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PLANTZ Guide – Watering for Success

Adjusting the Soil Moisture (aka Watering)

To get going on this topic, we really don’t like to call it “watering” – what we’re really doing is adjusting the soil moisture with water (and sometimes nutrients) – not just “watering”. And, of all the cultural practices in your plant-care toolbox, this is the one you have to get right – and is one thing that will most impact the health and longevity of your plant. Period.

Watering Can
A strong, sturdy watering can should be part of your plant-care toolbox.

Plants have roots for stability and to take moisture from the soil. Water, from soil moisture, is used for, among other things, translocating compounds within the plant – so, your plant needs water…of course. The roots also need oxygen to metabolize – so your plant’s roots need air too. When you add water to the soil, the air space around the roots is flooded and oxygen and other gases are pushed out of the spaces between the solid soil particles. Gravity pushes most excess water out of the soil and the plant absorbs some of it too, returning more air to the spaces in the soil. This wet/dry, wet/dry, wet/dry cycle is what is best for your plant – so it makes sense that we would try to emulate it with our “watering” practice…right?

 

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

And so on.

That’s what’s best for your plant.

With that in mind, the age-old question “when should I water my plant?” is easily answered – “when it’s dry and needs it!”. Seriously. That’s it. It’s not some preconceived time interval like many overzealous plant parents think it is. The span of time between when the soil is moist and when it is dry depends on a lot of variables –

  • Plant type – Is it an arid dweller, like a Sansevieria; or is it a heavy drinker preferring moist feet like a Rhaphis palm?
  • Soil type – Is the soil rich in organic matter, retaining moisture longer; or does it have solid particles, that allow for better drainage?
  • Light – Is your plant getting good light and pushing photosynthetic activity; or is it being ‘sustained’ in a corner where light dim?
  • Temperature – Is it warm, where transpiration from the plant and evapotranspiration from the soil have water escaping from the soil into the surrounding atmosphere; or is it cool where water tends to stay inside the plant and in the soil profile?
  • Humidity – What’s the humidity like around the plant? Is it high, causing less moisture to escape from the leaves; or is it low, making it easy for water to evaporate from a leaf?
  • Reservoir – Lastly, is there a reservoir from which the plant can get additional moisture when it needs it?

 

With all those factors, there is no known mathematical equation that will pinpoint the optimum time a particular plant should be watered. So, you must examine the soil yourself.

We’ve tried the “eyeball” method – simply looking to see if the top of the soil looks wet or dry. We’ve tried the “stick your finger in it” method – thrusting our finger into the soil to find out what’s going on in maybe the top two inches (leaving you to wonder what’s going on in the bottom 10+ inches). We’ve even experimented with electronic soil moisture meters but, in our opinion, they deliver unreliable readings especially when higher concentrations of nutrients/salts are present (or the battery simply runs out on the meter).

What works best, and produces reliable results every time, is a soil probe – a physical device that is manually pushed down into the soil, into the rootzone, and pulled back up to expose relative amounts of moisture at different depths. It’s simple, works every time, and never gives a false reading. In our Tampa-based plant service business, our plant care technicians carry soil probes to every service engagement and rely on them for accurately prescribing how much water to give a plant – or, sometimes, none at all.

If you probe the soil before watering with a soil probe, many times you’ll discover that the soil is dried down pretty thoroughly in the top couple inches (where the “stick your finger in it” method stops), only to find out there’s ample moisture in the lower levels of the soil profile. So, while the “finger” method may have inclined you to add water, the probing method would allow you to back off and wait for the entire soil profile to dry down. There’s more info later on how to overcome the anxiety of “doing nothing”.

So, the first thing you need in our plant-care toolbox is a soil probe – and we like the Soil Sleuth. Don’t do plant care without one.

 

Soil Probes
A soil probe, like the Soil Sleuth shown here, is a must for accurately judging soil moisture to determine when best to “water”.

Video: Using a soil probe

We will acquiesce, however, that over time you can develop rhythm and a plant-watering interval that can be relied on without using a probe, provided all the variables – plant type, light, temperature – remain consistent. So, if you’re probing and watering when the soil has dried down and you discover that happens every 12 days, for example, then you should be good watering (or, we should say, adjusting the soil moisture) about every 12 days. Be careful though. You can get in a rhythm with your plant and suddenly you find it’s using different amounts of water because it’s the first time in the fall when the heat is turned on (or some other dramatic event like that). It can be more subtle and gradually change over a longer period – like losing sunlight in the fall – or getting it back in the spring. Rhythm is good – just be on the watch for factors that’ll throw your rhythm off and then it’s time to grab the soil probe and develop a new rhythm.

We’ll admit, too, that using a soil probe can cause one of the worst, most anxiety laden aspects in the history of plant care – doing nothing. We operate a plant leasing and rental service in Tampa, Florida, where our plant care technicians are mostly on a 14-day service cycle. This means that we see each plant about every 14 days. And regardless of the service interval, the most difficult job for any plant care technician is to not add water to the plant. It can be painful and cause lots of anxiety – probing the soil only to find out there’s good moisture and then doing nothing. Everybody wants to do something, it’s our nature, but nothing is sometimes what the plant needs. We know it’s nearly irresistible but when it comes to watering, doing nothing can is the best thing for your plant – and the best way we’ve discovered to give you confidence to do nothing is to probe the soil and discover the relative levels of adequate moisture throughout the soil profile. Got it?

When it is time to do something, like add water to the soil, there is a good way and a not-so-good way, and there’s also a couple things to consider about the water itself.

First, the water – many of us, especially in commercial plant care, can only use water that flows through municipal water systems. Many times municipal water is treated to contain fluoride, among other things, ostensibly for human oral hygiene. Although it may help your teeth, over time, especially with Dracaena, fluoride can build up in the leaves and manifest itself in little yellow spots. So, if you’re not on the 18th floor of a high-rise building, you can use harvested rainwater, well water, water collected from your air conditioning unit, or even distilled water. At PLANTZ, we irrigate with well water and it works well for us (get it?) but rainwater is likely the next best thing and easy to harvest.

Second, how to water. When you have the right water in a nice watering can (get a sturdy one, with a strong handle and spout), you should start pouring water at some designated point and then consistently pour water around the entire perimeter of the plant – either turning the plant or moving around it to ensure thorough coverage. Continue doing this until you observe water leaking from the holes in the bottom of the growpot. It’s okay to let some leak out into the liner, but not too much – you don’t want to drown your roots. This process will evenly wet your soil to an adequate saturation point. That’s it. Now, don’t do this again until…what? THE SOIL IS DRY AGAIN!

Okay. It’s time to try something new; it’s time to try sub-irrigation. It’s a high-finesse plant care configuration with high rewards for most interior plants.

PlantAssure
A Neathabella Palm, aka Parlor Palm, is show here accurately set up for sub-irrigation. Plant in growpot + riser/ring + wicks inserted + vinyl liner = PlantAssure…and success.

It’s like using your laptop for years only to discover there’s another battery in it that you never knew about (or bothered to charge). There are a few good methods and systems for sub-irrigation, but the most simple and inexpensive is what we call ‘PlantAssure’. And, like getting more screen time because of your bonus laptop battery, PlantAssure sub-irrigation creates a reservoir from which your plant can absorb water when it needs it. That’s right, your plant can water itself. Admittedly, this method is not for overbearing plant addicts who like to check their plants daily; this is for the ‘wet it and forget it’ plant lovers who enjoy staring at a plant just as much as caring for a plant – sounds catchy, huh? As noted, it’s simple – several strips of wicking material, a PVC riser/ring, and a liner.

That’s all you need. With the plant in its nursery growpot, wicking strips are inserted into the drain holes and pushed several inches up inside the soil profile. Then, the plant is placed on a riser – in our case, a cross-section of a PVC pipe – lifting the plant up about one or two inches above the bottom of a liner with the wicking strips allowed to fall down below into the bottom of the liner. The system is then “charged” by wetting the soil from the top and filling the newly created space with additional water, creating a reservoir. When the soil profile dries down – from absorption by the roots and evaporation from the top – capillary action pulls water through the wicks up from the reservoir into the soil profile where it can be used by the plant as it absorbs water and transpires. The plant essentially waters itself. Make sense? Depending on other factors – light, temperature, and humidity – using PlantAssure can extend your watering interval by several weeks. Meaning you could water your plants, charge the reservoir with additional water, and go away for four to six weeks and not worry about your plant having enough soil moisture to bridge the gap.

Video: Sub-Irrigation

Lastly, we have a “don’t do” for you – One of the biggest mistakes a plant parent can make is removing a plant from its nursery growpot (the ugly black plastic thing that your plant has grown up in at the nursery where it was propagated) and planting it (aka re-planting or re-potting) directly in a decorative planter THAT HAS NO DRAINAGE HOLES. If you transplant your plant in a planter that has no drain holes you’ve just issued it a death sentence. In that configuration, when you water it, some of the water will be absorbed by the plant roots; but most of it will succumb to a time-tested and undefeated natural law – it’s called gravity. That’s right – the excess water will end up in the bottom of the planter and will drown and kill any roots that low in the soil profile. Remember, if it’s soaking wet, there’s no oxygen for root metabolism aka ‘drowning’. We recommend leaving your plant in the ugly black plastic thing with the drain holes – it’s your friend. And if you’re inclined, like we are, to hide the nursery growpot from view then set it up inside a decorative planter so that your drainage system still works.

