Mistake??I know-couldn't resist.It's that time of year.

caro123_gw(3NH)January 18, 2014

I know that this the worst time of year to even glance at anything that is even green at the BBS. But I succumbed and carted home from Wally World- an Alocasia Poly (says high light on the tag but on reading it is an understory plant) A Ming aralia-
Gold Ming. A Dragon's Tongue-Hemighraphis Repanda. Have never grown these before.Need some input from actual people that have these for growing needs. Remember these are houseplants in a winter climate and light until they can go out in spring.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Poly likes bright light, but not direct outdoor sun blasting its leaves. It'll tolerate outdoor filtered sun, no problem. Winter is tough....keep it warm and well lit so it doesn't go dormant.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:19AM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Thanks Josh,
Didn't think it would like cold- got it under lights-and guess suppose to keep moist so doesn't go dormant--the old moist but not wet thing I guess. Well it is pretty so will give it a go.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:00AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That Hemigraphis is wild looking, isn't it? I want one too, and assume it will like the same conditions as other Hemis. Quite a bit of light but no direct mid-day during summer. A fairly thirsty plant.

Do you have a pic of the Aralia? That's a very abused 'name.'

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 8:46AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

I had a poly in a garden bed last year that went dormant on me after I dug it back out. I'm finding out that when placed in a terrarium my dormant alocasias tend to wake up and start growing again. When an offset is small,..to try and keep it over winter in dry storage would likely dry it up to nothing,so a humidity trap is a must for these in my experience. :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:11AM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Going to attempt to upload pics-bear with me.Ming-reptans-alocasia. The Ming aralia tag says Ming gold.Will try to upload a closer pic of it too.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:23PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Closer pic of Ming- I really love the foliage on this and hope it will do ok- any recommendations for care will be appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:27PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice Ming!
I had a Balfour Aralia for a while, but it was a spider mite magnet and so I had to let it go. It responded well to pruning, and the cuttings were easy to root, so you should have fun with this plant. Like most plants indoors, it needs lot of light or it grows leggy.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:34PM
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petrushka

ming prefers temps 75-85F for growth and hi humidity - that is of course only attainable in summer.. 70f is ok, but it won't grow that much, less then that and it'll start dropping leaves.
warm late filtered light from west window is best. close to cold window in the pic - is not good, it'll start dropping leaves from chill at night (even during the day it's probably 5F less by the window then the rest of the room).
low humidity will also cause leaf drop. so will under or overwatering. it's a fussy plant, unless it gets what it needs.
don't let it get wet and cold - roots will rot. most roots are at the bottom of the pot, not surface - so don't let it stand in water.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 5:03PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Thanks GM and Petrushka,
They were just in the window for the pics-I've got everything off of the sills.
It is in the three inch pot it came in- roots seem fine and hairlike not covering rootball. Right now I have this and the Alocasia on the outskirts of an Aerogrow that has Catt .orchids on it.Using for lights only. I've been misting a few times a day.
Thinking of a few other options:
1) The West window on pebble tray.
2) I recently bought on sale a stand up greenhouse type thing- meant for seedlings to harden off in outside. Suppose I could set it up in the house with lights- might retain humidity better-has a plastic zippered thing. I have some T6/15 !7" long Fluoros. Haven't opened it yet so not sure if will stand up in house
3) Also have 35 gal fish tank- I could put pebbles in it and wet them and put plants in pots in it.Thinking the high sides would retain humidity. This would be on a kitchen counter. There are regular kitchen Fluoros there but they would be on and off so would need some kind of screw in light. The sockets above this counter are meant for food warming lights. Would a spotlight type light be enough? I like this idea if feasible because I could at least see and enjoy the plants. Guess got to meander over to the growing under lights forum.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 6:51PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Covering the top of that aquarium would be pretty effective at tweaking humidity to the desired level.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 7:25PM
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petrushka

terrarium will be very good for both ming and poly. i actually have both (much larger then yours) and i tent them thru winter under plastic - they come thru very well year after year. one year that i did not tent poly and it had 60-65f at nite , it shed most of leaves and went dormant on me. if you can keep temp above 68f it should at least maintain enough leaves until spring to look ok.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:00PM
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subtropix

I received a Balfour Aralia for my birthday a couple of years ago. Expected it to die imminently. It was FINE and thrived in an unobstructed, western window, so I added a Ming aralia. Much, much easier than I thought!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:15PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

NJ-wow that does look good-maybe there will be hope for mine.
Petrushka- starting to think the terrarium might be the best idea for these two. Been lurking at the terrarium and the under light forums for ideas.Planning on leaving in their own pots though
Asleep- do you have any problem with rotting with it covered?

