Black leaves on plants are a big sign that something has gone wrong. While sometimes you can save these poor plants, often times things have gone too far at this stage to fix. Regardless of whether or not it is too late, figuring out what you did wrong can be a vital way to avoid these problems with your other plants. Often by this stage, the plant has irreversible rot and cannot be saved. Before watering, test the soil by sticking a figure about an inch down.
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Watering: Keep soil moist to dry, and allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage blooming. Water from the bottom with room temperature water by placing the plastic grower's pot in water, and allowing the plant to absorb the water not more than 30 minutes. Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause spotting damage. For best results, use violet plant food as directed.
Tips: Pinch off spent blossoms and blossom stems to encourage development of new blooms. Place plants away from floor vents, fans, or entrance doors to avoid air drafts and bursts of cold air.
In general, African Violets need just enough water to keep the soil moist, but never soggy. Overwatering can also cause denitrification, a condition which prevents plants from getting the nitrogen they need. The water should be room temperature, or as close as possible in temperature to the air around your plants. When the water is too cold, it chills the roots of African Violets, causing leaves to curl down as the water is absorbed into the plant.
Also, if watering from the top, cold water can cause leaf spotting. Such spots represent a form of necrosis and, as such, cannot be removed. Note: Whether the water is the correct temperature or not, it is always important not to get water on the leaves.
The only exception to this is when you are spray misting for purposes of quick-feeding or increasing the humidity around your plants. Such misting will not leave behind the large water droplets which, when exposed to the sun, will produce brown spots on the leaves.
Never use soft water. Soft water increases the saline content. This will alter both the pH and the electrical conductivity of the soil, thereby diminishing your African Violet's ability to absorb water and nutrients.
If you have soft water, you may be able to divert water before it reaches the softening unit. If not, you will need to seek an alternative source of water. Avoid using highly chlorinated water.
While some chlorine is actually necessary for photosynthesis to occur, African Violets need very little, i. Such minute traces in the water will not be discernible by smell. In fact, if you can smell chlorine, then your water has too much. The consequences of using water with too much chlorine in it include leaf burn and diminished flowering. If you have highly chlorinated water, and no alternative source is available, dispense water into a container and let stand overnight to allow the chlorine gas to escape.
To insure correct watering, you are strongly encouraged to use a recommended self-watering device, such as the Optimara MaxiWell for 4-inch standard Violets , MiniWell for 1-inch super miniatures or the Optimara WaterShip container, a spill-proof, self-watering device for 2-inch miniatures. By providing the correctamount of water, a good self-watering device will greatly reduce the chances of getting any of the deadly fungi which cause plants to rot.
In addition, because a good self-watering device waters from the bottom, it eliminates the potential hazards of watering from the top, i. Finally, there are some self-watering devices which, while providing the benefits already mentioned, will also increase the humidity in the area immediately around your Violets.
All of the above self-watering devices are available online at the Selective Gardener , a mail order supplier that specializes in plant care products made specifically for African Violets. Light Requirements. The amount of light that an African Violet receives is important for its health and overall performance. They thrive in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light.
African Violets, like other plants, need light for photosynthesis. While photosynthesis is most often associated with a plant's green leaves and stems, its most vital function is to convert carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the form of carbon dioxide and water into usable energy called plant carbohydrates. Even when all the essential nutrients are available to the plant, a complete absence of sunlight will literally result in starvation.
More common, of course, is a plant which simply does not get enough sunlight. In such circumstances, an African Violets will stop flowering and its leaves begin to turn yellow. It is also likely that the African Violet, which is not getting enough sunlight, will become rangy as it develops elongated leaves and stems. While insufficient sunlight can be harmful, too much sunlight can also cause problems.
Among other symptoms, too much sunlight will produce brown spots on the leaves and flowers. This is a form of necrosis analogous to sunburn. In addition, too much sunlight can cause the leaves to curl down and may turn variegated leaves entirely green.
African Violets perform best when they receive a lot of indirect sunlight. While African Violets will tolerate direct sunlight very early or very late in the day, they should, in all other cases, be shielded from direct sunlight.