Video: Let it drain

This simply means you should place the plant, still in its growpot, inside a decorative planter so that the excess water can drain completely through the soil and not accumulate in the bottom of the growpot.

Plant Illustration
Illustration showing the proper configuration of a plant on sub-irrigation inside a decorative planter.

That’s it. All this works for big and small plants alike. It works for plants in a living room or on a patio – any plant whose sole water source comes from you. If your plant gets water from rain, too, then all bets are off. So, whether you’re using a traditional growpot with drain holes or one configured with sub-irrigation, just…

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

And so on.

Repotting and Sub Irrigation
Steve Stanford is founder of PLANTZ and loves talking about sub-irrigation and credits his enthusiasm for it to a long-time friend and plantscaping legend Vicky Cate.

Video: Watering for Success in its entirety

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is still the mainstay trendsetter in the plant community, and continues to give the millennial favorite, the Monstera Deliciosa, a run for its money these past couple of years. You have probably seen this large-leaf lovely swarming the internet and taking the world by storm, so we won’t waste too much time with introductions. It truly is one of the most popular indoor plants. You might also hear it referred to as its scientific name the Ficus Lyrata, but it has coined the nickname Fiddle Leaf Fig throughout pop culture, from its newfound popularity in the current generation of plant parents, who are actually choosing to forego having children in favor of an oxygen-producing companion.

This plant is the true “it” plant currently due to its large and violin-shaped leaves that resemble fiddles – hence the name! They have taken the interior design industry by storm and are almost always incorporated in Modern home design and the Bohemian design nowadays that we are seeing as some of the most popular forms of décor along with the industrial design.

The Ficus Lyrata can come in a variety of shapes and sizes but has two main styles that it comes in. The two styles you will see Fiddle Leaf Figs in are the standard tree form and the bush from. The standard tree tends to be the more popular of the two forms when it comes to the millennial buyers, but the bush is more leafy and tends to be fuller having leaves that reach all the way to the bottom of the stem, which can warrant a lot of attention as well since it really draws the eyes to it. Both are fantastic options for either the Modern home design and Bohemian home design but we are seeing more and more people prefer the tree form over the bush form.

Something else great about the Ficus Lyrata – it is really great for both beginning plant owners and experienced plant owners. Anyone willing to put in the work will succeed at taking care of this plant. It photographs well – so snap lots of pictures, and the Ficus Lyrata does a fantastic job of holding up and staying pretty as long as it gets lots of light making it one photogenic plant. So beginners should not be discouraged by the plant care regimen and give this plant a try on their first go around the plant parenthood block. Plant care experts will be no stranger to similar maintenance that you have seen on your other plants making this plant a walk in the park! So, without further ado let’s get into Ficus Lyrata care instructions.

 

The Best Lighting Conditions for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

This might be one of the most notable and important things about this Fiddle Leaf Fig… This baby needs lots and lots of LIGHT. In order to really knock the Fiddle Leaf Fig indoor care out of the park, you need to make sure your plant is getting adequate light in order for it to thrive and survive, making your plant care a homerun.

The best placement for your Fiddle Leaf is next to a window facing – east-, south- and west. Another thing to consider is it can thrive quite well in a room with vibrant ambient light. We highly recommend looking into other plant options if you cannot provide this plant an adequate amount of light since lacking it will lead to a very disappointing plant. Next to watering, the light situation is one of the most important attributes of Ficus Lyrata plant care so this should be taken seriously and truly evaluated before you make the purchase and take the plunge into becoming a Fiddle Leaf Fig parent.

 

How to Water Your Ficus Lyrata

This plant is what we call a moderate to heavy drinker, and can go for almost two weeks without water, but only if you have a very good sub-irrigation system, although that is awesome to hear, we do highly recommend that you check on your Fiddle Leaf Fig weekly for the first couple of months to make sure it is doing okay and is not too thirsty. Also, always be on high alert during hot summer months, because your plant can easily become dehydrate due to weather conditions… Just like you and me! Growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig indoors can be tricky, so it is imperative to note all of these watering tips we are about to share with you!

Water Note #1 – It is important to pay attention to overwatering and underwatering because both can cause irreversible damage to your Ficus Lyrata. A great way to judge this is by using a Soil Sleuth to gauge the moisture levels inside the soil profile. A Soil Sleuth allows you to determine the soil moisture in the middle of the planter not just top or bottom so you are getting a more clear reading of this level.

Water Note #2: Make one of your focuses the soil moisture. Make sure to utilize a draining pot that you can place your Fiddle Leaf Fig in to help with your soil just not sitting and soaking in water that it hurts the plant, not helps it. Water your plant until the water comes out of the bottom of the drainage pot, so you know it is not underwatered.

Water summary:

  1. Focus on not underwatering and overwatering your plant. You need that just-right sweet spot.
  2. Soil probes can be utilized to measure the soil moisture, which is imperative when it comes to watering levels.

 

Instructions for the Best Nutrition for Your Fiddle Leaf

When it comes to Fiddle Leaf Fig plant care, nutrition is also high on the list. Like all of PLANTZ offerings, you do not need to feed it during the first six months after your new plant is shipped. The plant nutrients it needs for about six months are already in the soil, , so fertilizing it right when you get it is not necessary. After this time span has passed though and its current nutrients are used by the plant, it is time for you to take the wheel. Feeding your Fiddle Fig frequently with a “maintenance” level of liquid fertilizer is the best way to make sure that your Ficus Lyrata is getting the nutrition it needs. We recommend Foliage Pro by Dyna-Gro.  One way to see if you have some Fiddle Leaf Fig tree problems is to keep an eye on the new leaves that are appearing. If they show up yellow and veiny then your plant is probably in need of a dose of some good nutrients, but even if you do not see any physical warning signs, does not mean your plant is not ready for some much-needed food, so remember to keep track of when you last fed your new plant.

Keep Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Clean

So, we do have some good news for you on the cleaning front… Fiddle Leaf Figs are known for their larger-than-life leaves, which makes for some easy cleaning. All you really need is a damp and soapy cloth to wipe the leaves thoroughly with.  Do thes regularly and stay on top of any dust particles tha might build up, since this can attract insects and illnesses for your plant.  That really is all there is to it though! Keep it clean to avoid, disease, bugs, bacteria, but most of all keep it looking fresh, young, and brand new so all your guest will be infatuated with your new plant buddy!

Pruning for your Fiddle Leaf?

This particular plant grows in all different directions, sizes, and shapes. This can be super exciting and fun for some plant owners because you really do not know which direction this plant might be heading in. For those that like a little more control over their plants, this is where pruning comes in. With pruning you can control the width and height of your plant, reducing the size of your plant and stimulating new growth after pruning and removing dead or stagnant growth.

It is also important to watch out for Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots. Having brown spots on your plant can mean a multitude of things ranging from damage to insect issues. It is important to keep an eye out for them, so you can then begin the process of diagnosing the brown spot accordingly and taking proper action to prevent more sprouting up.

If a brown spot does show up on your plant, it could have been caused by physical trauma done to the plant. These are sensitive little guys, so you need to treat them with extra CARE. So do your absolute best to not bump your plant around too much when you might be moving it from place to place because they will bruise, in the form of brown spots, as a matter of fact avoid moving it at all once it is placed if you can to reduce the risk of this type of damage.

Are there Insects on Your Ficus Lyrata?

The Fiddle Leaf Figs sometimes fall victim to insects. These insects include mealy bugs, scale, mites, whiteflies, and aphids. All of these look different and can cause different types of problems for your plant, but as long as you are properly caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig though you will rarely see these bugs on it. To further prevent from these occurrences, make sure to wipe down your Fig with a wet rag containing some soapy water. Dish detergent you have at home will do just fine and will not harm the plant but will help diminish the presence of bacteria and potential for creating a bug friendly environment. If you do see some sort of bug appear, it is best to consult the internet to confirm the type of bug it is since there will be different forms of treatment for different bugs. You are always welcome to send us a picture here at PLANTZ via our social accounts!

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History of the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The origination of the Fiddle Leaf Fig begins on the West African coastline. It has actually been growing there for MILLIONS of years! How crazy is that?! That being said it thrives in tropical rainforest types of environments, hence its need for lots of water and sunshine. The Ficus Lyrata is in the Moraceae plant family, which also includes other species, most notably the Fig Tree, which is commonly known.

The Ficus Lyrata’s leaves can grow up to 12 inches wide and 30 inches in length, quite large for an indoor house plant. These leaves are also known to be incredibly thick with a unique texture almost like leather and a deep green coloring as well, unparalleled to many other house plants. For this reason, it is easy to see why so many people have taken a liking to its uniqueness and adopted it as the newest millennial trend. It is known as the Pinterest plant since it is one of the most searched plants on the Pinterest platform! You will be hard-pressed to find an indoor house plant quite as unique or beautiful as this special guy and as popular with the masses, so stay on trend and snatch up one ASAP.

 

Ordering your Ficus Lyrata

We recommend using another indoor plant if you do not have a VERY bright and VERY sunny spot for it. Patios are great or an east, west, but a preferably south-facing window to utilize in the summer, but just make sure your indoor space for the winter is right next to a bright window. If this is something your home can not accommodate, or you are not sure if it can, we want you to get in touch with us and we will gladly advise you on the best option for another plant or a proper space for your new Fiddle Leaf Fig to reside. If it turns out this plant is not for you, no need to get bummed out… There are several other indoor plant options and we highly recommend something from our low to medium light categories that are just as beautiful!

 

Okay… Here is a recap.

