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My Coffee Plant Died

About two months ago, my coffee plant suddenly completely dried up, and died. I have no idea what I did wrong except that I did just recently repot it to a larger clay pot that had holes in it at the bottom. I definitely thought that it would do better in that pot, and for a couple weeks it did, but then it suddenly completely dried up, and died. I’m very disappointed because it was a beautiful plant, and I thought it was supposed to be easy to take care of, but apparently I did something wrong. There was no sign of bugs, or any type of fungus, or anything like that. I feel kind of bad that reporting to you my failure. I’m not even sure how I could learn from this because I’m not sure what I did wrong. In any event, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Don’t Try Growing a Hyacinth Bulb Indoors

About two weeks ago, I bought a hyacinth bulb that came with a little glass from Home Depot. There’s a top part to the glass where the bulb sits, and then there is a chamber below the bulb that is filled with water. It seemed like it would be a really nice idea, but it didn’t work at all. The problem was that I failed to read the directions before making the purchase.

Here are the directions. Fill the glass with water just beneath the bulb. The water should not touch the bottom of the bulb. Place the hyacinth in a cool (40-50°F), dark and ventilated spot. Check the water level every week. When the bud of the hyacinth is 8 cm out of the bulb, after 10 to 12 weeks you may bring the hyacinth into the living room (68°F).

The main problem here is that there’s no way that I’m going to lower the temperature of my apartment to 40° for several weeks, and it’s much too cold right now to put it outside on my balcony! The second problem was that I put too much water in the bottom portion of the glass so that the water was touching the bulb. It should not have been touching it. It should have been below the bulb, but the water should not have been in contact with the bulb. Because the water was in contact with the bulb for quite some time, a white mold started to grow on the bulb. So, the summary is that no flowers grew, and the only thing I was able to grow was a lot of very smelly white mold, so I had to throw the bulb out today. It was 50% off when I bought it. I now realize that was because no one else wanted to buy it because they actually took the time to read the directions. The moral of the story is always read the directions on the box before you buy no matter how good a deal it seems to be.

How To Get Your Poinsettia To Rebloom

 

Someone gave me a poinsettia for Christmas, and instead of throwing it out when it finishes blooming, I’m going to try to get it to rebloom.

If you want to get your poinsettia to rebloom beginning in October, this is what you need to do.

Alternate between periods of light and total darkness every single day for 6 to 8 weeks.

Daytime: keep your poinsettia in the sunniest location you have.

Nighttime: provide complete uninterrupted darkness for 12 to 15 hours a day (whatever fits your schedule).

The simplest way to do this is to find a cardboard box big enough to set over the plant with the flaps splayed on the floor so no light gets in.

You might do this right by the window or choose to move the plant each evening to a box in another room and return it to the sun in the morning.

Continue watering and fertilizing as usual during this time.

I got the above information from a very informative website called Empress of dirt. The link to the information is below.

How to Make Poinsettia Bloom (Care Tips)

This definitely sounds like a lot of work, but if I decide to give it a try, I will let you know how it goes. From what it says on the website, the results are extremely hit and miss, and sometimes the colors are not as bright when it reblooms the second time, so definitely don’t feel bad you just feel like tossing it out instead of putting in the work.

Amaryllis Bulbs Dipped In Wax

About two weeks ago, I purchased an Amaryllis bulb that had been dipped in wax. This is a new product that I haven’t seen until recently. They advertise that it’s a flower that will bloom without watering. I bought one just to see what would happen. Mine has been growing, but there are some problems. The first flower stalk that came up bloomed, but it had only two flowers, and usually there are four. The second stalk is now coming up, so I will let you know how things go later.

If you are someone who enjoys growing flowers, there is a disturbing aspect to this. Because the bulb is dipped in a wax coating, it does not need to be watered, but it is being sold as a one-shot deal where it will not bloom again, and you are expected to just throw it out after it blooms. Most people who like to grow flowers view this as plant abuse because you’re just using it as a decoration, and then throwing it away. However, someone who do not have a green thumb may view this as a nice gift. There are a lot of people who would like to have a flowering plant but do not want to have to water it. For those people, this type of Amaryllis might actually make a nice gift, so it depends on one’s point of view.

I have read on the Internet that some people are trying to save their wax dipped Amaryllis bulbs by cutting off the wax coat. I am planning on trying this after the flowers have died on mine, and I will let you know what the result is of the experiment. Here is a link to a thread about rescuing these bulbs if you have one, and you want to try to do it yourself.

