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Ed's New Book: 'GARDENING WITH ED HUME'

Ed's New BookAFRICAN VIOLETS, Saintpaulia - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/weekly; Temperature: 65-72; Feeding: monthly/during growing season; Comments: probably the most popular of all indoor flowering plants. There are thousands of varieties to choose from. Most range in shades of blue, lavender, purple, pink, red and white. Many varieties are also marked or edged in a contrasting color. Flowers are single, semi-double or fully double. We water ours from the top, but many gardeners prefer to water from the bottom, setting the plants in a tray of water and letting them soak up the water. I find the biggest problem in growing African violets is the tendency to over-water them. Ours get watered no more then once a week, and less during the winter, dormant season. New plants can be started from leaves or divisions. Repot and divide as needed.

ALUMINUM PLANT, Pilea cadierei - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: dry between watering; Temperature: 55-75 degrees; Feeding: monthly during growing season; Comments: also known as the 'Watermelon plant'. There are several species that merit use as houseplants. This particular variety will grow about 12" high, but is best pinched and kept at about half the height. Leaves have green and cream markings, like a watermelon. The variety 'Norfolk' P. spruceana is lower growing and has colorful shades of silver, bronze and cooper in the leaves.

AMARYLLIS, Hippeastrum hybrida - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: moist, not continually wet; Temperature: 60-65 Degrees; Feeding: twice monthly during the growing season; Comments: one of the showiest of all bulbs for forcing. Usually two or more large trumpet shaped flowers, form at the top of each stalk. It is not unusual for the bulbs to produce four flowers per stalk and sometimes more than one flowering stalk. Each flower may reach 6-8" across. Bulbs are usually potted in the fall and bloom during the early to late winter season. If started in September they often flower by Christmas time. The biggest problem one experiences with these bulbs is trying to get them to bloom the next year. However, it's easy, it is simply a matter of feeding them every two weeks during the growing and flowering season. The bulbs use-up so much strength in producing the blossoms and foliage, that it must be replenished and the only way to do this is by feeding the bulbs.

ANTHURIUMS andraeanum (Flamingo flower) - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: monthly April to September; Comments: comment: the newer hybrid forms are the most popular. The white flowering variety is the one most commonly grown as a houseplant, although there are pink, salmon and red varieties. Leaves are dark green, 8-10" long and flowers are somewhat heart shaped.

ARALIA IVY - Fatshedera lizei- Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: weekly/as needed; Temperature: 50-70 degrees; Feeding: 2-3 times yearly; Comments: large 8' maple-like leaves give nice tropical effect. Stake them for vine like growth habit. There is also a variegated leaf variety.

AVOCADO - save the seed, let it dry for a couple of days, then it's ready to start. Let the kids put four toothpicks, one into each side of the seed, all at the same level. Then rest the seed and toothpicks on the edge of a glass of water. The pointed end is the top of the seed. Make certain the bottom of the seed is ¼" above the water. Roots will grow into the water and new growth should develop from the pointed end. It's that easy and a lot of fun for the kids. Keep in a bright light exposure, with average room temperatures.

AZALEAS - INDOOR FLOWERING POTTED PLANTS - Location/Exposure: moderate to bright light; Water Schedule: twice weekly/as needed; Temperature: 55-67 degrees; Feeding: 1-2 times yearly; Comments: Plants can be set outdoors in late spring after all danger of frost has passed. Plant in a spot where the plant will be protected from cold winds and harsh weather. If you live in a cold climate, plant will not survive outdoors, so treat it as a houseplant.

BABY TEARS, Helxine soleirolii - Location/Exposure: low to moderate; Water Schedule: twice yearly/as needed; Temperature: 45-70 degrees; Feeding: moist/not continually wet; Comments: small delicate leaves provide excellent texture as foreground plant in dish gardens. Easy to grow.

BAMBOO PALM, chamaedorea erumpens - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: weekly/as needed; Temperature: average 50-72 degrees; Feeding: 2-3 times yearly; Comments: always water palms with drinking water, avoid using fluoride treated water. Dust leaves occasionally.

