Frithia – Baby Toes, Window Plant

Frithia humilis

the genus frithia belongs to the aizoaceae family and contains two species. both, frithia humilis and frithia pulchra are native to south africa. the beautiful succulents can be recognized trough its blooms and are sometimes called baby toes or window plant.

growing frithia

frithia does best on a sunny place throughout the year. they are opening their blooms in the afternoon sun.

they need a well drained and gritty soil with only a small part of organic material. don’t put them in to a regular potting mix. i’m using a mix of pumice and a little bit of loam free garden soil.

Frithia pulchra 3
Frithia pulchra

in their natural habitat they have some summer rain and so they are not shy of water. they need to be good watered when they’re blooming, what runs out of the pot’s hole should be removed after a few minutes. between the waterings allow to dry. during winter they should kept nearly dry.

a half concentrated cactus fertilizer can be given monthly during blooming time.

frithia can be cultivated at room temperature the whole year through, with a winter minimum of 14 °c (57 °f).

propagation

frithia can be propagated by seeds.

frithia humilis

Frithia humilis

Frithia humilis

frithia pulchra

Frithia pulchra

Frithia pulchra

Rhipsalis baccifera – Mistletoe Cactus

the genus rhipsalis contains approx. 40 species. they grow either epiphytic (on trees), epilithic (on rocks) or terrestrial (on the ground). as houseplants they became popular more and more the past years. the mistletoe cactus (rhipsalis baccifera) is developing small white to yellow flowers.

more info about the members of the genus rhipsalis you can find here: rhipsalis.net.

rhipsalis baccifera 02

ficus microcarpa – chinese banyan, green island fig

the chinese banyan (ficus microcarpa) has a lot of names, sometimes it’s called malayan banyan, indian laurel or green island fig. here in germany it’s very popular under the name ficus ginseng. the not so easy to grow housplant is sometimes sold as indoor bonsai.

care

the chinese banyan does fine from bright (without afternoon sun) to light shade. i have two, one placed on a northern window and the other on the south side gets some evening sun. during summer it can be placed in light shade in the garden or on the balcony.

ficus microcarpa needs a medium humidity and likes if sprayed over with water sometimes. this also keeps the leaves free from dust.

it can be grown in a standard potting soil which can be mixed with some sand (3:1).

keep the soil moist but not wet and avoid overwatering. remove water running out of the pot’s hole after a few minutes. let it dry at the surface between the waterings. but it should not dry out completely.

a water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly (half concentrated) and every six to eight weeks if placed at room temperature during fall/winter.

the green island fig needs a winter minimum of 15 °c (59 °f).

to keep the bonsai in shape it should cutted back. if ficus microcarpa is placed at room temperarture this could be done throughout the year. otherwise it can be done in spring.

propagation

propagation can be done by seeds or cuttings.

Gasteria carinata

the genus gasteria belongs to the asphodelaceae family and contains about 22 species, native to south africa. a common name i havn’t found but sometimes gasteria carinata is called pencil leaf or octongue. there are some cultivars available with yellow or white variegated leaves.

Gasteria carinata Variegata
Gasteria carinata “Variegata”

care

gasteria carinata does best in bright and indirect light with some morning and/or evening sun. if not variegated it tolerates a half shady place. during the summer you can place it at a rain protected place in the garden or on the balcony.

the soil should be well drained, a standard cactus potting mix can be used. give as much water until it flows out the pot’s bottom hole. before watering next allow to dry.

a cactus fertilizer can be given in 1/4 to a 1/2 concentration. during spring and summer monthly and if placed at room temperature during the winter every six to eight weeks. re-potted plants don’t need fertilizer for the first eight weeks.

gasteria carinata can be placed at 10-15 ° C (50-59 °f) in winter. then the soil must kept nearly dry without fertilizing.

Gasteria carinata Variegata 1

propagation

gasteria carinata can be propagated by seeds, division or with leaf cuttings.

epipremnum aureum – pothos

the pothos (epipremnum aureum) is a nearly undestroyable indoor plant which tolerates some care mistakes. it’s also known as devil’s ivy or money plant. there are a lot of cultivars available with more yellowish or white variegated leaves. it’s native to southeastern asia.

care

the pothos does best in bright light with some morning and/or evening sun. but it can also placed half shady to shady. if standing too dark it will grow slower and the variegated ones will loose their color and produce mor green leaves.

epipremnum aureum can be grown in a regular potting mix. keep it moist but not wet. overwatering and drying out will be tolerated for some times.

a water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly and if placed a bit colder during winter every six to eight weeks.

there ist no need to increase humidity but if the pothos is sprayed over from time to time this keeps it’s leaves free from dust.

it can be placed at room temperatur througout the year with a winter minimum of 14 °c (52 °f). for a few days 10 °c or lower (50 °f) will be tolerated.

