My Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) was beginning to look a lot like the one in the picture lately, with long scraggly vines and wide spacing between the leaves. To be honest, mine looked worse than the one in the picture, but I couldn't find one that looked as sad as mine did. I still got compliments on it because the vines were several feet long, but I knew my plant had seen better days.
It was suffering from too little attention and water and not enough sunlight. I began to pinch back the growing tips on the vines, but it still looked sad and disheveled so I did the only thing left to do and cut it all back. I'll admit I felt a twinge of pain when the scissors cut through the vines and they coiled in a mass in the counter, but I know it is the only way to revive my plant and bring it back to its original luster.
I trimmed the cuttings back to 2 to 3 inches and dipped them in rooting powder. I then tucked them into the pot with the original plant. Within a few weeks I should have a massive plant with thick, dense foliage - at least that is my plan.
If your houseplants are struggling to thrive this winter, don't be afraid to cut them back and give them an opportunity to send out new foliage. They may look a little unsightly for a few weeks, but they will reward you with lush new growth.
Last week when I visited Hannafords, I discovered a delightful little cactus loaded with brilliant pink buds. Without giving it much thought, I assumed it was a Christmas Cactus (Schlumbera gerabridgesii). When I got it home and took a closer look, I discovered that it was a Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata).
I was given some 'slips' (cuttings) of a Christmas Cactus this summer. The plant is growing well, but I'm not sure if it will bloom this year. I'll admit, I've never grown either a Thanksgiving or a Christmas Cactus and never thought to get one. Probably because they are rather plain except for when they are in bloom.
My mother had a Christmas Cactus and loved it dearly. I didn't understand the attraction then, but as I see this little plant get ready to bloom, I'm beginning to understand. As you can see in the image above the two look very similar except for the shape of the leaf segments.
Until Next Time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!
I have been putting my poinsettias in darkness for 12 to 14 hours a night for several weeks. I have a 6-year-old red one and a 3-year-old variegated pink one similar to the picture above. I was not successful in getting them to bloom last year because I wasn't devoted enough to give them the darkness they needed. I'm hoping I have solved that problem this year.
It may be too soon to tell, but I think I can see tinges of red on the large one tonight. If I manage to force them into blooming they will be a spectacular sight. The oldest stands close to 4-feet tall and the youngest is about 2 1/2 feet tall.
I'm thinking I need to add another color to my collection this year, but I haven't decided what color I want.
Until Next Time .... HAPPY GARDENING!
UPDATE (11/23): It's only been 3 days since my post and I'm happy to say that I now have several small red leaves on the red poinsettia. The variegated pink poinsettia has a few leaves that are beginning to look a little splotchy. I assume they are beginning to change color and should be showing some pink soon!
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