BEEFSTEAK PLANT, Iresine herbstii - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: moist not continually wet; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: twice yearly during growing season; Comments: pinch back leggy growth to encourage bushiness. Red foliage is great contrast with greens of other houseplants.

BEGONIA, Rieger series - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: weekly/as needed; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: monthly during growing season; Comments: comments: it seems like every home in Belgium and Holland has one of these plants growing on the window sill of an east or north facing window. It's easy to understand why, because they are such prolific flowering plants.

BEGONIAS, Rex types - Location/Exposure: bright light/no sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/weekly?; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times yearly/during growing season; Comments: these are the begonias with the exotic looking leaf markings. Foliage color/leaf markings are pleasant contrast with greens of most houseplants.

BERTOLONIA, B. marmorata aenea - Location/Exposure: moderate light/no sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: 3 times yearly during growing cycle; Comments: coppery-green heart shaped foliage is very decorative.

BIRD OF PARADISE, Strelitzia reginae - Location/Exposure: bright/some sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/do not allow to dry completely; Temperature: average room temperatures/ cool 55 degrees during winter dormant season; Feeding: once or twice monthly during summer growing season; Comments: not the easiest plant to get to flower in the home, but great in the greenhouse or atrium.

BLEEDING HEART VINE, Clerodendrum thomsoniae - Location/Exposure: high light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/but not continually wet; Temperature: average room temperatures/10 degrees cooler during the winter; Feeding: once a month during growing season only; Comments: This colorful vine may grow up to 10', but can be kept lower by pruning. Flowers, in clusters, are red, peaking through a white bell-shaped calyx.

BURN PLANT, Aloe vera - Location/Exposure: bright light/considerable sunlight; Water Schedule: average room temperatures; Temperature: moist/not continually wet; Feeding: only three times a year (during the growing season.); Comments: the juices of this plant are often used to help soothe and heal burns. Cactus like growth habit, ideal for window sill.

CACTUS, Cactaceae spp. (desert type) - Location/Exposure: bright light/considerable sunlight; Water Schedule: average room temperatures or warmer; Temperature: varies by variety/ keep most quite dry/water thoroughly, then allow to dry before rewatering; Feeding: use low nitrogen fertilizers/once a year; Comments: varying textures and unusual shapes make these excellent low maintenance plants for a bright sunny spot in the home.

CACTUS, Schlumbergera 'Bridgesii' and truncata - (Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter cactus) - Location/Exposure: medium to bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/but not continually wet, less water immediately after flowering; Temperature: average room temperatures, a little cooler in the fall, until buds set; Feeding: three times during the spring and summer growing season. Comments: plants benefit from being outside during the summer months, then back indoors in late August. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Remember this is a tropical plant, not a desert cactus.

CALATHEA, several spp. - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/but not continually wet; Temperature: 60-70 degrees; Feeding: once a month during growing seasons; Comments: showy leaf marking and varying foliage color make these wonderful houseplants. Foliage color is lost if plants get too much light.

CANDLE PLANT, Plectranthus oertendahlii - Location/Exposure: bright light/direct sunlight one or two hours a day; Water Schedule: moist/but not continually wet; Temperature: 60-70 degrees/cooler during the winter; Feeding: twice monthly, during the growing season; Comments: Myrna and I like to grow this plant outdoors in containers or hanging baskets during the summer, then bring it back inside in late August. The variegated varieties are also very attractive. Pinch back tip growth, if plants begin to get leggy.

CHINESE EVERGREEN, Aglaonema modestum - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light/no sunlight; Water Schedule: average/once a week?; Temperature: Average 65-72 degrees; Feeding: three times, during the growing season; Comments: comments: there are several species, all are easy to grow. Variegated varieties are especially nice. We find this plant thrives on neglect in our home.

CHRISTMAS PEPPERS, Capsicum annuum - Location/Exposure: bright light/2-4 hours of direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderately moist/but not continually wet; Temperature: fruit last longer if temperatures are 60-65 degrees; Feeding: once a month during growing season; Comments: We have trouble keeping this plant alive, for more then a few months. But the fruit and flowers are worth it. Peppers range in shades of yellow, orange, red, purple and white.

