pexels-vlada-karpovich-6802961.jpg

PLANT CARE GUIDE

GREENSPACE ZAMBIA (2)_edited.png

If you are new to caring for indoor plants here are some basic plant care tips some for the plants that you may have bought from us.  

You can also download a copy of our  The Beginners Guide to Indoor Plants booklet or Indoor Plant checklist.

WHICH PLANTS DO YOU HAVE?
Check the label of the plant you have for the name of the plant or ask us one the 'Create Greenspace' Facebook Group where we respond directly to viewer questions.

 

care instructions

Aechmea gamosepala (Matchstick Bromeliad)

 

Habit: A medium to slow growing perennial up to 50 cm tall producing green and yellowish green leaves in a rosette and purple to purplish pink flowers on long stalks that arise from the centre of the leaf rosette.

 

Temperature:  Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Shade - ideally a bright location but not exposed to sunlight.

 

Watering: Plants do better using purified or rainwater (the calcium from groundwater gradually will kill plants); pour water into the centre of the leaf rosette and top it up as the water disappears (approximately once per week in the rainy season and cold, dry season but twice a week during the hot dry season).

 

Fertilising: Give plants a half strength organic fertiliser or compost tea once a month except during the cold dry season. Note: the use of chemical fertilisers can be too strong and can kill the plants.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead, dry leaves and spent flower stalks as needed. Bromeliads generally have small root systems but should be repotted when the plants are crowded in the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Plants are relatively pest and disease free but can occasionally be attacked by Aphids, Thrips, Weevils, Scale insects, Mealy bug and Whitefly. 

 

Aglaonema species & cultivars (Chinese Evergreen)

 

Habit: Multi-stemmed herbaceous perennial growing up to 100 cm tall (though usually shorter) producing medium to large, either solid green leaves or leaves with varying amounts of white, yellow, pink and red variegation making them very showy. Flowers are produced at the top of the stems amongst the foliage but are rather insignificant.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 10ᐤ C may result in damage to leaves while temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Green leaved varieties can stand full shade but the variegated varieties need bright locations but not exposed to direct sunlight which will burn the leaves. 

 

Watering: Aglaonema plants can be fairly drought resistant as water is stored in the flesh stems; water should only be given when the top 3 cm of the soil is dry. As a rule of thumb, that roughly translates to watering once a week during the rainy season, once every two weeks in the cold dry season and once to twice a week during the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove damaged or drying leaves and flowers as necessary. Tall leggy plants can be pruned down to near the soil level and new shoots will be produced in about 3 months. Plants can be repotted every two or three years.

 

Pests/Diseases: Plants are susceptible to aphids, scale, spider mites and root mealy bug. The most common diseases are root rots brought about from overwatering.  

david-clode-fhY3lp3KCx4-unsplash.jpg
 

Asparagus setaceus (Common Asparagus Fern)

 

Habit: Climbing perennial plants up to several metres tall (but can be kept shorter through pruning) producing light feathery stems with fine, soft green needles. Small whitish flowers may be produced followed by blackish berries.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 10ᐤ C may result in damage to leaves while temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow best in bright, indirect light and will start to yellow and drop their needles when growing in areas with insufficient light.

 

Watering: Asparagus plants can be fairly drought tolerant storing moisture in its root system, however; watering once a week during the rainy season, once every two weeks in the cold dry season and once to twice a week during the hot dry season will be adequate. Misting the leaves during hot weather is beneficial to plant aesthetics.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing and dry stems as necessary.  Tall leggy plants can be pruned down to near the soil level and new shoots will be produced in about 3 months. Asparagus Ferns like to be root bound and can be repotted every four to five years. 

 

Pests/Diseases: Plants are relatively pest free but can occasionally be attacked by Asparagus beetles, aphids and cutworms in addition to Fusarium root rot and rust fungus of the leaves.  

 

Aspidistra elatior (Cst-Iron Plant)

 

Habit: An upright, erect, slow growing perennial plant growing up to 100 cm tall producing shiny, dark green elliptical leaves on long stalks. Flowers are rarely produced and small, reddish-purple and bloom at ground level.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow well in low to moderate light levels and are adaptable to many areas within a house where most other plants will not grow; however, plants cannot grow in total darkness or full sun.

