Gardening Texoma: House Plants

House Plants

House plants have enriched human lives for many years. Scientists are just now beginning to understand that house plants not only are pretty, but their beauty has the ability to make us feel better as well as aid healing.
Most house plants have adapted to the low light level that is usually in homes. They have also attempted to adapt to the dust in homes and low humidity. But sometimes the plants can use a little help. If your house plants look a little tired and disheartened. Here are some things to consider:
Keep the plants clean!
• Make a mixture of ½ milk and ½ water. Wipe the plant leaves and let air dry. Fine foliage plants can be cleaned with a gentle spray of water. The water/milk mixture will leave large leaves shiny and with the dust and dirt gone the leaves can do their jobs correctly.
• Most city water in our Texoma area has lots of sodium. Plants do not like salt and many die if there is a buildup of salt in their soil. Best to leach the soil every six months by running water through the soil. Take the pots outside or to the shower for this chore. After leaching, let the plants dry in a place protected from the sun.
Give your plants the correct amount of light!
• Too little light:
o Leaves are smaller than normal
o Leaves are pale in color
o Growth is spindly with long spaces between leaves
o Lower leaves turn yellow and fall off
o Blooming is poor, if any at all
o Variegated leaves turn green.
• Too much light:
o Leaves may burn or have scorched patches
o Leaves may wilt at noon
o Leaves look dull and may be very dry and fall off.
Give your plants the correct amount of water (rainwater or filtered water is best)!
• First check the preference of each plants - moist soil or dryer soil
• Overwatering:
o Leaves are limp and soft; there may be rotten areas and poor growth
o Flowers are moldy
o New and old leaves fall off the plant
o Leaves have brown tips, curl and wilt.
• Underwatering:
o Leaves are limp and wilted and there is no new leaf growth
o Flowers fall off or the color fades quickly
o Lower leaves have dry brown edges; they curl, yellow and wilt.
• Important!!!
o Some of the symptoms for over or under watering are the same. The best solution is to stick your finger down in the soil past your first knuckle. If it feels wet – probably overwatering. If it feels dry – probably under-watering.
If you want to know more about your plants I suggest you go to the library or book store and find a good book on Houseplants. You will love your plants more and when their needs are met, they will love you, too!

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