CHRYSANTHEMUM (POT MUMS) - Location/Exposure: bright light/wherever you can fully enjoy the beauty of this plant in bloom; Water Schedule: as needed/depends upon soil mix; Temperature: 55-68 degrees; Feeding: none; Comments: One of the most colorful indoor flowering pot plants. Flower colors and shapes vary by varieties. Keep the old flowers picked and they may bloom up to one month indoors. Cut them back to 2-4" and plant outdoors, except during cold weather.

CINERARIA, Senecio x hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet/do not allow to dry out; Temperature: keep cool at 50-65 degrees; Feeding: none needed for the short time they are in the home; Comments: beautiful clusters of single daisy-like flowers in a wide range of individual and bi-colors. This annual can be planted outdoors, in the shade, during the summer.

CITRUS, (Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruits & Limes) - Location/Exposure: bright light/2-4 hours direct sunlight/ideal greenhouse or atrium plants; Water Schedule: moderate/check weekly; Temperature: 50-60 degrees winter/60-72 summer; Feeding: monthly during growing season/use acid fertilizer; Comments: kids love to start these plants from seed. Collect seed from fruit, let dry for a few days, then plant in pots. (Barely cover the seed with soil.) Flowers are fragrant, fruit occasionally develops, but tends to be bitter, unless grown in greenhouse.

COBRAPLANT, Darlingtonia californica (Pitcher Plant) - Location/Exposure: moderate to bright light/no direct sunlight needed; Water Schedule: moist/grows in bogs outdoors; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times yearly/during growing season; Comments: may grow up to 2'. Top of plant is shaped like a Cobra snake. Pale green, veined markings, one of the strangest looking plants. Kids love this insect eating plant.

COFFEE PLANT, Coffea arabica - Location/Exposure: moderate light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times a year during growing season; Comments: dark glossy green leaves cover the plant. May grow up to 12', but can be pruned and kept lower.

COLEUS, C. blumei spp. & hybrids - Location/Exposure: moderate/indirect sunlight; Water Schedule: once a week/or as needed; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: superb foliage color. Pinch tip growth to maintain bushy growth habit. Also, pinch off flowers as they develop, to keep plants from becoming leggy.

CORN (PLANT) CANE, Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: let soil almost dry between watering; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: feed every other month all-year; Comments: plant may grow 4-5' or more. They are apt to lose some of the lower leaves. This variety has a yellow stripe down the center of the corn-like leaves.

CREEPING FIG, Ficus pumila - Location/Exposure: moderate light/shaded sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 55-70 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: dust leaves with feather duster every 3 months. Dense foliage growth and fine texture.

CROCUS - Location/Exposure: bright light; Water Schedule: moderate/check twice weekly; Temperature: 55-70 degrees; Feeding: at planting time only; Comments: ideal bulbs for children to grow, because of quick growth and flowering. Easy bulbs to grow in soil, or water and pebbles.

CROTON, codiaeum variegatum pictum spp. - Location/Exposure: bright light/1-2 hours sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: expect plants to lose a few bottom leaves. Colorful leaves of this plant are a real bonus. Many varieties, so be choosy.

CYCLAMEN, C. persicum - Location/Exposure: moderate; Water Schedule: water along edge of pot/room temperature water/weekly or as needed; Temperature: 55-65 degrees (on the cool side); Feeding: once a month during growing season; Comments: Colorful leaves and showy inverted flowers make this a fun plant (bulb) to grow. I was surprised to find that the English call this plant 'Poor man's orchid'.

CYMBIDIUMS, several species and varieties - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow to almost dry before rewatering; Temperature: 65-70 during growing season/65 winter to set buds; Feeding: monthly during growing season; Comments: we find ours thrive on some neglect and cooler temperatures then you would think an orchid would require. Spikes of 3-4" orchid flowers are very showy and fun to grow. Long strap-like leaves are attractive, compared to some orchids.

