticide once or twice a week, but it usually takes a while too completely get rid of them!

      Those suckers 😡
      • 2
      Plants_Armstrong I also found spider mites on 2 of my plants this past weekend. One was a rubber tree that wasn't exhibiting major signs, and the other was a very small english ivy I had just purchased.

      I sprayed both down with a neem oil solution after reading that was a good non-toxic option. Now just waiting to see how it goes. I feel like I caught the rubber plant in time, but I fear the ivy might not survive.

      My understanding is that it can take a week or two where you spray with neem oil once a week and then daily try to wipe down the leaves with a separate solution of water and a tiny bit of dish soap to not only ensure you're getting them all but also to make sure you get any that may hatch along the way.

      I wish you luck! If I remember, I will post back progress.
    • 1 more comment
  • new jade plant tips?
    Hi everyone, 

    Took this guy home from my local grocery store as he looked a little sad (the droppy leaves, and there are some damaged ones on the other side that aren't pictured). The drooping makes me wonder if it's been a little overwatered (though the soil is dry and terracotta pot). Seeking advice re: how long to wait before watering myself and also wondering if I risk it becoming sun scorched if I put it right onto a sunny windowsill as I don't know how long it's been at the store...(sorry I can't rotate the image!)
      • 1
      abcactus Hi! I agree with the rest of the solutions but you can also use TheSill's informational guide on how to care for jades. It helped me so much to understand the plant's background and their recommendations as well.
      • 3
      Pei Hi [292941,Tam], the classic tale tell signs of a thirsty succulent is a wrinkled leaves – like how your hands are in the water for too long! From the photo, I wouldn't say it's necessarily thirsty, however it definitely needs more light now.

      I suggest to give it water and place it on a sunny windowsill now. But if you prefer to ere on the cautious side, put it in a bright-lit environment than gradually move it to a sunny spot over 10 day period would work too.

      Hope this helps!
      • 2
      dekadaye it might be underwatered if the soil is dry.
    • 1 more comment
  • rubber plant winter watering
    Hi all! 

    I picked up a new rubber plant friend from the sill just over a month ago. I've read varied reviews on how much to water. Some say only 1-2x/month in winter. I've noticed though that the leaves tend to get droopy and that it only takes about a week before the soil is dry around 1 inch down. and so I have watered it about 3 times (waited two weeks this first time, then once a week since. So far I have only lost one leaf that was a bit yellow (and to be fair I bumped it while misting). Just wondering if I might be in danger or overwatering/when I would see the signs? Otherwise it seems to be fine in its windowsill home getting afternoon light. 
    on the ground you can see a bit of yellowed leaf
      • 3
      Pei Your rubber plant looks very happy to me! To decide how much and how often to water your plant, the most important factor is how much sun does it get. General water recommendations don’t apply to everyone! Rubber tree is the happiest living in a bright lite environment. It can also take direct sun from east/west/north window.

      Your right to follow your instinct to alway make sure the soil dry to touch at least 1-2 inches down. another thing to keep in mind is it lives in a terra cotta pot which is more poreous than ceramic planter. Hence it dries out faster. Other factories to consider is if it’s near draft, air conditioner, or radiator. These will contribute to soil dry out.

      Plants are smart they tell you when they are not happy. For example, the drippings you mentioned is your plant saying it’s thirsty :)
      • 1
      Tam [278958,Pei] re added :)
    • 1 more comment
  • Mealy bugs that just won’t quit
    Hey!

    A while ago, I bought some cacti from two nurseries that brought in mealy bugs. 

    I have used isopropyl alcohol, washing up liquid, isolation, ‘baths’, paint brushes, sprays... These little bugs are going to survive a nuclear bomb. I’m sure of it. 

    I don’t currently have an infestation as such but they’re annoying just the same. I have had to throw away more than 20 plants in the past year because they were beyond saving. 

    On Sunday, I thought I’d fully cleaned a cactus of the bugs and repotted it. The plants had been FULLY washed for bugs. Low and behold.... I found more the next day. I’m starting to admire these annoying critters for their skills. 

