It is always disappointing when a cherished specimen suddenly looks sickly, and it is so often the more expensive types which succumb first. There is not going to be much pleasure in growing indoor plants unless you learn how to avoid plant troubles.
Specific pests and diseases are not usually to blame; in most cases the cause of illness or death is either too much or too little of one or more of the essential growth factors.
There are scores of possible reasons which can account for the death of an indoor plant. The seven most common fatal factors are:
Ginger (Family Zingiberaceae) is a perennial herb that thrives in most parts of southern Asia, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the West Indies. The plant has recently been cultivated in Florida, California, and Hawaii. Purple orchid-like flowers grow on the stalks of the wild plant. The most common part of the plant known for its multi-faceted use is the thick tuberous rhizome root that is brown on the outside but a dark yellowish amber hue on the inside.
Ginger yields an essential oil that is steam distilled from the unpeeled, dried and ground root. The scent is somewhat bitterer than the root but when used in aromatherapy the oil mixes well with sandalwood, cedar wood and patchouli, adding a woody-spicy scent to the mix.
A big display of fall berries provides a striking seasonal note and also adds a range of colors, from bright red to yellow and white. In time most, except the toxic ones, will get eaten by birds. Meantime, as the fall mists descend and then lift, they will reveal beautiful clumps of tiny colored balls high up in the trees and down on the ground, attracting extra wildlife.
The best berrying trees include ash (Sorbus), which provide a range of colored fruit and several specimens that will not grow too high. The slow-growing Sorbus x kewensis only grows 2.5m (8ft) high and 2m (6ft) wide, and its late spring flowers are replaced by bright red berries.
The Living Stones are interesting rather than beautiful, as they mimic the pebbles which abound in their natural habitat. Living Stones are flowering succulents that blend into their native environment because they grow in a stemless clump resembling small stones. All are members of the Mesembryanthemum family and each plant consists of a pair of extremely thick leaves. These are fused together to produce a stem-like body with a slit at the top. This slit may be as small as a tiny hole or it may extend right down to ground level, depending upon the species.
The sizes of the various types available do not differ very much – the range is a height of ½-2 in. Colors and patterns, however, present a bewildering array and collecting a comprehensive range of Living Stones can be a hobby in itself.
Are you planning to start a landscape, plant, or flower garden? If so, consider the garden care involved. Some gardens are easy to maintain, while others are more complex and may even require hiring a service. Overall, outdoor gardening is very rewarding, with apparent outcomes – visual appeal or delicious and healthy organic veggies and herbs.
Landscape gardens are gorgeous but they take a lot of work – just a few weeks of neglect, and the idyllic area can start to look wild again. Landscape garden care depends on the complexity of landscaping and plants that you plan to grow. A simple landscape garden can consist of a pond, lawn, and a few types of decorative grasses.
Cyclamen is one of the most popular of all winter-flowering pot plants and its charm is obvious. Compact growth, beautiful swept-back flowers on long stalks and decorative foliage which is patterned in silver and green. The blooms are in bright colors or pastel shades, large and eye-catching or small and perfumed.
Most Cyclamens are unfortunately consigned to the dustbin after a few weeks. With care they will bloom indoors for several months and then can be kept to provide another display next winter. First of all, try to buy a plant in fall and not in mid winter, and choose one with plenty of unopened buds. Then put it in a suitable home – a north-facing windowsill is ideal. The spot must be cool and away from direct sunlight – a warm room means a short life for a Cyclamen.