Many people might find it difficult to identify house plants. Properly identifying house plants will help you to understand how to care for the plant if you plan to have it in your home.
A wrong identification could lead to the wrong care and disastrous results in your plant care. You may actually hurt the plant in your effort to care for it unless you know what type of plant you are dealing with.
Identify House Plants through Horticulture Books
There are a number of books on horticulture that can help you in identifying house plants that you may be considering for your home. More than just the identification of the plant, these House Plant books will help you learn how to care for it as well. Color photos and the description of the characteristics of the plant will help you to learn what the plant is and how to take care of it.
Horticulture books can be found according to the geographic location where the plant is found. Many times the horticulture books will give you the botanical name of the plant which may differ from the language that is used in the area where the plant is found. If you want accurate information when identifying house plants, try to identify the plant according to its botanical name.
For the proper growth of your plant, you should look at these House Plant books to find out how to properly care for your houseplants.
Identifying House Plants By Internet
As the Internet has grown, it has turned into a wonderful source for information on a wide variety of topics. The identification of houseplants is no different.
You can find the same information that is available in volumes of horticulture books online in a variety of locations. Often you will find that the information includes how to care for the plant and the best way to cultivate it in your home. You may also search online for houseplants according to geographic location or the category of plant that you are identifying.
Along with Identifying house plants that you are considering, you can also identify the houseplants that would work well for your home. For instance, if you are looking for the right plants to thrive in a warm part of the country, you can search for these plants online. If you are someone who is not adept at caring for plants, you can search for resilient and hardy plants that will be more forgiving of your mistakes.
Other Uses For Horticulture Information
While Identifying House Plants in your home is important for their care, it can also be important for other reasons. Those with pets might want to know what the plant is that their dog or cat has been nibbling on and if there is any cause for concern. Some plants can be toxic and you should know whether you should keep them away from pets and small children.
Exotic House Plants For Your Home
The phrase “exotic house plants” certainly seems intimidating, especially for those that are new to the world of indoor plant growing. But the truth is that exotic houseplants are a classification that includes many of the easiest plants to grow.
These considerable hassle-free plants include begonias, hoya, and miniature houseplants.
Of the three exotic house plants, begonias are frequently the most bright and colorful of the bunch. They come in bright shades of red, white, scarlet, or yellow and make for a bright addition to any room in the home. Most varieties will bloom all year round, making them a great cherry investment.
The care of begonias is fairly simple, though it does require some consideration. They require a shady spot that still allows them access to plenty of sunlight.
Full sun, however, will be detrimental to the begonia. Additionally, begonias require a soil that is wet but allows for adequate draining.
The second exotic house plant option, hoya, nearly fool-proof. This very fragrant flower with waxy leaves is also very bright and should be able to be kept alive, no matter how bad or inexperienced the plant grower is.
When grown indoors hoya prefers low levels of indirect sunlight, though they will grow in almost any type of light.
The third option, miniature houseplants, is great because they offer the same degree of beauty as many other houseplants but take up much less room.
These categories of plants include miniature versions of African violets, roses, and petunias. These plants are easy to grow because since they are smaller than their larger counterparts, they do not require as much water and nutrition as the larger versions do.
Along with pots, these plants are able to adapt in terrariums or other smaller containers such as dish gardens.
Overall, exotic houseplants sound very intimidating, but they can be very easily taken care of and are perfect for the beginner indoor gardener.
More Favorite Exotic House Plants
The Philodendron is the most common of house plants; one can hardly go into someone’s home that has plants and not see one. Simply planting them in a rich organic matter potting soil that is well-draining makes them easy to grow because they are low maintenance and will grow in just about any home environment.
Philodendrons’ require a low light level which gives them the ability to grow easily in hanging baskets or just placed in pots and placed practically anywhere in the home. If your home is particularly dry in the winter mist your plants using a mister or just wiping them down with a soft damp cloth or sponge, this will also rid the plant of dust that has accumulated on the leaves and bring back the shine on their leaves.
Philodendrons are practically disease-free but occasionally mites or insects can bother them, especially if you have brought plants in from the outside or new ones into the home. A simple wiping down with insecticidal soap with a damp cloth will keep the problem to a minimum or get rid of it altogether.
This is one house plant that can be grown outside, if you do transplant it outside do it after the danger of the last late frost has passed and brought it back inside before the first frost of the fall.
Philodendrons propagate easily, just snip off small sections of the vine and begin rooting in an inch or more of water, when roots have developed, transplant into a pot filled with rich moist potting soil, being careful not to let the soil dry out after the plant is well established, begin fertilizing at every two or three-week intervals.
The cacti family includes approximately 1500-2000 species varying in size, shape, and form. The majority of cacti are drought-resistant plants from central and south America. Cacti are often called succulents because they have the unique capacity to store water in their thick, fleshy stems or modified leaves.