 

Watering: Aspidistra can be fairly drought tolerant storing moisture in its root system, however; watering once a week during the rainy season, once every two weeks in the cold dry season and once to twice a week during the hot dry season will be adequate.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove drying leaves as necessary. Repot plants every four to five years or when it has outgrown its current pot when the roots are growing over the edge of the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealy bug, scale and Spider mites may attack plants and various fungal pathogens can cause a leaf blotch. Keeping plants healthy and well watered reduces the chances of insect or disease problems.

Begonia species and cultivars (Rhizomatous & Rex Begonias)

 

Habit: Medium to low growing succulent-like herbaceous perennial growing from sem-erect to creeping stems that produce variously smooth to hairy colourful leaves and pink or white flowers.

 

Temperature:  Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants need shade or low indirect light. Exposure to sun will cause leaf scorch and bleaching of leaf colour.

 

Watering: Begonias like a moist growing medium but not saturated; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every three or four years once the roots have filled the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealy bugs, thrips scale, spider mite and whitefly may attack plants; while fungal pathogens can cause stem or root rot (usually on overwatered plants) and the leaves can be affected by powdery mildew.

 
pexels-tiia-pakk-4350801.jpg
 

Chamaedorea cataractarum (Cat Palm)

 

Habit: Slow growing small to medium sized clumping upright to arching palm growing up to 100 cm tall with slender green pinnate leaves and bright yellow pendulous inflorescences.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. If watered more frequently, plants can withstand some direct sun but tend to become more tattered in appearance.

 

Watering: The Cat Palm should be watered enough to keep the root ball evenly moist but not soggy. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season should be sufficient. In addition, misting the fronds during hot dry weather will keep plants looking good.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant). Plants are susceptible to the buildup of salts in the soil either from over fertilization or the use of hard water, which is high in calcium.

 

Pruning/Repotting:  Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every three or four years once the roots have filled the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Cat Palms are generally pest and disease free; however, plants can be affected by spider mites during times of low humidity.

 

Chamaedorea elegans (Parlour Palm)

 

Habit: Slow growing single-stemmed woody plant with slender green trunk up to 3 m tall, or rarely 5 m tall. Plants sport a crown of numerous bright green pinnate leaves and yellow to orange-red fragrant flowers borne on branched panicles that emerge from the stem below the leaves.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in dark locations.

 

Watering: The Parlour Palm should be watered enough to keep the root ball evenly moist but not soggy. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season should be sufficient. In addition, misting the fronds during hot dry weather will keep plants looking good.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every three or four years once the roots have filled the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Parlour Palms are generally pest and disease free; however, plants can be affected by mealy bug and spider mites during times of low humidity. In addition, overwatering is the leading cause of root rot in plants.

 

Chamaedorea seifrizii (Bamboo Palm)

 

Habit: Slow growing tall clump-forming plant with slender bamboo-like stems growing up to 2-3 m tall and 1 m wide indoors. Plants sport a crown of numerous bright green pinnate leaves and yellow flowers borne on short panicles that emerge from the stem below the leaves.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in dark locations.

 

Watering: The Parlour Palm should be watered enough to keep the root ball evenly moist but not soggy. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season should be sufficient. In addition, misting the fronds during hot dry weather will keep plants looking good.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant). Plants are susceptible to the buildup of salts in the soil either from over fertilization or the use of hard water, which is high in calcium.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every three or four years once the roots have filled the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Bamboo Palms are generally pest and disease free; however, plants can be affected by mealy bug and spider mites during times of low humidity. In addition, overcrowding of the plant#s stems can reduce air flow within the plant making the leaves more susceptible to fungal pathogens. 

 

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ (Spider plant)

 

Habit: Low growing herbaceous perennial with arching grass-like green nd white leaves and long hanging bunches of white flowers that develop into little plantlets.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure: Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in dark locations.

 

Watering: Chlorophytum like a moist growing medium but not saturated; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every two or three years once the roots have filled the pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, scale, spider mite and whitefly may attack plants; while a number of fungal pathogens can cause root rot (usually on overwatered plants) and the leaves can be affected by rust fungus.

pexels-mathias-pr-reding-5331915.jpg
 

Clivia miniata (Natal Lily)

 

Habit: Rhizomatous perennial producing dark green strap-shaped leaves and bearing an umbel of dull to bright orange or occasionally yellow trumpet-like flowers.

