At last!! A gardening/plant Forum!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by WendyI, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. WendyI

    WendyI Member

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    I guess I must be internet disabled because I've searching for a forum before and could never find any that were prolific! Then! I search for information on a plant I just bought and well, here you all are!

    So...I'm a newbie gardener...that is to say that I've been perennial gardening for about the past 8 years and feel like I'll NEVER remember this stuff! In September it will be two years since we moved into our brand new house and while that may sound wonderful, as a gardening addict, it was rather depressing to leave my old gardens behind and start all over in a brand new subdivision with hard, compacted earth!

    My reasons for searching today however, are to locate information on a new houseplant that I have just purchased. Being from Ontario, this plant will not survive outside so I've decided to simply keep it inside, but this is the most extravagent houseplant I have ever purchased and I really need it to live! I mostly kill indoor plants because I can't to the messy kind of watering that I can outside and frankly, I'm lazy! Too many trips to the faucet and I get fed up! LOL!

    ANYWAY!!! SO MANY QUESTIONS! The plant I bought is a "standard" Tribouchina (it's been grown in a tall braided fashion) but there was no cultivar name....is that the right term? I mean Tribouchina is the family but the type was not indicated. It has green fury leaves that are somewhat elongated and it has the most beautiful purple flowers I have EVER seen. The stamins are so delicate and feathery looking and I am in love with this plant!

    However, I've already read a few things that are leaving me wondering if I can keep this plant alive. So, at last, my questions:

    - it was in a 1 gallon pot when I brought it home. I transferred it to a large tempered glass beaker from a chemical lab. I work at a university and picked it up there...I also cleaned it well and I just liked the look of a plant in it! It was about 2.5 inches bigger in diameter and about 4 inches deeper. In the bottom, I placed three large pieces of lava rock because I read that the plant doesn't like wet feet. Since lava rock is porous I thought that this would help keep the water away from the roots and also provide some air? Hope I was right on that call!

    - I have also read that they are prone to mushroom fungus...something I'd never heard of in a houseplant before....and lo and behold, when I removed it from the pot there were two spots where there was a yellowy-white fungus and some mushrooms growing! I pulled away as much as I could and even cut a few of the ends of roots away (small ones only) that looked to be affected. The root ball was fairly tight but not rootbound so I just gently loosened it up a bit. Is there something else I should have done to treat the fungus?

    - Then I topped up with Scott's potting soil and watered well since my soil was somewhat dry. I know you should fertilize once a week or every second week with some flowering houseplants when actively blooming, but I have no idea the schedule for this one when flowering. Should I fertilize now or give it a chance to settle in it's new home?

    - Location and Air pollution? I have it in my dining room in front of an east facing window that gets early morning sun and bright light the rest of the day. The lady at the garden center said not to do this but everything I've read online says direct light is good so i'm a little confused. It's also about three or 4 feet from a floor vent and we have central A/C. Also, my Umbrella Cockatoo shares this room. If you aren't familiar with 'toos, they expell a LOT of white dust. I have to dust this room every second day to keep ahead of it, but it's difficult to keep off of my plants. Will this affect this plant?

    I did find some mention of this plant in here via a google search and someone posted a link to an adobe article but I couldn't get it to open :o(

    Anyway...if you have read this far, boy you're a nice person! LOL! Any information I can get on this plant is greatly apprecaited by both myself and my husband (who was aghast at the $50 pricetag).
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hey WendyI,

    Welcome to the forums. Although your post makes a great introduction, your main question is about an indoor plant, so I moved it here, where everyone could see it. I have never grown a tibouchina. There has been some discussion about the plant on the forums. You can use the Search function (on the green bar at the top of the page)to find all the posts on the plant.

    I would caution you about the glass beaker for a container. Are there drainage holes in the bottom? If there is no place for the water to drain, it will stand in the bottom and the roots will suffocate. Rocks and gravel in the bottom of a pot can help provide good drainage, but there have to be holes for the water to drain away.

    Someone who has grown princess flower will have more info. Are you going to grow it only indoors or put it outdoors for summer?
     
  3. WendyI

    WendyI Member

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    Hi Eric...thanks so much for your reply and for moving my thread.

    The rocks in the bottom of the container are quite large, about the size of half a small honey dew melon and are extremely porous. There is a few inches of dirt above the rocks and the pant roots start there. I do plan to move the plant once I see the roots at the outter edge of the container; I was just a little shy on pots for a plant this size. :-\

    I am a little concerned this morning though since I awoke to find purple flower petals all over my floor!! There are still a good number of blooms on the plant however, so these petals may have been ready to come off anyway. Can someone tell me if this could be transplant shock? It also has a lot of new blooms, seemingly overnight!

    I am growing it only indoors since I can't stand the thought of bringing earwigs into my house! Blech! And I do not yet have a pergola, deck or any form of shade and my back yard is quite hot at this time of year. It looks much nicer inside than on my non-existent deck. :-\

    I will also do a search for this site for more info. Thanks!
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Like I said I have not grown this plant, but there was a large one planted at the entry to the UBC Botanical Garden in past years and it seemed to have a lot of purple petals at its base all the time, so I think that the flower shed on yours is normal. and yes things often shed more while adjusting to a new home don't they.

    I think they need a lot of sun, so I hope you have a good spot for it indoors.

    Good luck with the princess,
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    As Eric mentioned, the dropping petals is part of this plant's charm, particularly so because the fallen petals retain their colour for some time.
     

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