Find the balance in watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig: Both overwatering and underwatering can cause the Fiddle Leaf tree damage, so be cautious of the watering techniques and regularity that you are exercising.

Soil Moisture: Soil moisture is so important, and the best way to do this is to concentrate on ensuring the soil is always moist without soaking the soil in water.  Use a Soil Sleuth.

Sunlight is Key: making sure it has enough direct and indirect sunlight will make or break your plant, remember how important this is BEFORE you purchase not after you have already received your plant.

Say no to the Cold: Do not let your new plant baby get cold, it is all about the warmth for this West African plant.

Add Nutrients: Do not forget after the initial six months to get the proper fertilizer – you can checkout our selection on PLANTZ.com to feed your Fiddle Leaf Dig and keep it happy and healthy from the inside to the outside.

Get this trendy plant while it lasts, because they are just flying right out of the greenhouse! Although a bit more of a challenge to care for and keep alive, the Fiddle Leaf Fig in your home will surely be the envy of all your friends and family and worth all the hassle. The plant will keep you looking hip and right on trend, just know that all that hard work that you are going to have to put into it will all pay off and you will be left with a happy and healthy plant.

 

Quick warning…

It has been reported that the sap from a Ficus plant is poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses.  So, if you have a dog, cat, or horse, don’t let them ingest the sap.  It’s also been reported that the sap can cause allergic reactions for people too.  If you get sap on your skin, wash it off and wipe the area with rubbing alcohol; if it gets in your eyes, flush your eyes with clean water for 15 minutes.  If none of this helps, call a doctor.

 

Fiddle Leaf Fig in Phoenix planter with Mood Moss

 

Bamboo Palm Care Guide

Called a Bamboo Palm for its likeness to the real Bamboo as it has stems marked by leave sheaths that have been shed, this plant might be a bit different than what you expect from the name of it. Originally known as the Chamaedorea which means ‘on the ground’ in Ancient Greek and also referred to as a Reed Palm, the Bamboo Palm has remarkable shade tolerance and does exceedingly well when placed near a light and bright window. If you do not have a big open window it even does superbly in north-facing light as well, so that is something you can keep in mind! The Bamboo Palm is native to Central and Southern America, where it was essentially part of the understory in the rainforest and that is where it gets its incredible shade tolerance.

Bamboo Palms are extremely common house plants due to their low-light tolerance and they are great air filters for your indoor spaces as well. So, you are not just receiving a beautiful addition to your home but improving your air quality as well! There are many varieties of the Bamboo Palm such as the Cat Palm, Cauqui Palm, Dwarf Bamboo Palm, and the Hardy Bamboo Palm. The Cauqui Palm grows well in a ton of shade and normally grows anywhere from 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide, so this one is a big guy. The Cauqui Palm dislikes dry soil, so it is important to always keep the soil very moist to keep your Cauqui satisfied and exemplify that replication of its natural habitat in the rainforest.

The Cham does well in lower light spots.

Most Effective Lighting Conditions for the Bamboo Palm

These palms do not normally like full sun, but they do prefer a good amount of partial sunlight. Since the Bamboo Palm can endure lower light levels, it will thrive adjacent to an east-, south-, or west-facing window. So, good filtered natural light or bright fluorescent light will keep this palm growing strong just fine, but do not fret too much if you feel the plant is not bathed in sunshine 24/7 it is not a requirement for this particular plant type and can actually do more harm than good.

 

How to Water Your Reed Palm

Bamboo Palms are native to forests of central and northeastern Mexico. Since it comes from a natural habitat that is pretty moist, it appreciates a regular watering schedule, so you need to stick to it! It is imperative to keep your Bamboo Palm evenly wet as an indoor plant. Your Bamboo should be watered to maintain soil moisture. Overwatering of this plant can cause the leaves to yellow and drop though, so it is a fine line you walk along to keep your Bamboo Palm healthy and happy. The best thing you can do is invest in a SoilSleuth to really determine if your watering is being done correctly. The SoilSleuth is a soil probe that is used to properly decide when to water and when to not water by measuring soil moisture below the surface. The Bamboo Palm needs less watering during the fall and winter seasons though. Your Bamboo will not need extremely high humidity to thrive, however, it is imperative that you avoid conditions that may dry out the bamboo. One certain conditions to avoid that dries out the Bamboo Palm, is placing your plant near heating and cooling vents. So, keep this in mind when finding the perfect place for your new plant. It is critical that you never leave a Bamboo Palm sitting in excess water that drains from the pot it is in as well, this can do irreversible harm to your plant.

Also, to get a bit scientific, make sure you are using water that has not gone through a softener. This is important to think about because the high salt content in these softeners can damage the leaves of a plant tremendously. As far as watering goes, you can mix one-half teaspoon of a soluble fertilizer with a gallon of water to utilize. If the leaves begin to get brown towards the tips, then it is okay to switch to just water until it drips from the bottom of the pot to rinse overabundant fertilizer salts from the soil and start fresh. Once you do this, then you can empty the drip tray.

 

Instructions for a Healthy Indoor Plant

Like other plants shipped fresh from Florida, you will not need to feed your Palm for at least 6 months after you have received it, especially when it is coming from us here at PLANTZ. The reason for this is, we make sure there are already residual nutrients in the soil from when the plant was propagated. After 12 months’ time, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer. Palms benefit from feedings during the spring and summer and they do best with fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, check out our site to see some of our fertilizer options that will really help your Bamboo Palm thrive and grow. The high content of nitrogen will then encourage lush leaf growth, which obviously every plant owner wants to see, the more lush the better right!?

 

The Bamboo Palm has a busy tropical appearance.

 

Cleaning the Leaves of a Bamboo Palm

This plant can be somewhat challenging to clean as it has a multitude of different sturdy stems, leaves, and leaflets that you are going to have to work around carefully and gently. It is okay to use a feather duster on the leaves of this plant, however, just make sure your feather duster is super clean because you do not want to transport pests and bugs from other plants you have used the duster on. Do make and effort though to try and do a more thorough cleaning of your Bamboo Palm every now and then as well with a little bit of soap and water to make sure it keeps all of the bad bacteria away and pests.

 

Just a Bit of Pruning Needed for Your Plant

The only time you will need to prune your Bamboo plant is if it starts to show any discolored leaves throughout the plant, so the answer to “Do I need to prune my plant?” is not very often! The only time that this discoloration in the leaves normally happens is when you see your plant start to age, so the older leaves become, those leaves begin to start looking brown and somewhat dull. You can just cut these older leaves off to salvage the plant and foster new growth, but just make sure you are using sharp shears and cut the front off at the base very close to the where it comes up from the soil. Overall, a little pruning is good for the Palms overall health just make sure to not go all Edward Scissorhands on it cutting off solid growth. Pruning can also make room for fresh growth. Before pruning makes sure to sharpen your pruners. Dull blades on the pruners can make tears that can open up wounds on the plant – yes you can actually injure your plant… OUCH!

Do I Need to Repot my Bamboo Palm?

Since Bamboo Palms are slow-growing plants they will not need to be repotted very frequently, so breathe a sigh of relief, because we know what a nuisance it can be to repot. It is only imperative to repot them when their pot is filled with roots as they no longer have any growing space at this point. When that time does, in fact, roll around to repot, make sure you get a new pot one size larger than the old pot. It is very important to put new soil into your new pot and be careful when you are transferring the plant from one pot to the other as the roots are very thin and brittle. It is also super important to periodically rotate your Reed Palm in order to aid in upright growth, so it does not end up asymmetrical or slanted.

 

Is my Bamboo at Risk of Creepy Crawlers?

Bamboo Palms are generally pest-free, however, sometimes they face issues with oh so feared spider mites. Spider mites are extremely common among house plants actually and are nothing to fear at all despite the name spider. Do not panic if you encounter some it is solvable. Spider mites are a fairly difficult pest to spot out because they are super super small and normally are on the underside of leaves, where plant owners commonly forget to clean or check. One way in which these spider mites can be averted is by washing the plant with soapy water roughly once every few weeks here and there, NOT forgetting the underside of the leaves, that is the key. Spider mites are more common during the summer months as they favor hot and dry conditions, so keep your eyes peeled even more than usual during the warm seasons. If you have a spider mite occurrence and you have treated, wait for a certain number of weeks to make sure there will be no comeback made by the spider mites since they are sneaky little buggers. It is imperative to make sure you repeat wiping and you will be mite free in no time!

My Palm Cleans Too?

The Bamboo Palm can have significant effects on your health as it is a boss at cleaning the indoor air. These palms are good at absorbing Formaldehyde, Benzene, Chloroform, and Carbon Monoxide from the air. For example, Carbon Monoxide is very harmful when humans breathe it in because it dislodges Oxygen in the blood and strips the heart, brain, and major organs of Oxygen. How scary is that?! So if you are looking for natural way to reduce risk of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals the Bamboo Palm is for sure the plant for you! Start the process of being a plant parent with the Bamboo Palm, and learn how to parent a living thing, but also a natural way to protect yourself from harmful air toxins. Sounds like a win-win to us!

This brings us now to Benzene, which is a clear colorless gas with a gasoline odor. Benzene is steadily increasing, especially in the developed and developing countries due to vehicular emission, which now a days are unavoidable. Benzenes are also found in paints, furniture wax, and glues. Long-term exposure to Benzene is been even linked in certain studies to the development of Leukemia. Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to Benzene, so this plant is a family protector, like a guard dog against harmful air toxins.