DENDROBIUMS, several species - Location/Exposure: bright light/screened sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow potting mix to dry a little between watering; Feeding: monthly during growing season/use liquid plant food; Comments: 4 to 8 flowers 3-4" across. Stems have a few leaves at the top. Height varies by varieties.

DRACENA, deremensis 'Janet Craig' - Location/Exposure: moderate to bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: once a month during growing season; Comments: comments: Grows up to 5-6' with dark glossy-green, strap-like leaves, 2-3" across. There is a dwarf, compact variety.

DRACENA, deremensis 'Warneckii' - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: once a month during growing season; Comments: attractive green leaves have two narrow white stripes. Plant grows up to 4'.

DRACENA, marginata - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: monthly during growing season; Comments: this variety may grow up to 10', with bare stems. 20-30 strap-like leaves at top of plant. Variety 'Tricolor' has stripes of cream pink and green.

DUMB CANE, Dieffenbachia maculata and other species - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight OK; Water Schedule: moderate/allowing top 2" to dry between watering;Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: monthly during the growing season; Comments: Many varieties with very interesting leaf markings of green and white. Plants may grow over 5' tall. (Sap from plant is poisonous and can cause temporary loss of speech, hence common name 'Dumb-cane'.)

EASTER LILY, plus other species - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 60-70 degrees; Feeding: none while in the home; Comments: plant outdoors in semi-sunny spot, when the lilies have finished flowering. Easter lilies will flower again in the fall, then in summer thereafter.

ELEPHANT EARS, Caladium hortulanum hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: need warmth/65-75 degrees; Feeding: once monthly during summer growing season; Comments: comments. Colorful leaves, come in a wide range of colors and color combinations and are very showy in the home. The only drawback to this plant is that it has a short life period, before the leaves die-back. Tuberous roots can be restarted after a few months rest.

ENGLISH IVY, hedera helix and other varieties - Location/Exposure: bright light/ limited sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry slightly between watering. (plants will grow in water.); Temperature: 50-65 degrees; Feeding: 3 times yearly, during the growing season; Comments: I prefer and recommend the fine lacy-leaf varieties because of their textures and some have attractive variegated leaves.

FALSE ARALIA, Dizygothecas elegantissima - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: limited watering/allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: The narrow leaves provide a nice delicate appearance. This plant was on the set of the 'Seattle Today' television program. It received very little attention and was abused something awful, yet thrived. So I give it a 'five-star, thrives on neglect rating'.

FATSHEDERA, F. lizei - see 'Aralia Ivy'. (this chapter.)

FERNS, all species - Location/Exposure: low to medium light; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 55-70 degrees; Feeding: liquid fertilizer at ½ strength, 6 times a year; Comments: The textures and lush growth of ferns make them ideal houseplants. They need humidity, more than just about any other houseplant.

FIDDLE LEAF FIG, Ficus lyrata - Location/Exposure: moderate light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: water well-then allow soil to dry before watering again; Temperature: 60-70 degrees; Feeding: 3 time a year, during the growing season; Comments: comments: Large fiddle-shaped, deep glossy green leaves provide excellent texture indoors. Plant may grow 6-10' tall.

FIRECRACKER FLOWER, Crossandra undulifolia - Location/Exposure: moderate light/some winter sunlight; Water Schedule: water weekly/or as needed/allow top 2" of soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: once a month during growing period; Comments: a really nice plant with beautiful glossy, green leaves and attractive bright red flowers.

FLAME VIOLET, Episcia cupreata - Location/Exposure: bright light/some sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: 6 times during the growing season, at ½ strength; Comments: attractive leaves in shades of copper, green and silver. Several varieties merit consideration.

FLOWERING MAPLE, Abutilon striatum/pictum and hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/some sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/ allow soil to dry slightly between watering; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: Attract hanging flowers and maple shaped leaves. Some varieties have variegated leaves. New varieties have larger flowers.