 

Temperature: During the growing season from spring to early fall plants grow best between 18 to 25ᐤ C; however, during late fall and winter when plants are ‘resting’, temperatures around 10ᐤ C are required to initiate flowering. Avoid temperatures below 4ᐤ C as it may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure:  Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in dark locations.

 

Watering: Clivia like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every five or six weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing or brown leaves as necessary and cut spent flower stalks after flowering has finished. Clivia like to be root-bound and repotting may only be needed every five or six years.

 

Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealy bugs, spider mite, Lily borer and slugs and snails may attack plants; while a number of fungal pathogens can cause root rot and damping-off while the leaves can be affected by rust and leaf-spot fungi.

 

Costus afer (Spiral Ginger)

 

Habit: An upright to spreading perennial growing up to 1.5 m tall indoors producing bamboo-like stems that spiral in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion bearing the leaves on the outside of the spiral and clusters of light pink flowers from a cone-like structure at the top of each stem.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to weak direct light (either early morning or late afternoon sun). When placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall off.

 

Watering: Spiral Ginger like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing leaves and withering stems to keep the plant tidy. Tall leggy plants can be cut down to just above soil level and allowed to reshoot. Spiral ginger can grow quite vigorously and may need dividing every three or four years; clumps can be cut in half or quarters and repotted into appropriately sized pots.


Pests/Diseases: Spiral ginger are generally pest and disease free; however, plants can occasionally be affected by mealy bug and spider mites during times of low humidity. In addition, overwatering is the leading cause of root rot in plants.

 
pexels-tiia-pakk-4350808.jpg

Dieffenbachia species & cultivars (Dumb Cane)

 

Habit: Medium to large single-stemmed to clumping perennials producing bamboo-like stems up to 1.5 m tall indoors with either solid green or variously green, white or yellow variegated leaves and generally insignificant flowers.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 10ᐤ C may result in damage to leaves while temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Green leaved varieties can stand full shade but the variegated varieties need bright, indirect light but not exposed to direct sunlight which will burn the leaves.

 

Watering: Dieffenbachia likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once every five weeks during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant). Plants are sensitive to over fertilisation and will begin to decline if fertilised too frequently.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing leaves as necessary. Dieffenbachia may need repotting every three or four years depending on size; repot in spring as new growth is starting.

 

Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealybugs and spider mites may attack plants; while a number of fungal pathogens cause various leaf-spot diseases and a viral mosaic infection.

 

Dracaena species & cultivars (Corn Plant/Dragon Tree)

 

Habit: Medium to large semi-woody, single-stemmed or multi-stemmed perennials growing up to 3 m tall indoors producing from solid green to variously green, lime, white, yellow, cream to pink variegated grass-like to sword-shaped leaves usually crowded towards the ends of the stems. Flowers are rarely produced on indoor plants.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Indoors, plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall off.

 

Watering: Dracaena plants are relatively drought tolerant and can be watered only when the top 5 to 10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once every two weeks in the rainy season, once a month in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing leaves as necessary. Depending on the species or cultivar Dracaena may need repotting every three or four years depending on size; repot in spring as new growth is starting. Generally, the larger the plant, the greater the need for repotting.

 

Pests/Diseases: Thrips, mealybugs and scale may attack plants; while fungal pathogens cause various leaf-spot diseases and cold injury causes yellow or dead bands across the leaves.

 

Dypsis lutescens (Areca Palm)

 

Habit: An upright to slightly arching palm growing up to 1.5 m tall indoors producing medium green pinnate leaves with yellowish stem bases. Plants will not produce flowers indoors.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Indoors, plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and the plant will start to decline.

 

Watering: Areca palm likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing leaves and withering stems to keep the plant tidy. Areca palm may need dividing every four to five years; clumps can be cut in half or quarters and repotted into appropriately sized pots.

 

Pests/Diseases: Thrips, mealybugs, whitefly, spider mites and scale may attack plants; while fungal pathogens cause rot and leaf-spot diseases.

 

Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig)

 

Habit: Indoors plants are grown in the shape of a small tree (standard) or a shrub up to 2 m tall with woody stems and branches bearing solid green or green and white or green and yellow variegated leaves. The tiny little fig fruits are rarely produced on indoor potted plants.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Indoors, both the solid green leaf and variegated leaved plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall and the plant will start to decline.

