How much sun is too much?

That depends on the plant of course, but here are symptoms your plant will show if you are giving it too much sun:

Edges of leaves may turn white, beige or brown
Edges of leaves may be red
Tips of leaves may brown
New leaves smaller in size
New leaves are brown
Leaves may turn white, or gray
New leaves may be too pale in color
Entire plant wilts

And sometimes a plant will remain green but refuse to grow.

If you see any of these symptoms, and especially if you see more than one symptom, try moving your plant to a less sunny location.

House Plants Get Sunburn

How much water is too little?

Every plant is different. They are each in different rooms, households, pots and soils. It is impossible to give firm rules.

Some plants are bog plants and want a pot sitting in water, some are desert plants and want only occasional watering. Most fall in between the two.

Symptoms of a watering problem – too much or too little include:
Leaves drop all at once
Leaves drop slowly beginning with oldest leaves
New leaves are smaller in size than older leaves
Leaf tips are brown
Leaves have brown spots
Plant wilts
Little to no new growth on the plant

Symptoms specific to under watering your plant:
Leafs curl down
Accordion type creases appear in leaves ( especially on orchids )
Vertical splits appear on leaves
Thick leaved plants have wrinkles in the leaves
Pseudo bulb is wrinkled ( on orchids )

Ok so the plant is dying of thirst. Not a big deal, most will bounce right back with proper watering.

Now find out just how much watering that particular plant would like. Check it by putting a finger in the soil. Do not water by a schedule.

How much water is too much?

Every plant is different. They are each in different rooms, households, pots and soils. It is impossible to give firm rules.

Some plants are bog plants and want a pot sitting in water, some are desert plants and want only occasional watering. Most fall in between the two.

Symptoms of a watering problem – too much or too little include:
Leaves drop all at once
Leaves drop slowly beginning with oldest leaves
New leaves are smaller in size than older leaves
Leaf tips are brown
Leaves have brown spots
Plant wilts
Little to no new growth on the plant

Symptoms only found on over watered plants:
Leaves are too pale
Leaves yellow, veins first then rest of leaf
Leaf edges brown
Growth is spindly and weak
Growth is leggy
The crown rots
Black flies are around plant when you water it
Leaves become dull in appearance and may turn yellow
Roots are brown and soft and do not have white tips

So you are drowning your plant what to do?

First remove it from the pot. Rinse off all the soil clinging to the roots. Rinse out the pot. Cut off any roots that have rotted. Replant it back in the pot with new soil preferably in a smaller pot. That’ll get rid of the flies and any mold.

Now find out just how much watering that particular plant would like. Check it by putting a finger in the soil. Do not water by a schedule. Most plants will bounce back in a few months.

When in doubt ‘wait don’t water’ there is always tomorrow.

Orchid names

Orchid species and mixes – what does the abbreviation mean?

Angcm. Angraecum = Natural genus
Ascda. Ascocenda = Ascocentrum x Vanda
Alcra. Aliceara = Brassia x Miltonia x Oncidium
B. Brassavola = Natural genus
Bl. Brassolaelia = Brassavola x Laelia
Bllra. = Brassia x Cochlioda x Miltonia x Odontoglossum
Blc. Brassolaeliocattleya = Brassavola x Cattleya x Laelia
Brs. Brassia = Natural genus
Brsdm. Brassidium = Brassia x Oncidium
Bulb. Bulbophyllum = Natural genus
C. Cattleya = Natural genus
Colm. Colmanara = Miltonia x Odontoglossum x Oncidium
Ctna. Cattleytonia = Cattleya x Broughtonia
Cyc. Cycnoches = Natural genus
Cym. Cymbidium = Natural genus
Den. Dendrobium = Natural genus
Dgmra. Degarmoara = Brassia x Miltonia x Odontoglossum
Dial. Dialaelia = Diacrium x Laelia
Dor. Doritis = Natural genus
Dtps. Doritaenopsis = Doritis x Phalaenopsis
Ency. Encyclia = Natural genus
Epi. Epidendrum = Natural genus
Eplc. Epilaeliocattleya = Cattleya x Epidendrum x Laelia
Epc. Epicattleya = Cattleya x Epidendrum
Gram. Grammatophyllum = Natural genus
Hknsa. Hawkinsara = Broughtonia x Cattleya x Laelia x Sophronitis
Iwan. Iwanagara = Brassavola x Cattleya x Diacrum x Laelia
Kgw. Kagawara Ascocentrum x Renanthera x Vanda
L. Laelia = Natural genus
Lc. Laeliocattleya = Laelia x Cattleya
Lctna. Laeliocatonia = Broughtonia x Cattleya x Laelia
Mkra. Mokara = Arachnis x Ascocentrum x Vanda
Mtdm. Miltonidium = Miltonia x Oncidium
Mtssa. Miltassia = Brassia x Miltonia
Onc. Oncidium = Natural genus
Odbrs. Odontobrassia = Odontoglossum x Brassia
Otr. Otaara = Brassavola x Broughtonia x Cattleya x Laelia
Paph. Paphiopedilum = Natural genus
Pot. Potinara = Brassavola x Cattleya x Laelia x Sophronitis
Rhy. Rhynchostylis = Natural genus
Schom. Schomburgkia = Natural genus
Soph. Sophronitis = Natural genus
Slc. Sophrolaeliocattleya = Sophronitis x Laelia x Cattleya
V. Vanda = Natural genus
Vasco. Vascostylis = Ascocentrum x Rhynchostylis x Vanda
Zga. Zygoneria = Neogardneria x Zygopetalum

Wax Myrtle ( Myrica cerifera )

This wax myrtle, like all my shrubs, had been pruned to a mushroom shape by the previous owners. I consider it the horticultural equivalent of a french poodle hair cut. It has been two years, and I have blooms for the first time this year. It will take another year or two before it has a proper shape.

Wax myrtle can grow fast, and can reach 15′-20′ tall.

Wax myrtles make good screening plants and are loved by birds. The fruit was used by early colonists to make bay berry candles.

Any soil will do and they will grow in part shade to full sun.

Was myrtle handles Houston’s heat and cold just fine.

The ‘Emperor’ variety is the one with the lacy foliage. Myrica pusilla is a smaller variety.

This plant was attacked by some kind of very small beetle this summer. It looked fine, I went out to prune it and the insides had all been eaten away. Normally these are care free and I’d still recommend it as a shrub.

Just watch for small beetles around it.

Oncidium

Oncidiums are a bright light orchid they will want a south or west facing window, but they will burn in direct sunlight. You may get them to grow in an east window and place them in a south window in the fall to promote flowering.

Plant them in sphagnum moss and orchids will never give you any trouble. Water this one when the top is very dry. The pseudo bulb will wrinkle if you water it too little so keep an eye on it. If your home is very humid or you keep this plant in a bathroom or kitchen you might plant it in bark instead. It just depends on the conditions in your home.

Like all orchids they want a significant temperature drop between day and night to signal blooming. You can put them in a drafty location or put them outdoors in the summer.

Remember if you put them outside put them under a tree. They will not survive direct outdoor sunlight.