All cacti have aureoles, cushion-like structures found on the stems from which leaves, spines, and bell-shaped flowers grow in a variety of colors. Cacti stems are often covered with wax, bristles, or silky hair. Cacti require only a minimum of care but should not be abused.
Cacti monitoring tips:
- Light: Cacti prefer direct sunlight, but will survive in high interior light levels.
- Water: Apply water about once a week. Allow the surface soil to dry out between watering.
- Temperature: Maintain day temperatures of 70-75F and night temperatures of 62-65F.
- Fertilization: Generally, fertilization every three to four months is adequate.
- Uses: Cacti are especially attractive in dish gardens and terrariums. Large specimens are also decorative as a table or floor plants.
African violets are some of the most beloved of all exotic house plants. This is primarily due to the ease of care that they require. However, African violets are not without their pests and problems that require extra maintenance in order to get rid of them.
The main problems that affect African violets are crown ad root rot, botrytis blight, cyclamen mites, mealybugs, water spots, petiole rot, and failure to flower.
The good news is that water spots and petiole rot are very easy to fix because they are caused by obvious flaws on the flower owner’s behalf.
Water spots are yellow or white spots on the leaves and are caused by watering with cold water and allowing that cold water to get on the leaves. Petiole rot is caused by over-fertilization that allows the fertilizer salts to build upon the pot and surface of the soil.
This can be detected when the rust-colored spots begin appearing o the stem of the leaves. It can be avoided through not over-fertilizing and through using a water source that is salt-free.
On the other hand, African violets experience a very serious problem of the fungal variety called crown ad root rot. This is symbolized the dropping of leaves and mushy roots. This disease can be almost impossible to treat and is best done so through prevention.
Make sure the potting soils and containers are clean, do not over-water, and make sure your pots have adequate systems for draining.
Another fungal problem is Botrytis blight. It can be detected through small lesions on the underside of the plant’s leaves. In time, the leaves can turn to dark colors and get a fuzzy coating.
To treat this disease, make sure all plant material is removed the minute it dies, and ensure your plant gets plenty of air circulation.
As with any other exotic house plants, African violets are susceptible to a variety of mites. The most serious of these are invisible to the naked eye, the Cyclamen mites.
The easiest way to avoid this type of pest for your African violet is to make sure to place your plants so that they do not touch in order to prevent the spread of these pests. You’ll also likely need to use some type of miticide to kill any existing infections.
Unlike Cyclamen Mites, mealybugs can be seen by the naked eye, as they are 1/4 inch long. If you begin to see distorted leaves, start looking for these small white menaces. Small outbreaks of mealy breaks can be eliminated by dousing the affected area with a small bit of alcohol.
The last major concern, the failure of the plant to flower also has simple causes and can be prevented easily. This is often caused by too low temperatures, bad soil drainage, excessively wet soil, very dry air, or any cooking gas in the area. Fix these conditions, and your plant should go back to flowering.
African violets are no more prone to pests than the other types of exotic house plants. Most of the pests that do cause growth problems can be fixed through proper care.
Common Houseplant Problems
House plants have problems just as your outdoor plants do. They can range from diseases and insects to over and under watering or over and under fertilizing. Knowing what causes the problem is the first step in curing it.
With house plants if the base of the plant stem is soft and seems weak, then more than likely the cause is from overwatering, simply allow your plant to dry completely out before watering again or re-potting with a good draining soil with a little sand mixed in will also improve your plants.
Leaf Drop “drooping leaves” are another common house plant problem commonly caused by overexposure to cold or drafts, over-fertilizing, or too much sun. You should stop fertilizing for three to four weeks and move the plant to a window with a little less sun and check the rooms’ temperature and for drafts also the cold from the window at night.
Yellow or Brown Spots means too much water or sun and the soil should be checked for moisture, if it’s too wet let it dry out some before the next watering and then move to an area a little less sunny. If the leaves are turning brown then yellowing this may be from several causes, the most common is not enough or too much water or even over-fertilization.
A re-potting with fresh soil, and holding off on fertilizing for a month or so will generally do the trick, water only when the plant has become completely dry and avoiding too much sun,
Dry brittle leaves mean that your home does not have enough humidity and your plants are not getting enough water. A good misting of the leaves and a good soaking of the plant itself is a quick fix for this.
Soak the plant by watering it until the water runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, misting can be done with a sprayer or simply wiping the leaves down with a cloth or sponge, this is also a good way to get some of the dust off the leaves, bringing their shine back.
Most house-plants are slow to grow, generally from too little light, water, or fertilization. House plants, however, don’t need a lot of fertilizer, when you do fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer and extra light can be given by moving the plant to a sunnier location or adding a grow light above it for the extra light it needs.