Walmart Plant...Ivy?

birdsnbloomsFebruary 8, 2012

Bought this plant at Walmart day before last. The tag says, Ivy, Hedera Helix. Could it be Ivy? Thanks, Toni

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

No picture - but if it really is Hedera helix then it is ivy ie what you refer to as English Ivy in the States but we just call Ivy ;)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:45PM
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LOL, sorry.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:25PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I believe it is a Hedera helix cultivar, Toni. Don't know which one...there are only about a billion. It reminds me somewhat of H. helix 'Tanya'. They've come out with several lobe-less varieties. You'll know for sure if this infant plant comes down with a case of spider mites, lol.

I vote that everyone stops buying plants at these big box stores until they start using proper labels.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Flora, problem, if it resembled Hedera Helix I'd have known it was an ivy, but it doesn't so I didn't. lol.

Some in the states call ivy, English Ivy or just plain Ivy. It varies. There's probably a zillion common names that goes with each variety.

Rhizo..I found one picture of an adult 'Tanya,' but it's hard to tell.
I had no idea ivy's grew berries..Nice.

Actually, I was curious if the Walmart plant was an ivy, period.

I have pretty good luck as far as ivy and mites go. Thank God...Watch, tomorrow I'll check my other ivy and it'll have a zillion webbs. Thanks, Rhizo, lol.

I agree voting against buying from big-box stores until they include proper tagging..only problem is, during winter months, since the cold prevents us from having plants delivered, where would be shop???

Many shoppers insert tags in pots other than the pot it was originally inserted. When I worked at Rentokil and HD, I felt like SCREAMING at these, ahem, people. For some strange reason, company policy forbids doing such a thing. lol.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Looks like "Royal Hustler" to me. I picked up one from Exotic Angel a couple of years ago, and I've seen it from other places since then. (Alas, mine got devoured by spider mites last spring; I salvaged a couple of cuttings, but it really hasn't bounced back yet.)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hmmmm. 'Royal Hustler' looks like it has very obvious lobes. Or the images I see in google aren't correct. Like THAT never happens, lol.

Toni, Hedera helix has two very distinct forms. The juvenile form is the one that most of us are used to. When this juvie climbs up the tree or wall and is allowed to develop naturally, the adult form will show up. The leaves change, the ivy looses its vining habit, and the plant will flower and fruit. We prevent this unbecoming stage by keeping the ivy pruned and clipped.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:27PM
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My 'Royal Hustler' has sorta-diamond-shaped leaves, exactly like Toni's picture. Of course, it's possible mine was mislabeled, it IS an Exotic Angel after all. ;)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Cliss, that's it, Royal least that's the name on the label, in tiny, tiny print. Didn't notice it at first...had to use a magnifying glass. lol.
Thanks so much.

So, yours had/s Mites? What type of care was it getting? Room temp, light, etc?


Are you saying, Hedera Helix we're used to, or the other form changes shape as it matures?

Why is it unbecoming? I don't understand. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 1:36PM
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I live in a steam-heated apartment with no central A/C. As a result, over the summer, I have temperatures in the 70's and 80's, humidity at 50% plus -- my ivies tend to go dormant.

Come autumn, they perk up as the temperatures and humidity drift down; autumn is a major growth period, as temps stay in the 70s and humidity 40% plus. They slow down a bit come winter (temperature in the 60s, humidity down around 25-35%) but are OK.

Last spring, though, the temperature started rising faster than the humidity... In March/April I was having temps in the 70s with humidity still down around 30%. The spider mites took that as an invitation and moved in. My major loss was my wonderful 10-year-old "Thorndale"...

R.I.P., they'd eaten out its heart before I realized they were there. I lost two others, and have some more that are still really scraggly and growing back. General lesson: If temps are high and humidity is low, mites looooooove ivy. :/

This year I plan on giving my ivies weekly showers through February, then proactively treat them with azadirachtin (miticide) in March... We'll see if that holds 'em off.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 5:17PM
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birdsnblooms are SO lucky you have steam heat! We have vents..The only other harsher heating system would be a space heater.

Space heaters REALLY dry the air. Had one before moving here. My plants didn't like it, and I couldn't breathe.

Cliss, your Thorndale is the most beautiful Ivy I've ever seen. It's also the largest.