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2808938/the-horror-that-is-wax-encased-bulbs

When I searched, I even saw website about someone who has dipped the bulbs in the wax herself. It sounded like she was very successful at it, but personally, I find this sickening, and I would never do it myself, but I guess to each her own.

A Problem With Logee’s Plants

For the past several weeks, the leaves on my Tillandsia Antonio have started to turn brown, and die. Yesterday, I called Logee’s Plants, the company that I bought the plant from for assistance. I explained the problem to the customer service representative. She told me that I should have repotted the plant ten days after I received it. She said that the soil was holding too much water, and  the plastic pot that it was sent in was making the problem worse. I should have repotted it with a different type of soil. First of all, why was it planted in that soil to begin with? Recently, I read online that air plants should not be in soil, but she told me that that type of plant should be in soil, but not the type of soil that it was planted in. Since it was now past the sixty day period, she would not refund my money, or give me credit on another purchase. She said, that if I repotted it in the clay pot with either Dr. Earth, or Happy Frog potting soil, there was a chance that it might survive.

I do not remember any information about it needing to be repotted after ten days, and even if it said that, I think that is ridiculous that it was sent potted in the wrong type of soil to begin with! I also think that it’s ridiculous that she refused to give me any type of credit for my next purchase! However, at least I found out that I need to call within the first sixty days if a problem develops. The problem that I have with this is that it usually takes longer than sixty days for a problem to develop, so I really don’t think that sixty days is long enough for a return window. After hanging up, I remembered that a few months ago, I called the same company after two of my plants that I had purchased died, and that time, the customer service representative gave me store credit for both plants for my next purchase even though the sixty day period had already expired. I’m really not sure what the difference was except that some of their customer servant of representatives are friendly, and cooperative, and some are not!

As far as this company is concerned, when you buy a new plant from them, you should call them up immediately, and get as much information as you can about your plant. If there’s anything that you’re not sure about, be sure to ask them. They really do not provide adequate care instructions for their plants.They expect the customers to find out the necessary information by calling up and asking about it. Be sure to read any information that comes with your plant, and if you have any questions, call them within the sixty day period!

As far as my Tillandsia Antonio is concerned, after consulting with a local plant store owner, I decided to repot the plant in a clay pot using orchid bark. It is an air plant, so I think that orchid bark will provide better drainage then soil would. This is different advice than what I received from the customer service representative, but I do not think she was correct. We will see how the plant does in the orchid bark in the new clay pot.

My Paperwhite Bulb Is Blooming

Paperwhite flower bulbs are great for the holidays. In 4 to 6 weeks, they will bloom. If you would like to grow these sweet smelling flowers continuously, plant narcissus bulbs every couple of weeks throughout fall and winter.

What You Need to Force Paperwhite Narcissus

  • A glass jar, vase or bowl without any drainage
  • Rocks, marbles or sea glass
  • Paperwhite narcissus bulbs

It is best to grow paperwhite narcissus in a tall jar or vase. That way you don’t need to be concerned about the blooms becoming too heavy, and knocking the vase over. I often find good containers at the Salvation Army.

Put the bulb in the jar, and then surround it with the stones to give the bulb support so that it won’t tip over. It should be watered enough so that the roots are covered with water, but not the bulb itself. As long as you make sure that there’s water in the jar, in a few weeks, the bulb should start to bloom.

For detailed information about how to do this, click on the link below.

​This is an easy guide with photos.

https://www.thespruce.com/forcing-paperwhite-narcissus-to-bloom-847893?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons

How to Grow a Coffee Bean Plant Indoors

 

A coffee bean plant makes a wonderful indoor plant. Coffee plants are great for both an experienced gardener, and a novice. They are easy to care for and add a nice touch to the decor. They prefer bright, indirect light. They should be near a window, but not placed directly in the windowsill. They cannot tolerate freezing, and will not do well in a location that repeatedly drops below 65°F. Avoid placing them in a drafty area in the wintertime.

The soil should be kept moist, but it should not be soaking wet. Good drainage is important for both the soil, and the pot in which the coffee plant is growing. Putting the coffee plant on a water-filled humidity tray that has pebbles in it will help maintain the humidity. As with most indoor plants, coffee plants require less water in the wintertime.

