SUCCULENTS

What are succulents?

Succulents are often confused for cacti. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. What makes a cactus a cactus is basically its thorns. Succulents are typically adorned with thick leaves, stems, or roots. The thicker parts of the plant are used to store water. They do well in places with high temperatures with little rainfall. They can store water to survive long periods with little or no moisture.

Succulents cannot survive in freezing temperatures. While some may last through a cold lbrief spell, these plants will thrive in warmer temperatures. They are often characterized by spiky, needle-shaped or rosette-shaped leaves.

Plant Care

  • Succulents do not like to live in wet soil. As plants accustomed to high temperatures and little moisture, they can actually rot, contract disease, or die if overwatered. Potting in a planter that has slots for drainage can help prevent overwatering.
  • Use succulent/cacti soil or soil that drains well: Using the correct type of soil will help your plant thrive. Because succulents don’t appreciate overwatering, using soil that drains will keep your plants appropriately moist.
  • Plenty of sunlight (at least half a day): These plants hail from hot, dry climates and love plenty of sunlight. Although they will go dormant in the winter and require less sunlight, most succulents like at least a half day to a full day of sunlight depending on what type of plant you have chosen.
  • Water heavily, but not often: Overwatering is an issue with succulents. Watering every day and leaving the plant with soaking soil will kill your succulent. However, simply misting them will also leave them wanting more. Supply your plant with a large amount of water about once a week (also varies depending on the variety and temperature of your space). Check the soil to see that it is drying between waterings.
  • Maintain a warm temperature: Succulents like about 70-80 degrees in summer months and 50-60 in winter months.
  • Remove dry leaves gently.
  • Add soil as needed.

Repotting

Succulents grow the fastest between the fall and summer seasons. Some grow faster and some slower. Throughout the year, you will notice that some succulents have outgrown their pot/container. How do I know my succulents have outgrown the pot? Observing and caring for your plant is key! Below you will find some basic tips that will help you identify if your succulent or plant has outgrown its pot/container:

 

  • Roots coming through the bottom of the pot
  • The soil medium dries up too fast after watering
  • Your plants are top heavy and toppling over
  • Your plant is looking sickly and yellow and or shriveling
  • You haven’t re potted your plant for a very long time

If you have any further question, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

FICUS

FICUS

Ficus trees are a popular houseplant that can be found in many homes, but the attractive and easy to care for ficus trees still have a frustrating habit of dropping leaves, seemingly without reason. This leaves many ficus owners asking, “Why is my ficus losing leaves?” The causes for dropping ficus leaves are many, but when you know what they are, this can help you pin down the reason your ficus tree leaves are falling off.

Reasons for Ficus Tree Dropping Leaves First of all, realize that it is normal for a ficus tree to lose some leaves. A few leaves dropping of a ficus tree will not hurt it and they will regrow, but if your ficus is losing more than a few leaves, the following reasons could be why:

Change in environment – The most common cause for dropping ficus leaves is that its environment has changed. Often, you will see ficus leaves drop when the seasons change. The humidity and temperature in your house also changes at this time and this can cause ficus trees to lose leaves. If this is affecting your tree, the leaves on the ficus tree may be yellow in addition to falling off.

To help with this, try to keep your ficus tree’s environment as stable as possible. Keep it away from drafty windows and doors, air conditioners and heaters. Use a humidifier in the winter, when the air gets dry. And, once you have placed your ficus tree in your home, do not move it.

Incorrect watering – Under watering or over watering both can cause a ficus tree to lose leaves. In an improperly watered ficus tree may have yellowing leaves and the ficus tree leaves may curl. Water the soil only when the very top of the soil is dry, but also make sure that your ficus tree’s pot has good drainage. If you accidentally let your ficus tree’s soil dry out completely, you may need to soak the tree’s container in the tub for an hour to properly rehydrate the soil. If you have overwatered, root rot may have set in and you will need to treat the ficus tree for that.