Lastly, Formaldehyde comes from paints, burning biofuels carpets, and cooking. Formaldehyde is known as a carcinogenic and long period exposure to this can increase the likeliness of cancer along with other illnesses and can also irritate your nose and eyes causing damage and severe discomfort. The Palm will help with this because it can aid in the absorption of Formaldehyde getting rid of that pesky chemical from the air supply that can affect you, your business employees and your family, this does not discriminate from pets either. Your Bamboos got your back and your health at home and at the office.

What are the White Spots on my Reed Palm?

White spots on Palms are normally a sign of a scale infestation. Scale is actually an infestation and not just a scaly texture pattern. These insects have a white wax-like covering on their bodies that ultimately protect them from numerous insecticides making them a gigantic nuisance. These white spots could potentially show up on your Bamboo Palm, but it is not likely. With the possibility they might occur though, it is something to keep an eye out for. A good cleaning regimen, as outlined previously, is the best offense against scale infestations so make a note of the cleaning routine.

 

Bamboo Palm
Bamboo Palm Customer Review

History of the Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm has the scientific name Chamaedorea as we discussed in the beginning, but something really crazy about the Chamaedorea is there are over one hundred different species of the Chamaedorea. You can find most of these variations naturally grown in subtropical and tropical regions all across North and South America, which makes it easy for them to become houseplants in the states, since they are already acclimated to many of their climates that they become plant babies in.

This particular species of Chamaedorea is known to grow upwards, which is great because it will not grow and take up outward space in your home. The growing in a clustering effect helps keep the plant relatively tight in at the core of its potting, unlike some other plants that will grow leaves that hang far outside of the realm of their pot home and can take up quite a bit of space.

Due to the Bamboo Palms tropical nature, you will often see it in coastal home design as a décor piece and even in some home designs rooted in Asian culture due to the Bamboo aspect. Bamboo, known to be lucky and creating an environment of zen due to pop culture, has made any plant associated with Bamboo popular, and the Bamboo Palm is absolutely no exception, seeing spikes in Bamboo Palm owners in the last couple of years wanting to put their original twist on the classic Bamboo people popularize. This plant is for the daring and bold that want to experiment with home design and bring a showstopper into their environment. This does not have to be limited to homes though, many offices display lovely palms. You will commonly see it throughout many homes featured for their beautiful home design and style all across magazines and the internet. Find yourself in that stylish category by getting yourself your very own!

 

And that is a wrap – We hope you enjoyed your complete guide to all things Bamboo Palm and Chamaedorea. The goal of this article was for you to find yourself many informative tips and tricks on how to care for and grow the special Bamboo Palm baby that you have just gotten or are considering making that leap to purchase. Start with the proper amount of light (not too much), consider investing in a soil probe to better educate yourself on when to water, do not forget that nutrients for your plant are very important, and the Bamboo Palm is no exception. Make sure you are not letting salt kill your plant since the Bamboo Palm is overly sensitive to salt intakes that can be in the water you are giving it. Cleaning and looking for pests are always important factors as well, but this particular plant should not be as susceptible to these issues so do not fret too much. Pruning should be low maintenance and irregular task and revel in the fact that your Bamboo Palm is literally working around the clock for you to clean your airspace! What an investment. Lastly, remember to enjoy the uniqueness of your Chamaedorea, because with hundreds of them all around the world your Bamboo Palm is truly one of a kind!

 

Bamboo Palm Plant

Areca Palm Care Guide

The Areca Palm has many names, Dypsis lutescens, or Party Palm. The Areca is a great palm for a tropical splash in the summertime and can be placed on home patios and at building entrances in northern climates, but really will thrive inside your home as well. With this plant you can truly create the tropical setting of your dreams! Transform your space into a scene out of Hawaii, or your favorite tropical island, bringing in all of those summery and vacation vibes. Also known as the Butterfly Palm, because of its arching yellowish-green fronds. The Butterfly Palm has numerous benefits like its use for weddings and parties because of its inexpensiveness, and its longevity to name some of the reasons this palm is awesome! This is definitely a plant with many names as it even has a few more nicknames known as the Golden Cane Palm and Yellow Palm. The Areca is a less-expensive cousin of the Kentia Palm and is a great choice for a long-term relationship or any party planning you might be cooking up. If you can give it the great light it deserves and make sure to keep it warm, we do not see a breakup in sight.

The Areca Palm is a species of flowering plant in the family Arecaceae, native to Madagascar. The Areca is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens in tropical and subtropical regions, and as a houseplant regularly. In its native environment, this beautiful and leafy plant acts as a supplier of fruit to some bird species which feed on it opportunistically, such as Pitangus Sulphuratus. Individual stems of this species are of variable heights. For instance, younger trunks can be quite short and normally are on the outside of the footprint cluster. Then for the Yellow Palms that are grown from the nursery tend to have numerous stems on them. Over time some of these stems die off and become a mature clump. These mature clumps normally have roughly a dozen stems or less. The trunks of these palms are vertical and crown shaft and their diameter is normally about four inches. The crown shaft color is also variable. They can be green, silver, white and sometimes but more unfrequently yellow. These are just a few of the many ways you can tell them apart by physical appearance. Your Areca Palm will differ though, it will not possess the fruit that it grows in the wild, so do not worry you will not be having any bird sightings around your Areca.

 The Best Lighting Conditions for a Butterfly Palm

Do not let anyone tell you differently, the Areca Palm needs lots and lots of light to truly thrive and survive, so make lighting a priority. You might be able to move it to low light for special occasions, but if you want it to last long you will need to have it parked in a very bright and sunny spot nearly full time in your home or office space. If using these plants for an indoor event with limited lighting, we suggest storing them elsewhere and not setting them up until the day of the event, so they are looking their freshest. The Areca needs filtered light and it does best placed by the southeast or west-facing windows.

Watering Method for your Tropical Plant

Butterfly Palms come from the tropics, so they are familiar with the regular tropical showers and are known to have really damp roots. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, the palm has quite the thirst, so it is important for you to be able to quench your new Areca Palm’s thirst. With that being said, it does not require as much water in the winter time, so make sure to not overdo it during the winter months! With our ample experience here at PLANTZ we highly recommend you invest in a soil probe to properly care for your new plant friend so you can truly determine plant watering health levels. The SoilSleuth is a great probe to utilize and invest in seeing as it accurately determines the dryness of the soil due to its ability to reach a thorough depth of the soil unlike your fingers would be able to using the finger method test. Probing has the benefit of aerating the soil during each use as well which is really beneficial for your plant.

Water Note #1 – Big note to take – keep the soil of an Areca Palm moist never soggy. (All you cereal lovers should have a crystal-clear differentiation between the two). Another note, remember that the soil at the bottom of the pot is much wetter than the topsoil, this can sometimes lead to overwatering when you are not educated on your plant care since it is easy to assume that your plant is thirsty when the top soil is dry.

Water Note #2:  Suiting to its nickname, the Party Palm, is a heavy drinker. It is imperative to water it sufficiently. So, make sure to thoroughly wet the soil with each watering and let it dry down until the soil profile is dry before watering again. With this characteristic noted, it is important that it has an appropriate drainage system put in place to deal with all of the drinking your Party Palm will be doing throughout the week.

And on to our last watering tip for your Areca Palm…

Water Note #3:  We recommend a sub-irrigation system to help you steadily control the soil moisture for your new plant. Just as a butterfly likes to be wrapped up tightly in its cocoon, so does the Butterfly Palm (the difference is, in this scenario it wants to be wrapped up in its pot). Sub-irrigation systems are one the most preferred methods of watering indoor plants. The most simple and inexpensive one of these, is what we call PlantAssure sub-irrigation system. This method has many benefits, for example, the Areca Palm is contained and is less susceptible to pests as well! A true win-win situation. These systems are energy savers as they require less water than traditional systems – talk about sustainability as well. Depending on other factors – light, temperature, and humidity – using PlantAssure can extend your watering interval by several weeks saving you time and energy. You could water your plants, charge the reservoir with additional water, and go away for four to six weeks and not worry about your Butterfly Palm having enough soil moisture to bridge the gap, this is a great system for the busybodies and the travel fiends that are always on the go but afraid to leave their new plant babies alone. The sub-irrigation system goes within the growpot as well so do not worry no one will be able to see it – lucky you, your plant will be both healthy and aesthetically pleasing to your interior decor – which we know matters!

Have to go to the bathroom yet? 

Before you go, let us leave you with your quick watering tips: 

  1. Be conscious of the soil – keep it moist & make sure the entire soil profile is always dry before watering again
  2. Water regularly, this baby drinks A LOT.
  3. Sub-irrigation got your back – minimizes efforts & maximizes results with an eco-friendly mindset

Quality Diet, Quality Plants

The three biggest macronutrient needs for an Areca Palm are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You will not need to feed it for at least six months after you get it, since here at PLANTZ we make sure that your plant is well fed before it arrives to you, but it is imperative to feed your Areca with liquid fertilizer once or twice during the growing season after that six months has concluded. During the winter seasons, the Areca Palm does not need any fertilizer at all though, so feeding is usually seasonal. The Butterfly Palm likes to feed heavily as it craves magnesium and iron. These nutrients help prevent extreme yellowing of leaves down the line keeping your plant happy and healthy.