pothos epipremnum aureum

propagation

pothos (epipremnum aureum) can easily propagated with cuttings.

ludisia discolor – jewel orchid

not only because of it’s easy care the jewel orchid (ludisia discolor) became popular more and more over tha past few years. there are different forms available, “dawsonia” has brown and “alba” has green leaves. the south west asian native shows small white flowers between fall and spring.

care

the jewel orchid likes bright light and does very good on a north window. some morning and/or evening sun such as a light shaded place will be tolerated.

ludisia discolor needs a medium humidity and likes to be sprayed over with water from time to time. this also keeps her leaves free from dust.

it can be grown in a standard potting soil. i use a mixture of one part potting soil and one part sand, crushed rocks and orchid bark.

keep it moist but not wet, overwatering can cause root rot. a half diluted orchid fertilizer can be given monthly in spring/summer and every six to eight weeks in fall/winter. recently bought or repotted plants don’t need to be fed for the first six to eight weeks.

the jewel orchid can be cultivated at room temperature throughout the year with a winter minium of 15 °c (59 °f).

propagation

propagation of the jewel orchid is not difficult and can be done by cuttings.

Sansevieria trifasciata – Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law Tongue

the snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata) is a houseplant classic that was forgotten for some years and is now becoming more popular with a lot of new cultivars available. it’s also known under the name mother-in-law tongue. this succulent is native to africa.

there are a lot of cultivars around with more yellowish or white striped leaves. very popular are the dwarf “hahnii” forms.

sansevieria trifasciata 02

care

the snake plant does best on a bright and sunny place. especially the coloured cultivars need some more light for building up the variegation. a half shady place will be tolerated. during the summer they can be put in the garden or on the balcony.

sansevieria trifasciata 03

sansevieria trifasciata needs a well drained soil. good works a mix between humus or garden soil, sand and crushed rocks. keep it moist bu not wet and allow to dry before the next watering. overwatering (especially on a colder place during winter) can cause root rot.

a water soluble or cacti fertilizer in half of by the manufacturer indicated concentration can be given monthly. if at room temperature at winter time every six to eight weeks.

sansevieria trifasciata 04

the snake plant can be placed on +/- 15 °c (59 °f) during the winter. then it needs less watering and no fertilizing.

sansevieria trifasciata 05

propagation

the mother-in-law tongue can be propagated by seeds, division or leaf cuttings.

sansevieria trifasciata 06

sansevieria trifasciata 07

sansevieria trifasciata 08

Ledebouria socialis – Silver Squill

the first time i saw the silver squill (ledebouria socialis) it remembered me a bit on an orchid. but it belongs to the hyacinthaceae familiy. this beautiful housplant is native to south africa and also known under its old name scilla violacea.

Silver Squill

care

growing the silver squill is not difficult. it does best on a bright place with some morning and/or evening sun. but it also grows on a half shady place.

the bulbs should be mostly out of the soil because if completely buried they tend to rot.

Silver Squill bulbs

ledebouria socialis needs a well drained potting mix. you can use cacti soil or mix some regular soil with sand and crushed rocks.

keep the soil moist but not wet and allow to dry between waterings. when in growth the silver squill can fed monthly in half of by the manufacturer indicated concentration.

Ledebouria socialis

propagation

new bulbs can be separated from the parent plant.

Ledebouria socialis

sow bread (cyclamen) seeds

with a little luck your sow bread (cyclamen) will build seed caps. these you can use for propagation. just let them dry. by the fact that most sow breads available are hybrids the results of the so propagated plants can be different from their parents.

you can use a regular potting substrate. i mixed it with a bit of sand (3:1). cover the seeds approx. a half centimeter with ground and then place them dark. keep the soil constantly moist but not wet. there is no need to increase humidity. the temperature should not be higher than 20 °c (68 °f). the germination time lies between three to six weeks.

when the sow bread seedlings are showing their first leaves place them on a bright place with no direct sunlight between 15 and 20 °c (59-68 °f). do not fertilize for the first three months.

tiger jaws (faucaria tigrina) seeds

the genus faucaria belongs to the aizoaceae family and some of them are popular houseplants. the tiger jaws (faucaria tigrina) is native to south africa and can be propagated by cuttings, division or seeds.

propagation of the tiger jaws by seeds

for seeding (and cultivation) tiger jaws you need a special soil, like crushed rocks. i use pure pumice (Ø 3-5 mm). at first water the soil and then put the small seeds just on it. to keep the soil constantly moist place the pot in a flat filled with water. for germination the seeds need a high humidity. therfore you can put a glas over the pot. this need to be aired daily.

put the pot on a bright but not sunny place with a temperature not higher than 20 °c (68 °f). the germination time is between five and ten days. the glas can be removed when the seedlings are showing their first leaves (second image). there is no need to apply fertilizer.