Brochures

Indoor Gardening

Flowering Plants

Humidity

Flowering plants will grow best if situated in a location that minimizes the drying effects of heat registers and air vents. Humidity around your flowering plant can be increased by the following procedure. Fill an oversize drainage tray with pebbles (or other non-absorbent material). Then fill tray with water to within 1/2” of the top (so that the level is just beneath the surface of the top layer of pebbles). Place the flowering plant on top of the pebbles. As the water in the tray evaporates, the humidity will rise around the plant. Water in the tray will have to be replaced as evaporation occurs.

Watering

When watering flowering plants, apply enough water to thoroughly wet the entire soil ball. Try to avoid getting excessive amounts of moisture on the leaves or flowers. The time interval between each watering will depend upon the variety of flowering plant, size of pot, amount of light, temperature and humidity. The pot should not be allowed to sit in water for great lengths of time.

Soils

Flowering plants can be grown in a variety of soil mixes, but are easier to care for if planted in soils containing high levels of peat moss. Such soils are great for water and fertilizer retention, and provide good aeration when they contain adequate amounts of perlite. Sunnyside Professional Mix or Schultz All Purpose Potting Soil is ideal mediums in which to grow your indoor flowering plants.

Fertilizing

Flowering plants that are to be permanent features in the home require a supply of nutrients to ensure healthy growth and attractive flowers. Fertilizer should only be applied when the plant is actively growing, not when it is in a state of ‘rest’. When selecting a fertilizer for your flowering plant, it should ideally contain a high ratio of phosphorus. This will be the middle number of the 3 numbers displayed on the fertilizer label. Recommended fertilizers include Plant Prod 15-30-15 Flowering Plant Fertilizer or Schultz 10-15-10 All Purpose Liquid Plant Food.

Common House Plant Problems and Their Solutions

Sudden Leaf Drop

Caused by shock - typically incurred by exposure to extreme changes in air temperature or drafts.

Solution: Ensure plant is situated in an area away from drafts, vents and heat registers. Avoid severe fluctuations in room temperature. Plant may or may not recover depending on severity of shock.

Browning On Tips or Edges of Leaves

This symptom is usually indicative of dry air, although over watering or damage from sprays may also be a factor.

Solution: See section on humidity.

Flower Buds Drop

Usually caused by over-watering or drastic fluctuations in the wet - dry cycle. Insufficient light may also be a factor.

Solution: Ensure that plant attains the requisite state of dryness in between each watering (this will depend upon the plant species) and that plant does not suffer from erratic watering i.e.: going from being waterlogged to being too dry.

Gradual Leaf Drop

The lower leaves of the plant begin to shed one by one - the leaves may be discoloured and shriveled in appearance. The most probable cause of this is over watering.

Solution: See section on flower buds drop.

Fungus Gnats

Small, black, winged insects appear on soil and leaves of plants - insects fly around when plant is disturbed.

Solution: Fungus gnats thrive in moist soil: therefore allowing the plant a longer interval for drying in between each watering may be helpful. In conjunction with adjusting the frequency of each watering, the use of strategically placed Sticky Stix or Sticky Strips is highly effective. Sticky Stix and Sticky Strips are yellow coloured traps with an adhesive surface. The yellow colour is an attractant for the fungus gnats, and the adhesive surface ensnares them after contact with the trap is made.

Aphids

Minute, soft- bodied insects are visible. They may be green, orange, black or grey. The plant may be covered with a shiny, sticky substance.

Solution: If possible, try to wash plant down with room temperature water, gently extricating as many aphids as possible. Afterwards spray plant thoroughly (just before the point of runoff) with either insecticidal soap or a spray containing pyrethrins (such as End All).

Spider Mites

Webbing may be noticed around plant leaves and stems. When a sheet of paper is held under a stem, and the stem is tapped sharply, minute red or yellow specks will appear on the paper and crawl around. Leaves may be stippled or “dirty” in appearance.

Solution: If possible, try to wash down plant with room temperature water, extricating as much of the webbing as possible. While the plant is wet, spray it down thoroughly with insecticidal soap, subsequent applications as per label instructions may be required. If the infestation is heavy, the plant may need to be cut back extensively prior to soap application.

NOTE: Consult the label of any pest control product you are considering purchasing to make sure it is safe for indoor use, and compatible with your plant.

 

VARIETY

LIGHT

WATER

FLOWERS

FEATURES/CULTURE

African Violet

(Saintpaulia spp.)

Bright indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist, water from the bottom. 

Continuous blooming, available in many colours.

Fertilize with African Violet fertilizer, avoid getting water on leaves

Anthurium

(Anthurium spp.)

Bright indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Red, pink, white or orange spathes enclose the white spadix.

Do not allow soil to dry out.

Azalea

(Rhododendron spp.)

Bright indirect sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Pink, white or red flowers:           continuous blooming.

Prefers cool, humid area.