Cleaning the leaves of a Butterfly Palm 

Fun fact: A clean plant that photosynthesizes at optimal levels will be a healthier plant and will be less inclined to have pest infestations which tends to be a big fear for many plant owners. The first and easiest method is spraying the plant down. You just need to move the plant to the kitchen sink or shower and give them a quick spritz down but make sure you do it thoroughly. Make sure the water is on the lukewarm side and you do not miss the inner leaves on your Areca Palm, be careful not to focus just on the outer ends and edges. Also, if the leaves of your plant are soiled, you can spray them with a dilute soapy water mix and hose them off, using your normal dishwasher detergent. Just add ¼ tablespoon of the dish soap per one quart of water. Another method used for cleaning the leaves off the tree is dusting the leaves off, but make sure that you still do find time to give it a more thorough cleaning. All you need is a soft duster to help keep dust build up off your Areca Palm which will prevent pest infestation as well. This is a great method to use in between your soap and water cleanings to prevent dust build up and make the cleaning sessions easier.

Temperature for the Palm 

The best temperature for your Areca Palm would be between 65 – 75 Fahrenheit during the day and 55 Fahrenheit at night, seeing that this plant is from tropical regions. The Areca Palm does not do well in temperatures lower than 50 degrees due to its warm origins, so it is best to replicate its original environment as best you can for the health of you Areca Palm, so if you are in a cold state this plant does not belong outside and make sure your home is always on the warmer side.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

The Areca can attract little mealy bugs. These look like little white dots of cotton on the stem of your plant, at the base of leaves, and between the leaf sheath and the stem. All bugs, mealy and even mites, can do quite a bit of damage to your plant so make sure to be diligent and keep an eye out for these little buggers. The only other bug you might encounter on this plant is a mite, and although they might sound harmless you DO NOT want an infestation of these guys. Keep an eye out for them. Your cleaning regimen with soapy water, making sure you also clean the undersides of the leaves, will keep the critters off your Areca.

How Pruning can Improve Your Plants Health

Over time the older the leaves get, the more likely it is they will turn brown. This means it is so important to prune them off at the base of the stem when this happens, to make way for new growth and ward of disease and pest. Additionally, the sheaths around the stem will brown and at this time you should be able to just peel them off the stem and expose the fresh, powder-coat underneath.

Health Benefits of the Areca Palm

According to NASA, the Areca removes major air pollutants from indoor spaces which consist of acetone, xylene, and toluene – together known as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Acetone comes from diesel products, nail polishes, paints, detergents, and cleansers which are all used indoors on a frequent basis. Xylene gathers due to poor ventilation, paints, and sometimes even wooden furniture. Xylene and Toluene gases can cause developmental problems in young children and pregnant women. The major sources of toluene come from paints, cosmetics, and gasoline. Your palm will help minimize these gases inside. To piggyback off this concept, the Areca helps improve the nervous system and stops necrosis. This is the sudden death of cells and other tissues in the body. The Palm has the ability to remove several harmful chemicals that cause allergic symptoms and respiratory issues in the long term. Lastly, it is proven that a 1.8 meter Areca Palm will transpire 1 liter of water in just one day (aka it’s a humidifier and a plant all in one! – lucky you!)

When you choose the Areca Palm as your new plant buddy you are not just getting a beautiful new plant for all of your friends and family to gawk at, you are getting a health aid as well, and what could be better than that!.

History of Areca Palm

The Areca catechu is a species of palm that grows in the tropics specifically in the Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. The Areca Palm originated in the Philippines and it is also referred to as the betel tree because of its fruit. Yes, you heard us right! This plant can in some cases produce fruit – but it won’t flower and fruit in your home! The fruit is known as the Areca Nut and is chewed along with the Betel Leaf, which is a leaf from a vine of the family Piperaceae. The Areca Nut is popular for chewing throughout Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and on, and can be a huge part of their culture. The Areca Palm is heavily used in interior landscaping as it is often placed in large indoor areas like hotels, malls, event spaces, and wedding venues, so chances are you have seen this guy around before without even realizing it! How crazy is that?

 

There ya have it folks… The Areca Palm, the plant of many nicknames! It will be a lovely addition to your home and last you a very long time as long as you heed these important tips that we have ranted and raved about.

  1. Keep this baby light and bright. No shaded corners for this plant, it is all about that sunshine.
  2. Tropical mindset. Temperature matters do not leave it by a window in the winter where it can get cold, warmth is the key.
  3. Water. Water. Water. This bad boy is thirstyyyyy so make sure to sooth its need for agua well and you will have a thriving palm.
  4. Pay attention to soil and nutrients, they are more important than you think. You can even check out PLANTZ fertilizer to make sure you are getting all the proper nutrients for your specific plant.
  5. Keep it clean and fresh, preventing it from disease by regular washings and not neglecting to prune your plant baby properly.
  6. Rid the bugs. Prevent infestation, not correct infestation. Stay on top of your bug watch so your plant does not begin to decay and dwindle.

Keeping all of those factors in mind, your plant care should be nothing but smooth sailing! Establish a routine and be the best plant parent for your new Areca Palm that you can be and you will have a long lasting buddy for life!

 

Aglaonema Care Guide

Aglaonema, known as a Chinese Evergreen because of its Asian roots – no pun intended. Also referred to by its short name in the biz, the ‘Ag’. The ‘Ag’ is one of the most popular houseplants known for their color variety and unique patterns. The color variations of aglaonemas range from dark green to silver, as well as with some hints of red on occasion. This color variation adds vibrance and differentiation to your home decor bringing a new life and style into any space.

Aglaonemas are often seen in modern home design and can really elevate a space. Experiment with potting and different home placements to see how your Ag can elevate any room. It also is a great compliment to any existing plants you might have.

Aglaonemas are slow-growing, attractive, and are great indoor plants as they do not like full sun exposure, great for inside. The Chinese Evergreen is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae and are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea. Plants of this genus are native to humid, shady tropical forest habitat.

The "Ag" Silver Bay are bigger than you think!

The Best Lighting Conditions for an Aglaonema

As mentioned previously, Aglaonemas do not require a lot of direct sunlight. The darker green variations of Aglaonemas can grow in shade better than other indoor plants might that are brighter green in color, but some of the variegated varieties of the Aglaonema can require a more light than others, so it is important to research the variation of Aglaonema that you are going to get so you know how to properly care for it. For example, the Aglaonema Reds do well in medium light, so it is important to keep them in sunlight but not directly next to windows unlike some of its sibling Aglaonemas that require less sunlight.

 

How to Water a Tropical Plant

Watering is probably one of the most imperative things when it comes to plant care and where people commonly make the most mistakes. We rarely refer to it as “watering” though seeing as at PLANTZ it is really the adjusting of soil moisture to keep the plant alive and thriving. Testing the soil is key when it comes to this process so you can avoid over or under watering your Aglaonema. Many people make the mistake of finger testing the soil and not getting a proper or accurate read of how moist the soil actually is. We highly recommend you invest in a soil probe to properly care for your new plant friend so you can truly determine and adjust soil moisture to best meet your plant’s needs. The Soil Sleuth is a great option for a soil probe so you can get deeper into the soil to see how dry it is before you go to water it excessively. It is nearly impossible to gage it with just your fingers in the soil since they do not go deep enough, so a soil sleuth will help you gauge exactly what the moisture level is and how much water your plant might need when it comes time to care for it.

 

Watering Note #1 – We get it, it is painful to NOT water your leafy plant when you go down your weekly or monthly chore checklist. It is important to remember, you do not need to water your Aglaonema just because you think it is time to do so, and there is not a timed science or routine to watering your plants. As a company who not only sells plants, but does regular plant maintenance all around Tampa, Florida, one of the most important things is to not add water to your plants if the Soil Sleuth is telling you to not do so. If it is indicating that the plant does not need water than NOTHING is in fact the plant care for that week. There is power in taking no action, which is important to remember. Compare it to when you have a great meal and you are super full… Now someone is bringing you out an extravagant and large dessert course. Yes you want to eat it, sure it will be good, but you are going to be massively sick later, so is it worth all the headache after? It goes the same way for your plant, you want to water it, you will feel like you are doing the right thing, but it truly is not what is best for the plant’s health. To really gain confidence in your plant knowledge and knowing when to do nothing, we really recommend becoming familiar with your soil probe, because it is your new best friend.

 

Water Note #2: Since the Aglaonema thrives in moist soil and does not do well when sitting waterlogged, it is imperative that your plant is configured with adequate drainage and we recommend a sub-irrigation system to help you control soil moisture and give you additional confidence to do nothing. An overly waterlogged plant leads to quick death for your brand new plant, just like a person that can get water poisoning your over-hydrated plant can get it too. This is something to really watch out for since it is one of the most common things that new plant owners do that inevitably kill their plants. Whatever you do, we recommend not relocating your plant from the grow pot unless absolutely necessary. What is the growpot? It is that plastic container your plant comes in and has existed in since it was a young sprout. Instead of removing the plant from it, find a big enough pot to place the grow pot in, so you do not put the plant through any unnecessary disruption. This will help when it comes to water drainage as well and keep your plant from drowning along with not putting the plant through traumatic experiences that might cause detrimental damage to the Aglaonema.

Our last and final tip on all things watering…

Water Note #3: Utilize a sub-irrigation system for your Aglaonema. What a PlantAssure sub-irrigation system does is create a reservoir that your plant can then go and absorb water when it needs it from, so it reduces the risk of your plant being underwatered and puts you at ease causing you to be less likely to overwater your Aglaonema. This is a great alternative for those plant parents that are go-go-go or that travel often and fear a lack of attention for their beloved plants. The sub-irrigation system is configured below the grow pot so it is not an eyesore and you will not even realize it is there! Extend your watering for weeks on end so you can live carefree but know that your Chinese Evergreen is healthy and cared for in the meantime.

