Houseplant Detectives #GardenSense



Houseplant needs change from season to season. Cooler weather requires we change our thinking to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature. Not all plant problems mean they are sick or have insects. Sometimes we just need to make a few cultural changes.
It is easier to become a “Houseplant Detective” than you think.
Follow these few basic clues and soon you will be a HD first class!

Your plant seemed healthy then all of a sudden it is dropping leaves!
Check the air temperature. Is the plant exposed to drafts from open doors or vents? Was it suddenly moved or brought indoors from an outdoor summer vacation? It could be shock. You may need to relocate your plant to a less traffic, warmer area.

Your palms and philodendrons have dry, brown tips.
This is their way of telling you the air is too dry. These plants are famous for protesting low humidity. Move them closer to a bathroom or kitchen. Running a humidifier and circulating fan will benefit both of you and your plants.
Small water droplets on the end of leaves usually means overwatering. Plants need less water through the cooler months.

Leaf colors start fading or acquire a bleached look variegated foliage becomes less mottled.
Often this is too much light or sun scorch.

Brown leaf edges and yellow or white crust on surface layer.
These are signs of overfertilization. That crust on top is salt build-up. Most houseplants require little or no fertilizing through the cooler months.
Looking for and making minor adjustments now will ward off problems later.

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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