Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium

Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium

I thought I was sitting down to write about dividing Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium bulbs, but upon further investigation I am finding that I’ve never written about this plant! This summer blooming bulb features a white stripe along the leaves and beautiful pink flowers. Also called netted-veined amaryllis, it is a flowering perennial herbaceous bulbous plant, in the family Amaryllidaceae, native to South America.  In my experience Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium does well in low light with minimal watering. The bright white stripe along the midrib is quite striking and adds interest throughout the year. I am growing it as a houseplant (zone 5!) but it will also do well in the landscape in warmer climates. The trumpet shaped flowers of this amaryllis are a special treat during the months of September and October.… Read Full...
Should I remove succulent flowers?

Should I remove succulent flowers?

This is a tough question. “Should I remove my succulent flowers?” has been asked at more than one presentation over the years. My preference is yes, but let’s look at the pros and cons of both options. An argument for keeping succulent flowers The aeonium flowers above are beautiful on their own. Their bright yellow color is a welcome site in winter. Succulent flowers come in a wide variety of shapes and colors, but most are not nearly as showy as these– and I hate to ruin the ending, but I still cut these off! However, if this is the first time you have seen your succulents flower and you want to experience it for yourself, go ahead and let that baby bloom.… Read Full Post

Farfugium as a houseplant

I’ve had a love affair with Farfugium for a long time. When we moved from Florida to Iowa I brought one along to try the lovely farfugium as a houseplant. The good news is that it is flourishing! The big, bold leaves of farfugium, also known as Leopard Plant, are the main attraction. It is a member of Daisy family, so while it does send up spikes of yellow flowers, to me these seem out of place with the large tropical leaves. I’ve even heard farfugium referred to as Tractor Seat Plant, and I can certainly see that in the broad leaf shape. I first referenced Farfugium on here back in 2015 in my New and Underused Plants post. Back then it was really hard to find.… Read Full Post
Growing orchids indoors this winter

Growing orchids indoors this winter

Having orchids indoors during the winter months is one of the things that keeps me from going crazy during this season. I’m not sure if there is anything better than checking out my orchids indoors while there is snow falling outside! This lovely little miniature orchid was an impulse by from a visit to Home Depot. I am a sucker for all of the things near the checkout line, so a display of small orchids for $6.99 wasn’t even worth fighting. Large or small, you can get an orchid bloom again. I find that most orchid flowers last 3-4 months in our house if they were purchased in good condition with a several of the balloon-like blooms yet to open. What a deal these orchids are compared to cut flowers!… Read Full Post
Controlling mealybugs on succulents

Controlling mealybugs on succulents

Imagine my surprise when I came across a major mealybug infestation on my succulents. Mealybugs on succulents are not rare, however I was surprised to see just how many I (or rather my aeoniums) had to deal with!  I was cleaning up some plants and as I turned this container a half turn, bam! There they were.  How did I get mealybugs on my succulents? That’s a good question. Quite honestly, they’ve probably always been there, but just not in these numbers. Stressed plants are going to be more favorable to mealybugs, so that may be an indicator which plants need some care. Mealybugs on succulents is common and since I did bring in a lot of plants from outside this fall, I may have accidentally brought these pests indoors too.… Read Full Post
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