FLOWERING PINEAPPLE, Bromeliad species - There are two types, the Epiphytic (air plants) and the Non-epiphytic (soil-grown) types. Here I will discuss the soil-grown non-epiphytic bromeliads. Location/Exposure: bright light/moderate or filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: some have a central watering cut in the center of the plant, keep it full of water. (replace the water once a month)./ In addition, water all of them on the soil moderately, then allow the soil to dry slightly, before watering again; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: flowers are striking and leaf color of some varieties is even more attractive.

FRITTONIA, F. verschaffeltii species - Location/Exposure: moderate light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/not too wet, not too dry; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 6 times yearly at half strength, during growing season; Comments: attractive low growing houseplants with colorful marked leaves. Great for terrariums or dish gardens.

GARDENIA, G. jasminoides - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight/10 hours a day to encourage bloom; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: use acid fertilizer/1/2 strength monthly during growing season; Comments: keep temperatures in low 60's to set buds and until flowers open. Dark glossy green leaves and fragrant flowers combine to make this a popular houseplant.

GERBERA DAISY, G. jamesonii (Transvaal daisy) - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/so not let the soil dry out; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: monthly, while in bloom; Comments: beautiful daisy flowers on tall stems. Excellent summer outdoor plant too.

GESNERIADS, many species - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry slightly between watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: feed monthly at ½ strength, during growing season; Comments: this is a huge family of plants including African violets; Streptocarpus, Gloxinia, and others. Care directions apply to all of them.

GLOXINIA, Sinningia speciosa - Care is the same as Gesneriads (see above). If too many buds develop in the center of the plant, remove some, or they will rot, spoiling the appearance of the plant and shortening the flowering period.

GOLDFISH PLANT, Columnea gloriosa and microphylla - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: ½ strength liquid feeding, every month, during growing season; Comments: very attractive hanging plants, ideal for indoor baskets or as trailing pot plants.

GRAPE IVY, Cissus rhombifolia - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry slightly between watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: Attractive trailing plant. Glossy green leaves in abundance. Pinch tip growth to keep bushy.

HEART LEAF PHILODENDRON, P. scandens - Location/Exposure: bright light/direct sunlight not needed; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry slightly between watering. Plants will grow in water, as well as soil; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times yearly/during growing season; Comments: This is the most popular small leaf trailing philodendron. Plant can also be trained on trellis or to grow around a window.

HYACINTH, H. hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/direct sunlight not needed; Water Schedule: will grow in water or pebbles and water or in soil/in soil moderate/ let soil dry just a little between watering; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: none during flowering period; Comments: Plant bulbs outside when they have finished flowering. Hyacinths are one of the best bulbs for kids to grow, because they flower quickly are easy to grow and the beauty and fragrance draws praise and recognition. Plant bulbs in the fall.

HYDRANGEA, H. macrophylla - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: cool is best 55-60 degrees/60-70 is alright, but flowers do not last as long; Feeding: not necessary to feed when in bloom; Comments: Plant these large flowering hydrangeas outdoors in a semi-shaded area once they have finished flowering indoors. A very attractive flowering pot plant.

IMPATIENS, New Guinea hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/ allow surface soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season or 6 times at ½ strength. Ideal plants to grow outdoors during the summer. Plant in bright shade. Foliage colors and large flowers make these a very popular houseplant.

IVY, small leaf varieties - see 'English Ivy' (this chapter). As care is the same.

JAPANESE ARALIA, Fatsia japonica - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: moist/allow to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: cool/55-65 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing period; Comments: Large maple-shaped leaves give nice tropical appearance. Plant may grow 4-5' or more with age. Also, an excellent out door shade plant.

JASMINE, J. officinale or polyanthum - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 55-65 degrees; Feeding: 3 times a year/during-growing season; Comments: These climbing vines offer attractive white flowers and a very pleasant fragrance. Myrna and I especially like the polyanthum species because it flowers at a young age and more then once a year.

