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The Interior Landscape:

Houseplants and Plantscaping

Unit 23
List the 4 major concerns in caring for interior
Select a medium to use for growing various
interior plants
Describe the best cultural conditions (water, light,
and soil requirements) for 10 selected interior
plants of your choice
List the 4 methods of watering interior plants
Plants are a special part of peoples lives
Food bearing
Materials for clothing
Adding beauty
1998 - $1.191 billion interior plants sold
Plantscaping Method of interior plant use
Public places and private homes
Caring for interior plants
The Following questions should be asked.
What is the proper way to water the plant?
How much light does it need?
What is the best temperature for optimum
What type of planting medium is needed?
Plants behavior must be carefully observed
Signs of improper watering:
Drooping leaves or leaves that do not seem
as full lack of water
Wilting or yellowing of leaves too much
Methods of watering interior
Drench/Let Dry
Desired amount of water is added all at once
Drench/ Let Dry slightly
Add water and let dry until it is damp to the
Keep medium constantly moist
Medium should be damp to the touch all the
Interior environments cause excess stress due to
low available light
Appropriate artificial environments must be
Natural, filtered sunlight
Incandescent, fluorescent
High-intensity discharge lights
All these allow plants to receive enough energy for
Measuring Light Intensity
Light meters measure illumination
Determine if the location is suitable for the
Sold at florists, garden centers, dept. stores
Classification of Light Intensity
Intensity needed is classified into 3 groups
Direct sun: plant should receive full intensity of
natural sunlight
Partial sun or weak sun: plant should receive less
than 50% of natural sunlight
Indirect or filtered light: Plant should receive no
direct sunlight at all
Basically the more sunlight available, the more
plants that can be grown
Artificial lighting
Fluorescent light greatly influenced growth
of interior plants
Enables horticulturists to
Root cuttings of interior plants more easily
Start seeds of new and different interior plants
Grow tropical plants and cacti with greater ease
Interior plants are exposed to a great range
of temperatures
Recommended temp. for interior plants is
50-85 degrees daytime
At night, temps. Can drop 10-15 deg. w/o
harming the plant
Plants should be located away from air
conditioners, drafts, and direct air flows
Humidity: percentage of moisture in the air
Lower in winter need additional moister in
Humidity can be increased by
Spraying a fine mist of water on the foliage
Using a watertight tray filled w/ small pea gravel to
hold plants
Using a humidifier to provide moisture
Placing plants in the part of the house with highest
Soil Mixture
Must be loose and airy and must hold
moisture and nutrients
Sphagnum Peat Moss
2 kinds of fertilizers: Slow release and soluble
Slow release: small beads coated w/ plastic
Dissolve over period of time
Nutrients are steadily released
Eliminates risk of fertilizer burn
Soluble: available in liquid or solid form
Water must be added to dilute the concentrate or break
down the solid form
Plants need oxygen to their roots
Drainage holes must be available
Pot should be set in a saucer to catch excess
Potting Plants
A crock may be used as drainage in the
bottom of the pot
Crock: A broken piece of clay pot
Add the selected potting mixture to cover
the crock
Add plant, adjust so it is below top of
Plant can hold extra water while being watered
Plants should be repotted when they become
Remove the plant from original pot
If roots are growing around root ball and are firm
repot the plant
Roots must be separated to allow roots to develop
and make new growth
Wait until after flowering is completed to repot
General Care
Leaves should be cleaned occasionally w/ a
fine spray of water
Wipe leaves on top and underside
Removes dust and insects
Helps maintain humidity
Keeps plant fresh-looking
Controlling Diseases and Pests
The secret is to recognize and control problems on
the plant
Aphids are small, green insects w/ piercing mouth
parts suck plant juices
Leaves become sticky w/ honeydew causing a black,
sooty mold
Whitefly small white, winged, sucking insect
Heavy producers of eggs so infestation occurs fast
Insects (cont)
Mealybugs are white, woolly masses like a ball of
Concentrate on nodes and underside of leaves
Give plant a faded yellow appearance
Mites are small spiderlike insects on underside of
the leaf
Suck juices causing plant to yellow
Too small to see w/ naked eye
Easies way to check for mites is to tap the leaf above a
piece of white paper
Botrytis and mildew are 2 common diseases of
indoor plants
Botrytis causes leaves to turn black and develop a
gray mold
Controls include providing good air circulation and
Mildew causes leaves to get heavy white coating
Good air circulation and fungicide