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 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 can be propagated by seeds, division or with leaf cuttings.
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.
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) can easily propagated with cuttings.
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.
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 of the jewel orchid is not difficult and can be done by cuttings.
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.
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 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.
the snake plant can be placed on +/- 15 °c (59 °f) during the winter. then it needs less watering and no fertilizing.
the mother-in-law tongue can be propagated by seeds, division or leaf cuttings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the propagation of a peace lily (spathiphyllum wallisii) is not difficult and can be made by division. it can be done any time of the year, for example when the plant needs to be re-potted.
use a sharp and clean knife to cut away a crown from the parent plant. this crown should be good rooted with a minimum of three leaves.
now you can pot the peace lily propagation by using a regular potting mix. for a better humidity put a freezing bag over the pot. to avoid mould ist should be aired once a day. remove it when spathiphyllum wallisii is showing new leaves.
the care is the same as for the parent plant. for the first two to three months there is no need for fertilizing.
the peace lily (spathiphyllum wallisii), sometimes called white sails, is a easy to grow and nearly “unkaputtbar” (undestroyable) indoor houseplant like we say here in germany. there are cultivars available with variegated leaves.
in it’s natural habitat the peace lily is growing under trees. so it’s liked to be placed bright to shady, without direct sunlight. sun can bleach the leaves and turn them brown.
spraying with water from time to time makes the peace lily happy and keeps the leaves free of dust. after the flowers have died out, they can be taken away. the peace lily starts blooming again in approx. four to twelfe months.
the soil, a standart potting mix can be used, should kept constantly moist but neither wet nor dry.
at room temperatur a water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly during spring and summer, and every six to eight weeks in fall and winter. in half of by the manufacturer indicated concentration.
the peace lily likes room temperatur througout the year but is tolerating a short time of approx. 10 °c (50 °f) in winter time.
spathiphyllum wallisii can be propagated by division. new crowns, formed at the plants side can be cutted and re-potted.
chamaedorea elegans, better known als neanthe bella palm, parlour palm and sometimes good luck palm is a very popular houseplant because it’s easy to grow. it is native to the latin american rain forests and can get two to three meters tall.
the neanthe bella palm likes a bright to half shady place without sun. the sun will bleach its leaves. it needs room temperature throughout the year and a winter minium of 15 °c (59 °f).
chamaedorea elegans can be plantet in a regular potting mix. keep the soil constantly moist but not wet, “wet legs” over a long time can cause root rot.
if placed at room temperatur water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly (spring, summer) and every six to eight weeks during fall and winter. in half of by the manufacturer indicated concentration.
the neanthe bella palm likes it when it’s sprayed from time to time. this also keeps the leaves free of dust.