Monday, September 24, 2012

Rx for Houseplants

  • Leaf tips turn brown and lower leaves turn yellow and drop off:  Over-watering is the culprit.  Allow the soil to dry and water less often.
  • Leaf tips turn yellow, then brown before drying:  Under-watering--soak pot in water, then water more frequently.
  • Leaves look faded and are streaked with yellow or brown mottling:  Too much light--move plant to less intense light.
  • New growth is elongated, pale and undersized:  Not enough light--move to stronger light.
  • Leaves become yellowish, but veins are green.  Lower leaves drop off and new growth is weak:  Under fertilization--start a schedule of fertilizing.
  • The plant puts on new growth rapidly but the stems are weak and streaked:  Over fertilization--flush the buildup of fertilizer out of the soil by watering the plant several times in a few hours.
  • Leaf edges curl under and dry out:  Too high a temperature in the room--move to a cooker spot.
  • White cottony growth appears in crevices between the leaves and stems:  Mealybugs--dab each bug with rubbing alcohol.
  • Stems and leaves get tiny brown "warts":  Scale--gently scrape the scale off with a knife or fingernail.
  • Leaves get a mottled dusty look.  Eventually there are webs on the branches:  Spider mites--rinse foliage thoroughly with a lukewarm shower.  repeat each week, if necessary.

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