New plants! And questions!

grrr4200(z3 MI)February 4, 2013

While browsing my local Lowes and super market i came upon a couple plants that i tried to grow years ago to no avail.

I picked up a Cyclamen and a Norfolk Island Pine.

I read up on Cyclamen... i think there's a reason i killed it. They can be quite picky. My question about this one is should i put this in the window with my African violets? Since moving my violets (i dont know what direction the window faces) but since moving them there they haven't stopped blooming. Would this be a good place for my Cyclamen to live until it goes dormant in the late spring?

Second question is about the Norfolk. I read that this is a tropical tree that enjoys a good misting. I got a fairly large specimen (almost 5 feet tall) from Lowes for $2.50. He isn't in the best of shape but i couldn't see him get tossed in the trash.

All 3 major grow tips on this guy were snapped off. He does have multiple trunks but 3 main trunks. (i should say the largest of the trees in the pot) Questions arose when i noticed new grow tips emerging. Even bigger questions emerged when i noticed that they were actually growing new 'leaders' since all i have read and all i have seen is if the grow tip is cut off, a new one will not take its place... that it will not grow a new 'leader' it will just grow excess branches hanging to the sides. But these are actually forming into a 'fountain' look. a centralized bud with buds around the grow tip.

Against what i would normally do i did take this guy out of his nursery pot to check out his roots. They are in fantastic shape (strange to me since this guy was picked up 3 weeks after Christmas) I kind of figured i paid 2.50 to just give him a kind death at my house... But he's Growing! And thats exciting to me :)

Another question. I heard these guys like humidity. I have been misting him twice a day. (i cannot do a pebble tray due to cats)do you think this will be enough? Giving him bright and indirect light is not a problem, he's a bit further from the windows that my ficus trees do fantastic in.

I guess due to so much conflicting information on the internet im quite stumped. I dont want this plant to die. Am i doing the right things? are there any tips and tricks?

I also bought an 'escargo' begonia plug. already showing new growth as well. Unlike the cyclamen i have put this guy in the african violet window already... is this a good spot for him?

So many questions! Im quite sorry for the scatter brained post! But thank you:)

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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

Sounds like you found some lovely plants. I'm no expert, here, but I've grown all three so I can give you my experience.

In general, I believe rex begonias and AVs thrive in the same environment, so, yes, that was a good move. If your 'escago' gets direct sun in that window, watch the leaves for any bleaching or burning. That one wants whatever humidity you can give it, so good that you grouped it with the other plants.

I grew NIP years ago. I found a tiny one in a 4" pot and grew it for years, to a five-foot tall and wide tree. When it started its life with me, I lived in a very sunny, very cool apartment, with original windows from 1906--very drafty in the winter. I believe these trees like it on the cool side. Mine was on the eastern-exposure side of an E-S-W bay window. I never had any trouble with it until I moved to a new place, with warmer indoor temps and weird plastic replacement windows. I didn't take extra care to increase humidity, but I did group my NIP with other plants. It did burn once--I can't remember, now, if it was outside (in the shade, in summer) or inside (in direct sun). Other than that, it was an easy houseplant in a bright, cool environment.

My NIP put out five or six buds at a time, one central one for the leader and four or five side ones, spaced evenly around the leader bud, that grew into new branches. I wonder if what you're seeing are the new side branches growing. Whatever's happening, it sounds good. The branches are quite flexible when they're small, so you might be able to train one into a leader if you want a taller tree.

The thing about cyclamen, again in my experience, is that they need cooler temps than most heated houses. I've never been able to maintain one as a houseplant, although my mother, who keeps her house on the 50s (F) during winter, does pretty well with them. They don't rebloom for her but they put out leaves each year. They are sensitive to over-watering. I would put it in the coolest place you have.

I have cats, too, and I'm familiar with the "fish all the pebbles out of the pebble tray" game. ;) Hours of fun!

Amanda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:37AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:09PM
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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

You're welcome. Sorry I misunderstood what you were saying about the NIP's fountain-like budding when I first read your post. It does sound like it's growing new leaders. Please keep us posted on what happens with those.

Amanda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:46PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

no need to apologize:) theres a couple smaller guys in the pot where im going to give what you suggested a try:)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:17PM
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