 

Watering: Weeping fig likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5-10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing or brown and dry leaves as needed; occasionally small to medium sized branches will die back and dry and these stems should be pruned out. Weeping figs can stay in the same pot for a number of years if you want to keep the plant from growing larger; if you want the plant to grow larger repot in spring to a slightly larger pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs and scale are the main pests that affect plants, while a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues and stem damage that may ooze sap.

 

Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig)

 

Habit: Indoors plants are grown in the shape of a small tree (standard) or a multi-stemmed shrub up to 2 m tall with woody stems and branches bearing solid green or rarely green and white or green and yellow variegated leaves. The large fig fruits are rarely produced on indoor potted plants.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Indoors, both the solid green leaf and variegated leaved plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall and the plant will start to decline.

 

Watering: Fiddle leaf fig likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5-10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once or twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing or brown and dry leaves as needed; occasionally small to medium sized branches will die back and dry and these stems should be pruned out. Weeping figs can stay in the same pot for a number of years if you want to keep the plant from growing larger; if you want the plant to grow larger repot in spring to a slightly larger pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, spider mite and scale are the main pests that affect plants, while a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues.

severin-candrian-UQZfYZO00C8-unsplash.jpg
 

Haemanthus albiflos (Paintbrush Lily)

 

Habit: Short evergreen bulbous perennial growing up to 30 cm tall producing strap-shaped thick almost succulent leaves and paintbrush-looking flowers usually between April and July (in the southern hemisphere).

 

Temperature: During the growing season from spring to early fall plants grow best between 18 to 25ᐤ C; however, during late fall and winter when plants are ‘resting’, temperatures around 10ᐤ C are required to initiate flowering. Avoid temperatures below 4ᐤ C as it may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure:  Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in very dark locations.

 

Watering: Paintbrush Lily like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every five or six weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing or brown leaves as necessary and cut spent flower stalks after flowering has finished. Paintbrush Lily like to be root-bound and repotting may only be needed every five or six years.

 

Pests/Diseases: Paintbrush Lily is relatively pest free but the leaves can be attacked by the Lily borer which can quickly eat through the leaf and then affect the bulb; currently, no known fungal pathogens cause any damage to the Paintbrush Lily.

 
pexels-cottonbro-5858235.jpg

Monstera deliciosa & other species (Swiss Cheese Plant)

 

Habit: Large climbing plant with stout thick stems producing medium to large glossy leaves with various lobes and holes (fenestration) and sometimes bearing white aroid flowers. Plants do need to be provided with a trellis or some means of climbing upwards.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

 

Light Exposure: Indoors, plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to direct light. If placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow and the plant will start to grow towards brighter areas. 

 

Watering: Swiss Cheese plant like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5 to 10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every four weeks in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing or damaged leaves as necessary; repotting of Swiss Cheese Plant can be difficult if it has grown tall and climbed beyond its trellis, due to such difficulty, topdressing the plant every three or four years is a good alternative.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, thrips, spider mite and scale are all pests that affect Swiss Cheese plants. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues, the biggest problem affecting Swiss Cheese plants is root rot due to overwatering issues.

 

Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword Fern)

 

Habit: Upright to arching medium to large sized clumping perennial up to 90 cm tall and wide with green to greenish-yellow fronds that can be feathery to frilly.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants. Misting plants regularly in dry, low humidity periods will keep it looking good until conditions change.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to weak direct light (either early morning or late afternoon sun). When placed in too dark of a location, leaves will yellow rapidly and fall off and plants will decline.

 

Watering: Sword fern likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellow or dried frond leaflets or entire fronds as needed. Plants can grow fairly quickly and crowd the pot within a year and can then be divided by cutting it in half and potting up each piece.

 

Pests/Diseases: There are very few pest or disease issues with the Sword fern; the main precaution is to avoid overwatering which will quickly lead to root rot and plant death.

pexels-mwabonje-1329618.jpg
 
pexels-ryutaro-tsukata-5745643.jpg

Oxalis triangularis (Purple Shamrock)

 

Habit: A slender low growing tuberous perennial growing up to about 15 to 20 cm tall producing tufts of clover-like, dark purple leaves and slightly taller flower stalks of light pink trumpet-shaped smallish flowers. Note* Purple Shamrock should never be planted in the open garden in Zambia as it can quickly become a garden weed.

