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your Mid At and Friends indoor gardens 2013

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

How are your indoor plants doing? Show offs, tips, gripes , etc welcome.
Here's my lil grass head guy!!! From my birthday gift. Thanks again for a great birthday!!

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm not a big fan of indoor plants. I mean, I like to see other people's lush indoor gardens, but I usually forget to water my own. Plus our cat, Barney, likes to eat the indoor plants (I know, I know, we try to keep him at bay). The tropicals that live outdoors over the summer are in a room over the garage, so I don't look at them much. I either underwater or overwater them -- I seldom get it right.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I tend to overwater then go to the other extreme, so any plants indoors have to be very forgiving. I do have a Norfolk pine that my mom brought when she moved here in 98. It came from the house of the lady who owned the farm where they lived. I think it is about 20 years old.

Thanks to Gita I have some Swedish ivy i got for a friend and some cc(which had some blooms).

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I do find it a challenge to keep them cared for. Doing pretty good this year. A few things are even trying to grow.

I save rain water and only use that. I add very dilute blue water fertilizer or "coffee grounds tea" if they are trying to grow.

Watering less rather than more is better, unless its too much less LOL

Norfolk pines can be tricky, good going Jan (knock on wood!!) I saw huge ones for 15$ at a Liquidator store, it really tempted me...

I could Not Believe the prices on large plants at Home Depot last week!! Or the blue orchids- yuck

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Swedish Ivy cuttings do best planted directly in the soil. The will root in water--but do it sooner and better in soil.

Put bunches of 3 in each forger-hole. This makes a nice, full plant. I have written this before--
but here are the suggested amounts. Hanging baskets--I presume...

4" pot---3 bunches of three cuttings (the small pot would be for starter plants.)
6" pot---5 " " " "
8" pot---7 " " " "
10" pot 9-11 " " "

You can start Swedish Ivy fresh each year by cutting back the longer stems of older ones and starting
them in a new pot. This will also cause the original plant (HB) to re-grow fuller.
I have found that after about three years--it can be too root-bound and needs to be propagated on.

Take it outside for the summer and hang it somewhere in filtered sunlight. It will thank you!

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Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I remember, dear and the SI seems to like me so far. (fingers crossed). I haven't checked out my friend's pot yet.

The Norfolk must thrive on neglect then. Thankfully

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

the mites come marching one by one, oh crap oh crap...
the mites come marching two by two oh BOO oh BOOO

Lemon tree is getting mites again. I have it outside and wiped off under the leaves . I should spray with alcohol/water mix.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

What kind of mites came so early, Sally?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Little red spider mites.
Just getting going, hope I've nipped them in the bud. I took a ginger plant, and the other infested plants., outside and wiped them down with alcohol/water/ a drop of Joy soap/ a shot of peroxide for the heck of it. Oh ,reminds me, need to get the plumeria too, the few leaves remaining.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Little hair guy in the picture is really growing!

Found a pretty but unused pot at MIL place yesterday. I 'generously' offered to buy a cute plant and plant it for her. THen deliver, and remove three really sad little plants. ain't I the saint?

Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

I'm thinking that the Systemic Granules by Bonide are helping with the infestation problems. So far I've had none of the problems that occurred in the previous years.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes you are Sally. LOL

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I have mentioned this before, but i ALWAYS treat all my plants, that have to be brought in,
with Bonide's Systemic Granules.I do this at least 2 weeks before the bring in time.

I don't know about you all--but little pussy ants like to set up housekeeping in the bottoms
of many of my potted plants and even HB.'s--IF they hang from trees. The ants just march down the hangars...
Treating these pots with Systemic gets rid of them.

I must say that I have never had any bug issues on all the gadzillin plants that I bring in.
The one plant that had scale was a Schifflera Amate (one of my faves) that I bought at HD on sale
about 3 years ago. It looked great--but, eventually, I noticed a slow decline and then saw scale on all the leaves.
I have washed and alcoholed the plant about 3 times--but it is now down to one stem-- which looks OK
for now. Somehow--this one stem just will never look right in a 10" black pot.
Me thinks I should uproot it--get rid of the soil, and re-pot it in fresh soil--just in case Scale babies live in the soil.
Do they?????

Warning...Be aware that--almost ALL houseplants that HD and Lowes sells come from FL.
Because of the warm weather, many of these plants are grown in fields--not Greenhouses.
They are cleaned up--and polished up and shipped to various stores.
However--many still carry the remnants of bug infestations deep in leaf crevices and the soil.
Keep a keen eye on these plants! Treat them before it is too late.