KAFIR LILY, Clivia miniata - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet/somewhat dry during the winter; Temperature: 60-72 degrees during the growing period/10 degrees cooler in winter; Feeding: ½ strength liquid feeding once a month during growing period; Comments: very attractive dark glossy green leaves and orange-red flowers. Yellow and apricot varieties occasionally available.

KALANCHOE, K. blossfeldiana hybrids - Location/Exposure: bright light/ some direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/as plants store moisture in the leaves/ let soil dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing period; Comments: generally sold as flowering pot plants. Pick off spent flowers, and they will generally flower again in 6-8 weeks. Excellent windowsill plant.

LIPSTICK VINE, Aeschynanthus lubbianus - Location/Exposure: brigth light/some indirect sunlight; moderate/ let it dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: 3-6 times during growing season/at ½ strength; Comments: an excellent hanging plant, that thrives on a certain amount of neglect. Bright red flowers are very showy.

MAIDENHAIR FERN, Adianthum species - See 'Ferns' (this chapter).

MILTONIA, 'Pansy Orchid' - Location/Exposure: medium light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow surface mix to dry before watering again; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 6 times at ½ strength during the growing period; Comments: a very nice plant with attractive flowers. Many hybrid varieties now available. One of the easier orchids to grow in the home.

MINI-ROSES, R. miniature roses - Location/Exposure: bright light/some sunlight during growing season/direct sunlight during the winter; Water Schedule: moderate watering/dry slightly between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: monthly during the growing season; Comments: beautiful miniature rose flowers in a broad range of colors. Keep in a spot with good air circulation and watch for aphid. Not my choice as a permanent houseplant. Enjoy indoors until flowers fade then plant outdoors.

MOTHER-IN-LAWS TONGUE, Sanseveieria trifasciata - Location/Exposure: bright light/even sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow 2" surface soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 60-75 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season at ½ strength; Comments: we used these plants on my TV set in Portland, for several years. They thrived on neglect and became so prolific that they burst the pots in which they were growing. Long upright strap-like leaves, in solid green or variegated, depending upon variety.

MUMS - See 'Chrysanthemum', this chapter.

NORFOLK ISLAND PINE, Araucaria heterophylla - Location/Exposure: medium light/some filtered sunlight is OK; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 4-6 times yearly with liquid food at ½ strength; Comments:

Will grow 4-6' or more, in tree shape. Fine needles are attractive. Provide ample humidity for this plant. Not unusual for lower branches to die.

ONCIDIUM, 'Dancing Lady Orchid' several hundred species - Location/Exposure: bright light/some direct sunlight except during mid-day; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 60-65 degrees/if warmer provide humidity; Feeding: 4-6 times during growing season, at ½ strength; Comments: two leaves emerge from pseudobulbs. Many small orchid flowers hang on wiry stems. Nice looking plant and one of the easier orchids to grow in the home.

PALMS, several species - see 'Bamboo Palms', this chapter. (Same care for all palms.) Avoid using water that has fluoride or chlorine in i., as salts tend to burn ends of leaves.

PAPER WHITES, Narcissus - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: will grow in soil or pebbles and water/in soil water moderately/let surface soil dry a bit between watering; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: none while in the house; Comments: Plant the bulbs outdoors after being forced. Kids and adults love to force these bulbs into bloom in the home. Paper Whites are not the only ones to force, but are probably the most popular because of intense fragrance and beauty.

PAPHIOPEDILIUM, P. hybrids 'Lady Slipper Orchid' - Location/Exposure: medium to bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderately/allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: 4-6 times during growing season at ½ strength; Comments: there are thousands of varieties. Foliage is strap-like and (I think) the most attractive of all orchids. Myrna and I have found these easy and fun to grow in our home.

PEACE LILY, Spathphyllum 'Mauna Loa' - Location/Exposure: low to moderate light; Water Schedule: moderate/ allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: 55-72 degrees or average room temperatures; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: this plant thrives in our home with minimal care. The white spath flowers stand above the lush dark green leaves. We rate this '5 stars' in our home. Sometimes called the 'White Flag' plant.