 

Temperature: Plants are happiest with temperatures between 15 to 25ᐤ C; temperatures below 10ᐤ C and higher than 30ᐤ C will start to cause the plants to go into dormancy where the leaves die back and the tubers will wait for suitable temperatures before starting back into growth.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in bright, indirect light to some exposure to weak direct light (either early morning or late afternoon sun). When placed in too dark of a location, leaves will lose the purple colour, reverting back to green to try to survive.

 

Watering: Purple Shamrock likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 1 or 2 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season. If plants dry out completely, it will not die but instead goes dormant and starting watering again will bring the plant back into growth. 

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove drying or dead leaves and old flower stalks as needed. Since the plants are small, they do not need to be repotted for four to five years; alternatively, plants can easily be divided to make more pots of.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, thrips, spider mite and scale are all pests that affect Purple Shamrock. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues, leaf rust, powdery mildew as well as tuber rot.

 

Pachira aquatica (Money Tree)

 

Habit: A naturally large tree when planted outdoors, Money Plant adapts well to pot or container growing and can easily be kept small and form a pseudo bonsai type look. Older plants produce a somewhat swollen lower trunk from which are produced the medium-sized digitate leaves with five bright green leaflets. The stems of several plants are sometimes braided for extra plant interest.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaflets can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Potted or containerised plants grown indoors prefer a location with bright, indirect light. Turning the pot a quarter each week will help to keep plants looking even and avoid them becoming lopsided overtime as they grow towards the light.

 

Watering: As the second part of the scientific name suggests, Money Plants do like a moist growing medium but not like sitting in water; water only when the top 1 or 2 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary. Repotting of the plants will depend on its growth rate but plants usually indicate that they should be repotted once the roots really start growing out the bottom of the pot. Ideally repot in the spring into a pot one or maybe two sizes larger than what it is currently growing in. 

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, thrips, spider mite and scale are all pests that attack the young stems and leaves. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot issues, powdery mildew as well as root rot.

 

Philodendron burle marx

 

Habit: A slow to medium growing shrub up to about 60 cm tall and 60 to 100 cm wide; however, if staked and trained, plants can grow slightly taller. From the rather stout stems, plants produce masses of shiny, narrowly heart-shaped leaves. A great generally easy and fuss free plant.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaflets can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Plants do best in bright, indirect light to thrive and grow well. They can withstand lower light situations but will not grow very strongly, will appear stretched (etiolated) and will tend to be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Plants exposed to direct sunlight will develop scorched and burnt leaves reducing the beauty of the plant.

 

Watering: The plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 to 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Philodendron plants are generally heavy feeders and give them a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary. Repotting of the plants will depend on its growth rate but plants usually indicate that they should be repotted once the roots really start growing out the bottom of the pot. Ideally repot in the spring into a pot one or maybe two sizes larger than what it is currently growing in.

 

Pests/Diseases: Burle Marx is relatively resistant to pests and diseases if well looked after and happy; however, they can be attacked by thrips, mealy bug and spider mites. Diseases that affect the plants are usually caused by overwatering which can invite fungal and bacterial pathogens that cause root rots and leaf spot problems.

 

Philodendron (climbing) species & cultivars

 

Habit: Slender to robust climbing evergreen plants that can usually grow several metres tall but when grown in a pot or container are provided with some kind of climbing pole and the height controlled by the height of the pole. Leaves range from small/medium to large or very large, either pure solid green, variegated with green, white or yellow or tinged with purple to reddish depending on the species. The leaf stalks (petiole) can also be brightly coloured sometimes as well.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaflets can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Plants do best in bright, indirect light to thrive and grow well. They can withstand lower light situations but will not grow very strongly, will appear stretched (etiolated) and will tend to be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Plants exposed to direct sunlight will develop scorched and burnt leaves reducing the beauty of the plant.

 

Watering: The plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 to 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Philodendron plants are generally heavy feeders and give them a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary and occasionally the tip growth will need to be pruned out if growing well above the climbing pole. Repotting of the plants will depend on its growth rate but plants usually indicate that they should be repotted once the roots really start growing out the bottom of the pot. Ideally repot in the spring into a pot one or maybe two sizes larger than what it is currently growing in.

