Green and blooming plants are popular gifts for many special occasions. They bring life and sunshine into any home or office. Below are a few helpful tips to care for some of the more popular plants.
Orchids (at top) are exquisite blooming plants, requiring just a little extra care. Orchids grow well in bright, indirect sunlight and may produce flowers at anytime. Avoid cold drafts. Most orchids have sphagnum moss potting mix and should be kept evenly moist. Be careful not to over-water. Feed every two weeks during the spring and summer with orchid fertilizer.
African Violets are lovely small plants which may bloom at anytime. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and grow well under fluorescent light. Cut off the flowers after they die, and provide good ventilation. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times and feed monthly spring through fall with a nitrogen-free fertilizer.
Areca Palms grow well indoors in bright, indirect sunlight and may be placed outdoors for the summer in an area of filtered light. Ensure that the plant has good drainage, and keep it away from drafts. Never let the plant sit in water. Mist the fronds occasionally with warm water and feed monthly.
Azalea plants produce beautiful blooms February through May. They require specific care, such as good rich potting soil and full sunlight. Azaleas should be fed every two weeks during the growing season. Remove all dead flowers, and keep the soil on the wet side.
The Boston Fern is the ideal hanging basket plant. It requires a little extra care in that it likes good, rich potting soil and should be misted frequently with warm water. Boston ferns grow well in bright, indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and feed weekly.
Bromeliads are beautiful, exotic plants requiring some extra care and attention. Bromeliads grow best indoors in bright, indirect sunlight. Use good, rich potting soil, keep the soil evenly moist and feed about every eight months. Bromeliads bloom April through June.
Croton plants require full sunlight and should be pinched back occasionally for good shape. Croton plants are poisonous and should not be kept around children. Keep the soil barely moist and feed every two weeks when young. Fertilize weekly after maturity.
Cyclamen have beautiful, dark green foliage with unique "upside down" blooms that flower December through May. Cyclamen are dormant for the summer and should be repotted in late summer and kept cool. Stop watering in late spring, and resume watering in late summer. Feed every two weeks while in growth. Bright, indirect sunlight and evenly moist soil is best. Cyclamen are poisonous and should not be kept around children.
Diffenbachias are easy care plants with large leaves, making it an effective remover of indoor air pollutants. Diffenbachias are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Place this plant in bright, indirect sunlight, and let its soil become moderately dry between waterings.
Dracaena plants are easy to grow indoors in bright, indirect sunlight. Good general purpose potting soil is fine and should be kept evenly moist. Leaf tips may turn brown if the plant is under-watered. Feed every two weeks.
Gardenias are wonderfully fragrant blooming plants, but generally require a little extra care and attention. Gardenias grow best inside the house with bright, indirect sunlight. The plant requires good, rich potting soil kept evenly moist at all times. Mist the plant frequently with warm water, feed every two weeks and prune in early spring. Gardenias flower June through August.
Gerbera plants produce beautiful blooms July through September and are very easy to grow. They prefer full sunlight. Be careful the crown of the plant is above the soil and provide good drainage. Allow the soil to become moderately dry between waterings and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Hydrangeas are gorgeous blooming shrubs with showy color June through December. They require full sunlight and good, rich potting soil kept evenly moist. Prune the plant way back in early spring and feed every two weeks during growth with fertilizer suitable for acid loving plants.
Ivy plants are easy care leafy green plants perfect for hanging baskets. Ivy grows well in bright, indirect sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist, mist occasionally with warm water and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Kalanchoe are succulents and bloom January through July. Kalanchoe grow best indoors in full sunlight. Use good general purpose potting soil with a little added sand. Avoid getting water on the leaves, be careful not to over-water and feed only twice a year, once in April and once in July.
Norfolk Island Pines require a little extra care and attention. Bright, indirect sunlight is best and over-watering must be avoided. Turn the plant occasionally to keep it symmetrical. If possible put the pine outside during the summer in bright light. Feed every two weeks and do not fertilize in the winter.
Peace Lilies are beautiful large-leafed plants, which produce white blooms April through October. They require full sunlight and should be placed away from drafts. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed every two weeks during the summer months only.
Philodendrons are easy care plants, which grow best indoors in bright, indirect sunlight. This plant is a climber if given proper support. Philodendrons are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Keep this plant's soil barely moist, and feed it every two weeks when in growth.
Pothos are easy care climbing green plants. Pothos do well indoors in bright, indirect sunlight but will grow in rooms with less light as well. Keep this plant's soil evenly moist and supply good drainage. Pothos is a good climber if given proper support. Otherwise, pinch back to maintain its shape. Fertilize every two weeks.
Schefflera are beautiful, easy care leafy green plants. They grow well indoors in full sunlight. When watering, drench the soil, and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed monthly spring through summer.