How to Care for Episcia ‘Strawberry Mist’

I can’t figure out why more people aren’t obsessed with these plants. They have some of the prettiest leaves of any houseplants I’ve ever seen (see photo below).

Episcias have lovely and delicate spade-shaped leaves. Their leaves are covered in tiny soft hairs and come in a rainbow of colors; pink, green, gray, blue and brown. This particular cultivar, E. ‘Strawberry Mist’, has bright pink leaves with olive green patches along the leaf margins.

Episcias have a bit of a reputation for being difficult to grow, but I have found them to be truly low-maintenance plants…if you simply provide them with the growing conditions that they need.

If you are new to Episcias or have struggled with caring for this plant in the past, this article should give you some guidance. We will discuss; watering, light, best location in the house, temperature, fertilizer, humidity, flowers, insects, diseases, pruning, propagation and toxicity.

Episcia cupriata is the scientific name of this plant, its common name is Flame Violet. They are very closely related to African Violets, which seem to be much more popular. If you are able to successfully grow African Violets, you will do just fine with Episcias. Their needs are almost identical.

Let’s talk about how to care for this plant.

Episcias are native to tropical regions of Central and South America and the West Indies. So that will give us some clues about their care needs.

Watering – Water only once the potting mix has begun to dry out. Allow all excess water to drain out of the pot after watering. Potting mix should be kept moist but not soggy.

Light requirements – Bright light is a must for this plant. It allows the leaves to color up brightly. As a caution, too much direct sun can burn those beautiful sparkly leaves. Only morning sun is appropriate for these plants. If you begin to see faded leaf color or burning of leaf margins, you may want to move your plant out of the direct sun.

Cuttings root easily once they are divided from the parent plant.

Best Location in the House – I’ve kept my Episcia in a North facing window, an East facing window and under grow lights. They seem to do equally well in all three of those locations.

Temperature requirements – Like most houseplants, Flame Violets will live happily in the same temperatures that we humans like to live in. They will naturally slow down their growth when temperatures drop in the winter. Something important to keep in mind concerning temperature is that even though Flame Violets can live in regular household temperatures, they prefer heat (remember that they are endemic to Central and South America).

Fertilizer – Dilute fertilizer by half or more. Apply fertilizer as long as the plant is showing active growth. Once the plant slows down its growth, give it a rest from the fertilizer.

Humidity – Normal household humidity levels are not going to cut it for an Episcia. And as the temperature rises, an Episcia needs higher humidity to match. In cooler temperatures they can grow well in 65-75% humidity. Once the temperatures go above about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity will need to be 80% at a minimum. So if your home does not naturally have these humidity levels (mine certainly does not), expect to grow your Flame Violets in a greenhouse cabinet, under a cloche, in a terrarium or near a humidifier.

I keep my Episcia ‘Strawberry Mist’ in this cloche to keep the appropriate humidity levels.

Flowers – Flame Violets can flower when they are happy. This is generally when they are experiencing warm temperatures and super high humidity. The blooms are either bright orange, red, pink or even white. If your plant chooses to give you flowers, you are doing very well. I haven’t bloomed my own E. ‘Strawberry Mist’ yet, but I’ve seen others in bloom. They have very bright orange blooms which contrast rather oddly with the shiny pink foliage.

Insects – Mealy bugs and spider mites appear to be the most common insect complaints for this plant. Spider mites should not be an issue at all if humidity is kept high enough. They will generally avoid any high humidity situations. If Mealy bugs show up, they can be dealt with by dipping a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and applying it to the mealies. If you decide to use a commercial pesticide, use caution. The leaves of Flame Violets are delicate and easily damaged. I’d advise treating one or two leaves as a test before treating the entire plant.

Diseases – Because Episcias enjoy warm and moist environs, diseases can be an issue. Botritis, Powdery Mildew and Erwinia Blight can happen if there isn’t enough air circulation.