Here is your final Water Summary:

  1. Leave your Aglaonema in its nursery grow pot.
  2. Use a soil probe to understand how much moisture is in the soil.
  3. If it’s wet, do nothing.
  4. If it’s dry, add water, but always be cautious.
  5. Use a sub-irrigation system if you are looking to minimize effort and maximize results, specifically for the busy bee plant parents.

Aglaonema Stripes leaf detail

Instructions for the Best Nutrition for Indoor Plants

All foliage plants, Aglaonemas being one of them, are grown intentionally quite quickly to get them to a marketable size for retail. So from the get-go they are raised in more than ideal environments that do not quite always emulate the environments that they will exist in when they come to live in your home, ie. climate differences, light changes, and lack of readily available nutrition.

Many growers utilize macro nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium – to maximize growth rates in their greenhouses, but it’s likely you do not have these elements in a readily available form in your supply closet. You can check out the fertilizers we provide and find your best fit by discussing with our care experts!

The nutrients your plant came with should last around six months, so it is around that time period that we suggest being on high alert for these growth changes. Not all plants will have any extreme growth changes though so pay attention to all the little details too and have fertilizer ready to go for all your plant nutritional needs. After that six months of fertilization, all of your plants nutrients are a responsibility for you to undertake as the rightful new plant parent – you’ve got this!

Cleaning the leaves of an Aglaonema

We are trucking right along. You have learned all about nutrients for your new plant, the proper way to water it, all about Soil Sleuths, and now it is time to talk about cleaning care. Dusty leaves are unpreventable. Your ‘Ag’ no matter the color or variation has sleek and large leaves that will inevitably attract dirt and dust particles. The solution to this is a little bit of dishwashing detergent and water. Gently take a towel and brush down the leaves with the combo of soap and water until you have cleaned away all of the particles, after that… TA-DA! Your plant is looking fresh and new again, quick and easy to fix! Lastly, do not forget to be gentle since your plant is fragile.

 

Pruning

So, what is pruning? It is a horticulture practice that is the removal of selective parts of a plant. This can be branches, buds, or roots. It is very important though that the limbs stay intact in order to keep the plant upright when pruning your plant. This is a common practice to keep from stressing the plant and improve air flow throughout the plant as well. There is not much pruning that needs to be done for the Aglaonema, pruning plants is mainly done to rid the yellow lower leaves or spent flower. This is not common with the Ag so it is not needed often. On the off chance if you do need to do some pruning for your Aglaonema then make sure that your pruners are extremely sharp and clean before pruning to prevent damage.

 

Everyone asks if you should Repot Your Aglaonema

We briefly mentioned in Watering Note #2 how important it is to not remove your plant from its grow pot, UNLESS you encounter the circumstances that your plant outgrew his space. There will eventually come a time where your Aglaonema will outgrow the growpot and the root system will run out of space to grow, which can be really bad for your plant’s health. How can you tell this? Don’t worry about knowing when it is time, your Aglaonema lets you know when it needs to be removed by popping right out of the drainage holes in the grow pot and from the top of the soil by growing straight on out. This does not mean that you are eliminating the growpot, you are just going to relocate it to a bigger one. You can find these bigger grow pots at local stores or online for a reasonable price, but just know this is something you will most likely encounter.

Aglaonema Silver Bay image from the top of the plant.

History of the Aglaonema

The Aglaonema has been known to be a symbol of luck in many Asian cultures and has even warranted a royalty status amongst plants. They are often found in many different hybrids and those forms that we have here at PLANTZ including the Silver Bay, Mary Ann, and Jubilee. The Silver Bay or commonly called the ‘Silver Queen’, named for the silver color and royal feel, has even won an award for the Royal Horticulture Society, known as the Award of Garden Merit. Aglaonema is a popular house plant because of their ability to thrive even in low-light circumstances, that being said it is pretty intolerant to colder temperatures and needs to be cultivated in warmth to really grow and thrive, it is known to be intolerant of the cold, so keep that in mind if you live in a place that frequently sees more cool weather. Sometimes those midwestern or northern states might see more regular issues than one in more tropical claimants such as Florida.

The first time the Aglaonema was brought to the West it was displayed in the Royal Botanic Gardens and was ogled by people from all over. That is where people truly saw the Ag’s beauty showcased before it became the popular houseplant it is today. The fun thing about the Aglaonema is the patterns that their leaves can present, making them a truly unique type of plant. They are also known as flowering plants, that can clean indoor air and reduce harmful substances that we regularly breath in after studies done at NASA. This Chinese Evergreen is even known to kill the strep infection, that is one powerful plant!

Did you know that you have to be patient with your Aglaonema? Yes the Ag is a very slow growing plant, but with the proper care it will surely flourish over time and last awhile. It has glossy oval shaped leaves and is short stemmed. The Aglaonema can come in a variety of sizes as well. Here at PLANTZ we offer the different variations of the Ag in 10 inch and 14 inch so you can get a size that will fit your space right.

And there you have it – your complete guide to your Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen care and growth. Start with the proper amount of light – not too much is needed, add in a thoughtful watering regimen for your new plant -find the power in doing nothing, then throw in some nutrients (fertilizer for the win!), do not forget that Soil Sleuth – it is a game changer, and lastly a few wipe downs every now and then of the leaves and you are sure to enjoy many, many years of vibrant, eccentric, and beautiful love from your Aglaonema. Get ready for a long lasting journey with your Ag!

Monstera Care Guide

Monstera deliciosa is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular indoor plants.  Its interesting leaves, unusual growth habit, and low maintenance care are lending to its popularity.  And it’s particularly trendy with Millennials who enjoy many of its attributes without a lot of fuss.

This fashionable plant is a member of the Araceae family – characterized by a tuberous root system and a flower called a spadix, which is almost always surrounded by a modified leaf (not to be confused with a petal) called a spathe.  Some plants in the Araceae family are grown ornamentally for their flowers – mainly Anthurium and the Peace Lily (aka Spathiphyllum), but more are grown for their interesting foliar characteristics and variegation – Caladium, Aglaonema, and Alocasia to name a few.  This family of plants is native in the understories of tropical rainforests, so they are collected and propagated for their natural inclination for indirect light.

A little background on the taxonomy and a plant’s native setting lets us make connections to its relatives and infer some things about its care.

So, the Monstera deliciosa is in good family with other plants we may be familiar with but moving to the genus level, the ‘deliciosa’ is the most widely cultivated for indoor use.  It’s also known as the Swiss cheese plant because the holes and splits in the leaves resemble the look of a piece of Swiss cheese with its characteristic holes.  Inaccurately, it’s also known as a split-leaf philodendron, but the Philodendron is another genus in the Araceae family.  Other common names associated with the plant’s tasty fruit included Mexican breadfruit, fruit salad plant, and fruit salad tree – the plant can bloom and produce fruit prolifically in its native setting (in the tropical forests of Mexico and Panama), but it rarely produces fruit when cultivated indoors.

With all that said, let’s focus now on keeping the Monstera alive and kickin’ it in your home.

Like other houseplants, the two most important factors contributing to your success with the Monstera are light levels and watering – or, more preferably for green thumbers, “adjusting the soil moisture level”.

The Best Lighting Conditions for a Monstera

As noted, the Monstera deliciosa grows in the wild in understories of tropical forests where it naturally gets filtered sunlight – so it can survive in low light in your home but it is best to keep it near a window so it can grab a little dose of direct or indirect sunlight shining through the panes.  With some direct light through a window, the plant will maintain its heart-shaped leaves, its characteristic “cheese” holes will be more pronounced, and it can even take a vertical turn upward in really good light.

Caution, though, that direct mid-day light in the summertime can burn leaves that have been acclimated to the shade.  So, if you are going for the bright light in an east, south, or west window, move the plant there gradually.

How to Water a Tropical Plant

To get going on this topic, we really do not like to call it “watering” – what we are really doing is adjusting the soil moisture with water and sometimes even nutrients.  With that in mind, you always need to have a starting point to understand how much moisture is already in the soil.  We’ve tried the “stick your finger in it” method and even experimented with electronic soil moisture meters but have found both these methods unreliable.  What works best and gives you the most accurate reading for how much moisture is in the soil at various depths is a soil probe – and we like the Soil Sleuth.  If you probe the soil before watering with a soil probe, many times you will discover that the soil is dried down pretty thoroughly in the top couple inches (where the “stick your finger in it” method stops), only to find out there is ample moisture in the lower levels of the soil profile.  So, while the “finger” method may have inclined you to add water, the probing method would allow you to back off and wait for the entire soil profile to dry down.