Every two or three months, you should feed your coffee plant with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and summer. Be aware that a healthy coffee plant can grow up to 6 feet tall. For this reason, it is important to provide enough space for the plant, or make pruning it a regular part of your routine. If you decide on the pruning option, early spring is the best time to do it.

It is possible to grow coffee beans indoors; however the growing conditions need to be perfect.  If ideal conditions are achieved, within 3 to 5 years, the plant will mature, and then flower. However, even under the best conditions, you can only expect a few flowers to be produced. You pollinate them by hand, coffee beans will begin to grow, but it’s very unlikely that enough will be produced in order to make a whole pot of coffee, but you might get a sufficient amount in order to be able to roast a few beans.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Coffee Plant Care – Growing Coffee Plants Indoors

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/coffee/growing-coffee-plants-indoors.htm

Ginseng bonsai tree in a marble pot from Home Depot

 

Last Thursday afternoon, I went to Home Depot, and saw a ginseng bonsai tree for only forty dollars in a pot made of marble. It is very beautiful, but when you buy a bonsai tree from Home Depot, the bonsai tree, and the gravel is always glued in place. I was told that this is very bad for the bonsai tree as eventually the glue will kill the bonsai tree. For this reason, one should always repot any bonsai tree that you get at Home Depot with fresh soil, and break out all the gravel, and rocks that has been glued in place.

However, the problem is that the gravel has been so well glued in place that they can only be removed with a hammer and chisel and I’m worried that that might break the pot. For this reason, I’m going to leave everything in place for the moment and just see how things go. If I noticed that the bonsai tree is starting to die, I will take action then. I really wish that these companies did not do this, but I guess that’s the reason why these bonsai trees only cost forty dollars. It’s probably a lot cheaper to glue the plants in the place rather than wiring them from the bottom as they are supposed to be. The other really irritating thing is that the pot does not have holes in it so there’s nowhere for the water to drain. This is very bad because the roots should never sit for long periods in water. If I decide to repot the tree, I will definitely have holes drilled in the pot. Until that time, I will just have to be very careful, and not water the bonsai tree too much.

HOW TO CARE FOR AN ALOE VERA PLANT

 

I bought the aloe vera plant pictured above at my local Home Depot for $5.98. I really like the color of the pot, and that the pot has legs. I think it’s a great plant because it looks nice, it’s inexpensive, and even can be used to treat burns. I think it’s pretty much a win-win situation all the way around.

HOW TO CARE FOR AN ALOE VERA PLANT

  • Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. A western or southern window is ideal. Aloe that are kept in low light often grow leggy.
  • Aloe vera do best in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). The temperatures of most homes and apartment are ideal.
  • From May to September, you can bring your plant outdoors without any problems, but do bring it back inside in the evening if nights are cold.
  • Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. To discourage rot, allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between waterings. Don’t let your plant sit in water.
  • Water about every 3 weeks and even more sparingly during the winter. Use your finger to test dryness before watering. If the potting mix stays wet, the plants’ roots can begin to rot.
  • Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month), and only in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant formula mixed at ½ strength.
  • Repot when root bound.

Mature aloe vera plants often produce babies. These baby plants are genetically identical to the parent plant. In order to replant the babies, follow the following instructions.

  1. Find where the babies are connected to the original plant and detach them using pruning shears, scissors, or a sharp knife. Leave at least an inch of stem on the baby..
  2. Allow the babies to sit out of soil for several days; this lets the offshoot form a callous over the cut, which helps to protect it from rot. Keep the babies in a warm location with indirect light during this time.
  3. Once the offshoots have formed callouses, pot them in a standard succulent potting mix. The soil should be well-draining.
  4. Put the newly-potted pups in a sunny location. Wait at least a week to water and keep the soil rather dry.

I got this information from The Old Farmer’s Almanac at Almanac.com:

https://www.almanac.com/plant/aloe-vera

The Midwest Bonsai Society Bonsai Show 2019

On August 18, 2019, I went to the Midwest Bonsai Society bonsai show. I realize that you want to see plants that I have, and not really this, but the trees are very beautiful, and I went there, so I thought that I would share some of the photographs with you for your viewing enjoyment. None of these trees are mine. I’m quite sure that I will never produce anything as beautiful as these trees. I hope one day I might produce something that’s close to looking like an actual bonsai tree, but I will never produce anything as beautiful as the works of art that are presented here in these photographs. I hope you enjoy them.

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