house plants

A Second Chance x 2…

I really enjoy “rooting” – it’s such a fun and budget friendly way to create new plants. Most recently, the “rooting” process of the center plant (below) took about 2 weeks (time period varies). I planted this rooted piece into a pot that was previously home to a shamrock plant. Unfortunately, I had accidentally and quite brutally killed this sweet shamrock. There was not even the slightest ray of hope for it, it was dead as a door nail. Or so I thought…

Days (maybe even weeks) after the shamrock died and fruitless watering ceased, I decided it was time to remove the dried up remains, but decided to hang onto the soil for a future green fellow. Part of me thought I should throw out the whole thing – maybe the soil was tainted by the previous death? No, I dismissed that thought, put the newly rooted plant into the worn in soil,  and watched it begin to grow…

To my surprise and delight, not only did the new plant grow strong, but what was that I saw? Clovers! Happy little clovers popping their heads out of the soil and now flourishing like never before! Call me crazy, but my thinking turns a little poetic every time I look at this creation – not losing hope, growth in surprising places, 2nd chances, strength in co-existence. I know, pretty deep for plant talk, but what a charming fluke of nature!

To root a plant:

  • Simply pluck off a nice size piece of a healthy plant
  • Put it in enough water to cover the bottom inch or two of the stem (I like to use a clear container so I can easily monitor the growth)
  • Once you spot some significant roots remove it from the water
  • Plant it in some soil in an appropriately sized pot (requires some knowledge/research of the plant’s potential)
  • Provide appropriate amounts of sunlight and water as needed (again, a little knowledge/research here as well)

To revive a dead plant:

  • Plant a new plant in the same soil
  • Don’t expect the old plant to grow back
  • Have a stroke of luck! : )

More Good to Know House Plant Info!

Aside from my bamboo, I currently have one other house plant and that would be my very large peace lily. Peace lilies are another easy to keep bunch, but my care hasn’t been optimal the past few months so I guess even the easy plants can show their lack of proper care.

The main problem is that leaves have been turning brown on the tips and edges. I did some research and it looks like there are several possible causes:

  • Too much water – keeping the soil constantly wet –> Solution: allow the soil to dry and try to water just before the leaves start to wilt (I try to do this and when I do, it’s so cool how quickly the leaves noticeably spring back to life )
  • Hard water or softened water –  excess minerals can cause brown leaf edges and tips –> Solution: switch to distilled or filtered water.
  • Too much fertilizer – also adds an excess of minerals to soil –> Solution: fertilize only when the plant is looking hearty and dilute the fertilizer with H2O to about half its strength or less.

I read that you can trim off the brown tips and edges so I did just that this weekend. I have to say that I did a good cutting job because you really can’t tell and now I can determine if I have eliminated the cause! I’ll keep you posted.

Not the greatest picture, but it’s definitely looking much better…

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Yellow Leaves – Not So Bad?

I’m by no means a plant expert, but I try to keep a few plants thriving, or at least living. I’m definitely a big fan of bamboo for two main reasons: (1) It’s pretty and (2) It’s SO easy to take care of! Recently, the bamboo I keep on my desk started to have some yellow leaves and I got concerned. For months, the stalks had all been flourishing, green as can be and then, somewhat suddenly, there were yellow leaves, which concurred with a brief abandonment. At first, I thought my lack of attention was to blame, but after some research I found out that a bamboo plant’s leaves will turn yellow and fall off the plant as a normal part of the growth process. (Excellent news – so it was not my fault!) This process occurs throughout the year as bamboo grows new leaves and recycles its old leaves.

Lesson learned: Yellow leaves do not necessarily equal a sick or dying plant, but are a natural part of growth and they will fall off on their own (so I can stop compulsively plucking them off as they appear). You actually should let the leaves fall off on their own because the natural mulch supplies the bamboo with silica and that helps future growth.

Yellow leaves (here and there), you are now my friends (at least while my bamboo is still living)!

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com