Water Note #1 – We operate a plant leasing and rental service in Tampa, Florida, where our plant care technicians are mostly on a 14-day service cycle.  This means that we see each plant about every 14 days.  And whether your servicing weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, the most difficult task for any plant care technician is to NOT add water to the plant.  It can be painful and cause lots of anxiety – probing the soil only to find out there’s good moisture and then doing nothing.  But nothing is what the plant needs.  We know it is nearly irresistible but when it comes to watering, doing nothing is the best thing for your plant – and the best way we have discovered to give you confidence to do nothing is to probe the soil and discover the relative levels of moisture throughout the soil profile.
Water Note #2:  Since watering is the biggest controllable factor in plant care for your Monstera, it is okay for us to dwell on it…and we will…here:  Your plant needs to be configured with adequate drainage and we additionally recommend a sub-irrigation system to help you control soil moisture and give you additional confidence to do nothing.  One of the biggest mistakes a plant owner can make is removing a plant from its nursery growpot (the ugly black plastic thing that your plant has grown up in at the nursery where it was propagated) and planting (aka re-planting or re-potting) it directly in a decorative planter THAT HAS NO DRAINAGE HOLES.  If you plant your Monstera in a planter that has no drain holes you’ve just issued a death sentence for your prized plant.  In that configuration when you water it, some of the water will be absorbed by the plant roots; but most of it will succumb to a time-tested and undefeated natural law – it’s called gravity.  That’s right – the excess water will end up in the bottom of the planter and will drown and kill any roots that low in the soil profile.  We recommend leaving your plant in the ugly black plastic thing with the drain holes – it is your friend.  And if you are inclined, like we are, to hide the nursery growpot from view then set it up inside a decorative planter so that your drainage system still works.  This simply means you should place the plant, still in its growpot, inside a decorative planter so that the excess water can drain completely through the soil and not accumulate in the bottom of the growpot.

To further dwell on watering – the biggest controllable factor in plant care – we are offering a final note…

Water Note #3:  Try sub-irrigation.  It is a high finesse plant care configuration with high rewards for your Monstera.  It’s like using your laptop for years only to discover there is another battery in it that you never knew about.  There are a few good methods and systems for sub-irrigation, but the most simple and inexpensive is what we call PlantAssure. Like getting more screen time from your laptop from a bonus battery, PlantAssure sub-irrigation creates a reservoir from which your plant can absorb water when it needs it.  Admittedly, this method is not for overbearing plant addicts who like to check their plants daily; this is for the ‘wet it and forget it’ plant lovers who enjoying staring at a plant just as much as caring for a plant.  As noted, it’s simple – several strips of wicking material, a riser/ring, and a liner.  That’s all you need.  With the plant in its nursery growpot, wicking strips are inserted into the drain holes and pushed several inches up inside the soil profile.  Then, the plant is placed on a riser – in our case, a cross-section of a PVC pipe – lifting the plant above the bottom of a liner with the wicking strips allowed to fall down below into the bottom of the liner.  The system is then “charged” by wetting the soil from the top and filling the newly created reservoir with additional water.  When the soil profile dries down – from absorption by the roots and evaporation from the top – capillary action pulls water through the wicking strips from the reservoir up into the soil profile where it can be used by the plant as it absorbs water and transpires.  Depending on other factors – light, temperature, and humidity – using PlantAssure can extend your watering interval by several weeks.  Meaning you could water your plants, charge the reservoir with additional water, and go away for four to six weeks and not worry about your Monstera having enough soil moisture to bridge the gap.

Water summary:

  1.       Leave your Monstera in its nursery growpot.
  2.       Use a soil probe to understand how much moisture is in the soil.
  3.       If it’s wet, do nothing.
  4.       If it’s dry, add water.
  5.       Use a sub-irrigation system if you’re looking to minimize effort and maximize results.

Instructions for the Best Nutrition for Indoor Plants

In production, Monsteras (and all other foliage plants) are grown rapidly to achieve desired size for marketability.  This means growers have the plants in nearly ideal lighting and are pumping it with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (aka N-P-K, or maco nutrients) so that the plant achieves marketable size in as little time as possible.  These elements are mostly delivered to the plant in salts containing those elements and the salts are broken down, over time, and metabolized (used) by the plant in its photosynthetic quest to separate oxygen from hydrogen.  By the time you get your Monstera, it has been fed a good dose of nutrients and some portion of those nutrients are likely still resident in the soil when you park your Monstera next to your window in your home.  This makes it probable that you won’t need to add any nutrients to the soil for about six months after you get it – this time estimate, of course, must be adjusted for extremes in light, temperature, and humidity.  Extremes in one or combined factors will cause your Monstera to metabolize and need more/less nutrients, but we think we are safe adding more nutrients at about six months.  You should adjust and begin a nutrition regimen if you notice your Monstera’s new growth is less than deep green, yellow, or deformed.  In this case, begin a nutrition program then.

Back on the six-month mark, we recommend a complete fertilizer formulated for indoor plants.  It should contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and an appropriate component of minor elements to sustain the health and growth of your plant.  For indoor plants, this is usually formulated as a liquid that you can add to your water when you adjust the plant’s soil moisture (aka water it).

Fertilizers will be labeled with recommendations that allow you to gauge the concentration of fertilizer – you will add higher concentrations of fertilizer if the less frequently you fertilize and lower concentrations the more frequently you fertilize your plant.  If you get in to a regimen of adding fertilizer to your irrigation water every time, that’s likely best and you will be “spoon feeding” your plant the nutrition it needs, giving it a little taste each time you water.

With all that, we recommend the “spoon feeding” method with Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 by Dyna-Gro.  Its N-P-K ratio is ideal for your Monstera and most other tropical plants grown indoors.  It’s complete and balanced and delivers nutrients that are immediately available for uptake and use by your plant.  For additional protection and longevity for your Monstera, we also recommend using Dyna-Gro’s Pro-TeKt – it’s additional potassium delivered in a silicon solution that contributes to cellular strength when absorbed by your Monstera.

Cleaning the leaves of a Monstera

You are watering correctly and giving your Monstera the right amount of plant food and IT STILL GETS DUSTY…UGH.  Unpreventable, your Monstera has big, glossy green leaves that seem like a magnet for dust but there is an easy fix.  When you notice dust on your plant, grab a rag, a bucket of water, add a little dishwashing detergent – the liquid kind, soak the rag in the soapy solutions, wring it out, and gently wipe down the leaves – that’s all there is to it.

How Pruning can Improve Your Plants Health

There are two different forms by which you can configure your Monstera, one being bush, and the second one being wild thing – and pruning, or lack thereof, produces the two varied forms.  The ‘bush’ form is characterized as a relatively short floor plant with multiple stems growing and producing leaves in tight proximity within the canopy of the plant.  Pruning correctly will maintain your Monstera in the bush form.  The ‘wild thing’ form is characterized by one or two actively growing stems that usually are configured to climb vertically on something – driftwood, sphagnum moss poles, or even a wall with some man-made support structure – we’ve seen tacks, monofilament, and funky trellis structures used.  This form is produced by initially pruning off unwanted stems and allowing just a few stems to lead the way up and not pruning those leading stems until they’re about to break through the ceiling.

Regardless of your monstrous end-game objective, proper pruning is must – you always make cuts just above a node (in the crotch, where the leaf petiole is connected to the stem) with sharp pair of pruners.  This will force new growth from the node and make your Monstera “bushier”.  If you’re going for the wild thing, cut out all but one or two of the stems at the base where it emerges from the soil – this will force the nutrients to be concentrated in the remaining stems allowing them to grow more vigorously out and upward.  As a reminder, it takes good lighting for the wild thing to work so make sure the leaves are getting plenty of indirect light very near a window.

Effective Techniques We Use to Keep Bugs Off

Like any indoor plant, the Monstera is susceptible to the usually suspects – mealy bugs, scale, and sometimes mites.  These little plant-sucking insects can jump on your Monstera in the calm of your home or office – usually brought inside on other plants.  In the wild, the Monstera and most other green things usually don’t have any problems with insects because rainwater can wash them away and the bad bugs are prey for other insects that find these bugs tasty.  Regardless, inside is a different story, but there are easy remedies.  Your first defense is a good offense – regular cleaning of the leaves, as previously described, simply wipes away or squishes bad bugs.  A good cleaning regime makes for good pest control too.  If you do notice bugs, then, for sure, break out the soapy solution and rags and wipe them away, being sure to thoroughly clean the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops – bugs, especially mites, like to hang out under the leaves.

Everyone asks if you should Repot Your Monstera?

Lastly, a word on pulling you Monstera from the confines of its nursery growpot and putting it in another:

We noted in Watering Note #2 that removing your plant from its growpot with nicely positioned drain holes at the bottom and planting it directly in a decorative planter with no drain holes is a bad, bad, bad idea.  So, just don’t do it.  There may come a day, however, when your Monstera’s root system uses all the space in its growpot and looses the ability to expand its roots and you need to consider repotting.  By the way, your Monstera will let you know when it’s time by poking numerous roots out of the drain holes and even out of the top of the soil.  In this case, up-potting can be in order.  To do this, you will need a acquire another bigger growpot – available at most nurseries or garden centers – and some soil suited for indoor plantings.  With a bigger pot and soil, put a few inches of soil in the bottom of the new growpot, remove your Monstera from its existing grow pot – sometimes you’ll need to prune off the extraneous roots emerging from the drain holes (which is okay) and even slice the old growpot away, but most times the well-developed root system will hold tight and you can slide the old grow pot off.  With the plant and rootball out of the old grow pot, place the rootball on top of the soil in the new growpot and lightly pack additional soil around the rootball until it’s completely surrounded by new soil.  At this point, give it a light dose of water and begin regular care of it.  If you’ve got it configured for sub-irrigation, as recommended, you’ll need to use your old wicks (or new ones) and insert the wicks up through the drain holes several inches into the new soil profile with the objective of reaching the rootball with the ends of the wicks.  This is easily accomplished with the tip of a soil probe, which you should have already, or a long, thin screwdriver.  Now, you did it – it’s reconfigured in its new growpot with sub-irrigation and set up for even longer success.

And there you have it – your complete guide to Monstera awesomeness.  Start with good light, then add a thoughtful watering regimen, some nutrients, and a few wipe downs and you are sure to enjoy many, many years of big, giant, monstrous love from your Monstera.

