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My lucky bamboo leaves are turning brown. What is going on? What should I do?
 

There can be several causes for this. One reason is that sometimes the tips get brown if the water you use is tap water high in fluoride and/or chlorine. An accumulation of salts that exist in the water can also be the culprit. You should take the plant out of the vase, rinse the roots with purified water, change the pebbles and wash out the vase with warm soapy water. You may gently trim the brown tips with a sharp pair of scissors. Keep the same shape of the leaf.
 

 
I bought a fern that seems to be tightly packed in the pot. Should I repot it?
 
You might want to consider repotting. They will need more room and more soil to retain more moisture during the hot summer months. These plants need to be moderately moist. They should not be allowed to dry out. If they dry out for several days they will start to get yellow, and the leaves will start to fall off. As far as fertilizer, you should select liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. Follow the instructions for the fertilizer when it comes to amount and frequency.
What should I feed my hibiscus to get it to bloom during the summer months?
 
To get your hibiscus to bloom it should have the correct amount of sun. These plants like bright light. The also like to be evenly moist. Do not let these plants dry out completely. If you like, you may use a “bloom buster” type of fertilizer. You may find this fertilizer at your local garden center.
I have seen lucky bamboo stalks in water with pebbles and I have seen the plant potted with soil. What is the correct media to use?
 
You may use either media. If you use water, make sure the water is changed to make sure you avoid any water borne diseases.
I have a majesty palm that is getting some brown tips on the fronds?
 
It sounds like your palm needs more water. This is the most common symptom of a plant experiencing drought. Make sure the plant is watered evenly and regularly. The soil should be moderately moist at all times. Once the soil dries out and the plant is stressed it will get brown fronds. You should also check under the fronds for insects.
My Norfolk Island Pine’s needles are turning brittle and brown. What should I do?
 
Keep the soil moderately moist. Use a moisture meter to make sure the soil is moist throughout the pot. You should consider misting the leaves. This plants like high humidity. . In addition to misting, You might consider placing the plant on a dish with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate giving Mr. Pine the moisture he needs to be green. As far as the brown tips, you may nip them off. Unfortunately, they will not green up. Move the plant if it is close to a heat or air conditioning register.
I have heard that some plants are better than other for cleaning indoor air pollution. I would like to get some plant in my home to help purify the air inside my home. What do you recommend?
 
Different plants help process different chemicals out of the environment. One of the best plants is a Spathyphyllum or Peace Lily. The Peace Lily processes several different chemicals. These plants are readily available at most stores. You can also visit our sister site www.o2foryou.org we have more information on this topic there.
I have purchased a pachira plant. It has pebbles that are glued together as a top dressing. Is there any soil under the pebbles? How do I know how much to water the plant?
 
The pebbles are a top dressing. There is soil under it. If the pot has drainage, you may water the plant sparingly and it should do well. If you want to remove the pebbles, place several ice cubes on the pebbles, as they melt they will soak the glue and loosen it. You my pry a small hole so you may probe the moisture of the soil. I recommend a moisture meter.
My Ponytail Palm is starting to yellow. What is causing this?
 
This is a high light plant. If it is not getting enough light the leaves will yellow from the bottom up. The plants leaves will also yellow if they get too much water. I suggest you water the plant from the bottom. Fill the saucer up with water and let the soil absorb as much water as possible. Any water that remains in the saucer should be tossed. The plant likes to dry out between watering. Too much continuous watering will rot the plant.
Winter comes early for me, so does the time to start figuring out how best to protect my hibiscus plants through the cold months. HELP!
 
The Hibiscus is a tropical plant and can not withstand temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Your best bet is to plant her in a container and place her outside. This way you can bring her inside during the winter. Keep her in a warm, sunny area until outside temperatures warm up. The plant will probably not flower. It might get yellow leaves and possibly experience some leaf drop. This is typical; she is just telling you it does not like the winter…keep caring for her as you normally would. Once you put her outside again she will recuperate. As for pruning, a gentle pruning will do just fine.
We have a Sago Palm that is developing yellow spots on the needles. Eventually the whole frond turns yellow and dies, but does not fall off. Plants are moist, but not wet. Light is moderate, but not bright. Thoughts?
 
There are several causes that will present the symptoms of frond yellowing. Sagos need high light, thus you should move the plant to a location where it can get better lighting. Also, check your pot to make sure your plant is not sitting in water. To check, tilt the pot over the sink. If water comes out, you should let the plant dry out before watering again. If you cannot check because the plant has a top dressing of pebbles, try to pry out some pebbles so you can check the moisture of the soil. Sagos tend to like its soil to be on the dry side. Unfortunately, once the fronds on the palm yellows, they cannot regain its green color again. To better its chances, gently trim the yellow portion of the frond.
I have a Yucca Cane and I use an Aqua Bubble in the soil to let it take the water in as it is needed. The soil is normally moist, but I keep it under a lamp because I don’t have much sunlight in my apartment. I was wondering why it’s turning yellow and drying out?
 
It sounds like your plant needs more natural sunlight. These particular plants require high volumes of light to grow. Lamps with special bulbs are an acceptable substitute, but there is nothing like ‘Mother Nature.’  Also, water bulbs (Aqua Bubble) are nice, but sometimes they get clogged and do not moisten the soil as needed. We recommend supplementing the water bulb with regular watering -- as needed.
I bought a Yucca Cane and would like to know if I can leave it outside when the temperature is 30 degrees?
 
These plants should not be left out in cold weather. When temperatures dip into the 50’s, they should be brought inside.
Why are the leaves of my White Bird of Paradise splitting? Even the new ones are splitting before they open.
 
There are several reasons why the leaves might be splitting. The first is low humidity. This can cause the leaves to split; even the unopened ones. Other causes include high winds and mishandling of the leaves.
I recently bought a plant called Spathiphyllum and the ends of the leaves are turning brown and the stems don't stand up straight anymore. I was wondering if you could tell me how to care for a plant in this particular condition?
 
It sounds like your plant needs water. Water it well and make sure when you are watering the plant, you do so slowly. If you water it quickly, the water will run out of the bottom; thus not saturating the soil. Once you have watered the plant at a nice, slow pace, wait about an hour, and repeat.
I bought a Shooting Star plant and need to know more about it. How tall does it grow?
 
This particular plant can grow to about 3 feet tall and equally as wide and is moderately drought tolerant. The Shooting Star thrives in direct sun, thus it is not cold hardy and therefore will not do well if you live in Zones 8 or less.  
My Schefflera is constantly dropping leaves and full stems. I water it once weekly and have good drainage in the planter. The plant sits near a west facing window with bright sunlight, but it is not direct. New growth is appearing at the top of the plant, but the plant is starting to look very spindly. Help!
 
It sounds like the plant is in need of more light and watering. If the plant has been watered inconsistently, it will start to drop leaves because it cannot support them. The plant will start to look spindly when it does not have enough light. When you see the stems start to elongate, it means they are reaching for light. You can easily solve this problem by giving it more bright, direct light.
What kind of fertilizer do I use on a Christmas Cactus?
 
You should use a well balanced formulation of 20-20-20. Christmas Cactus should be fertilized once a month after blooming until autumn arrives. During autumn and winter, do not fertilize. For best results, use a fertilizer with a high potassium content. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully for proper application and dosage information.
 
 
 
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