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Keyword Search Results for:
House Plants

3 Found

Question: 36-5201
One of my house plants has a white powder film over the soil. Now and then I see little black gnats. What is it and how can I get rid of it? Frank, New London, CT

Mort's Answer:
Your house plant has a fungus and the little insects are fungus gnats. Take your house plant outdoors, when the temperature is over 55. Spray down wind with malathion. Put a handkerchief over your mouth and nose. This stuff is foul smelling but very effective against insects. Scrap the crust off the soil. Spray again in 10 days. Be sure to spray both the soil and the under leaves If the infestation is not too great, you can use alcohol instead. Fungi usually occur in excessively moist and too highly fertilized soils. Cut off fertilizing until spring. Water less frequently. It would be a good idea to sunbathe your plants in the spring each year unless they are photo sensitive like ficus.

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Question: 37-5201
What are some easy house plants for a novice? Mark, Hartford, CT

Mort's Answer:
Cacti require little or no water in the winter. Succulents require some water. Spiders will tell you that they have too much water. They will get brown tips, if watered too much. They make excellent water sentry plants. Patience, coleus, Purple Passion and many others can be started in water and transplanted into soil. The biggest mistake beginners make is over watering. Put your finger in the soil. If the soil sticks to the skin, The soil is too wet to water. That is my brown thumb rule.

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Question: 1390-4416
Can you suggest house plants that we can put outdoors? We are just getting into gardening. Mark, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Succulents are coming into bloom this time of year. Pepperomia, jade, kalenchoe and Indian rope are just a few of the thick leaved tropicals that need to be indoors from zone 8 north at this time of year. Begonias are also in bloom now. Cacti should be in bloom soon as well. These would be excellent presents for your wife. Wax begonia would be easier than the tuberous begonias. All require south facing windows for the winter. When spring arrives you can put them in the ground or on a patio after the threat of frost.

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