Monstera Plant

Indoor Plants: Healthier Living from A to Z!

Between working, sleeping, cleaning, driving, and relaxing, it’s estimated that Americans now only spend about 10 percent of their time on average outdoors. That number is tiny. Because of this restriction from the fresh air of the outside world, it’s becoming more and more important that the air we breathe inside is fresh and pure of toxins. Architectural design hasn’t exactly caught up with the science involved here, meaning that most ventilation systems in buildings aren’t equipped to handle the kind of circulation needed to purify the air and prevent our large swathes of inside time from being potentially harmful.

Enter the hero of our story: the humble indoor plant. The presence of indoor plants in an environment has been proven in study after study to have massive benefits, including boosting happiness, and of course, filtering out some of those harmful elements of the air. The reason that plants are able to clean the air like this is because they take in dangerous airborne toxins and chemicals and, in their place, produce oxygen. Indoor plants have also been proven to reduce stress, reduce the growth of airborne bacteria, and boost focus and concentration by helping keep a steadier, cleaner supply of oxygen available. Just about all plants can accomplish these things to some degree or another in your home, but some plants are specialists, and are great starter plants if you’re wanting to kickstart your path to a healthier, happier life with plants.

If you’ll pardon the pun, we’re going to go over two plants today, the areca palm and the ZZ plant, and how they illustrate that plants can bring you healthier living from A to Z, no matter who you are!

The Areca Palm– The areca palm, otherwise known as the Butterfly Palm, Party Palm, or the Dypsis lutescnes, can thrive inside if they’re kept in direct sunlight. It’s one of the highest rated plants in for filtering out toxins and pollutants from the air because of its high rate of transpiration. Basically, transpiration is a plant’s process of evaporating water out on the surface of its leaves in order to cool itself down and trap foreign particles inside. This, in tandem with being a more affordable plant and a relatively easy one to take care of, makes it a favorite for novice plant parents and long-time botanists alike!

The ZZ Plant– So let’s say that you’re willing to start out with something a little less about perfectly pure air and a just a little more people-proof. Well, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant for short, is probably for you! It’s often affectionately called the “EZ-ZZ”, and the reason for that is pretty straightforward: the ZZ plant is one of the downright easiest plants to keep alive for first-time plant parents. These little guys are tough! They can live just fine in both low-light and high-light areas and they don’t need nearly as much water or attention as other plants. Best of all, it may not be the best green friend you can pick up for air purifying, but the ZZ plant is still proven to make a huge difference on the quality of your indoor air!

At PLANTZ, we firmly believe that there is an indoor plant out there for every kind of person. If you want more information, be sure to contactthe PLANTZ team today to learn more about what other kinds of indoor plants you can bring to brighten up your home and your life! If you would like to look around yourself and see what your options are, and maybe have one or two shipped straight to your door, don’t forget to visit our storetoday!

 

Your Complete Guide to Caring for a Bamboo Palm in Your Home

Bamboo Palm by Plantz

The bamboo palm is the perfect plant to combine ease of care, a pop of color, and a healthy dash of style in a neglected corner of your apartment. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the bamboo palm, from characteristics to uses to how to care for it.

What is the Bamboo Palm Plant?

A bamboo palm, or Chamaedorea, is a type of palm in the Chamaedorea genus.

It’s also a rare tropical delight in that, unlike many of its warm-weather cousins, it can actually thrive in lower light. Most tropical plants actually need bright light in order to live, however, the bamboo palm is happiest in low and indirect light.

But that’s the classic story of this plant: it’s hardy, low fuss, and puts on a good show.

Characteristics

The Chamaedorea bamboo palms are a popular houseplant, and once you’ve tried one, you’ll understand why. However, they should not be confused with real bamboo. Real bamboo is a grass, in the Poaceae family; Chamaedorea is a palm, in the Aracaceae family.  Real bamboo requires a full dose of sun and many species of bamboo are grown ornamentally outdoors in the southern United States.  The Chamaedorea palms are called “bamboo palms” because of their resemblance to real bamboo, but we can enjoy these palms indoors in lower light situations.

Nonetheless, most bamboo palms remain on the small side, though they will grow taller if they have a larger pot or if they’re planted outdoors (bamboo plants allowed to spread can get between 4-12 feet tall.

For those who want a tropical flair in their outdoor garden, check your climate–the bamboo palm can be planted outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones10 and 11.

Cleaning the Air

Most plant experts can agree that the bamboo palm has a significant positive effect on your health.

How? It’s simple: like many plants, the bamboo palm is great at cleaning the air.

In particular, bamboo palms are good at absorbing formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform, and carbon monoxide from the air.

Talk about a friendly neighbor!

Decoration

Do you really need another reason to start searching for your very own bamboo palm?

If you do, we can’t ignore one of the main attractions of the bamboo palm: it’s a very pretty plant to put on display in your home.

It has an exotic flair that many a flower pot lacks, but it’s still a tidy, compact plant with an attractive shape and a certain aura of sophistication.

Plus, it’s a pretty easy plant if you want to brighten up a neglected corner of your apartment or living room.

Caring for Your Bamboo Plant

Okay great, you’re thinking, but how hard is it to keep this plant alive?

Not as hard as you might think.

Unlike some other popular houseplants with a diva reputation (looking at you, fiddle leaf fig), the bamboo palm is a laid back housemate that isn’t terribly demanding.

That’s not to say you can put it anywhere and it will grow like a weed, but you’ve got a solid chance of success as long as you take the right steps to take care of your new friend.

Lighting Conditions

Now, you might think that a tropical plant like bamboo likes a lot of sunshine right?

Wrong.

Remember earlier when we said that the bamboo palm actually prefers low light conditions?

The bamboo palm, as a rule, prefers minimal sunlight and likes to take the sunlight it does get in the form of indirect, filtered light or shade.

Wherever you place your palm, be cautious when changing locations–a sudden change in lighting conditions can shock the plant and cause serious damage. Anytime you want to change lighting conditions, do it gradually so your plant has time to adjust to the change.

Temperature and Humidity

As we’ve mentioned, bamboo palms are tropical plants.

That means that, despite their low-fuss personality, they do have certain requirements in terms of temperature and humidity.

The bamboo palm grows best in temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and likes medium to high humidity.

If this doesn’t sound like your home climate, consider whether a bamboo plant is your best choice.

Either way, bamboo palms do not respond well to cold and dry conditions. They can survive just fine indoors in winter, but you can mist them periodically to make up for the moisture that’s absent from the air.

You should also be careful to protect your bamboo palm from drafts, as they don’t respond well to drafts. This usually means keeping your precious palm at a safe distance from windows and doors.

Watering

With that in mind, let’s talk about watering, one of the most basic (and finnicky) aspects of plant care.

As we’ve noted, bamboo palms like humid, moist conditions. This is not at all the same thing as sitting in mud or soaking water — if you soak your plant, you have a better chance of harming the roots than anything else.

Instead, aim to keep the soil uniformly moist (NOT wet). When the soil has dried down one-third to halfway from the top, you should water the whole top surface of the plant and make sure that any excess water drains out.

Remember: these plants don’t like sitting in water. If they sit in too much water, you run the risk of rotting roots.

As a rule, you should only water the soil when it looks dry (rather than watering it every day). If you’re not sure whether the soil is dry or not, use your Soil Sleuth – be sure to get one when you purchase your plant.  With the Soil Sleuth, you can determine the relative moisture in the soil below the surface and water accordingly.

Pruning

Finally, there’s the matter of pruning.

Where houseplants are concerned, there’s a bit of debate. Some people think that pruning plants will hurt them, while others say that it doesn’t cause any harm but doesn’t have much benefit either outside of aesthetic value.

For bamboo palms, most parties agree that pruning is good for the overall health of the plant (as long as you don’t pull an Edward Scissorhands).

Inspect your palm regularly for any dead or yellowing leaves. If you see any leaves that fit this description, use sharp bypass pruners to cut them off at the base of the stem so the leaves don’t affect the health of the rest of the plant.

Always make sure to sharpen your pruners before you prune — dull blades can create uneven cuts or tears which will create open wounds. You should also make sure to clean your pruners first, as dirty pruners can spread diseases between plants.

Common Problems

Now that you know how to take good care of your beloved housemate, let’s talk about a few common problems your bamboo palm may face.

Pests

Unfortunately, bamboo palms, especially those cultivated indoors, are susceptible to pests A common issue is mites, a troublesome bug native to Japan that loves munching on bamboo. Sadly, they followed bamboo palms to the US, so they’re a problem many a bamboo grower must deal with.

They’re an annoyance, but they’re certainly manageable.

Bamboo mites like to bite the underside of the leaves and suck out juices (like a vampire) which causes the bamboo to take on a yellow-green appearance as photosynthesis is impaired.

Your best option is to wipe the top and bottom of the leaf and leaflets with a soapy solution.  This will wipe away the little boogers.  You might also try a systemic miticide approved for mites, as it’s absorbed throughout the plant and kills mites as they feed, though it requires repeat applications since it doesn’t kill newly laid eggs. Repeat wiping, and you’ll soon be mite free

Ready to Bring Bamboo into Your Home?

Think you’re ready to bring a bamboo palm into your life?

You came to the right place!

We offer high-quality bamboo palmsin two different sizes, depending on your preference. If you’re new to our site, check out our Before You Buysection so you’re prepared for your new green friend. Once you buy your plant, make sure to check out our Receiving Your Plantsection.