This is my opinion, but I believe your 'Thornsdale' attracted Spider Mites because-----

Thornsdale is a cold-hardy, Zones 3-6 Hedera. Hederas from Zones 7 and up are less-likely to attract mites.

For example, Hederas such as Algerian/Canariensis, hardy zones 7-10 are easier caring for indoors, less likely attracting insects.

If you intend on getting another Ivy, find one hardy to zones 7-10.

IMO, high humidity isn't especially needed, cool rooms are.

Winter indoors: Temps range from 68-70F..Some rooms are cooler..55-65F range. My variegated Canary Ivy is placed in a cool room, often cold at night. Humidity varies..My Ivy sits on a shelf w/succulents..succulent side is less humid than the other/tropical side.

Tropical side has a small, indoor fountain, plants are misted daily, hosed in the sink/showered, several times throughout winter..Succulents are showered once, no misting.

Even though I keep a humidifer and indoor fountain running, humidity can drop as low as 35%. Touch something and zap, electric shock..Ulk, hate that feeling. Sparks go flying..

My Ivy never had mites..In fact, the times I've killed ivy was due to insufficent watering.

Last, my plants are sprayed every 2-3 wks with a home-made, organic insecticide I made up years ago. NO chemicals..

Cliss, all I've said is just my opinion, but based on experiences growing Ivy.

I'll see how it goes w/the Ivy from Walmart..Now that I got a name, I also have something to work with.
I've never heard of Wrestler before, so will have to research zones, etc.

Thanks for everything..Toni

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Only problem with steam heat is that you really have no control over the temperature, you're at the mercy of the boiler... I can either have the radiators turned on (leading to temps in the 80s real fast) or have them turned off (leading to ice on the inside of the windows on really cold nights). Which is a big problem for my sun room, which is less well-insulated than the rest of the apartment.

My experience re ivy has been a bit different from yours... In ten years, I never had any problems with spider mites on my 'Thorndale' before last year (when they suddenly rose up and killed it). On the other hand, I had a plain green Algerian ivy for about five years, and had to fight off spider mites every six months... I finally got annoyed and tossed it last year when they jumped to my Pothos and started mauling it before I caught them. (The Pothos pulled out, but many of the leaves are dimpled and distorted; I'm going to prune it way down this summer and let it grow back. Happily I took some cuttings in 2010, so I still have a nice-looking one in my bathroom.)

In any case, much as I'd like to get a 'Gloire de Marengo', I'm not sure I want another Algerian ivy around. :/

I'm not really fond of sprays, I don't like cleaning up residues on my walls and floor. I've used Safer's sometimes if I only have one problem plant to deal with but if I'm worried about infestation I pull out big guns.

I definitely agree that cool temperatures are the way to go, I'm just not able to provide them much of the year, unfortunately.

Oh, and responding to your question to Rhizo re mature ivies... Mature ivies develop thick, woody stems that really want to attach to something solid (like a tree or a wall) for support, which would be kind of a pain indoors. (We've got 'em all over the place in the neighborhood where I live/work, you could NOT just stake these up!) I've read that some cultivars with small or unusually-shaped leaves are prone to reversion on maturity, as well -- I don't know if that's true or not. There are actually a couple of cultivars out there -- 'Congesta' is the one I remember -- which are dwarf mature ivies, with an upright form that only gets 6-12" high; those might be OK. :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 8:26PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Toni, the ADULT form of 'ivy' (Hedera helix) loses it's usual leaf shape, and it's tendency to adhere to everything and anything. It develops thick stems and turns into an unkempt bushy growth.

They are still juvenile when making a run for it up a tree or brick adults you'll see a nasty looking clump at the very top. You've probably seen it and didn't know what it was.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:50PM
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Cliss, this house has the same problem..lack of insulation.
A month or so ago I walked in the LR..suddenly I felt a cold first I thought it was the humidifer. Nope, wrong direction. I finally found where the draft was coming from.
The wall between the LR and front plant room/entry room. An enclosed room, inside the house. I ended up placing a sheet of plastic on the floor/wall.

Can you not position the radiator valve half way? Adjust to lower but not cold temps?

A long-time friend had a 6-foot, steam radiator enclosed with cover in her LR. She placed hanging plants above (and on) the radiator, including two, huge Plumosis and Asparagus Ferns..they grew down to the floor, were deep green and compact considering length.

Asparagus/Plumosis Ferns, like Ivy, prefer growing outdoors, look their best in cool, even cold temps.
It was never dry in her house.