For best results, place your Violets in a window where they will receive light most of the day, i. Adjust your blinds or use a sheer curtain to filter out some of the light. If you have access to a light meter, the correct luminosity for African Violets is 10, to 12, lux, or about to foot candles. As an alternative, you can get a reasonable approximation of this light value by simply holding your hand over a Violet during the time when it is receiving the brightest light.
If you can barely see the shadow of your hand over the Violet, then it is getting the correct amount of light. Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of sunlight will vary with the seasons.
During the winter months, you may need to allow your African Violets to get more sunlight than they would ordinarily receive. Also, it is important to rotate your African Violets so that they receive an equal amount of sunlight on all sides. They should be rotated one-quarter turn, about once a week or each time you water. If African Violets are not rotated in this manner, they will begin to bend towards the light and grow larger on the side closest to the window.
This reaction is not peculiar to African Violets. For almost all plants, it is simply a phototropic response which allows a plant to get optimal sunlight. If you use artificial lighting, i. First, when selecting a grow light, it is important to make sure it emits light in both the red and blue spectrums. Red light is essential for African Violets to bloom. Blue light is necessary for photosynthesis to occur and, thus, is vital for the development of green leaves and the production of plant carbohydrates.
Second, keep in mind that the intensity of light will increase as the distance from the source decreases. For this reason, it is important to mount your grow light at the proper distance above the plant. If the African Violet is too close to the grow light, it will begin to develop symptoms similar to those resulting from too much sunlight, i. While you should give preference to any instructions accompanying your particular grow light, grow lights should generally be mounted 18 to 20 inches above the tops of standard African Violets.
For miniatures, grow lights may need to be lowered to about 10 to 12 inches above the tops of the plants. Third, it is important to remember that African Violets need at least eight hours of darkness, each day, in order to bloom.
While African Violets need a sufficient duration of light to produce florigen floweringhormone , florigen itself does not trigger blooming until it is dark.
For this reason, African Violets should receive light for no more than 16 hours a day. To properly regulate the duration of light, you may want to consider getting a timer for your grow lights. Finally, you should be aware of a condition peculiar to African Violets which are cultivated under grow lights. This condition is called Leaf Bleaching.
While not all African Violets are sensitive to this condition, those that are will develop leaves which are distinctly lighter on those areas directly exposed to the light. Often, these lighter areas will also exhibit a slight pinkish cast.
The only way to treat this condition is to stop using grow lights and begin using sunlight. Temperature and Air Quality. In terms of temperature, humidity and other factors of air quality, African Violets thrive in an environment which most people would consider pleasant.
Therefore, if you feel comfortable, chances are, your African Violets are feeling comfortable as well. However, in case you are one of those people who thrive in otherwise unhealthy circumstances, you will need to know a little about the conditions preferred by African Violets. In general, you should keep the air temperature, around your African Violets, as close as possible to 70 degrees F.
At the very least, do not allow temperatures to drop below 60 degrees or rise above 80 degrees. Also, while extreme variations in temperature should always be avoided, do not be concerned about slight fluctuations between day and night-time temperatures. In fact, some African Violet hybrids require fluctuations of as much as 10 degrees in order to produce optimal flowering. However, if your African Violets are exposed to extreme temperatures, even for a very short period of time, they may suffer.
When the temperature is too warm, plant growth will become rangy i. If you know that the temperature is too warm, gradually reduce it to about 70 degrees F. While doing so, keep in mind that a change in temperature will have a corresponding effect on transpiration and evaporation rates. Therefore, depending on how long your African Violet has been exposed to excessive heat, you may need to decrease the frequency with which it receives water.
To gauge the impact on water, it will help to know that the rate of evaporation from leaves drops by half with each decrease of 20 degrees F. While excessive heat will cause your African Violets to suffer, they are not nearly as deadly as cold temperatures.
At the very least, African Violets will stop flowering, and plant growth will be slow. In more severe cases, leaves and flowers will rapidly begin to wilt, and the plant will go into shock. Moreover, cooler temperatures leave African Violets vulnerable to such deadly pathogens as Crown Rot, especially when accompanied by excessive moisture. Depending on the extent to which your African Violet has been exposed to cold temperatures, you may or may not be able to save it.
