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`Caring for houseplants `W`Watering `s`signs of improper watering `d`drooping leaves - lack of water
`Watering `y`yellowing - too much water
Methods of Watering `d`drench and let dry `d`drench and let dry slightly `k`keep media constantly moist
Temperature `r`recommended temperature `5`50-85 F daytime `n`night - drop below daytime temp `l`locate plants away from air- conditioners and drafts
Lighting `n`natural or artificial `m`measured in foot candles `d`direct sun `p`partial shade or weak sun - less than 50% natural sun light
`i`indirect or filtered light - no direct sun light
Artificial Lighting `r`root cuttings more easily `s`start seeds `g`grow tropical plants with greater ease
Humidity `%`% of moisture in the air `v`varies with seasons `l`low in the winter
Increase humidity by: `s`spraying with fine mist `f`fill water tight tray with water and pea gravel, set containers in it
`u`use a humidifier `p`place plants in the part of the house with the highest humidity
Fertilizers `s`slow release `s`small beads applied to the soil `n`nutrients are steadily released
Fertilizers - slow release `p`plant absorbs nutrients as needed `a`avoids over feeding
Soluble fertilizer `l`liquid or solid `d`dissolved in water before applying
Soil Mixture `v`varies with each plant `o`organic matter helps to improve water holding capacity `p`perlite helps to keep the mix loose and easily drained
Containers `d`drainage should be available `u`use well drained soil mix `p`put saucer under pot to protect furniture from water
Potting plants `s`select appropriate container `a`and soil mix `p`provide drainage - put rocks or put shards in the bottom of container
`a`add potting mix to cover rocks `p`place plant in to check soil level `s`should be 1/2 inch below top of pot
`f`fill remainder of container with media
Repotting `r`repot plants when they become root bound `i`if roots are growing around the root ball `r`roots appear at the top of soil
`s`separate roots to allow re- growth `I`If plant is blooming, wait until after flowering is completed
`s`select pot or container of the next larger size than the one the plant was planted in.
General Care `l`leaves `c`clean occasionally with a fine spray of water `w`wipe top and underside of leaves
Leaves `h`helps to remove dust and insects `d`do not use leaf shine products `c`clogs the stomates `m`makes it hard for plants to breathe
Disease and Insects `c`control pests by recognizing and controlling them on the plant
Common plant pests `a`aphids `w`white flies `m`mealy bugs `m`mites `s`scale
Aphids `s`small green insects with piercing mouths `c`called plant lice `s`suck plant juices from the plant
`w`work on stem and underside of leaves `l`leaves become sticky with honey-dew `c`causes growth of black sooty mold
Aphids `l`leaves curl, disfigure, turn yellow `u`use Orthene
White Fly `s`small white, winged, sucking insects `w`works on underside of leaves
`heavy egg producers `infestation can occur quickly `eggs laid on underside of plant leaves
White Fly `c`cause plant to turn yellow `h`have mottled appearance - spotty `W`White Flies will leave the plant when the leaves are moved
Mealy Bugs `w`white, woolly mass, like a ball of cotton `s`sucking insect `w`works on the underside of the leaves
`s`sucking juices gives plant a faded yellow appearance `c`control by swabbing the insect with a q-tip dipped in alcohol `r`removes insect from plant
Mites `s`small spider like insects on bottom side of leaves `s`suck juices causing plant to turn yellow `c`cannot be seen easily with the naked eye
`h`hold a white piece of paper under leaf and tap the leaves `l`look for spider like insects moving on the paper
`w`wipe across the paper with your finger `i`if mites are present, there will be a red smear `c`control with Kelthane or Orthane
Scale `w`when mature, attack stems in a cluster `s`small white gray lumps - oval shape `p`plant turns yellow, loses vigor
`s`sticky sap appearance on plant `r`remove with soapy water `s`spray with Malathion or Orthane
Botrytis `c`common disease `l`leaves turn black and develop a gray mold and will eventually rot off
`p`provide good air circulation `u`use a fungicide - Benlate
Mildew `c`common disease `l`leaves get a heavy white coating `f`fungicide - Benlate
Insecticides `c`can be purchased in most stores `r`read the label for applications and directions
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