Growing up, our home had radiators too. I don't recall ever getting shocked during winter when heat was on. Nor did air feel dry. It was much different after moving away into a place w/a space heater, and now vents. Touch something when the air is dry and zap..LOL

If ever we move, the next place will have radiators.

How large was your Algerian after 10-years? Before the mites struck, bet it was beautiful.

Cliss, I'm not telling you what to do, but if you get another Algerian, would it be possible misting/showering daily? Leaves not soil.
Even though I mist daily, and 'try' showering weekly, plants that are mite magnets are brought to the sink more than other plants..I sprinkle a couple drops of dish soap in my hands, rub on leaves, then rinse. It works, mites aren't a problem.

Wonder if you and Rhizo mean Ivys that cling onto brick buildings outdoors.
Don't see ivy growing on homes these days..
Wish we had a brick home, I'd plant Boston Ivy..Love its red coloring in autumn.

Sounds like you really like Ivy. If not Algerian, why not try a miniature?
Home Depot had an intesting mini. Leaves were a little less than 2", shape, cup-like. Leaves, light green with pink-red veins. Very very pretty. I'm sorry I didn't buy one..they sat forever, then marked down to 1.00..Planted in cups, 'no drainage,' decorated with Easter bunny stakes. The cup alone was worth

Hi Rhizo..To be honest, I've never seen or can't recall seeing mature Ivy..Unless you're talking about Ivy that grows on brick??

If so, it's been 100-years spying a home/building covered in Ivy..Is outdoor-grown Hedera what you mean? Toni

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:14PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

When Rhizo talks about 'mature ' ivy it doesn't just mean mature in terms of age. An ivy plant can be many years old but if it has never reached the top of its support it will not produce the unlobed foliaged, flowering and fruiting stage. This is unlikely ever to happen indoors. In its natural habitat ivy's Autumnal flowering and Winter berrying makes it a very important wildlife resource. In the US it makes ivy an invasive pest.

The picture at the link shows the two forms - note these pictures are of the same plant, just different forms.

BTW Boston Ivy is not a true ivy i.e. it is not a Hedera.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ivy

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:36PM
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I only had the Algerian for maybe 7 or 8 years, and never quite managed to figure out where I could put it for the best light, so it was always a bit on the scrawny/etiolated side. It did send vines out for a good 4-5 feet at its peak, but never branched. (Looking back now that I've dived into houseplant knowledge more, I probably should've pruned it back a few times to encourage branching. Oh, well.)

I'll definitely consider misting more if I ever get another one. Not sure I want the trouble, though; the only plant I have that I mist regularly now is a Tillandsia, and then only when the humidity is below 50%.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Oh, and re radiator valves... If you try to open a radiator less than all the way, you can get into a situation where steam condenses around the valve when the heat goes down, then boils off when the heat starts to come back up. The boiling makes the radiator rattle, clank and bang like you wouldn't believe (and can also damage the valve long-term). So... Not really an option I want to pursue. :)

They *do* make thermostats to attach to radiators, which are supposed to provide some level of more sophisticated temperature control; but all the ones I've found so far aren't designed for the kind of radiators I have.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:12PM
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Flora, I think the mature is prettier than young Ivy. :)

Hardy Ivy sold in IL is Hedera Helix, sp. However, Bostin isn't Hedera...
I'll try sending a link..hope it works..never did this before.

If the link doesn't work, go to directgardening in IL, type in Ivy in the Seach box, top, left. Click on Seach. Many of my garden plants were purchased at DG.

Hey Cliss. Can't recall if you mentioned whether or not you summered your Alegerian outdoors in summer?

Honestly, Ivy gets spindly during winter months..What part of your Algerian would you prune? From the soil line?
I've never tried pinching, maybe that will work.
It'd be difficult, don't you think?

If anything, Tills need a ton of humidity. Which Till do you have, and is it attached to bark, etc? Pic?

Yesterday, we went to a local green house..Oh would I LOVE having 1/8th gh space, they do..

I should have brought my camera..we go there once every year or two..
Anyway, they had animal-shaped, Ivy topiaries. That section of gh was on the cool side, 'not cold,' and very humid. They were displays, not for sale..Wonder if something similiar would work indoors? lol.