Maybe with Bell Nursery in charge--they are now better--but when I was in charge of the whole GH at HD--
it was a nightmare! Scale and Mealybugs were rampant. I could only do so much! HD did not care!
This was 13 years ago, though.

Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

I bought the Systemic Granules at your suggestion, Gita. So happy that I did. Many of my neighbors are asking about it because mine are the only indoor plants that are not infested.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

For those who will go looking for this product--here is what the jug looks like.
It may also be sold in a smaller also may have the graphics on the container changed????

I do not know of any place to suggest that would carry it. Try a well equipped, independent
Nursery. Home Depot or Lowes no longer carry this's been many, many years.


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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I got small jars of that at DJ Liquidators but its been several years.

In growing season I love the Rose product, systemic with fertilizer, but don't want to give that dose of fertilizer to plants at this time.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I believe it is available at Southern States, or at least the one near me .

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I use the Bonide products on the house plants and I am having much better luck this year. Still have some mealy bug not quite got it all cleared up not sure I ever will. Might be just a question of keeping to a schedule. I spray mine on, just had them all outside right before Christmas and gave them a good spray. Took advantage of a nice warm day.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Before I brought the houseplants in, I used diatomaceous earth to kill off the pill bugs. All summer long, there were pill bugs and millipede-looking things all over the bottom of the pots, but they were all gone one week after the DE was sprinkled around them.

I also sprayed them with neem oil a week before bringing them in.

I haven't had any issues with disease this year. The spider plant I got from Gita last year is looking very pretty now. It really brightens up the kitchen.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

ssgardener -- those are great organic suggestions. I hate to toss a lot of chemicals around.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I rolled a piece of scotch tape (the sticky type used for packing) into a very thin little stick with the sticky side out, and used it to pick whiteflies off my AVs. Ok, don't laugh. I was desperate. It actually worked pretty well. :-)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Are pill bugs harmful? Or--are they just something yu would not want in the house???

Almost any pot you pick up that has been outside will have a bunch of pill bugs under it.
They just like to hide in damp, dark places...

Sally--I got my big jug of Bonide Granules at "Good Stuff Cheap"--which is owned by DJ Liquidators.
I miss the Good Stuff" store! DJ Liquidators is now a small, boring, little, non-nondescript store
There's nothing in it that i want to buy! The back of the store is a cavernous place filled with furniture.

"Good Stuff Cheap" was like a trip to the candy store. Gita--who bought a lot of "candy" every time I went there....

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita, I don't think they're harmful (they mostly eat dead plant material), but I was so grossed out! There were hundreds of those things and I didn't want to attract anything that would want to feast on those guys.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have my AV's in AV pots they are doing pretty well other than a few of those nasty mealy bugs so I sprayed them with the Bonide which I wasn't too sure if they could handle it but they did well. I have been wondering if I could just put some in the bottom of the pot and they would pick it up from the water.
Donner where do you get your wonderfully different AV.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Holly, most of my AVs came from Merrifield Garden Center, a very nice nursery in Fairfax VA. Their AVs are provided by Old Dominion AV Society and they are all named AVs. I also grew a few of them from leaves that came from a garden friend on DG.

Rob's Violet Barn ( is a very popular place online. I bought some streps from there, including the "Bristol's Goose Egg" that you also have.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Holly--wouldn't it be quicker to just dab all the mealy bugs with a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol?
Dribble some deeper among the base of the leaves to get to the "hatching ones"...
Donner--would you recommend this?

I have two trays (like 2lbs. of grapes come in) of AV leaves growing.
The first one is all rooted--just waiting for the babies to show--then I will pot them on.

The second one I just started yesterday.
Went into receiving (at HD) and there was a cart-full of plants to be "canned"...
I wanted to take all the pots--as I tend to do--but there was an AV with very healthy leaves
and the bloom was pink with a purple edging.
I broke off about 8 leaves and now have them in Pro Mix to root. Variety name??? I don't really care..

Both are under my light set-up.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita, I am not sure about putting alcohol in soil. I have never used chemicals on AVs because they burn so easily. Maybe you can try it on one plant? Take a leaf or two for propagation before you treat the plant. In case theyplant doesn't make it, you can always get new baby plants from the leaves.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I just put the sprayer in really close to the stems in under the leaves and so far that has helped. Right now it all looks really good.
Oh Donner, Somehow I lost the Bristol's Goose Egg it was so pretty and doing quite well. I had it growing near the AV it is the second Strep that I have lost I was thinking maybe I let them get too dry and wondered if they would grow well in AV Pots? But the Ma's Melody Girl AV is my Fav house plant right now. It is just so very pretty I am going to take it to the next HGHA meeting and show it off.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

OH NOOOOO, Just visited the Violet Barn site. Those mini violets are just sooo cute.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

donner, a Strep that you gave me at swap is growing very nicely!!