Soil and watering??? What is working for you?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:40AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Not so much,no. But I might mention,..do not allow the foliage to touch the walls of your terrarium. You WILL lose those leaves that do after a short while.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:11AM
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subtropix

Let it dry a bit before watering. Mine gets somewhat higher humidity because it is usually right over the kitchen sink.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:52AM
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petrushka

your variegated aralia looks just like the one in this link.
it does not HAVE to be bagged or in terrarium, but that def prevents lower leaf drop.

Here is a link that might be useful: aralia fruticosa 'snowflake'

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Is it from EA? It looks like one of the Dizygotheca's now renamed Schefflera to me, but this whole group isn't one I have a ton of experience with. When I stopped treating the ones I do have like tropicals and more like succulents, they didn't die, and actually grew.

Incidentally, I have a pot with little Aralias (Schefflera formerly Dizygotheca) together with Hemigraphis alternata that I water very rarely. They're doing great over winter with this treatment, two of the few plants actually growing over winter & not just in suspended animation. That one leaf (bottom right) was touching the cold window & got zapped by that. East window.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:45AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Nice Plant, Carol, I haven't seen that variegation w/ that leaf.

I've grown the Balfour Aralia a number of times over the years, this plant does NOT like overwatering & will suffer quickly as a result. I think this makes it a bad candidate for terrariums.

I grow this plant every few years as it's one of my all-time favorites. Sadly, I've not gotten it to last more than 1 yr. or 2. I've done better w/ the cut leaf Ming which lasted several yrs.

PS: Hey Purp, Dizzy are NOT Aralias even if they're called Sheffs now. Different plant family.

Last yr. I tried a couple of those Dizzies. They were cheap, variegated (like yours) & irresistible. They were in virtually pure peat & crashed after several waterings, so fast I hadn't had time to change that horrid mix, which turned to solid rock. I should have known better.

Yours looks great Purp.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:47AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

...not too sure if you meant "family" in the taxonomical sense,..but if you did,they actually ARE in the same one "araliaceae".

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, PG, TY & TY. If it came from EA, (where all genuses are called species,) it would be on the 'Aralia' page, with the name Dizygotheca if it's a Schefflera, Polyscias if it's an 'Aralia.' Aralia is an actual genus, though I don't think any common house plants are actually Aralia.

And you're right about the Scheffs-formerly-Dizygotheca-often-called-false-Aralias rotting easily. I had to replace the ones I bought the first time to put in mini gardens. The peat killed them so quickly, and we both supposedly know how to cope with that stuff - bah, didn't work. Hence the comment about treating them like succulents, not tropicals.

I thought they (Aralias that aren't really Aralias) were all called Scheff now, but that's wrong, many are Polyscias (so my care advice/experience may or may not apply, and would defer to your excellent advice. Don't think I've ever had a Polyscias before. Now I think they were all Dizy/Scheff.) Thanks for the encouragement to investigate!

As far as I can tell, the correct name today would be Polyscias fruticosa.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:21PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

The ming is an EA plant- does look a lot like the Snowflake one that Perushka posted a link to.They have it labeled as "Gold Ming" Polyscias Fruticosa. Says water when the soil feels dry and don't overwater. Was thinking of the open fish tank with pebbles and the pots lifted a bit above the pebbles for the few plants I have that need a bit more humidity. That way I could water them individually but still get the extra humidity.
Perushka- how do you tent a tree inside? Do you use somehing like a tomato cage and plastic wrap?
.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 7:54PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I just use a pebble tray Carol, sometimes inside the bottom of a cache pot for them, sometimes just in a saucer.

I'd be afraid the terrarium would be TOO moist.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:29PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Purple-
Spot on with the Dragons Tongue- Hemiographis Repanda.It was looking wilted Tag said water usage high but also on bottom of tag said let dry out then water-DUH. Took the chance and watered it even though the soil was a teeny bit moist and it looks alive and well again.
Going to post a seperate question thing about H20 just cause I'm interested in it.Kinda got the idea of free draining mix so far
though espesially after visiting the Aroid forum about Peace Lilys.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:28AM
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petrushka

if you click on my link and look at the pics of my plants (4 total: 2 smaller parsley ming, 1 large ming, 1 large fern-leaf), may be it will convince you that tenting is good. tenting is approximation of terrarium, but with less moisture levels.
the temp inside the bag is at least 5F higher, more if there is some filtered sun.
i just put large dry-cleaners bags on top of plants. no stakes, loose on bottom, leaves touch plastic - never caused a problem. been doing it for at least 3-4 years. all my plants are in west windows with light filtered thru sheers. they stay tented from thanksgiving till mid march, when sun starts getting stronger and i start getting some condensation on the bags. that is when i remove the bags - since condensation can cause bacterial infection. there is a large hole in the bag on top for a hanger. 2'x5' size. my ming is very large by now:4'?, fits in the bag quite tightly. it was 18" when i bought it 5 yrs ago.
i grow them all on self watering wicks in african violet mix diluted by 50% with perlite.
if the terrarium is open - there will be no condensation, but the temps will be lower then when tented. low temps with higher humidity is not so good. but if you room as at least above 68F - should be OK.
tomato cage under dry-cleaner bag will work well for smaller plants.
the 'snowflake' is similar to parsley: dwarf, slow-growing.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:02AM
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birdsnblooms

