Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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1fish2fish 03-17-2010 02:26 PM

Anyone good with houseplants?
I'm trying to slowly get into a little gardening and since I don't have a garden I'm starting out with houseplants. I've had really bad luck keeping the few that my Mom gave me alive but I want to try again.

I just bought a really nice looking silver philodendron (scindapsus pictus argyraeus) and I don't want to kill it. Right now it is in a smallish plastic pot, I would say 4-5" in diameter, that is sitting in a more decorative pot that doesn't have drainage holes (the little pot the plant is actually in does). I read that they need humidity and to spray them daily and put stones in the bottom of the pot with a little water so I'll be doing that.

It also says to fertilize a few times a year with a liquid fertilizer... any suggestions on brands?

Also how do I know when a plant needs to be re-potted?

I have another plant that is in a similar pot (I got them both at lowes) that is another leafy plant but looks more like a prayer plant but with striped leaves. It has roots coming out of the small pot but I'm not sure if it needs a bigger pot yet or not. The leaves have been turning yellow and brown... any ideas what could be causing that? I don't water it unless it feels dry.

I have bigger pots and potting soil but I don't have any loam or peat which all the websites I've looked on say I need to re-pot... some even say I need charcoal

Can anyone help?

vaygirl 03-17-2010 03:22 PM

One thing I can tell you is houseplants love old fish water. I use all my old fish water in my plants and it acts as a fertilizer too if you've gravel vac-ed. I sometimes us miracle grow too and I love it. It easy to mix with water and they tell you how often to use.

The best thing to do is to find out for sure what they are and then find an online care sheet for them. If they need partial shade (and I think they do) then an indirect sunlit window is good, or a window that only gets full sun for a short time. If they prefer a lot of humidity a good place for them is the bathroom. Or the tray of rocks and water works well too. Just put in under the pot and make sure the pot isn't sitting in the water.

For the any in a decorative pot without holes: When you water, after about 10 minutes go back and empty the decorative pot and put the plant back in. Most plants will get root rot if left to sit in water. Overwatering can cause yellow and brown leaves.

I usually repot when I can remove them easily from their pot and there are a lot of roots coming out the bottom. Just try and untangle the roots a bit when you repot. Give them a good shake. You can get peat at home depot or somewhere like that. I've never used charcoal. But I imagine you could use old charcoal from your tanks? I bet they'd like it. :)

1fish2fish 03-17-2010 03:30 PM

Hmm.. fish water.. I'll have to try that out. The philo I'll put some gravel in the bottom of the planter with a little water for humidity (its really humid in savannah anyways), I'll also get a sprayer and spritz it daily. Here's a pic... I think its doing well for now.

My other plant is called a "Calathea cocinna" here are some pics:

I have a pot for it and potting soil I'm just not sure if I should put something besides just potting soil in the pot when I transfer it.. I have some miracle grow to help it take better.

vaygirl 03-17-2010 04:23 PM

The first one looks lovely! Phils are hard to kill! Really hard to kill. Mine love fish water.

The brown tips on the other are probably lack of humidity so the tray and spritzing should do the trick. For Prayers the soil should stay moist all the time (don't let it dry out, ever) but it shouldn't be wet, meaning if you press your finger into the dirt that no water seeps out but it feels damp. They recommend repotting in the spring but letting a new plant hang out for two weeks before repotting. From what I read, they're sensitive. They don't like a lot of direct sun and they love humidity and 60-80 degrees and they hate drafts or temp changes. Kinda like fish. :D

Hope that helps. I'm a mad gardener outside and I think indoor plants are WAY harder. The only ones I've kept successfully are Christmas Cactus, Phils, and Aloe.

1fish2fish 03-17-2010 05:33 PM

Haha.. the first one just came home on sunday.. so I haven't had time to get the black thumb to it lol

I never spritzed the plant so thats probably why its getting dried out. I'm gonna re-pot it then put a little gravel in the shallow dish I got for the pot and keep that wet along with spritzing everyday

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