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Disclaimer:

I am writing this because when I got this plant I found very little info about it’s needs, so this is all written from experience. I am not a horticulturist. However, I can confidently say that I have successfully taken care of this plant in an apartment environment, hooray! I also want to urge people to read this before considering buying a cutting so they know what they’re getting into, because I would say this is more of an ‘intermediate’ level plant.

The Ficus Triangularis Variegata plant is one of the harder plants to find in the United States—even it’s non-variegated version is not one that I would necessarily call “common”. This post will give readers a brief overview of the experience I have had with taking care of my Ficus Triangularis Variegata plant. I want everyone to be successful in growing this plant, instead of them dying. Again, this is all from experience, not all may agree with my advice but please remember: every space is different for growing plants. My plant went from dropping multiple leaves a day, to producing amazing variegated leaves and even producing fruit, so I want to do what I can to ensure the survival of my cuttings.

Light:

This plant NEEDS light, if you do not give it enough light it will drop it’s leaves or it will not produce any variegation in it’s growth. It will definitely start dropping it’s more variegated leaves if it does not get enough light. I also believe that it needs consistent light—if it’s doing well in one spot, don’t move it. Ficuses are known to dislike being moved. I would not put it in direct sunlight unless you’re somewhere super tropical (andddd I can’t ship international, sorry!). Hint: mine was under a grow light for ~10 hours a day, and so were the rooted cuttings. That way they get consistent light.

Humidity/Temp:

These guys need humidity as much as they need light, especially when they are still young (for example, if you buy a cutting). The plant will produce more leaves and grow faster if you give it consistent humidity. My rooted cuttings developed large roots within 3 weeks inside a humidity dome, I misted them once a week. In all honestly, a young cutting should stay in a dome or cloche until it has at least 6-10 leaves on it (to be safe) and once outside it should be very near a humidifier to keep producing foliage. By putting it in some humidity dome, you are ensuring it gets consistent humidity. They do not tolerate cold or drafts.

Watering:

This one is tricky because my mother plant was really large—your small potted cutting will most likely need more frequent waterings, especially if it’s in terra cotta, but again it depends on how much light it’s getting as well. I do thorough waterings once a month, or untill I can stick my whole index finger down the soil and it’s not wet or damp. If I’m really not sure, I usually wait one week from the time I think it’s time to water. If your plant is super thirsty though it may start dropping leaves.

Fertilizer:

I have been fertilizing my large plant once a month with 50% diluted organic fertilizer and he seems to love this. My trick is to thoroughly water first without fertilizer and then right after, add the fertilizer mixture. Getting the fertilizer right for this plant will help it grow lush and happy. I plan to fertilize once more in October then stop for the winer. As for soil, the cuttings grew in an organic potting mix which i then threw in extra perlite for added drainage, they seemed to like this. Drainage is key!

Bringing Out/Retaining Variegation:

If you give it the right light and consistent humidity, your plant will grow new foliage with variegation. With this plant I noticed that the green leaved stems produced more variegation once I got my humidity routine down. Even if your cutting is part green it will revert back to yellow under appealing conditions.

Buy at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damage to your plant upon arrival. I will do my very best to package these plants, but it is your job to make sure you are at your address to receive it and not have it sit outside. Does not come with soil or the coco coir planter pictured—shipped BARE ROOT. All shipments will be via USPS.

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“Plants are cheaper than therapy.”

House plants are totally rad.

Here are some reasons why you should consider putting house plants in your home:

  • a lot of house plants clean the air (sansevieria, aloe, spider plants etc.)

  • they are so darn cute

  • watching them grow is really fun

  • seeing your plant grow will make you feel amazing

People often ask me where I like to go plant shopping. That is a loaded question to me because each shop is different. I do know that I prefer to shop at local businesses instead of big chain stores—I'm all for shopping local. I also go gaga for stores with lots of handmade goods that also have plants (hand thrown ceramics make me drool).