Howdy Everyone,

Caro...Of all your new plants, 'all beautiful & healthy,' Alocasia is fussiest, however, I haven't had much luck with Aralias either.

My Alocasia is in the bathroom, 'humidity,' second floor, adjacent a west window.
Since you're up east, the brightest window will do during winter. Obviously, your Alocasia isn't dormant so keep it bright.

If your Alocasia was dormant, light wouldn't matter much.

Hemiographs are heavy drinkers. One missed drink, if soil is real dry, leaves automatically brown, crisp, and fall.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:47AM
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petrushka

i've had my african mask for 5 years now. i tented it ev yr and kept it warm and it did not go dormant on me, except last yr when i was away for a month! and my temps were lower then usual, dropping below 58-62F near windows. the thermostat was at 65F. it was tented, but i guess soil temp was too low.
i almost wrote it off, but by chance came upon grab's post about bulbils - and so i dug them up and sprouted and you can the pic of mother plant in early summer and then in july. and at the very end - the sprouted bulbils.

Here is a link that might be useful: how i woke up and propagated my POLY

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:06AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Nice "Golden Ming".

The Poly can handle direct sun (what little there is of it this time of year) while indoors. IME, do NOT allow it to fully dry out ... that can trigger dormancy and they can be a royal pain in the dupa to break them out of dormancy. (I have yet to succeed ... 4 times for losses.) Better to not trigger dormancy to begin with.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:06PM
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caro123_gw(3NH)

Thanks everyone- well here at the moment it is -16 and suppose to possibly go down to -24 before morning.The house temp is 62.The area where I have the plants under the aerogrow lights is 64 but not totally sure how accurate the thermometer is. My hand under the lights feels warm but not hot. I feel totally comfortable with the room temp.Of course, I have thermal pj"s on plus a fleece top and wool socks. So if I tent these plants as Petrushka says it should raise the temp for them to about 69-70. By the way P. your plants are gorgeous!
Going to check the temp under the counter in the kitchen where I have shop lights to see if that is higher then this in the morning. A heating FHA runs under that counter.
Please tell me these guys aren't fussy about being moved around- thinking when the outdoor temps are more reasonable could move near the window for some natural light for at least 3 hours.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:21AM
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petrushka

moving them around is not a problem at all.
at 62-64F reduce watering considerably and water very lightly, no run off thru the bottom!
they are probably in peaty soil.
you'll see that soil will remain moist for a very long time, like 2-4 weeks. when soil temps drop below 65F for tropicals - the roots stop growing and absorb very little water. which is where tenting can help too, provided they are watered rarely.
there will be enough moisture around the leaves and roots will be drier and cooler.
also i found that mites will not be a problem. african mask is very prone to mites. i usually spray/wipe carefully with neem or 50/50 water/rubbing alcohol to make sure it's clean, and then it's under tent. check every 2 weeks.
my tented crotons and poly were totally mites free all winter and thru most of the summer, which is a kind of an accomplishment :).
kitchen island is good if warmer, so long as there is no dry moving air around.
of course, it would be prettier if you could set up a large pebble tray and just group sev plants on it for increased humidity. with overhead light that should be good. they can stand much lower light levels when temps are cooler.
once you know how to keep them it is not that difficult ;). i leave mine totally unattended for a month, believe it or not.
your temps are quite frightfull!
long time ago i went thru sev winters like that. having green plants to counter winter is a NICE thing.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:57AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'll have to respectfully disagree w/ Petrushka about moving them around. Personally, I've not had trouble w/ that, but they do have that reputation that they don't like to be moved around.

I once brought a Ming out to a plant meeting, only to have the Meeting's Moderator express surprise that I would even take it outside my home (it was just fine). Mings seem more sensitive about it than Balfour Aralias (about which I haven't heard this).

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:10PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

A little way back Purple said 'I don't think any common house plants are actually Aralia.' I'm not sure whether she meant Aralia or Araliaceae but just to clarify....

Araliaceae is a Family
Schefflera is one Genus within the Araliaceae
Schefflera elegantissima is one Species within the Genus Schefflera.
Polyscias and Dizygotheca are also Genera within the Family Araliaceae.