 

Pests/Diseases: Philodendrons are relatively resistant to pests and diseases if well looked after and happy; however, they can be attacked by thrips, mealy bug and spider mites if the plants are stressed. Diseases that affect the plants are usually caused by overwatering which can invite fungal and bacterial pathogens that cause root rots and leaf spot problems.

pexels-tiia-pakk-4350843.jpg
 

Rhapis excelsa (Lady Finger Palm)

 

Habit: A slow growing, clumping evergreen palm with dark brown fibrous covered cane or bamboo-like stems producing thick, pleated digitate fan-like fronds growing up to 4 metres tall but usually only to about half that height in potted or containerised plants. Inflorescences are rarely produced on potted or containerised plants.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C but are tolerant of  temperatures between -5 to 37ᐤ. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaflets can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Plants are tolerant of a range of light conditions from partial sun to shade. Indoors plants will grow best in locations of bright, indirect light or areas with weak sunlight (early morning or late afternoon). Plants can deal with lower light conditions but in such cases the leaves will be a darker green.

 

Watering: Lady Finger Palm is rather drought tolerant but when getting established like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch during the growing season and when the top 10 cm of soil feels dry to the touch during the cold season. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once to twice a week in the rainy season, once every three or four weeks in the cold dry season and usually once a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Due to their slow rate of growth plants only need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful.  

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary. Repotting can be done every two or three years each time increasing to a slightly larger pot until it has reached the desired pot size; once it has reached its desired size, the plant should be repotted ever two or three years still into the same or similar sized pot but using a new potting medium.

 

Pests/Diseases: Lady Finger Palms are generally pest and disease free; however, overwatering is the leading cause of various fungal pathogens that cause different types of root rot in the plants.

 

Rhipsalis baccifera (Mistletoe Cactus)

 

Habit: Pendulous cactus without the typical spines producing succulent pencil thin stems that can grow as long as 2 m in length. Plants are epiphytic in nature growing in the upper branches of trees but can easily be grown in hanging pots in a well drained media mixed with extra sand or grit.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 27ᐤ C during the growing season and temperatures between 10 to 15ᐤ C during the cold dormant season.

 

Light Exposure: Plants do best in bright, indirect light to thrive and grow well. They can withstand lower light situations but will not grow very strongly, will appear stretched (etiolated) and will tend to be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Plants exposed to direct sunlight will develop scorched and burnt leaves reducing the beauty of the plant.

 

Watering: Given that the plants are potted in a very free draining medium, they can be watered once a week during the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once to twice during the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Mistletoe Cacti need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful.  

 

Pruning/Repotting: Pruning is mainly only needed to help shape the plant and repotting is usually necessary only when a plant outgrows its pot or to divide, multiply and repot in similar sized pots

 

Pests/Diseases: The only real pest that affects the Mistletoe Cactus is mealy bug while fungal pathogens that cause root rot will easy kill plants that are overwatered. 

 

Sansevieria species & cultivars (Snake Plants)

 

Habit: Upright ti low growing evergreen succulents growing from rhizomes and producing cylindrical, flat or thick, U-shaped leaves variously decorated with various shades of green, yellow, white and cream markings. 

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in medium to bright, indirect light but are capable of surviving in low light locations in which the plants will grow very slowly. The trifsciata species is the most capable of surviving in lowest light locations.

 

Watering: Snake plants need to dry out between waterings regardless of light exposure and it’s always best to err on the side of caution if in doubt. As a rule of thumb, watering once every two weeks during the rainy season, once a month in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Snake Plants can be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Pruning is not usually required but occasionally needed when leaves die or are damaged. Repotting is necessary when roots start coming out the bottom of the pot or when the rhizomes start to deform the pot and is best carried out just before starting into active growth at the end of the cold dry season.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, whitefly, thrips, spider mite, scale and root mealy bugs are all pests that attack the leaves and roots. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot and blight issues as well as root rot.

 
pexels-pixabay-531844.jpg
pexels-владимир-гладков-6208086.jpg

Schlumbergera cultivars (Winter Cactus)

 

Habit: Slow growing, small cacti producing semi-erect to arching flat, broad, slightly toothed stem segments that act as leaves as the plants do not produce any actual leaves. Flowers are produced in the axils of the toothed sections of the outer stem segments in colours of pink, red, orange, lavender-purple and white. 

