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House plants

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Total number of topics in this forum: 53

Ailing Orchids

Question from Erika's Garden

My cymbidiums have developed little lumps on the underside of their leaves, the leaves themselves are becoming limp and discoloured. The 'lumps' are like hard scaps which can be dislodged easily and don't seem to have living creatures inside. Are they a pest, virus or fungus type? I have already lost some of my plants and want to save the rest if possible.

  • Views: 876
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Tue. 17th May 2011 14:35
  • Last reply: Thu. 19th May 2011 17:15

Streptocarpus Saxorum

Question from Dawn

Most of this plant has firm leaves but some are very limp although not dropping off. Dibleys say it has either been too wet or too dry so to cut the limp ones off, but I think perhaps something else is going on. Can anyone help please.

  • Views: 934
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Wed. 9th March 2011 22:20
  • Last reply: Mon. 14th March 2011 21:37

Houseplant ideas for hallway

Question from Tracey and Ian Blackmore

Hi. Does anyone have any ideas for suitable houseplants for a hallway which is south-east facing and often has low-light levels, ideally the plant would be tall and slim. It would be good to have a plant with flowers as well. Thank you. Tracey and Ian.

  • Views: 1179
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Sat. 15th January 2011 14:06
  • Last reply: Tue. 18th January 2011 19:22

Dracaena Marginata

Question from Tracey and Ian Blackmore

I have a dracaena marginata tree and I am just wondering if anybody has any tips for looking after this plant. I cut off the brown edges on the tips of the leaves the other day and they re-appeared after a few days - I am not sure if this is because I am watering it too much or if the air is too dry in the house (it is about 60-70% humidity and temperature is about 21-22 deg Cent). I water it every few days because I read in one of my houseplant books not to let the top of the soil go dry. Today I find several leaves turning yellowy brown and more brown edges on the tips of the leaves, so I have taken the bad leaves/ brown tips off the plant. I am putting it down to over-watering at the moment and we have moved the plant so that it is underneath a south-west facing window. Is this ok? What advice can anyone give?

  • Views: 1995
  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Sat. 15th January 2011 13:53
  • Last reply: Fri. 18th February 2011 07:55

Venus Flytrap

General post from robin reardon

Hi all,

My daughter after a visit to KEW suprised me with a Venus flytrap as a present.
I have had a read up on care for these plants but was wondering if anyone had any tips for overwintering.
Also is it a good idea to leave the pot standing in a bowl of water through the winter.


  • Views: 600
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Mon. 8th November 2010 11:51
  • Last reply: Tue. 9th November 2010 07:21

Pruning a Rubber Plant

Question from Jim Warren

Following advice from a member, I plucked up courage and pruned the top of my plant as it was outgrowing my window sill 1.22m/48".

Thinking this would encourage the lower main stem buds to start and replace the missing lower leaves. This hasn't happened, all the growth is at the top where there are now two branch stems just below where I pruned a few months back.

So, my question is: how can I encourage these lower buds to develop and produce nice leaves like the top ones? The lowest leaves (approx 32 cm/12 1/2" from soil) have rusty patches are paler and hang down dejectedly, not bright and standing upwards like top leaves.

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Tue. 28th September 2010 10:19
  • Last reply: Tue. 28th September 2010 21:10

Colourful Plant?

Question from Julie Humphries

Can anyone recommend a colourful House Plant that does not require a lot of light.

Many Thanks - Julie H.

  • Views: 1480
  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Tue. 19th January 2010 18:02
  • Last reply: Thu. 21st January 2010 19:26

Growing mint in water crystals - some wierd fungus?

Comment from Thomas Arundel

Hi there,

I recently did an gardening experiment. I'd recently bought some
decent (i.e not grown on really fast - properly grown stuff) mint at
the local market here in London. I'd also got some of those water
crystals - the ones that expand to 100 times their size in water. I
asked for some advice about growing this mint, and it was suggested
that it would grow in almost any condition. So, I hydrated these
crystals and stuck a big bunch of mint in them before I went on hols
for 2 weeks.

I was really hoping to come back and find that they had grown. As it
happens, it looks like they have, but several things have happened -
see the pic below:


All the lower leaves went yellow - guess the light was being obscured
by the higher leaves.

More concerningly some white fungus appears to have grown on the top
surface of these balls. The balls apparently contain some fertalizer,
though I don't know what sort.

Does anyone please have any ideas about what might be causing this
fungus, or what I could do to remove it!

Also any idea if there's anything I should to do improve the growth of the mint?

Many thanks in advance!


  • Views: 1053
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Mon. 9th November 2009 06:18
  • Last reply: Tue. 10th November 2009 19:50

Yucca plant with no leaves!

Comment from Thomas Arundel

Hi there,

I was given a spiraling Yucca plant that was just out of control. I
got a lot of people advising me to just bite the bullet and lop off
the uncontrolled growth and see if the Yucca takes off. So, intrepidly
I took the hacksaw and went through the trunk. I reported it, and put
it a nice aluminum planter.

This is what it now looks like:

Now there was some speculation that it would bud, though it hasn't yet
(about 2 months ago since I lopped it's head off).

Someone mentioned that I should stab the stem with a screwdriver where
I want it to branch out - can anyone verify this? Is there anything I
should / could be doing to promote some leaf growth? The trunk remains
rigid, and there is water and shingle in the base of the planter to
produce some natural moisture...

I did manage to keep the head and put it into another planter, and
it's looking good, though I've no idea if it's rooting:

So, please, if you have any idea what I should do, please advise. The
Yucca trunk is in a warm area with as much light as I can give it in
my flat - right by a SE facing window!

Thanks in advance,


  • Views: 1696
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Mon. 9th November 2009 05:56
  • Last reply: Mon. 4th January 2010 05:59

Foliage Plants

Question from M Mitchell


I've recently taken an interest in plants and gardening since I'm now studying biology at school and plant biology interests me.

I went to Homebase today and bought three foliage plants, but I didn't realise until I came home that they hadn't been named on the pot and I'd like to learn what they are? If anybody could help me I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you!

  • Views: 1064
  • Replies: 10
  • Posted: Mon. 28th September 2009 18:05
  • Last reply: Wed. 15th August 2012 20:00