Houseplants and Office Plants: John Dromgoole

House and office plants do require bright light. It can be indirect light from a window where they don’t get full hot sun.
John Dromgoole houseplants Central Texas Gardener

If a spot is just too dark, consider rotating plants. Give one the sunnier spot for a few weeks while its buddy takes the dark one.

Turn them a quarter turn each week for even growth.

Overwatering is usually what kills houseplants. And it often leads to houseplant fungus gnats. Prevent them by watering only when the plant is completely dry. If you get fungus gnats, spray the soil with Safer soap or a few drops of of dish soap in 1 cup of water.

Spider mites can be a problem. Now and then, wash the leaves with a few drops of dish soap or neem oil to 1 cup of water. Or, put them in the sink, bathtub or outdoors and gently spray down. If you spot spider mites, be sure to hit the bottom of the leaves, too.

Be sure to get a light potting soil that holds moisture but drains well.

• Fish emulsion and liquid seaweed
• Granular fertilizers like 8-2-4. Use about half of the recommended rate every six months at most.
• Look for other Bio Active fertilizers that bring in beneficial organisms.
• Add a little of your coffee grounds for a gentle boost of nitrogen.

Helpful books
The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant
Barbara Pleasant Houseplant Survival Central Texas Gardener
The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin
Tovah Martin Indestructible Houseplant Central Texas Gardener
Indoor Plant Décor by Jenny Peterson & Kylee Baumle
Indoor Plant Decor Jenny Peterson and Kylee Baumlee St. Lynn's Press

Watch Jenny’s CTG interview on brilliant, beautiful ideas indoors.

John’s houseplant list
Spathiphyllum / Peace Lily –blooms
Chinese Evergreen – comes in many varieties
Sansevieria – also come in many varieties and easy to pass-along to friends
Areca Palm – this one is for large spaces with a bright window (no direct sun).
Lady Palm – great tall palm, it is a little pricier than the other indoor palms, but is very nice and worth it.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Neanthe Bella palm
Ming Aralias – delicate and sophisticated for the talented gardener

Watch now!