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 27ᐤ C during the growing season and temperatures between 10 to 15ᐤ C during the cold dormant season.

 

Light Exposure: Plants do best in bright, indirect light to thrive and grow well. They can withstand lower light situations but will not grow very strongly, will appear stretched (etiolated) and will tend to be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Plants exposed to direct sunlight will develop scorched and burnt leaves reducing the beauty of the plant.

 

Watering: Given that the plants are potted in a very free draining medium, they can be watered once a week during the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once to twice during the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Winter Cacti need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful.  

 

Pruning/Repotting: Pruning is mainly only needed to help shape the plant and repotting is usually necessary only when a plant outgrows its pot or to refresh the media when repotting into the same sized pot.

 

Pests/Diseases: The only real pest that affects the Mistletoe Cactus is mealy bug while fungal pathogens that cause root rot will easy kill plants that are overwatered.

 

Spathiphyllum cultivars (Peace Lily’s)

 

Habit: Small to large evergreen plants that produce a rosette of narrowly to broadly lanceolate to elliptic leaves that are usually green to dark green but can also be variegated with green and white or green and yellowish-green. The inflorescences are produced out of the centre of the leaf rosette and grow taller than the leaves topped by the typical aroid flower with a white or rarely green spathe that may be sweetly fragrant or not.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C but are tolerant of  temperatures between 5 to 37ᐤ. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaves can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in medium to bright, indirect light but are capable of surviving in low light locations in which the plants will grow very slowly. Plants with darker green leaves are able to withstand lower light locations but regardless of, all plants will benefit from rotating a quarter to a half each week to keep plants balanced and avoiding them becoming lopsided.

 

Watering: Peace Lilies like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 to 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful not to feed plants too much or too often as prescribed.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing and dead leaves and spent flower stalks as necessary. Peace Lilies can withstand a moderate level of being root bound but will need to be repotted when plants begin to wilt more frequently even after being watered or if offsets have started to crowd out the mother plant. In such a case, separating out the offsets and potting them up separately increases the vigour of the mother plant.

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, spider mite and scale are all pests that attack the leaves. While a few fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot and blight issues as well as root rot and a virus can cause a mosaic virus of the leaves.

 

Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia (African Violet)

 

Habit: Low growing, semi-succulent evergreen perennial plants that produce a rosette of ovate to round or elliptic hairy mid to dark green leaves. Bunches of flowers are borne from the side of the leaf rosette to sit slightly above the leaves in shades of purple, pink, red, whitish and bicolour forms.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C but are tolerant of  temperatures down to 10ᐤ C. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations where colder air can lead to less attractive plants

 

Light Exposure: Plants do best in bright, indirect light to thrive and grow well. Direct sun will burn the leaves and kill the plants. Be sure to turn the plants once a week so that plants stay even and do not become lopsided. 

 

Watering: Peace Lilies like a moist growing medium but never soggy. It is usually better to also water plants from below in a saucer of water and let the plant soak it up through the drainage holes to avoid wetting the plant’s leaves or crown which can lead to disease or rot issues.

 

Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength augmented with two tablespoons of epsom salts per four litres of water only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful not to feed plants too much or too often as prescribed.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any dead or damaged leaves and dried spent flower stalks as necessary. Mature African Violets can be repotted once or twice a year depending on its growth as a means of refreshing the soil. Plants should be removed from its existing pot and the soil medium around the soil ball loosened and gently shaken free; but do not try to remove all the soil from the root ball. Partially refill the existing pot with new soil medium and place the plant and its existing root ball into the pot; then gently fill in any more soil medium as required trying to avoid getting the leaves dirty. Once repotted, tap the pot down gently a few times to settle the soil medium and then water from below. 

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, cyclamen mite, thrips, whitefly and scale are all pests that attack African Violets. While a number of fungal pathogens and bacterial pathogens cause leaf spot and blight issues,powdery mildew, root rot and crown rot of the plants.

 

Syngonium podophyllum (Arrowhead Plant)

 

Habit: Generally slender vining/climbing evergreen plants that can grow up to 10 to 20 m tall producing arrowhead shaped leaves of solid green to more commonly variegated types with green and white, green and creamy yellow and newer varieties with varying degrees of different shades of pink. Plants are usually displayed climbing up some type of trellis or allowed to hang down.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C will result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaflets can get tattered.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in medium to bright, indirect light but are capable of surviving in low light locations in which the plants will grow very slowly. Plants with darker solid green leaves are more able to withstand lower light locations; variegated plants put in the same low light conditions will likely lose their variegation and revert to solid green leaves. 