Pruning – Obviously, one of the attractions of this plant are its long, trailing stems. But Episcias can take on an untidy appearance so pruning is often necessary. It won’t hurt your plant at all and you can trim it back as harshly as necessary.

Propagation – Flame Violets propagate themselves by sending out stolons, just like a strawberry plant. I simply cut off the tiny new plantlets and pot them up in whatever potting media I have handy. They’re not at all picky and you’ll have new plants very quickly.

Toxicity – Episcias are not poisonous to humans, cats or dogs.

Link to my Etsy shop, Matilda and Clementine which often (but not always) has Episcia ‘Strawberry Mist’ cuttings available.

If this article was helpful to you, make sure to follow this blog. Simply head to the bottom of the Home page of this website, click the Subscribe button and type in your email address. Sharing and liking these articles is also very helpful to us. Thanks for reading!

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Stackable Moss poles – https://amzn.to/3nzgDoo

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Aosbeic Grow light 4ft.x 4ft. – https://amzn.to/3x3l8uu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

My Current Top Five Favorite Houseplants

My favorite plants change on a regular basis, so don’t hold me to this list in a few weeks time. But for now, these are my favorite plants.

#5 – Peace Lily ‘Platinum Mist’ (Spathiphyllum ‘Platinum Mist’)

My Platinum Mist is still going strong. It is such a beautiful and easy care plant. The leaves are silvery which makes me a dedicated fan. It’s sitting right in the middle of our living room because I never get tired of looking at it.

#4 – Hindu Rope Hoya (Hoya carnosa compacta) – This plant is now five years old and has been blooming and reblooming since June of 2020. And although I’ve loved Medusa since before she ever gave me blooms, I love her even more devotedly now that she’s sharing her big beautiful and fragrant blooms. Yes, my compacta has a name. You’ll understand when you see her photo (below). It’s the only plant in my home that has a name, but it makes such good sense. Don’t you agree?

This curly haired beauty is named Medusa. For obvious reasons.

#3 – Hoya polyneura – This Hoya is a fairly new plant to my collection. I’m already smitten by its lovely mermaid tail shaped leaves. I’m also a bit afraid of this plant because I recently killed one (sigh). That’s a story for a different blog though, so wish me luck with polyneura #2.

Hopefully someday my Hoya polyneura will be a full and glorious plant.

#2 – Domino Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Domino’) – I keep this plant in my IKEA greenhouse cabinet and the result of the excellent lighting it receives there is some truly fantastic variegation. Most of the new leaves are coming in with large beautifully variegated leaves. I wasn’t even aware that a Domino could make variegation like this. I thought they could only produce the little white splashes on their leaves. It’s been a very pleasant surprise.

The newest all white leaf probably won’t survive due to the lack of chlorophyll, but I’ll enjoy it as long as it lasts.

#1 – Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ – This one is finally coming into its own. If you are somehow unfamiliar with this plant, it is highly desired for the ghost-shaped bright white new leaves. The leaves, once mature, are such an interesting shape and the plant is very easy care. It’s really just an all-around great plant.

Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ is my current favorite houseplant.

As always, thank you for reading and take care, my friends.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

Potentilla recta – A Pernicious Weed

For my outdoor gardening friends, (from this point forward I shall refer to you as my fellow Dirt People), I thought maybe learning about the weeds in our area would be very helpful.

Maybe you are wondering why you would want to identify weeds that show up in your gardens. It is my firm belief that knowing how a plant (weed) spreads can be extremely valuable when preparing a new planting site or when maintaining flowerbeds or gardens. Also, being able to refer to a weed by its common name or its botanical name can help you have meaningful and uncomplicated discussions with other gardeners regarding weed control. Knowing the toxicity of a weed is paramount to the safety of our families and beloved pets. And in the U.S., we have many weeds that are very poisonous to humans and pets.

I encountered the Sulfur cinquefoil for the first time last year in a vineyard. As a farmer, I generally see the same few types of weeds repeated throughout the areas where I work. So I identified the Sulfur immediately as a stranger and stopped to study the plant. The leaf shape is very distinct; they look like tiny, very hairy palm leaves.

