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Monday, July 14, 2008

You gave the "Q"....I give the "A" or at least I try.

I asked on a previous post for some questions from you guys....and I got a few...Now it is time for me to attempt to answer some. I do hope my answers will be the ones that work!

Anonymous asked:

"I heard that plants can clean the air in my house. Is this true?"
Hi anonymous! Yes! At least that is what the NASA scientists think! I remember my grandmother having a fit when she walked into my son's nursery...there were 4 plants in there. She was frantic that I was robbing him of valuable oxygen! This is NOT is an old wives tale.
Here is a list of the house plants considered to be the best air cleaners:

Bamboo Palm
Chinese Evergreen (algonema)
English Ivy (hedra series)
Gerbera Daisy
Dracena (all types)
Mother in laws tongue (snake plant)
Peace Lily
Spider Plant
Keep in mind that the more the merrier when we talk about the air cleaning capabilities of a house plant. One plant will not have the "horsepower" to clean an entire house...or in some cases even an entire room.
Hope I helped!

Vilma from Australia wanted to have some information about her Peace Lily...Hers is not doing well at all and she was wondering what she could do to fix it!
Vilma: I have not had one live for more than 4 years, so I may not be the best one to ask. You mentioned that you keep it in your bathroom. Could it be covered in hairspray and dust? I know this is a big issue for many of the plants I keep in mine. The hairspray makes a sticky film for the dust to land on, and the plant can't breathe. Or....could it have spider mites? Look for tiny webs at the base of the leaf. If you do...wash them off, and increase the humidity around the base of the plant...adding a tray of gravel filled with water (so the plant can't drown in the water) will add a little humidity to the plant and the bugs won't like that.

Or....This plant will enjoy a little more light than the tags often say. Is it near a window? If it is getting enough light, check to see that it is not getting a cold draft. This could cause issues...

Root rot is caused by too much moisture in the pot....check to see if you are maybe drowning it ...does your pot have sufficient drainage? You may need to change the soil and start over if the roots are rotting...this may not even help if the rot is too more thing to check for is a disease called Blight.

"The early stages of blight are easily missed, and not all plants are affected at once. Symptoms include the appearance of dark blotches on leaf tips and plant stems. White mould will appear under the leaves in humid conditions and the whole plant may quickly collapse. Infected tubers develop grey or dark patches that are reddish brown beneath the skin, and quickly decay to a foul-smelling mush caused by the infestation of secondary soft bacterial rots. Seemingly healthy tubers may rot later when in store."

This is the problem my spathiphyllum had in the past. If you need more information on this disease please look here. (where I found this quote)

Thanks for the question...I do hope I helped you!

A LONG time ago our Artist1111 left this question for me...

"Is there any flower that you have trouble with? I think I might try to start some from seeds in Jan. like you. I don't have a greenhouse, and I just have 5 windows in my house. What about a grow light?Kathy "

Yes I have issues with several plants as a matter of fact...but that is not the issue today...(it will make me cranky) If you want to use grow lights, make sure you get the good ones. Your local hardware store may sell them. If not ...look online and choose a good quality one that will give your plants enough light. In the past I have tried to use them in rooms with very little light, and my plants were not very happy, and were very weak in the stem. They fell easily and were more prone to disease and bugs. I also could not afford a good quality light either. College grants were not very generous for things as such!

Thanks girl...hope I helped....even if it is a little bit late!

Kathy also asked:

"It is so pretty. Tootsie can you do a post on grass. I am having a time with my grass. There is so may different kinds of grass in my yard, I don't want to dig up the entire yard and re seed. What can I do to make my grass like yours. Kathy "

My blog post for one day this week is all about the lawn. I do hope you will tune in for it. (hey Kathy...better timing this time hey? lol)


Buffie said...

Good morning! Very helpful Toots! We all apreciate the time you put in to answering our qoestions! Can't wait for the grass blog...we had an attack of chinch bugs! Half our lawn was killed before we realized what it was....

Anonymous said...

Morning Tootsie Wootsie! It's so nice of you to answer all these questions. You are an encyclopedia of plant knowledge. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

artis1111 said...

Thanks tootsie. I did try a grow light abnd it did make them flimsey. I an going to look at a good one when I go to Lowes Kathy

janet said...

oh tootsie, you are just too kind my dear, thank you for stopping by and visiting my family pictures. I made my husband who really dislikes computers sit down with me last night so i could share the beauty of your gardens with him...he thinks they are awesome and really loves the bike garden. Thank you for all the great info, i always wondered too if plants really did clean the air

ShariAZ said...

Tootsie: First, I love your blog; found it from RMS a while back. I read it first thing every morning when I get to work. Your family stories are very entertaining, your kids are so cute, and I love your gardening columns. I finally got a password so I could ask you a question. I have a house plant, I'm not sure what it is called, it's a very tall stalk with long slender leaves coming off the stalk all the way up. It was about 6 feet tall sitting nice in a corner of our foyar until I moved the pot around to clean it. Suddenly, the top of the plant snapped off (it wasn't supported all the way to the top) and fell to the floor. I want to root that top section and replant it, but don't know if I should put it in water or in moist soil to root. Right now I have it in water and it looks OK, but it's only been a couple days. Is this the right thing to do? I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you, in advance, for any help you can give me.

Anonymous said...

Dearest "TOOT, TOOT, TOOSIE, Hellllooooooo"!!!! Finally got to your blog ~~~ Oh how I WISH I COULD grow flowers n' things here in the desert in the summer! (The OTHER part of the year it's STILL difficult, but I TRY!). Little underground critters are NOTORIOUS for, and LOVE to, eat the underground watering cables, rendering "healthy, green plants and flowers" a little HELPLESS at times!!! ~~~~ BUUUT, knowing you, YOU could fix those little *#&^@!*s! (And THIS statement comes from an unusually avid ANIMAL/CRITTER LOVER!) Happy smiles and thanks for having me! You, my dear, are mahhhhvelous, simply mahhhhvelous!!! Hugs, Linda/"Mom..."