Holly that is so pretty.

Gita, if the pink with purple edging violet grows, I think Joyanna seriously needs one. I might too.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

It will be a while--I cannot grow AV's as fast as everyone else seems to.
Probably not the right light conditions of locations. Donner sure can knock them out...
I have seen her apartment---she doesn't even like her AV's touching!
AAAGGHH---Mine are always crowded....

My more mature ones are all on the little shelves right in front of the LR and DR window.
It is cold there! My windows are old--not the insulated type.
They do not touch the window--but are just a couple of inches away from it.

Here is a picture of the leaves i have had a while and that are all rooted.
They have been under my light set-up where it is bright and warm.
Too bright--donner tells me--as many of the newer AV's are growing in a compacted way--
the leaves are sort of cupping down. I really do not have another place to put anything.....

Also--I took a macro to show you a couple of babies peeking out from the rooted leaves.

Also--#2---I bought 2 Rex begonias at HD Sunday. They are still on sale--in the little Angel Plants pots--
So pretty! i could not resist!! Just $2.50 each.

I remember that I broke thode off of an AV that needed to be more compact.
So--they are all from one plant.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

In the first picture--never mind all the big plants--but see that little shelf
running the length all along the bottom of the windows?
That is where many of my AV's live. It is pretty cold there!
There is a heat register on the floor under the long table in front of the windows...
but I don't think it warms anything much. I keep a pretty cool house. 64-65*

In pic. #2--these little 'vintage" shelves hook right onto the window sash in the middle.
All the small pots are actually almost touching the panes of glass.

Certainly not ideal! I think all the CC's i have there as well do not mind that much..
They can take some cool...

I HAVE TOO MANY PLANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aaggghhhhh.... sob..sob...
Put me in a strait jacket!!! Take me where the sun don't shine........:o(

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Holly,. that AV looks great!!! You did well.

Streps like the soil to be on the dry side while AVs like it moist, not soggy. When I water AVs, I can sit them in water for about 20 - 30 minutes before taking them out, but I do not do that with streps. I just water them and let the water drain out. That's it. If the soil is very dry, and is pulling away from the pot, I will soak it for a while.

I have quite a few AV pots, the type that has an inner-pot sitting in water contained in the outer pot. They are good for keeping the plants watered if I am out of town for a few week. Otherwise, they put too much water in the soil, especially the bottom part of the soil as the water level goes down. AV roots tend to stay shallow when planted in such pots because the bottom half of the pots is just too wet for them. Now none of my AV pots of this type is in use now. Streps definitely will not do well in this type of pots.

Streps normally die of over watering. If they get too dry, they wilt, but will plump up within an houur if you give them a good soak. If their leaves remain soft after you have watered them, the problem is over watering.

Sally, the strep that I gave you at the swap was also a 'Bristol's Goose Egg'.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita, that's a lot of AVs!!! You will need to knock through the walls to make more windows for them. Hahaha!

The older AV leaves on long stems grew when light was low. The tighter leaves in the centers have had too much light. You may want to balance the light somewhat by either reducing the intensity of the light or shortening the time when the light is on. Too much fertilizer can also cause tight and wavy leaves.

AVs and streps like the temperature in the low 70s, but they will survive mid 60s. Some of mine are on the window sill and it gets pretty cold there at night.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2013 9:35 PM

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

My AV seem to do so well in the AV Pots but you are right very shallow roots.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Robs also carries some of my fav hoyas to include Bella and the wonderfully fragrant Lacunosa
Back to enjoying succulents (heaven help me) - made up a slew of pots for my daughter to post and some for teachers gifts etc. Thought it would be a neat gift for teachers or folks that wanted to teach little ones about plants. I made sure all plants were 'touch' friendly and included more unique ones for variety. Ugh...don't have the recent shots - only the first one that has since been fixed with top dressing and some plants swapped out. Any who...I thought they turned out cute.

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Chantell -- those are super cute -- I bet the teachers were thrilled.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Great teacher gifts!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


You can find all kinds of cute planters in Goodwill and other Thrift Stores.
They are usually used by florists for arrangements--like Baby Showers and new arrivals.

I am sure you already knew this--just adding my 2 cents here... Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Really cut Chantell!

Ok so save or toss? Whatcha think of these two poor AVs i rescued from MIL?
The one has small leaves. Could it be a petite Cultivar?

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