PEPEROMIAS, P. caperata and others - Location/Exposure: medium to bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/ allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: average room temperatures/65-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season at ½ strength; Comments: there are a couple of dozen varieeties with interest vein markings or variegated leaves. Ideal plants for terrariums or dish gardens.

PHALAENOPSIS, hybrids 'Moth Orchids' - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderately/allow soil to dry somewhat between watering; Temperature: 65-75 degrees (warm); Feeding: 3 times during growing season or 6 times at ½ strength; Comments: attractive leaves and flowers. Myrna and I have found this another fairly easy orchid to grow in our home. However, it does need warmer temperatures. Several 4" flowers on each upright wiry stem.

POINSETTIA, Euphorbia pulcherrima - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sun exposure is OK; Water Schedule: medium/allow surface soil to dry somewhat between watering. Some are grown in sandy soil and may need more frequent watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: 4-6 times during growing season at ½ strength; Comments: In early September, place plant in room with 10 hours daylight and 14 hours of total darkness in order to encourage new flowers. Many new outstanding varieties are being introduced and most make nice year-round indoor foliage plants.

POLKA-DOT-PLANT, Hypoestes phyllostachya - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: normal room temperatures; Feeding: 4-6 times during the growing season at ½ strength; Comments: Delicate leaves are splashed with pink or white markings. A nice plant for a dish garden or as a low growing houseplant.

POTHOS VINE, Scindapsus aureus (Epipremnum aureum) - Location/Exposure: low, moderate to bright/lose some variegation in low light; Water Schedule: grows in water or soil/in soil moderate/ allow surface soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: Myrna and I find this an easy vine to grow in our home. It occasionally needed to be tip pinched to create a bushier vine. Green and white or green and yellow variegation add a bit of color.

PRAYER PLANT, Maranta leuconeura species - Location/Exposure: moderate/bright light ruins the foliage; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet/allow to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: Colorful foliage is a nice addition to hallways, or poorly lit rooms. Leaves turn brown around the edge if plant gets too much light.

PURPLE PASSION, Gynura sarmentosa - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: medium/ allow soil to dry a bit between watering/avoid misting leaves; Temperature: 55-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times a year during the growing season; Comments: Purple, velvet like leaves are very attractive, when used with green leaves of other houseplants. Pinch tip growth to create bushier plant.

ROSARY VINE, Ceropegia woodii - Location/Exposure: bright light/2-3 hours direct sunlight; Water Schedule: light watering/allow soil to dry between watering/very little water during winter; Temperature: average to warm/65-75 degrees; Feeding: once or twice during growing season; Comments: an unusual, easy to grow vine/tuberous roots, look like those of a potato. Stems are thread-like, with small heart-shaped leaves. Ideal hanging plant for a bright, hot window.

ROSE OF CHINA - Hibiscus, rosa-sinensis - Location/Exposure: bright light/1-2 hours of direct or filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit, between watering/if leaves wilt -water immediately; Temperature: 65-72 degrees/slightly cooler during winter; Feeding: 4-6 time during growing season at ½ strength; Comments: Large single to double flowers are very showy in the home. Keep the plant out of drafts. Feed with 0-10-10 if plant does not flower properly.

RUBBER TREE, Ficus elastica - Location/Exposure: medium/filtered sunlight OK; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: large attractive, dark glossy green leaves. Plants may attain a height of up to 10'. Tend to bleed when cut, so treat cut with powdered charcoal.

SEDUMS, many species - Location/Exposure: bright sunlight; Water Schedule: water thoroughly/allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: normal room temperatures during growing season/cooler during the winter; Feeding: not necessary to feed them; Comments: A wide range of foliage shapes, sizes, and colors. Fun plants to grow, that survive on a certain amount of neglect.

SNAKE PLANT, Sansevieria trifasciata, 'Laurentii' - see 'Mother-In-Laws Tongue'. (this chapter.)

SPIDER PLANT, Chlorophytum comosus - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/allow to dry just a little between watering; Temperature: average room temperatures/60-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times yearly during the growing season or 6 times at ½ strength; Comments: ribbon-like foliage and wiry stems within plant-lets on the ends make this an interesting hanging basket plant.

