Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ponytail Palm

Botanical name: Beaucarnea Recurvata
Plant type: Houseplant
Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
Ponytail Palms are a great, long-lived indoor plant. (Despite it’s name and palm-like appearance, it’s not a true “palm.”)
This plant has long green leathery stems that develop as the plant ages. Indoors, they can reach up to 3 feet high. The only thing that is difficult about this plant is adapting to its watering needs.
Planting
Use a fast draining soil, such as cactus potting soil also A soil mix consisting of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 2 parts sand has been used successfully. To this mix, small gravel may be added to ensure good drainage
Normal room temperature is good for most of the year, but keep it cooler in the winter (50 to 55° F).
Find a location with bright light.
Care
Keep soil fairly dry. Water from spring through fall allowing soil to dry on the surface before re-watering. During the winter only water occasionally.
Fertilize in the spring and bring into brighter room for the summer months.

Pony Tail Palms are very slow growing and very drought tolerant. Plants can be watered every three weeks during the growing season and fertilized once during this period. During the winter months, the plants should be watered only enough to keep the foliage from wilting (this usually equates to 1 dose of water during the winter). Over-watering is the single most frequent cause of failure when growing Beaucarnea. The ponytail palm is a very slow growing tree
Re-potting every other year at the most is all the Ponytail Palm needs.
Pests
Overwatering can contribute to stem rot. If you withhold watering, the plant may be able to internally cure the problem.
Spider mites occur on the leaves, but can be fixed by rubbing a cloth of soap and water on the stems.
Wit & Wisdom
Another name for Ponytail Palm is Elephant Foot Palm.







Planting Calla lily



Although not considered true lilies, the calla lily is an extraordinary flower. This beautiful plant, available in a multitude of colors, grows from rhizomes and is ideal for use in beds and borders as well as bouquets. You can also grow calla lilies in containers, either outdoors or within a sunny window as houseplants. Here are a few tips on growing calla lilies that will make them sparkle in your yard.
Tips on Growing Calla Lilies

It is easy to grow calla lilies. These plants do not generally require too much. Proper planting and location are about the only important things to consider when growing calla lilies. Care of calla lilies requires that they be planted in loose, well-drained soil. They prefer to be located in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. Calla lilies are typically planted in the spring. However, wait until the threat of frost has passed and the soil has warmed sufficiently before planting calla lilies.

Calla lilies should be planted rather deep, about four inches for greater results, and spaced approximately a foot apart. Once planted, the area should be watered well. Calla lilies enjoy being kept moist and will also benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer throughout the growing season.
Calla Lilies Care

As with planting, there’s not too much required for the care of calla lilies other than keeping them watered and fertilized. An adequate layer of mulch around the plants will help keep the area moist and free of weeds. Calla lilies require a dormant period once flowering has ceased. During this time, you should refrain from watering as much to allow the plant to die back.


If you grow calla lilies in containers, cease watering and move the plant to a dark area once the foliage has faded. Regular watering can resume within 2-3 months. Although calla lilies can remain in the ground year round in warmer climates, they should be lifted and stored in cooler areas.
Care of calla lilies over the winter

Dig up the rhizomes in autumn, usually after the first frost, and shake off any soil. Allow them to dry out for a few days before storing the rhizomes for winter. Calla lilies should be stored in peat moss and located in a cool, dry area, preferably dark, until warmer temperatures return in spring. Likewise, you can choose to start your calla lilies indoors during late winter and transplant them outside in spring. Calla lilies can also be divided when lifted or during their dormancy period.

Growing calla lilies is easy and calla lilies care is minimal at best. Choosing to grow calla lilies in the garden or as houseplants is a great way to add color to any area. These tips on growing calla lilies will help you enjoy these lovely flowers even more.