Too bad about your radiators. I remember, as a child, my mother would turn the valves..either too cold or too hot. lol.
Don't know if turning the valve would have caused problems, 'in the long run.'
Is there a control on your furnace that can be adjusted? Lower or higher?
Cliss, I'm talking speculation. I don't know a darn thing about heating systems, lol.

Wonder how a thermostat provides temp control? Have you checked Ebay or Amazon? Toni

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Neither of my last two apartments had any place I could put plants outside, so no, the Algerian was never summered outdoors.

I'd probably play it by ear... Trim a few leaves off the end of a vine, see what happens, then try trimming more or less depending on the response. I've been experimenting with some H. helix that way, and many of them are responding pretty well.

My Tillandsia ionantha (I think that's what it is) is just sitting in a cup. It actually does OK at relatively low humidity (25-30%) as long as it gets misted daily plus a 2-3 hour soaking once a week. It did really take off last summer when I put it in my sun room and it got serious humidity, though -- it even bloomed!

Of course, now it's trying to pup, so I'm not sure it'll make it through the lower humidity this winter the way it did last winter. :P

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Hey Cliss,

Most, not all my plants are summered outdoors.
Proper light, humidity and fresh air does autumn, plants are lush, beautiful specimens.

There is a down-side though. Some, not all but some get accustomed to summer conditions...A month or so later leaves can drop..especially when a home is hot and dry..Decline depends on the plant.

Ivy would probably do fantastic outdoors, but may take a turn for the worse weeks after brought inside. Since Ivy is a mite magnet, chances are, they'll be infested.

I have no option when it comes to keeping ivy indoors during summer.. We don't have a/c, so the house gets super hot. Too hot for Ivy.

Cliss, your Till is absolutely its red coloring.
Does it sit in a cup without growing medium?

Years ago, I bought a hanging decoration. An 8", round, plastic globe w/slits..inside are small, fish statues. It would make a nice, little terreriaum. Problem is, I don't know if it'd need soil, etc. What do you think? Toni

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:33PM
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We have a lot of people in this neighborhood who use ivy as groundcover. Every summer, I spot a couple "lawns" that are just solid masses of web. The ivy is robust enough to not care -- it can muddle through to the next heavy rainstorm, which washes 'em all away -- but, yeah, I'd expect any ivy that got summered outdoors to have some major mite issues.

My Tilly is just sitting in a cup... Or on top of the cup, in the picture above. The red coloring only showed up as it was getting ready to bloom, it faded over the next month or so. No growing medium; most Tillandsia -- especially the smaller ones, like T. ionantha -- only use their roots to cling, and then only if they're kinda coaxed. If you poke around, you can find lots of pictures of T. ionantha sitting in little glass or plastic globes, so I'd guess it'd work pretty well for you.

The watering does get tricky in low-humidity situations. You need to submerge them in water for a couple hours a week, but if the nooks and crannies don't dry out quickly enough afterwards, they can rot... I bought two other species at the same time I got this one, but both of those ended up rotting out before I figured out how to "drain" them properly after soaking.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Morning Cliss,

Ivy as groundcover..that is interesting. Do they mow or let it grow freely?
To be honest, I'd rather have Ivy or 'X' groundcover than

On one side of our house, small-size, about 8" tall Hosta grows..To be honest, I have no idea how it got there.
The Hosta started moving outwards, towards the front, taking over the grass. If it was up to me, I'd allow it to cover the entire area. lol.

So the red on your Tillandsia is the start of a flower, not color of leaves? It's so pretty..
Do Tills grow pups? Also, does mom plant die after flowering? Like Bromiliads?

I've never had luck w/Tills. Maybe they rotted, but I was unaware..I bought one Till that was glued to a pumpkin. It lived about 4-years, but died last summer.

I never submerged in water, that could have been the problem..poor little Till was only misted every few days.

Most would think Tills need little care..just place in a cup..but there's a lot more work involved. But, like they say, "if at first you don't succeed".....

Cliss, do you grow plants other than Tills and Ivy? Toni

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 12:05PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

hopeful - I'm not sure whether your note about Boston ivy not being Hedera was for me or whether you were starting a new paragraph. If you look back at my post you'll see I wrote, 'BTW Boston Ivy is not a true ivy i.e. it is not a Hedera.' I have its relation Parthenocissus henryana growing up the back of my house.