Too little light – Another reason for ficus tree leaves falling off is that the tree is getting too little light. Often, a ficus tree that is getting too little light will look sparse and spindly. New leaves may also appear pale or even white. In this case, you should move the ficus tree to a location where it will get more light.


Ficus can be quite fickle in the way that they grow and if you don’t take extra care with them, they will often die out quicker than you’d expect.

  • Ficus prefer bright indirect light from a variety of sources. Natural light is typically best.
  • Keep ficus in temperatures above 60ËšF and avoid leaving them near cold drafts as this will do harm.
  • When watering them, it is good practice to check the soil it is planted in. Ficus do not like to be over or under-watered. Ficus trees are notorious for shedding leaves under moisture stress. They will often recover if moisture levels are corrected and consistent.
  • Keep the humidity levels up by placing pebbles around the soil and roots.
  • Ficus can grow quite fast too so they need plenty of nutrients to keep them healthy.
Ponytail

HOW TO CARE FOR A PONYTAIL PALM

Ponytail palms are a unique-looking, long-lived indoor plant that thrives on benign neglect. They are very easy to grow, provided you don’t overwater them! Here’s how to grow and care for a ponytail palm in your home.

Despite its name and palm-like appearance, the ponytail palm is not a true “palm.” In fact, it is more closely related to desert plants in the Agave and Yucca genera (e.g., Joshua trees).The typical ponytail palm consists of a large, domed “stump,” which tapers off into a thinner stem. From the top of the stem, one or more rosettes of long, green, leathery leaves develop as the plant ages. Indoors, the leaves can reach up to 3 feet long, but outdoors, they may be double that length.In its native environment (eastern Mexico), the entire plant has been known to reach up to 30 feet in height! However, ponytail palms that are grown in gardens as landscape plants don’t usually get to be more than 10 feet tall. Indoors, they are rarely taller than 4 feet.Care of this plant is generally simple; the most common difficulty is having to adapt your watering habits to its watering needs!

PLANTING

  • Use a fast draining soil, such as a cacti and succulent potting mix. If you have potting soil, sand, and perlite already on hand, you can create your own desert soil mixture: Simply mix 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part sand. 
  • Select a pot that has a hole in the bottom, so that excess water can be drained off. Ponytail palms do not like to sit in moist soil for very long.
  • Use a clay pot if possible; the porous material will absorb some of the water, drying out the soil more quickly (a good thing for cacti and succulents).
  • Ponytail palms prefer to have as much light as possible, so place the plant in a bright location.
  • Use caution when handling a ponytail palm, as its leaves have tiny serrated edges.

CARE

  • Keep soil fairly dry. Water from spring through fall, allowing the top inch or two of soil to dry completely before re-watering. During the winter, only water occasionally.
  • To water, soak the soil and allow the excess water to drain through the bottom of the pot into a dish. Let the pot sit in the dish for several minutes, then dump out any remaining water in the dish. 
  • Fertilize in the spring with a cacti/succulent fertilizer and bring into a brighter room for the summer months. 
  • Normal room temperature is good for most of the year, but keep it slightly cooler in the winter (50 to 55° F). During winter, don’t let the plant sit too close to cold windows at night, as it can be severely damaged by freezing temperatures.

REPOTTING A PONYTAIL PALM

  • In containers, ponytail palms will remain small if kept in a small pot. They can go for many years before needing to be repotted. Repotting every other year at the most is all a ponytail palm needs.
  • Moving the plant to a larger pot will give it room to grow in both height and girth. However, older plants may be difficult to manage, because of sheer size and weight if not kept on the smaller size.
  • When selecting a new pot, pick one large enough to leave about an inch or so of space between the ponytail palm’s trunk and the rim of the pot. 