 

Watering: Syngoniums like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength once to twice per month. Over fertilizing plants can make them more susceptible to pest attack so one must be careful to keep a closer eye on plants fertilised twice per month.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing or dry dead leaves as necessary. Pruning out the growing tip will cause more branching and a bushier plant. Repotting is generally necessary when roots start to grow out the bottom of the pot and repotted into a new pot one size larger. 

 

Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids, spider mite and scale are all pests that attack Arrowhead vine. While a few fungal and bacterial pathogens cause leaf spot and blight issues as well as stem rot of the plants.

 
pexels-hanna-alika-8820559.jpg
pexels-hanna-alika-8728502.jpg
pexels-jessika-arraes-6370012.jpg

Thaumatophyllum species & cultivars

 

Habit: Medium to very large, sometimes semi-woody evergreen perennial plants producing small to large lobed green leaves. 

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C will result in the death of the plants.

 

Light Exposure: Thaumtophyllum plants mostly grow best in bright, indirect light locations. Plants may survive in medium, indirect light but they will not thrive and may, overtime, decline.

 

Watering: Plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.

 

Fertilising: Plants are generally heavy feeders and give them a well balanced fertiliser twice a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing, brown or heavily damaged leaves as necessary and occasionally the tip growth will need to be pruned out if growing well above the climbing pole. Repotting of the plants will depend on its growth rate but plants usually indicate that they should be repotted once the roots really start growing out the bottom of the pot. Ideally repot in the spring into a pot one or maybe two sizes larger than what it is currently growing in.

 

Pests/Diseases: Thaumatophyllum are relatively resistant to pests and diseases if well looked after and happy; however, they can be attacked by thrips, mealy bug and spider mites if the plants are stressed. Diseases that affect the plants are usually caused by overwatering which can invite fungal and bacterial pathogens that cause root rots and leaf spot problems. 

 

Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla Orchid)

 

Habit: Climbing succulent stout vine producing aerial roots at the leaf nodes with medium-sized elliptic to lanceolate green leaves. Aerial roots will secure the vine to the climbing trellis and vines usually have to be looped around as they continue to grow. Plants usually don’t flower as indoor plants.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C will result in the death of the plants.

 

Light Exposure: Vanilla plants will grow best in locations of bright, indirect light or areas with weak sunlight (early morning or late afternoon).

 

Watering: Plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great. Plants are also best watered with distilled or rain water instead of groundwater.

 

Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength once per month.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing or dry leaves. Repotting can usually take place every three or four years into a well drained soil medium mixed with some compost.

 

Pests/Diseases: Indoors, mealybugs, aphids, spider mite and scale are all pests that can attack Vanilla vines. While rare on indoor plants, a few fungal and viral pathogens cause leaf spot and blight issues as well as stem rot of the plants.

 

Zamia zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

 

Habit: Medium to large slow growing upright to arching semi-succulent perennial plant growing up to 100 cm from tubers and producing many stem-like leaves bearing upwards of a dozen elliptic to lanceolate thick opposite to sub-opposite shiny green leaflets.

 

Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant.

 

Light Exposure: Plants will grow well in medium to bright, indirect light but are capable of surviving in low light locations in which the plants will grow very slowly.

 

Watering: ZZ plants should be allowed to dry out considerably between waterings. Plants in bright indirect light locations should be watered once a month in the rainy season and cold dry season and once every two weeks in the hot dry season. In contrast, plants in low light locations should be watered once every two months in the rainy season and cold dry season and once a month in the hot dry season.

 

Fertilising: Plants in higher light locations need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength once per month; while plants in low light locations should only be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength once every two months.

 

Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing and browning leaflets and any wrinkling stem-like leaves as necessary. ZZ plants should be repotted every two or three years into a new pot one size larger than what it was previously growing in. 

 

Pests/Diseases: ZZ Plants rarely suffer many problems but occasionally they may be attacked by scale insects. Other than that they are relatively rest and disease free.

pexels-ksenia-chernaya-3952024.jpg