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FAQs

How can I propagate an English ivy?

An English ivy (Hedera helix) can be propagated by stem cuttings.  Using a sharp knife, cut off 4- to 5-inch-long shoots.  Pinch off the leaves on the bottom portion of the cuttings.  Dip the cut ends in a rooting hormone.  Then root the cuttings in perlite or coarse sand.  Insert ....

My dumbcane has become tall, leggy, and unattractive. Can I rejuvenate it?

It’s possible to renew some old houseplants by layering.  Layering is a procedure used to induce roots to form on a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant.  Complete or partial girdling of the plant stem interrupts the downward translocation of carbohydrates and other compounds.  The accumulation ....

How do you sprout an avocado seed?

Remove the seed from the center of the fruit and wash it in water.  For propagation purposes, the broad end of the seed is the bottom.  The pointed end is the top.  Insert 3 or 4 toothpicks into the sides of the seed.  They should be placed about halfway up ....

Why does my fig tree lose some of its leaves during the winter?

Environmental conditions indoors during the winter months are often rather poor.  Low light levels, cold drafts, low relative humidities, and other environmental factors are stressful to plants.  The stressful conditions may cause figs and other houseplants to shed a few leaves in winter.  Good, consistent care during the winter months ....

I have a beautiful rex begonia. Would it be helpful to mist the plant during the winter months?

While rex begonias and many other houseplants prefer high relative humidities, misting is ineffective unless you’re prepared to mist the plants several times a day.  Also, rex begonias are not fond of water on their foliage.  The relative humidity around houseplants can be increased by using a room humidifier, grouping plants ....

How do you root the top of a pineapple?

Cut off the top of the pineapple about 1 inch below the cluster of leaves.  Trim away the outer portion of the pineapple top leaving the tough, stringy core attached to the leaves.  Also, remove a few of the lowest leaves.  The pineapple top should then be allowed to dry ....

How can I propagate a rubber tree?

The common rubber tree (Ficus elastica) can be propagated by air layering.  Air layering is a procedure used to induce roots to form on a plant stem while it is still attached to the parent plant.  Complete or partial girdling of the plant stem interrupts the downward translocation of carbohydrates ....

How often should I water my jade plant?

The jade plant and other succulents should not be watered as often as most other houseplants.  When watering succulents, continue to apply water until water begins to flow out the drainage holes in the bottom of the container.  Discard the excess water.  After watering, the potting mix should be allowed ....

How do I care for a ponytail palm?

The ponytail palm or elephant-foot tree (Beaucarnea recurvata) is an easy to grow, low maintenance houseplant.  Plant characteristics include a swollen, bulb-like base and long, strap-like leaves which arch out from the stem creating a fountain-like effect.  The ponytail palm should be placed in a brightly lit location in the home.  ....

A recently purchased schefflera has begun to drop leaves. Why?

Most houseplants, including the schefflera, experience stress when moved from one location to another.  Environmental conditions in the average home are dramatically different (less favorable) than those in a greenhouse.  The less favorable growing conditions in the home are stressful to the plants.  Leaf drop occurs in response to this ....

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