But thanks anyway.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Hi Flora. I apologize..should have addressed you by name before going on. Actually, I was talking to you. :)

Remember I said I'd like to grow Boston Ivy if we had a brick house?
When you explained Boston wasn't Hedera, 'I didn't know before you mentioned it,' I meant, I'd like to grow a hardy Ivy (if Boston is hardy) even though it's not Hedera, like you stated.

Make sense? Probably not. I have the entire house to clean, plants to work on, and here I

Thanks for informing me Boston isn't Hedera. Except for pictures, I've never seen (Boston) closeup.
Don't know if they're shaped, young or adult, like Hedera or totally different. Most pics show homes w/Boston climbing up an entire wall/'s hard to make out singular leaf shapes..

Flora, are zones in UK similar to those in US? In other words, after your screen name it says SW UK 8/9. Would UK zones 8/9 compare to, oh let's say Florida? Warm, semi-tropical?

Any UK plants that we in US would buy as a house plant? Tropical, semi-tropical or succulent?

I sometimes watch Victory Gardens. Every week, they visit gardens in different countries. The last show I caught was filmed in Italy. Beautiful country..Olive and Citrus trees. So many other beautiful plants.

They once went to England, but I missed most of the show. However, a huge local park and green houses/conservatory has an English Garden.
Although it's beautiful, most of their plants are repeats..For example, numerous Lambs ears. Heirloom Roses.
Plants that can be grown in a garden, but not as a house plant. Toni

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Hi, Toni...

Ivy as groundcover: No, they don't mow it, they just let it grow wild. We have lots of "lawns" that are 8'x4' or smaller, ivy is a popular thing to drop in there that doesn't require any real care. It's also popular under trees that are providing enough shade that grass won't do well (or where previous owners have surrounded the tree with paving stones, and the current owners want something green there but don't want the trouble of ripping up the pavers).

Tillandsia (or T. ionantha at least) blush right before blooming. It is the leaves turning colors, they just revert back to green after blooming (or mine did at least). And yeah, like other bromeliads, they bloom once then die -- hopefully after producing a few offsets. Mine has two pups right now, but they're reeeeaallllllly tiny and growing reeeeaaallly slowly... I'm not sure if that's because of suboptimal conditions or if they're just that slow. I only have the one Till at the moment, I've had it for about two years at this point... I'm debating getting a couple more. Not sure where I'd winter them, though.

Other plants? Um, too many, probably, especially given that I'm still pretty much a well-read novice... :) I'm growing Aloe, Haworthia, Sansevieria, Cryptanthus, and assorted succulents under lights. Philodendrons, spider plants, holiday cacti, and assorted tropicals in my sun room. I have a Hoya which is about to bloom, and I repotted two Dorstenia over the weekend -- one I let go in its original heavy mix for too long and all the roots rotted off, but the caudex is still firm, so I'm hoping it'll re-root now that it's in a better mix. So, yeah. I figure I'm not too far gone as long as I still have less than Mr. Subjunctive. ;)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Hi Cliss,

Groundcover sounds right up my alley. No mowing, and something other than grass. LOL.

One of two groundcovers I like is Ajuga with variegation. The other I can't name. It's a vine..leaves and stems are purple. From mid-summer to autumn, bean-like pods, 'seeds' grow off the vines. This plant has insignificant white flowers, but they're cute. Adds contrast to purple leaves.

I don't envy you attempting to root the pups..yes, too tiny for sure. lol

My Bromiliad has 4 pups. I'm waiting for the pups to grow half the size of mom..then off they come..But Brom pups are big, Tills are not.
I'd be afraid dividing, cutting into roots..I'd be so nervous, the poor plant would be torn apart, lol. You must have steady hands, and good concentration.
Have you rooted Tills before? Or Broms?

I've seen Tills for sale on Ebay and Till nurseries. Some have red tops. They're Beautiful!!!
The few Tills and Cryptanthus I've had never grew pups. Must be doing something wrong.

The easist Brom that grew from a pup, and flowered, 'two-years later,' lol was A. fasciata. I was so very proud of that Bromiliad.
The young flower grew from the vase..bright pink, very few speckles. Then, it was knocked down, off came the bloom.
I noticed as soon as I walked in the room, then shouted, 'WHO KNOCKED DOWN MY PLANT!!!' The culprit set the flower back in the vase..I'm very observant when it comes to my plants. Naturally, the bloom didn't stand erect..instead it was leaning. I was SO upset I tossed the entire plant in the trash.