Begonia Reiger

(Begonia hiemalis)

Bright indirect sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Yellow, pink, orange, salmon, white and red flowers

Do not get water on leaves

Bird of Paradise

(Strelitzia reginae)

Bright direct sunlight   (a south exposure is ideal).

Allow soil surface to dry before watering

Vivid, stalked flowers last for weeks

Water more sparingly in winter

Bromeliad

(various species)

Bright, indirect sunlight for most species.

Keep the central ‘vase’ filled with   water.  Only water soil when it dries out.

Exotic, colourful spikes emerge from centre of ‘vase’.  The spike lasts for several months.

Once the flower spike fades, the central rosette of leaves will begin to die.  New plants can be propagated by removing offsets that appear at the base of the rosette.  These offsets should be a few months old and have a few roots at the time of removal.

Bulb pans/ Potted Bulbs

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Various species: tulips, crocus,    narcissus, hyacinth, etc.

Bulbs typically are discarded after blooming is finished.  Amaryllis is an exception that can be kept for re-blooming.

Chenille Plant

(Acalypha hispida)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Long, red furry tassels.

Avoid drafts or sudden temperature changes.

Cineraria

(Senecio cruentes)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Striking daisy-like flowers in various colours.

Winter blooming, typically discarded after flowering.

Christmas Cactus

(Zygocactus runcatus)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Various colours of flowers appear between Oct. and Dec.

Keep cool and on the dry side from Sept. to Oct. until flower buds form.  The plant needs a ‘resting period’ during Feb. to Mar. where it should also be kept cool and on the dry side.

Cyclamen

(Cyclamen spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.  Water from the bottom.

Purple, pink, red or white inverted flowers.

Popular plant for gift giving typically blooms in winter.

Gardenia

(Gardenia

jasmnoides)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Fragrant white flowers.

Glossy foliage.  This plant benefits from extra humidity.

Gerbera Daisy

(Gerbera spp.)

Bright, direct sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Bright, daisy flowers in an array of colours.

Typically discarded after blooming.

Gloxinia

(Sinningia speciosa)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.  Water from the bottom.

Velvety flowers in a variety of      colours.

This plant benefits from extra humidity.  After flowering, allow plant to dry out and undergo a ‘rest’ period for 3 months, then repot.

Heather

(Erica spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil moist at all times.

Masses of tiny bell-shaped flowers.

Make sure plant is not situated near a heat register or air vent.  Prefers to be kept cool (5-15ºC). Plant is usually discarded after blooming.

Hibiscus

(Hibiscus rosa

sinensis.)

Bright, direct sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Large flowers with prominent gynandrophores.

Capable of continuous bloom.  Reduce watering in winter. 

Hydrangea

(Hydrangea spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Large pink or blue flower heads.

Flower colour is dictated by acidity or alkalinity of soil.

Jasmine

(Jasminum spp.)

 

Bright, indirect sunlight (some direct light for brief periods is     beneficial).

Keep soil evenly moist.

Tubular flowers available in white, pink and yellow.  Some varieties are strongly scented.

Keep plant cool in winter.  Jasmine benefits from being placed outdoors in the summer in a partially shaded location.  Provide support for climbing stems.

Kalanchoe

(Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Bright, direct sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Clusters of long-lasting flowers in   various shades.

Succulent plant with fleshy leaves.  Often blooms around Christmas.

Lipstick Plant

(Aeschynanthus spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Allow soil surface to dry before watering.

Tubular, red flowers arise from brown calyxes.

Fertilize every 2 weeks during growing season.  Cut back on watering during winter months.

Orchids

(various species)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Varies according to species. Consult   information counter.

Various shapes, patterns and      colours.

Most species of orchids benefit from extra   humidity.  This can be provided by use of a ‘pebble tray’.  See information counter for more details.

Oxalis

(Oxalis spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist during periods of active growth.

Star shaped flowers.

Typical ‘shamrock’ shaped leaves.  Plant will usually go dormant after flowering.  During this time leaves will be shed.  Keep plant in a bright spot and reduce watering during this period.

Passion Flower

(Passiflora spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Intricate, unusual scented flowers with prominent pistils and stamens.

To control vigorous growth, cut back hard in the spring.

Peace Lily

(Spathiphyllum spp.)

Low light in spring, bright indirect sunlight in winter.

Keep soil evenly moist.

White flag-like spathes enclose the white spadix.  Very showy.

Good, reliable plant for low light areas.  Keep away from heat registers and air vents.

Persian Violet

(Exacum affine)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Purple or white fragrant flowers.

Remove old flowers for re-blooming.

Pot Mum

(Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Available in various colours. 

Typically discarded after flowering.

Primrose

(Primula spp.)

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Clusters of bright flowers in various colours.

Avoid getting water on the leaves.  Typically discarded after flowering.

Rose (miniature)

(Rosa chinensis)

Bright, direct sunlight.

Keep soil evenly moist.

Available in various colours.

Remove spent flowers to induce re-blooming.