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ChrisFAQ Indoor Plants



Chris Doolittle
Annuals & Indoor Dept. Manager

Where do I start to decide what plant to buy? First look at how much light your plant will receive in your home or office. How much room will it have to grow? How careful are you when taking care of your plants? Can you tell when a plant needs watering? Does your schedule take you away from your plants for an extended time? Are there any hot or cold drafts where the plants will be?
 
PlantWhat indoor plants are the easiest to grow? Try philodendron, pothos, rubber plants, mother-in-law's tongue, dracaena, spider plants, cast iron plants, or umbrella plants.
 
What plants are hardest-to-kill? You have to really try to kill cast iron plants, philodendron, or mother-in-law's tongue.
 
What does high and low light mean? High light plants require direct or strong sunlight for most of the day. Medium light plants should stay out of direct sunlight but still should be in a bright room. Low light plants should  be away from the window.
 
I don't have much light in my home. What plants could I try? Try cast iron plants, Chinese evergreens, Swedish ivy, or pothos.
 
What about grow lights? You can grow almost any plant including blooming plants with a grow light equipped with a special light bulb for plants.
 
Can you special order a plant for me? Yes, we often look for requested plants. Sometime it takes a while before we can get one shipped in, but let us know what you are looking for and we will call you when we find it. 

What fertilizer do you recommend for indoor plants? We recommend Jack's Houseplant for most indoor plants. It is water soluble, so you stir it into water. Then water the plants with the solution. Fertilize less often in the winter, when the plants don't grow as fast.

I have bad luck with plants. I keep forgetting to water them. Do you have any recommendations? Try cacti or succulents, jade, string of pearls, kalanchoe, agave, aloe, euphorbias, or bromeliads.

What's the best potting mix for houseplants? It is best to use a mix that drains well since the number one problem with indoor plants is overwatering. Echter's Indoor Potting Mix holds enough water to keep the plants happy, but also is very porous so there is good air circulation around the roots. This is what we recommend for most indoor plants. For cactus and succulents try Crump Cactus Soil.

Should I mist my plants? Our dry Colorado winter homes are as tough on plants as they are on people.  You can mist the air around them. You will be more efficient with a room or whole house humidifier. Other methods to increase humidity is to set them on a humidity tray filled with pebbles and water added to a level just below the top of the pebbles. Kitchens and bathrooms are usually more humid rooms. Plants put humidity into the air. Placing plants together will also help to increase the humidity around each of them.

How do I know if my plant needs repotting? You can slide the plant out of the pot and look at the roots.  If the roots are circling the outside of the root ball and it looks like there are more roots than soil, it is probably time to repot. We recommend potting in one size larger pot when you repot. (You can repot into the same size pot whenever you want to change your decor.)

Can I reuse my pots? Scrub them with soap and water before you use them again.

Can I grow in a pot without drainage? Though it is possible, it is best left for experienced growers who are able to manage water and salt buildup. 

How do I know if my plant is healthy? Signs of trouble are yellowing leaves or dropping leaves, brown spots on leaves, brown edges on the leaves, droopiness, wilting, or stretched out growth.

What are the little dark flies swarming over the pots of my houseplants? They are probably fungus gnats. Frequent or excessive watering encourages their development. You can usually get rid of them by reducing the frequency of watering and allowing the soil to dry more between watering. They are not very harmful to plants, they are mostly a nuisance to people. 

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