I've read, if a Bromiliad flower is removed before pups, the plant will never again bloom or produce pups.
Guess it's similar to certain bulbs. If foliage is removed before brown and dead, plant might not come up or bloom the following year.

Hmm. a novice with many many plants, lol.
Cliss, you must not be a novice with the amount of plants you have...unless they're lying

Do you know the species of your Dorstenia?
On Valentine's Day, I was given Dorstenia gigas..It's so very nice, love the leaves. Texture is amazing.
Curious how you care for yours.
Oh, reread your have two Dorstenias..The same types?

I hope you can save your Dorstenia. Caudex/thick-trunk succulents are my favorites.

Not the best pics, too's my new Valentine's Dorstenia..

You know Mr Subjunctive?? How's he doing? I haven't seen him in ages. I hope he's well. If you get a chance, tell him Toni says, hi.

I don't know the number of plants Mark has nowadays, but when he was a regular, like most others here, he started adding to his

Working in a plant store contributes to our addiction. :)

Well, Cliss..that's about it. Maybe you can make a Till tried it, ONCE. Cut a branch from a Maple Tree. Cemented the bottom in a pot. Then attached tills to the branches..It didn't work. lol. Not enough light or humidity. It'd work outdoors, but not indoors. lol

Take care, and have a nice day, Toni

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Yeah, if I ever actually buy a house, I'm likely to tear up all the grass and just put in groundcover. Ideally something that doesn't need much water. :)

This is my first ever Tillandsia, so it's all new to me. (Well, I technically bought two others at the same time as this one, but they both died, so I'm declaring this one "first".) Right now the pups are teeeeeeny... Barely peeping out from beneath the mother plant's leaves. I've seen on the web where Tillandsia pups just kind of stick together and form a ball, so I'm hoping to go for that rather than separating them, we'll see. Since there's no medium I don't need to worry about "rooting" them, it's mostly a question of not accidentally getting too much water on them and rotting them out.

In the Bromeliad department, I've had OK luck with Cryptanthus pupping and water-rooting the pups... I haven't had any pups around long enough to see if they really "took" yet, though. For other broms, I have a couple of Neoregelia and a Vriesia(? I think) that I got on clearance which turned out to be post-bloom, and the V. and one of the Neos pupped nicely... I haven't tried separating and rooting the pups, though.

Sorry to hear about your Aechmea... That'd drive me mad, too. Happily my cats stay away from my plants, so I'm the only one who's likely to knock them down.

As for being a novice... Well, the thing you have to understand is that only four of my plants are more than two years old, and more than half of them are less than one year old. It's mostly a case that when I decided to start doing houseplants I dove in head first. On the bright side, winter last year took a much heavier toll than winter this year (to date at least), so I must be learning *something*. :)

One is a Dorstenia foetida, the other NOID, just found it at the Chicago Cactus & Succulent show labeled "Dorstenia". Both of them are pretty small still, not nearly as dramatic as yours... That's lovely.

I don't know Mr. Subjunctive, I just follow his blog faithfully, so I'm familiar with his plant count. ("Mr_Subjunctive has 935 plants at home (excluding cuttings, seeds, a terrarium, outdoor stuff, aquarium plants, etc.) as of 18 Feb 2012, which was the last day this number changed." Eep!)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Hey Cliss..

Either ground-cover or've had major ant problems the last three years..
They managed to chase Ear-Wigs

Dividing Till pups sound complicated. I need to see roots, lol.

I imagine pups must be a certain size before removing?

What size do you allow Brom pups to get before dividing?
Don't wait too long..

I didn't know Crypt pups could be rooted in water. As soon as you see growth, you'll know they're alive and well.

Cliss, of course you're learning. Think about the length of time your Tills/Crypts/Broms been around.
Air plants are not the easiest growers.

Cliss, where in Chicago did you locate a Cactus & Succulent show?
Oak Park Conservatory has C&S's meetings every other Wed. I've considered joining.

Botanical Garden's has classes and shows, but it's a long ways from Brookfield.

Navy Pier Flower and Garden Show is coming up, but I stopped going in the late 90's..Too many un-related plant stands. Insurance, mobile homes..what does insurance have to do with plants? lol.
Some vendors I know/knew stopped attending. They said it wasn't worth the trouble.

Lord, Mark's has really added plants since the last time he and I Easy to do.

