House Plants/clueless!!


QUESTION: I have a plant I got from my aunts funeral about 3 years ago. I have no idea what it is or how to care for it. Every time a new leaf appears it seems another one will die. I would love if I could learn how to properly care for this beautiful organism and watch it truly flourish. Currently it is on a book shelf to the side of a window that is facing east. I water it about every 10 days, using a drinking glass about 8oz. It is still in the same pot I received it in which says its 10.25" carved stone planter. Please give me some direction I am completely clueless.

thank you so much for your time!  I am going to email a picture of my sad plant that never grows

ANSWER: Trista,

I cannot identify the plant without the picture and I did not receive that.  It should be in front of the window so it actually gets some sunlight. It is loosing leaves because it is not getting enough sun. The pot should have a drain hole in the bottom and a drain tray under it. When you water it you should wait an hour and empty any excess water from the drain tray so it is not sitting in a tray full of water constantly. That would rot the roots and also cause leaf loss. Email me that picture and I can identify the plant and give you more instructions. Good luck!


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QUESTION: sorry not only do I lack having a green thumb I am also not so tech savvy! will try this again, hopefully you will get the picture this time.  And I hope I am not asking for too much if I could also get some tips on a couple other plants I know nothing about. I have decided its time to learn all I can  to provide the most love and care for all living things! Especially those living in my house who depend solely on me, after-all I became responsible by accepting these beautiful gifts, right!  I feel guilty by just winging it and hoping for the best.  Your guidance in the matter is much appreciated. thank you so much for your time and patience.
Have a Bless Day


Your 1st plant is Alocasia amazonica commonly known as African Mask. Here is care sheet info on it:

Origin: Tropical Asia

Height: To 2 ft (60 cm)

Light: Bright light in an east or west window indoors , but no  direct sun outdoors.

Water: Keep soil moist spring through fall when plant is actively growing. Water sparingly in winter, allowing soil to become almost dry between waterings.

Humidity: Requires moist air. Use a room humidifier for best results.

Temperature: Average to warm 65-75F/18-24C.

Soil: Peat moss based potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a 20-10-10 liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Do not feed in winter.

Propagation: Division. Divide rhizomes in spring and pot in separate containers. Keep the top surface of the rhizome above the soil line so that the growing stems don't rot at soil level.

Your 2nd plant is Dracaena reflexa variegated. It is a popular ornamental plant, both in the landscape and the home. It performs well as a houseplant, tolerating infrequent waterings. It needs to dry out totally between waterings. It prefers bright, filtered light, without direct sun exposure, restricted outdoors to zones 1011. Needs to be in a location bright enough to make a shadow but no direct sun shining on it. It has average water needs and should be fertilized bi-weekly when actively growing. Although it can survive in relatively low light levels, the plant may grow spindly if given insufficient light. When grown indoors, temperatures of 18 C to 25 C (64 F to 77 F) should be maintained. It can be propagated via herbaceous stem cuttings. It appeaars your plant could be getting either too much water or too much sun.

If you have more questions about either plant write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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