Once an African Violet begins to show symptoms of exposure, it is often too late, especially since it may take up to 36 hours for symptoms to appear. If your African Violet has been exposed to cold temperatures, move it immediately to a place where the temperature is warm. Next, remove any tissue which has become dark and mushy. This will prevent the spread of rot.
And when a fan or AC unit turns on or a window opens, a speckling of soil on lower leaves is inevitable. Though it might be a tedious task, it's important that you clean residue from plant leaves on a regular basis. Photosynthesis is how the plant feeds itself. So periodically cleaning the leaves of your houseplants actually makes less work for you in the long run—and enhances both the plant and your indoor environment.
Cut off brown stems as needed to keep the plant looking neat. and keep leaves clean by wiping them periodically with a wet paper towel.
Certain houseplants thrive with a light spraying. We all know plants need water to survive, and we tend to dispense that water from a faucet or watering can—not from the nozzle of a spray can. But gently misting some houseplants offers a bevy of benefits that will help them thrive over the long haul. So, read on to find out why you might want to add regular misting to your plant care routine, as well as the correct way to do it. Many of our houseplants come from the tropics , where humidity is very high. However, "the air in our homes is generally dry," points out Trey Plunkett, Lowe's lawn and garden specialist. Misting houseplants is a very simple and effective way to boost humidity. Plants with brown or dry leaf tips will benefit from regular misting.
Author: Melanie Dearringer 61 Comments. Bromeliad is the name for a family of plants that is incredibly diverse. There are 2, different species of bromeliads. And just about as many ways to care for them as there are different varieties. That being said there are a few things that will remain true for the majority of bromeliads and general principles of bromeliad care that will remain consistent.
Watering: Keep soil moist to dry, and allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage blooming.
I think it is because the old toothpick-over-water method is such a hit or miss. So I gave it a try myself with a few small tweaks, and a few different sets of pits to experiment. As soon as you remove the pit from the avocado, clean it and soak it in warm water overnight. While this step is technically not required, occasionally a harder husk may prevent the root or shoot from growing properly. Give your avocado seed every advantage you can! Wrap each seed in a wet paper towel.
Last Updated: October 8, By Virginia. Step-by-step instructions to grow basil from seed at any time of year. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors from seed. Since basil is an annual, it grows very quickly. Sprouting from seed, producing an abundance of fresh leaves, then flowering and going to seed all over the course of a few months. Many people choose to grow new basil plants from seed to get a jump start on the season or enjoy fresh basil leaves at any time of year. Depending on the time of year, you can find them in home improvement or garden centers. Step 2: Prepare the soil.
Loosen the roots gently by digging several inches back from the base of the plant on all sides before lifting the clump. Avoid cutting or bruising the bulbs.
Cannas are one of many tender bulbs that must be dug and stored indoors in cold climates. This includes caladium, calla lily, canna, dahlia, elephant ears, gladiolus, tuberous begonias and others. Even though technically they are not all bulbs, the term bulb is used in this article for convenience. Since they are not winter-hardy in our climate, they need special treatment to save for the next growing season.
Failures can be caused by an outside force you have no control over cat digging up your seedlings, a tray of tiny green shoots getting knocked off the table by accident, etc. Overwatering, under watering, not enough light, and more. These mistakes are very common, and not something to feel bad about! This is a sign of damping-off disease fungus organisms that attack seeds and young seedlings, ultimately killing them.
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They may live indoors, but greenery can become just dusty and dirty as their outside counterparts. Which is why you'll need to show them a little TLC to keep them looking lush. The best way to keep your greenery looking green is by wiping the leaves with a moist cloth or sponge, supporting the leaves with one hand to avoid bruising or cracking them as you do this. Use lukewarm water as cold water may leave spots. For smaller indoor plants you can do this task in the sink, larger houseplants can be given a spruce up in the shower.
At Botanopia, we have more than 5, avocado pits under our belt. Here are all our tips so that you too can finally grow your own avocado plant. There are plenty of good reasons to do it. Perhaps you remember the failed attempts as a child, or even recent ones?