There's no sun, at all today. Yesterday I removed every single succulent in LR windows. I make a batch of home-made insecticide, and spray foliage per plant.
Because it's so dark, I fear spraying anything other than plain water.

I've been applying insecticide one room per day. 7+ rooms where plants reside, so it takes a week or so.

Yesterday, I sprayed Philodenrons, noticed a good number need repotting..I should get to it today, otherwise they'll need daily watering.

Ivy and ferns need fertilizing, so I plan on adding slow-release. Ferns get acidic, Rhodo fert. Ivy are fertilized with Fish Emulsion alternated with All Purpose.

Now that plants are waking, they need nutrients AND repotting.

If you'd rather not say, I understand, Since you mentioned a Chicago plant show, do you live in IL? Toni

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:19PM
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So far I haven't tried dividing any of my bromeliads. Well, apart from the Cryptanthus that sort of fell apart when I was repotting it, I have those pups rooting now... They're going kind of slowly, though. How fast the Crypt pups water root seems to vary by cultivar. "Snow Goose" and "Burgundy" rooted really fast (roots started appearing after a week or so), at the other extreme I have a "Red Satin"(?I think) pup that's been in water since the end of August with no sign of roots. It looks perfectly fine (no spots, no dry leaves, no rot), it just isn't rooting. Very frustrating. Other cultivars are somewhere in between. (I ordered an assortment by mail order, most of them arrived as unrooted pups.)

For the others, I like the look of the clustered pups in the same pot, so I'm going to see what happens if I just leave them alone.

The C&S show was at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, yeah. I live in Chicago, down in Hyde Park; I made my way up there for the C&S show by public transportation in 2010 and then rented a car last year, so I could wander around a few other places and make a day of it. This year the C&S show is on the same weekend as the bromeliad show, so I'm definitely laying plans to rent a car again. :) Unfortunately, since I don't own a car, making it to the regular C&S meetings just isn't practical.

I went to the Navy Pier show last year... Ted's Greenhouse was there, so I did end up buying some plants, but I'm still not sure it was worth the entry fee. Haven't decided if I'm going this year yet, I keep wavering back and forth.

I'm taking about one day a month to do repotting, trying to hit the ones most in need first... Since I'm growing so much under lights I can do that year round. I'm definitely targeting for some repotting in my sun room April-ish. At least two Philodendrons, a croton, a Peperomia or two, several holiday cacti... I'll have a time figuring out where to start.

What do you use for your insecticide?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Morning Cliss,

Good luck rooting your Tills.
Hope you can open this link...isn't it gorgeous?

Maybe your Tills are taking longer to root due to time of year???

I too like the look of different variety Crypts growing in one container.
A shallow pot would probably do well, right?

How about an Aechmea in the center, surrounded by Crypts? Preferably pups. That'd be a nice setup.

I wish Botanical Gardens wasn't so far north. Seems, places to visit, are always up north..

You're far south, so the ride is a long hike for you, too.

Can't recall the year, but we went to BG's the same wkend a Bromiliad and Succulent show was being held..I didn't know BG's sold plants, but what a surprise! LOL

How long did it take by public transportation? Heck, it's a long drive by car..

We used to haul our bikes from Brookfield to Caldwell St. Ride through the bike trail until we reached BG's. A good 25 miles from Caldwell to BG's. Browse their gardens and of course, the 3 green houses. Bike back to the car, then the long, tiring drive home.

I didn't bring much cash, so the only plant I bought was Sansevieria cylindrica...vendor charged 11 for this Sans, in a 3" pot. One of the least expensive succulents. lol.

Did you browse the green houses and gardens? If not, next time you go, you must have a look-see.

When is their next show? If it's warm enough, I'd like to go. Warm meaning at least 75F. lol.

Discounts are 'usually' available for Navy Pier Show. Used to be. They're prices are way too high. And Parking!!! Last time we went, parking alone cost 27.00. We missed the shuttle bus, so ended up walking a little over a mile. One, tiny cup of pop, 1.75.
I bought a few plants, lol. When we left, temps dropped, 'you know how windy the city is,' and snowing, big time. Temps were frigid. By the time we got home, 2 out of 3 plants were frost-bitten.

I first met Ted at Navy Pier Show in the mid-90's. We started talking..I was delighted to hear Ted's Nursery existed, and located south instead of north of the city.
Bought a Dracaena Draco that day.

