Articles on Foliage Houseplants

There’s not a lot still growing outside now, but we can still enjoy greenery indoors. There are a great diversity and overwhelming number of different houseplants grown for their attractive foliage that offer texture, pattern and even color to your interior decor. Read about some common and easy-to-grow foliage houseplants …

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Datura

With coarse foliage and big, dramatic funnel-shaped flowers on large, mound-shaped plants, datura makes a bold statement in the garden. These fast-growing annual or tender perennial herbaceous plants are easily grown as seasonal plants in colder climates. Learn more about these plants that are not only ornamental, but have been used for medicinal, religious, and cultural purposes for millennia in this article…

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Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum

With “leaves” shaped like deer antlers arching out from a brown and green shield-shaped base, staghorn fern can be a dramatic decorative accent and conversation starter.  Naturally growing on trees for support and protection, these plants can be a bit challenging to grow indoors, but make fine houseplants with a little effort. Learn about these unique tropical ferns and how to grow them in this article…

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Shooting star, Dodecatheon meadia

With delicate, nodding purple, pink or white flowers that resemble tiny “shooting stars”, Dodecatheon meadia is a charming spring wildflower of moist prairies and open woodlands that adapts well to home gardens. Learn more about this perennial native to the central and eastern US in this article…

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Flora in San Diego

Most people’s image of San Diego is white beaches, palm trees, lush greenery and flowers blooming throughout the year. However beautiful this may be, it isn’t really true California flora. Learn about the native plants of this area and where you can see these as well as the diversity of exotic plants that are grown in San Diego County in this virtual tour of some public gardens and other places in the area.

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Articles on Flavors & Scents

Many plants or their parts smell or taste really good. Some are used commercially in flavorings or perfumes, while others just make an interesting addition to our gardens. Read about some of these plants — plus an article on scent in the garden — in these archived articles…

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Twospotted Spider Mite, Tetranychus urticae

From apples to zucchini – no matter what types of plants you grow – it’s likely something spider mites will attack. The most common spider mite, the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), is a general feeder that attacks a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. Learn about this the biology of this tiny pest, the type of damage it causes and how to manage it in this article…

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Articles on Some Flowering Tropical Plants

It’s pretty cold outside in our area, and most plants here have stopped growing for the season. But plants from tropical climates never have to deal with winter, and generally don’t drop their leaves and go dormant — making them ideal candidates to join us indoors for the winter (or to be grown as seasonal outdoor plants during the summer). Read about a few tropical plants grown for their flowers in these archived articles…

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American hog-peanut, Amphicarpaea bracteata

With attractive trifoliate leaves and the ability to fix nitrogen, American hog-peanut is a vigorous annual vine that twines around neighboring plants – making it welcome in some places, but usually considered a weed in ornamental landscapes. It is a somewhat unusual plant because it produces two types of flowers and seeds. Learn more about this North American native in the pea family in this article…

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Dodder, Cuscuta spp.

Tangles of pale yellow or bright orange strings running amok over other plants may remind you of science fiction tales, but there are actually real plants that grow like this. The nearly leafless, stringlike stems of dodder can be seen occasionally on a wide variety of plants in different habitats. Learn more about the biology of these parasitic plants that depend on their host plants for nutrition in this article…

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