    I’m open to aaaaaaany valid advice, suggestions or experiences. Please do let me know! I really don’t want to lose any more plants. 

    Thank you so much!

    Claire 🌵
      • 3
      PlntNrd If you have tried all of those things and still are seeing mealys, I would treat systemically. I’ve used a systemic pesticide from Bonide and it worked great. I was finding dead mealys in plants that I didn’t know had them. You just add the pellets to the soil and then kind of scratch them in to soil. Then water thoroughly to allow the pesticide to get to the roots. Since it’s systemic, it is actually absorbed through the roots and any bug that feeds on your plant will be killed and I think one treatment last for a few months to up to 6 months.
      • 2
      Erin Oy this happened to be with an alocasia polly at home – everything I tried, from organic washes to chemicals didn't seem to work. Eventually I had to trim everything back to the stem, and soak the soil with soapy water. I think that would be tough to do with cacti :( but it worked for my tropical leafy plants.
      • 1
      Pei Hey [292986,Claire] are you sure it's mealy bugs? what does it look like??
    • 3 more comments
  • Time to repot?
    So excited that this guy is finally taking off! Think it’s time to move up to a bigger pot? Noticing a yellowing leaf at the bottom.  
      • 1
      Pei Woaza 😍😍😍

      Yes, I would repot it to a 6" planter. Moonlight philodendron get's really big and top heavy FYI!
      • 1
      Caroline Ackerman Yellow leaf:
      X
  • Philodendron: Green brown spots
    Hi! I've had this tiny guy for about a week and I don't want to think I'm that terrible with plants why he's suddenly browning. The leaves are also feeling a bit fragile and more flimsy. They aren't turning yellow, they're just spotting and weakening. There are four new leaves growing. I watered it for the first time since I got it yesterday (because the soil was pretty damp when I received it). It's still in its nursery pot. Help!
      • 1
      Pei Hi [292783,Island Sun Lass] that looks like cosmetic damages from delivery or other factors. I don't think there's anything wrong with your plant!
      • 1
      Island Sun Lass This is what it looks like.
      X
  • My new monstera
    Hi!
    My husband recently ordered me some plants from The Sill for my birthday- best present ever! I am curious about my monstera. Is it normal for it to spread out so much and almost lay flat? Anyone have any pointers for me? Thanks in advance! 
      • 1
      PlntNrd When you buy plants from nurseries and other places, they often give you a pot with multiple small plants or well rooted cuttings all planted together. From the pic, it’s looks like there are multiple plants/cuttings in your pot. The leaning left side looks like two plants that, may have the roots entwined with the other plants in the pot, but are not actually attached and they are top heavy plus the soil isn’t holding them in well and they have just kind of fallen to the side. When you repot this guy, this should fix itself. Just choose a pot a little bigger than the size of the nursery pot (about 2 inches larger).
      • 1
      Pei Hi [292133,Megan Brown], yup that's totally normal. It's just how Monstera grows naturally - they extend their arms wide 😁Also FYI, you will also see the bottom ones die off first too as they age.
    • 2 more comments
  • Fernando the fern
    Hi all, 
    I just got my Bird’s Nest Fern in today and when I arrived I noticed the delivery man put my fern upside down on the porch. I was so nervous it would be a mess but luckily it isn’t. But I do have a question, since this is my first fern, does it look ok? Should I be doing anything the next few days to make sure Fernando is good? I did water it. Thanks in advance!!! 
      • 1
      abcactus He looks amazing! Be sure to watch out for wilting because this can be a sign of underwatering the plant, I experienced this when I first got mine from TheSill and it took me a hot second to figure out what I was doing wrong.
      • 3
      Lizzie Fernando looks great! I mist mine pretty frequently. I highly recommend getting a spray bottle if you don't have one yet! He will be very happy.
      • 1
      Pei Fernando looks great (considering it was upside down 😑!).
    • 2 more comments