PESTS/DISEASES

  • Overwatering can result in stem rot. If you withhold watering, the plant may be able to internally cure the problem. Signs of stem rot include yellowing leaves and a caudex (the plant’s base and stem) that is soft or squishy. 
  • Spider mites occur on the leaves, but can be fixed by rubbing a cloth of soap and water on the stems. Spider mites are evidenced by the presence of spider-like webbing on the plant.
  • Brown tips on leaves can be a sign of overfertilizing or underwatering, so adjust your husbandry practices appropriately.

HARVEST/STORAGE

PROPAGATION

  • Rarely, a ponytail palm may produce an offset—a small baby plant that stems from the base of the adult plant. These can be cut off at the base when they reach at least 4 inches in height and planted in a succulent potting mix. Before planting, allow the cut wound to heal, then apply a bit of rooting hormone (available online and in nurseries) to encourage the offset to root. 

WIT & WISDOM

  • The plant’s unusual shape and coloration has granted it another strange nickname: the Elephant’s Foot Palm.
CARING FOR YOUR HOUSE PLANTS (NOT SUCCULENTS)

How Can You Tell Plants Have Too Little Water?

One of the biggest and most popular problems with regard to caring for plants (gardening) is under watering plants. Too little water for a plant means it is not getting the nutrients it needs from the water or the soil. So how can you tell plants have too little water?

Under Watering Plants in the Garden Everyone is aware that there can be drought conditions. Throughout the summer, there are plenty of times when it doesn’t rain for weeks on end. During these times, you have to water your plants because without the necessary water, plants will dwarf, not produce or worse, die.

Under watering plants is the worst thing you could do.

Planting your garden in an area that has trouble holding onto water, such as a sandy area, especially during the summer months, means you will have plants affected by not enough water. This is because the natural drainage of the area will leave too little water for a plant. Well drained soil is good because you do not want to overwater plants either, but there is such a thing as too well drained.

How Can You Tell Plants Have Too Little Water?
Plants affected by not enough water will have yellowing leaves or dried leaves toward the bottom of the plant. If you see this happening, you are probably under watering plants. Too little water for a plant makes it conserve what little water it has by keeping the stalk green and the roots moist, but the leaves will turn yellow and wilt, eventually drying up.

Plants affected by not enough water will also start showing some root at the surface. The ground around the plants will be cracked, and you can be assured that your plant roots are not getting the moisture or nutrients they need to grow properly – especially container grown plants. Make sure you water your plants so that they do not have difficulty producing the fruits and vegetables you are attempting to achieve.

Finally, too little water for a plant means that the plant will eventually die. If you want to make sure your plants live long and healthy, you need to be sure that you supply enough water.

How Can You Tell Plants Have Too Much Water?
While most people know that too little water can kill a plant, they are surprised to find out that too much water for a plant can kill it too. The signs for an overwatered plant are:

  • Lower leaves are yellow
  • Plant looks wilted
  • Roots will be rotting or stunted
  • No new growth
  • Young leaves will turn brown
  • Soil will appear green (which is algae)

The signs of plants affected by too much water are very similar to plants that have too little water.

Why are Plants Affected by Too Much Water?
The reason for plants affected by too much water is that plants need to breathe. They breathe through their roots and when there is too much water, the roots cannot take in gases. It is actually slowly suffocating when there is too much water for a plant.

How Can You Overwater Plants?
How can you overwater plants? Normally this happens when a plant owner is too attentive to their plants or if there is a drainage problem. How can you tell plants have enough water? Feel the top of the soil before you water. If the soil is damp, the plant does not need more water. Water only when the soil surface is dry.

Also, if you find that your plant has a drainage problem that is causing too much water for a plant, then correct this issue as soon as possible.

If You Overwater a Plant, Will It Still Grow?
This may have you asking “If you overwater a plant, will it still grow?” Yes, it can still grow, provided that the issue that caused too much water for the plant is corrected. If you suspect that you have plants affected by too much water, address the problems as quickly as possible so that you an save your plant.

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