Plectranthus are like coleus and salvia, members of the mint family, with rapid growth, aromatic foliage and a variety of shapes and sizes. Like coleus, these plants will do well in the irrigated landscape, container
gardens and indoor situations as long as light levels are high.
Three species are known as Swedish Ivy. This common name indicates their popularity in scandinavia, where they are found in hanging baskets or on windowsills. Despite the name the leaves resemble a small and plain Coleus rather than a colorful Ivy. The trailing stems are covered by the fragrant foliage and they are fast-growing.
Cacti are some of the most exciting and exotic houseplants there are. Most of the species of cacti are easy to grow, even for the beginning grower. Cacti can be bought at your local home improvement center or gardening store all year round, although the summer is the best time to get them. You will also need to purchase a few things along with your
Pot. First, get a pot to plant it in. When you purchase the cactus, it has been in the pot that it comes in for a long time and will most likely need to be repotted. Select a pot only a little larger than the cactus’ current pot because one that is too big will cause over watering. Also make sure that there are holes for water to drain out of the pot, because without these the cactus will rot and die.
Exacum (or Persian Violet) is a small and neat plant which is only a few inches high when offered for sale. Its flowers, pale purple with a yellow center, are also small, but this plant still has several points in its favor. The blooms are abundant and fragrant, and the flowering season extends from mid-summer to late fall.
Keep reasonably cool and in good light. To ensure the maximum flowering period, pick a plant which is mainly in bud and not in full flower. The colors of flowers may be blue, purple, white. Raise Exacum affine from seed or buy as a pot plant. An easy-to-care-for plant but it does dislike draughts. Remove dead flowers regularly to prolong display.
Anthuriums are not cheap, but they do have a distinct air of luxury. The flowering ones are the only types you are likely to find – large waxy ‘palettes’ each with a colored ‘tail’ at the center. These exotic blooms last for many weeks and the flowering season stretches from spring to late summer. Unfortunately Anthuriums are not easy to grow and only the most popular one (Anthurium scherzerianum) is reasonably tolerant of ordinary room conditions.
The Crystal Anthurium is one of the most eye-catching of all foliage house plants, but it is not easy to care for nor easy to obtain. It needs moist air and careful watering, and the aerial roots should be pushed into the damp compost.
The wax plant (Hoya carnosa) is an easy-to-grow flowering climber. Its vigorous twining stems can reach 15 ft or more, and they must be trained on wires, trellis work or on a moss stick. New stems are bare – the leaves which later appear are fleshy and green, or green-and-cream on the variegated wax plant. Hoya yields fragrant flowers that will keep your home smelling fresh without the aid of scented soy candles.
The fragrant flower-heads appear between late spring and early fall. The miniature wax plant (Hoya bella) needs more heat and humidity but less light – it is best planted in a hanging basket.
Growing houseplants is a great way to start gardening while enhancing the beauty of your home. House plants need fertilizer just like all other plants specially since the nutrients in potting soil eventually get depleted and these plants are not getting nutrients from outdoor soil and rain. Do not wait until your plant is already looking “sick”. Fertilizing needs to be matched with the specific plant, its age and how it is growing. Make sure you save all the information you received when you bought the plant. This should provide you a good outline of all its maintenance needs.
There are different types of house plant fertilizer:
1. Instant powders that are mixed with water.
2. Premixed liquids that are added when you water your plants.
3. Slow-release pellets or spikes that are applied every few months.