The leaves and stems of the Sulfur cinquefoil are covered with light colored hairs.

I did my best to find the name of the plant online, but failed miserably. My friend, Angela, is the one who identified this plant for me. It was an extremely difficult task to correctly identify this plant since there are so many cinquefoils found across the United States. Although there are many native cinquefoils in the U.S. this cinquefoil is not endemic, but was accidentally introduced to the United States in the early 19th century. Angela was able to identify this particular Potentilla by the hairs that stand out from the stems at 90 degree angles.

The Sulfur cinquefoil blooms from early May through July. The blooms are a soft buttery yellow and look similar to strawberry blooms. Each bloom has five heart-shaped petals. But watch out, if you see blooms then seed heads are not far behind. And the seed production of these plants is prolific.

Every bloom on the Potentilla recta has five soft yellow petals, shaped like hearts.

The flowers of the Potentilla recta, once pollinated, will become seed pods (see photo below) which can explode its tiny seeds into the air.

Seed pods have formed on this Sulfur cinquefoil.

The wind will carry the seeds a relatively short distance, but seeds will be carried long-distance by animal fur, clothing and vehicles. This Potentilla can take over established fields, agricultural areas, roadsides, pastures and basically any location that isn’t full shade. It is an aggressive grower and can completely displace native and non-native plants, thus it is a noxious weed.

On the bright side, this plant is not poisonous to humans or pets. It reportedly has a high tannin content which gives it a bitter flavor, but is not harmful if ingested.

Make sure to comment below if you’ve encountered this pernicious weed too.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

References for this article:

Missouri Botanical Garden. (2021). Potentilla recta. https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=368252&isprofile=0&

National Park Service. (2016, June 28). Exotic Species: Sulfur Cinquefoil. https://www.nps.gov/articles/sulfur-cinquefoil.htm

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

How to Care for Philodendron ‘Brasil’

Philodendrons are arguably the most popular genus of houseplants in today’s market. Their allure is completely understandable, there are hundreds of species and even more cultivars, each more beautiful than the last. Many of the Philodendrons are easy care plants which ups their appeal that much more. The Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ certainly falls into the “easy care” category which makes them basically perfect for any plant parents, new or experienced.

Philodendron ‘Brasil’ may be in a lot of homes, but it is easy to see why.

If you are new to Philodendron hederaceum, this article should give you some guidance. We will discuss; watering, light, best location in the house, temperature, fertilizer, humidity, flowers, insects, diseases, pruning, propagation and toxicity.

Philodendron ‘Brasil’ only has a few synomyns including Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’ and Brasil Philodendron.

Watering – Water deeply but only once the soil has dried out in the pot. Using a finger or moisture meter to check the moisture level is a must. I make sure that the potting mix is dried out down several inches before I even consider watering. Also, a drainage hole in the planter is a must. Make sure to provide it a fast-draining potting mix and let all excess water drain out of the pot after watering. I have found that bottom watering this plant works really well.

Light requirements – Medium light is all that is needed for this plant. Direct sun will burn a Philodendron Brasil’s leaves. You will know the appropriateness of your light levels just based on the coloration of the leaves. If the leaves begin to be mostly green with very little or no chartreuse coloring, your plant needs a brighter location in the house. Direct sunlight is not recommended.

Best Location in the House – Place P. ‘Brasil’ directly in a North facing window and it will love you forever. If you don’t have a North window in your home, place it a few feet away from an East or West facing window (3-4 feet should be appropriate).

Temperature requirements – Like most houseplants, this Philodendron will live happily in the same temperatures that we humans like to live in.

Fertilizer – Dilute fertilizer by half. Apply fertilizer beginning in March as a general guideline. I personally use fertilizer from spring until fall and give the plant a break from fertilizer during winter.

Humidity – Normal household humidity levels are completely appropriate. However, if you own a humidifier, this plant will tend to grow more quickly in higher than average humidity.