SPLIT-LEAF PHILODENDRON, Monstera deliciosa - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: 4-6 times a year at ½ strength; Comments: large split leaves provide interesting texture. Plants may grow to 10 feet or more with support. If leaves fail to split, make your own cuts (between veins) with a scissors, then seal cuts the with the whites of an egg.

SUCCULENTS, many species - Location/Exposure: most need bright sunlight; Water Schedule: sparingly/allow soil to dry between watering; Temperature: 65-80 degrees; Feeding: 1-2 times yearly during growing season at ½ strength; Comments: foliage colors, textures and shapes are showy. Ideal plants for windowsills, sun windows and in greenhouses.

SWEET POTATO - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: grow using water/or grow in soil with moderate watering; Temperature: average room temperatures; Feeding: 1-2 times yearly at ½ strength; Comments: kids love to grow sweet potato vines. Simply start using the water method, same way you grow avocado's from seed. Or, in soil, cover ½ tuber with soil laying the tuber on its side. Easy, fun project for the kids.

SWISS CHEESE PLANT, Monstera deliciosa - see ''Split-leaf Philodendron'. (this chapter.)

TILLANDSIA/AIR PLANTS - Location/Exposure: bright/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: mist spray 3-4 time weekly; Temperature: 60-72 degrees; Feeding: mist spray with mild ¼ strength fertilizer monthly; Comments: these are really interesting, fun, plants to grow. Leaf textures and unusual flowers make a great conversation piece in the home.

UMBRELLA PLANT, Schefflera/Brassaia actinophylla - Location/Exposure: bright light/filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 3 time during the growing season; Comments: plants may attain a height of 6' or more. Glossy green leaves on plant that has an umbrella like growth habit.

VENUS FLYTRAP, Dionaea muscipula - Location/Exposure: bright light/2-4 hours filtered sunlight; Water Schedule: moist but not continually wet/let dry a bit during the winter; Temperature: warm 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 4-6 times during the growing season at ¼ strength; Comments: kids love to feed insects to this insect eating plant. Leaves close and trap insects. (This carnivorous plant is difficult to keep growing more then about one-year in the home.)

WATERMELON PLANT, pilea cadierei - Location/Exposure: moderate light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moderate/let the soil dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 65-72 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing season; Comments: several other species also make excellent houseplants. Leaves of this variety have markings similar to watermelon, hence the common name 'Watermelon plant'. Pinch occasionally to keep plants bushy.

WAX FLOWER - Stephanotis floribunda - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/ not continually wet; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 3 times during growing period; Comments: very fragrant, waxy white clusters of flowers. Glossy green leaves. An excellent indoor vine for a warm house.

WAX PLANT, hoya carnosa - Location/Exposure: bright light/2-4 hours of sunlight/protect from mid-day sun; Water Schedule: moderate/allow soil to dry a bit between watering; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: once a month, March, April and May; Comments: comments: glossy green or variegated green and gold leaves. Waxy flowers are very fragrant. Variety H. bella, has smaller flower clusters. Do not remove flower spurs, as the following flowers develop from same point.

WEEPING FIG - Ficus 'Benjamina' - Location/Exposure: moderate to bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/but allow soil to dry somewhat before watering again; Temperature: average room temperature; Feeding: 3 times during the growing season; Comments: if possible, do not move this plant, once established. Keep out of drafts. An excellent small tree, to 6' or more. Small dark green leaves 2-4 inches, on tree shaped plant.

WHITE FLAG PLANT - see 'Peace Lily'. (This chapter.)

ZEBRA PLANT, Aphelandra squarrosa - Location/Exposure: bright light/no direct sunlight; Water Schedule: moist/not continually wet; Temperature: 65-75 degrees; Feeding: 4-6 times during the growing season at ½ strength; Comments: leaves are striped green and white, hence the name 'Zebra plant'. Unusual yellow flowers are pyramid shaped. I have found this one tough to keep growing, but worth a try because of the attractive leaves.

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