A few days later, I was off to Ted's. What a nursery!!
Did you ever go to Jamacan Gardens? One was in Morton Grove, the other Libertyville.
Both stores closed their doors 2009 or 2010. Terrible, just awful. They too had some real rarities.

Anyway, Cliss, regarding BG's, owning a car, 'w/high gas costs,' isn't practical.

Oak Park Conservatory has C&S's meetings every other Wed. Think it's 15.00 per year to join..A great deal!

You're better off going to Ted's Nursery than Navy Pier. The money you spend on entry fee, parking or public trans, drink/food, and over-priced plants can instead go directly to Ted's
Ted told me he visits other locations every so often, plus Tinley Park is having a plant show in March. I might go, but no way will I head downtown only to be ripped off. Vendors acting like car dealers, trying to sell insurance! Unspeakable!

Cliss, although I advise people not to repot during winter months, I've been doing it all along. Lights or no lights.
I don't touch succulents, but if a tropical is in dire need of a larger home, where it needs daily watering, it's repotted.

As long as one is careful, don't disturb roots, there's really no problem, but that's between me and my plants..:)

Yep, gotta start somewhere. I mix up my soils, ahead of time, then ready to go.

Ever read/watch James Underwood Crockett, the original Victory Garden's host? He also authored indoor and garden books.
In one of his house plant books, he explains what needs doing from Jan-Dec. I learned a lot from this man, and pretty much follow his ideas.


I mix 2-4 drops dish soap, garlic, hot pepper, citrus, and sometimes mouth wash in water the day before spraying.
To prevent or rid Scale, Fish Emulsion with the above ingredients. If FE is used, it cannot be kept overnight.
The mix doesn't smell like roses, but works. lol.

Cliss, I made up this mix in the late 80's, early 90's. Because we have birds, and I simply dislike chemicals, I came up with this idea when I first found mites on a Croton.

All except FE should be sprayed once every other week..w/FE once a month.

What type of Philos do you have?

I'm happy meeting another Chicagoian. lol. Toni

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Yeah, that Tillandsia tree is gorgeous... I'd like to do something like that, either with Tillandsia, Neoregelia, or maybe holiday cacti. I don't really have the room, though. (Unless I take away my cats' tree, which is in the only good spot. I expect they'd object to that, though. :) )

The slow pup growth on my Tilly is almost certainly due to the season... It's not getting as much light as it'd like, and it's *really* not getting the humidity it'd like. I have the pieces to put together a terrarium for it, which would probably help, but I haven't had the time to put it all together. Once my sun room starts getting reliable warm temps and high humidity again, I'm going to move it back out there, I'm hoping it'll pick up at that point.

Crypts seem to do well in shallow pots, but you do need something pretty wide for the bigger ones... I have a few in 5" azalea pots just so I have space to water around the leaves.

North, West, South, all the good plant stuff is in the 'burbs and too far away from where I sit. ;) Getting up to the BG by public transportation took something like 2-3 hrs, I think... Metra downtown, 'L' to some northern stop, then a Pace bus for a fair distance. Might've even had to change buses, I don't remember for sure any more. Definitely an adventure. I've wandered through the greenhouses, but not much out into the grounds... I've only been up there in the summer, and I'm not a fan of summer heat.

There's only one C&S show per year, and only one Bromeliad show, too, it looks like... They're both on July 21-22 this year, which definitely makes it a good-looking time to attend. Also dangerous to the wallet, but hey, isn't that the case for most collection-type hobbies?

Since I have to rent a car to make it out to Ted's, and I could just take the Metra and a bus to Navy Pier, it's definitely cheaper to just go to the Navy Pier show. On the other hand, the selection actually at Ted's is *much* better than what they can bring to a show. Of course, see above about dangers to the wallet, that might really be another good point for the Pier.

I've heard of Victory Garden, but I've never seen it, and I'm not familiar with Crockett. Worth tracking down?

"2-4 drops dish soap, garlic, hot pepper, citrus"... Wow, that's pretty powerful. Not sure *I* could get too near that... ;)

I have the basic green Philodendron scandens/hederaceum/oxycardium/whatever-they're-calling-it-this-week, two cultivars of it ('Brasil' and what I think is 'Lemon/Lime'), and a tiny P. 'McColley's Finale' in a 2" square pot, all in need of repotting. Also a Scindapsus pictus var. argyraeus, which I count as a Philodendron no matter what they say.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:02PM
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