Just for confusion Aralia is a Genus within the Family Araliaceae.

Hedera helix, English Ivy is a common houseplant within the Family Araliaceae, as is Fatshedera Lizii.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:21PM
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petrushka

love your post, floral!
what 's the difference between genus and genera?
pg,
i move most of my plants from room to room quite often - sev times a year at least. but i have similar conditions with relatively small temp/light changes - 3-4F and i have no dark/low light at all, mostly top margin bright medium to very bright partial sun..
even my ficus benjamina never reacts to moves. the most objectionable moves are from indoors to outdoors and back due to big light/temp changes. but then, a lot of plants would not like that. certainly the tropicals hate to go cold suddenly.
with the condition caro described - cold windows would be my main concern or cold drafts from open doors.
so, yah aralia would not like big temp or light changes, i agree to that.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Genera is one accepted plural of genus.

Flora, I wasn't talking about families and thought that was pretty clear. What one says always makes sense to them, and perfectly said so there's no confusion, but doesn't always read that way. So thanks for clarifying a confusion I still don't see but must be there.

"I don't think any common house plants are actually Aralia." I mean the genus, Aralia.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:13AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I see what you mean, Purple. I read your post to be possibly using Aralia as a shortened version of the family name. I think it was the first paragraph I didn't follow where you referred to the' Aralia Page'. Never mind.

But I don't think it hurts to outline the nomenclature occasionally as many people mix up Family, Genus, and Species.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I appreciate it, TY. This is the wackiest example I've encountered, this Aralia thing. 'Croton' is another!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:03AM
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feelthecamburn

I purchased a variegated ming aralia in a small bonsai pot since I was told that it would do well in my office. I have a window in my office and although I don't get any direct bright sun light, I have lots of diffused light that comes in. I have a blooming orchid that does really well in the space as well as a small pony tail palm and bamboo. I've had the ming for about 2 weeks now and I've watered it once. But noticed after watering it that every day clumps of branches are falling off of it. I've read that they are very sensitive to watering. The lady I bought it from said half a cup every two weeks. I'm not sue if it's because I watered it or if it doesn't like my office and/or light situation. The air conditioning is on in the office since I'm Florida but I'll have a heater randomly on during the day since it can get a little too cool. Not sure if I should take it home or if I'm doing anything wrong with it. Any advice would be appreciated as it's such a lovely little tree and I love plants so I want to be sure it's getting what it needs. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:01AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

It's characteristic of this plant to drop leaves when it experiences changes in light & its environment. It should settle down after a time.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:40AM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Just to add to PG's comment. Another person asked about an Aralia they own (I believe theirs is also a 'Ming') and I gave some input based on my experiences with growing one. Here you go:

"They enjoy humidity, so place them on a pebble tray (I didn't mist mine, didn't seem to mind just the humidity from the pebble tray).

To keep them from getting leggy, bright light is suggested. I had mine about a foot away or so from a South window. It got afternoon sun with no problem.

They don't like to be wet whatsoever (no houseplant wants to be wet though). You will want to allow it to dry out almost completely (don't let it dry out completely, but don't keep it as regularly moist as you would other houseplants that want to stay moist all the time).

It might throw a diva fit and lose leaves, I think I read this can happen in the winter (maybe something to do with the change in the amount of sunlight). It will re-sprout again so it's not dead."

It's better to not water on a schedule as that lady advised you, your conditions may me different than hers and you may need to water more or less often than she does.

I hope you found this information useful.

Planto

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:30AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Agreeing w/ Planto abt the amount of water, a better way to judge the amount (when it's time to water), is to water 'til one sees it coming out of the bottom of the pot. THAT would indicate sufficient water, then you'd dump out the excess water after a few minutes; pls. don't forget tho' as these plants really detest wet feet.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:36PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Pebble trays are actually pretty useless for increasing humidity unless it is a small enclosed area.

Mine tolerates my 10-30% winter RH with little issue.

I have found, as others have mentioned, that any abrupt change in environment can result in leaf drop. I definitely have noticed that mine seems to detest the cool air from the air conditioner blowing on it. This leads me to advise avoiding area with cool drafts. (Has anyone else had a similar experience?)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:46PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

Paul,
Perhaps pebble trays aren't ideal for increasing humidity, but when I've used them for plants that "ask" for humidity, I haven't experienced any issues. What I mean to say that my plants haven't shown any signs of that lack of humidity would show. I doubt the humidity in our apartment is all that high either.

I'm not refuting what you say, I know you have more experience with this sort of thing than I do, I just notice they seem to do something for my plants.

I never had an issue with my 'Snowflake' when the A/C would blow on it, but I have read they don't care for drafts.

Planto

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:27PM
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