So here is a list of my top 5 favorite plant stores in the San Francisco Bay Area:

5. Flowerland (Albany, CA)

I definitely found out about Flowerland on Instagram. It was Pride week and everyone in the bay was repping rainbow, love it by the way. I saw a picture of their shop front where they had outdoor chairs in a line on top of their building, each chair being a color in the rainbow. I was like, this is cool. So I went and checked it out. Well well well, I was pleasantly surprised by how awesome this plant shop is. It is very large, probably the largest one in the list, with a lot of outdoor plants as well. Outside there is an airstream that serves coffee—so cute! The inside area where the registers are is where all the house plants are and many plant related gifts. They had some awesome pots within different price ranges which I really loved, but what I was really impressed by was their plant related book collection! They had a few books I’ve had my eye on for a while which was nice to finally be able to get ahold of. This is definitely a “pretty” shop so make sure to bring your camera/charge your phone!

4. Plant and Pottery Outlet (Sunol)

This was the first nursery in California I ever went to. They have a greenhouse dedicated to just house plants, it’s absolutely magical. They are family owned and often have sales during holiday weekends. Whenever I go here it reminds me of when I didn’t know much about houseplants, and also how much I’ve grown in this hobby. When you’re in their greenhouse, I guarantee you too will become a plant enthusiast (if you aren’t already!). If you’re looking for a large plant, I would definitely check this place out. I also think their prices are very reasonable for the quality of plants they sell. This is where I bought my Monstera Deliciosa, and boy was I excited! Oh, and of course they have amazing pots/planters! Lots of large ones for outside too at reasonable prices. They have a whole lot dedicate to discounted pots if you cross their little bridge to the other side of the nursery (hence the name). Aren’t these pots awesome?

3. The Dry Garden (Berkeley)

Oh The Dry Garden is amazing. To be honest I wanted to rate this as my #1 but to be fair there are more drought tolerant plants (cacti and succulents) than house plants. However, if you’re looking for hard to find drought tolerant plants, this is the place to be. They have some really unusual cacti and succulents. I was lucky enough to score some sansevieria sayuri here—which in the moment I thought was sansevieria bantel sensation, whoops. I also saw some other unusual sansevieria when I went, at decent prices. This place is also independently owned, I think it is ran by two guys who are both very nice.

Funny story, the first time I went here I totally missed the hot house (pictured) which is the most epic part of the shop besides the checkout area where they have all their super rare plants. It’s definitely a Kodak moment. So when you go, don’t forget to check out their hot house! It’s in the back of the nursery, so go all the way back and swing a left!

2. Roots (San Francisco)

Ah, Roots. When Jamie and I went to Roots in SF—we both were freaking out. It’s literally an indoor jungle, it’s absolutely incredible. Their small space is covered head to toe in beautiful house plants, small and large. You feel like you’re in a jungle—your body being enveloped in beautiful greenery. But what makes this store so amazing is the shop owner, Michelle. She is awesome and full of life, I loved meeting her. She is the true definition of a plant person: very generous, kind and knowledgable. The shop contained a lot of unusual plants, it’s one of those places you need to look hard or you might miss something magical. I saw lots of different kinds of sansevieria which is always a treat. Here is my favorite picture I snapped while there, look at the size of that Bird of Paradise! You can even see a new leaf emerging. This is just a small part of the shop, you’ll have to go see the rest of it yourself :), can’t ruin the whole experience right?

AND MY #1 PICK IS……..1. Encinal Nursey (Alameda)

I love Encinal Nursery so much, it’s definitely a plant shop you must visit. It’s very much a family owned shop, and I was lucky enough to meet the shop owner’s daughter who I think owns the actual shop. This is where I got my unicorn plant—the ficus triangularis variagata, which is one of the reasons why this is my favorite nursery in all of the Bay Area (so far). I don’t think she has any more of this plant though since I bought the mother plant and I think she sold the rest of what she propagated. This nursery contains an amazing hot house full of everything planty, it has a very good variety of everything which is another reason why I chose this shop as my #1 pick. I saw some very unusual cacti when I last went. The first time I went here I stayed for over an hour, crazy plant lady much? It’s quite the experience to walk down the hot house, I give it 5 stars!

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