Flowers – Philodendrons do not produce blooms until they are very mature. Like almost two decades mature. Once a Philodendron has reached the age of 15-16 years old, they will produce their first blooms. The blooms are quite unique and if you have the chance to see some at a botanical garden or other location, I highly recommend it. They can be pollinated by hand once the blooms have heated up. (Yes, the blooms create heat of up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit to attract scarab beetles that act as Philodendron pollinators in nature.)

Insects – Philodendron ‘Brasil’ is a fairly easygoing plant and I haven’t experienced any pest issues personally. If you do experience pests on your ‘Brasil’, they will probably be either mealy bugs, aphids, scale or spider mites. And most likely, the “plague” will have spread from a nearby infested plant.

Diseases – There aren’t many diseases to list here because Philodendron ‘Brasil’ is a robust and generally healthy plant. Two diseases that may occur are root rot and bacterial leaf spot.

Pruning – Since P. ‘Brasil’ is a vining plant, there are plenty of opportunities for pruning. You can prune to shape your plant or to encourage “thicker” growth from the top of the plant. Pruning cuts are also an easy way to propagate your plant.

Propagation – I prefer to propagate my vining Philodendrons by cuttings. Simply cut off a leaf, leaving the node intact, and plant in soil. They can go straight into soil, but if you like water propagating to see root growth, you can pop your cuttings into a glass or small vase of water. Once they have some roots between 1-2″ long they can be planted in potting mix.

Toxicity – Philodendron plants are toxic to dogs, cats and humans. All parts of Philodendrons have small crystalized minerals that can cause swelling in the throat, tongue and lips, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Philodendron ‘Brasil’ in particular could be very tempting to a curious child or playful cat because of its tendency to trail long beautiful tendrils that could hang in reach. My advice is to keep this plant well trimmed and up on high shelves if you have any creatures, human or otherwise, who may find it enticing.

Link to my Etsy shop, Matilda and Clementine which often (but not always) has Philodendron ‘Brasil’ plants available.

If this article was helpful to you, make sure to follow this blog. Simply head to the bottom of the Home page of this website, click the Subscribe button and type in your email address. Sharing and liking these articles is also very helpful to us. Thanks for reading!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

References for this article:

(2021). Philodendron hederaceum.  Kew Science. Plants of the World Online. http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:87797-1

Wilkinson, S. (2016, June 4). Philodendrons in bloom. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  https://www.lewisginter.org/philodendrons-bloom/#:~:text=Philodendrons%20are%20only%20open%20for,the%20middle%20of%20the%20night.

Perennial Plants That Will Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

We all know that our Hummingbird population, like so many other pollinator populations, is dropping to dangerous lows. I’ve chosen the plants on this list because I have years of experience growing them in my own flower beds and borders and I know from my own experience that hummingbirds adore them. The plants are not in any particular order, just the order in which they came into my mind.

Phlox (Phlox paniculata) – Beautiful panicles of bright pink and white flowers are sure to catch the attention of every hummingbird in the neighborhood. Plant these perennials in full sun and near the middle or back of the flower bed since they can grow several feet tall. Water regularly as they don’t appreciate being allowed to dry out.

The candy pink Phlox (in rear of photo) is a beacon, inviting hummingbirds into your garden space.

Lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus) – A showy flower spike in purple, pink, yellow, (almost blue) and white will fill your flower beds with blooms. Hummingbirds love the flower spikes on these plants because there are lots of blooms available on each spike. Lupines are in the Legume family and so are “nitrogen fixers” which is great for your soil. They are rather short-lived when compared to other perennials, but they do naturalize so you will continue to have Lupines in your hummingbird flower beds (if not in the same place where you originally planted them).

Salvia – Sometimes referred to as Sage, this plant attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Salvias may be perennial or annual so make sure to check the tag on any plants you may purchase. Also there are many different cultivars of Salvia available these days, so it’s easy to find a plant that grows to the size you would like if you already have established flower beds.

Here are three different colors of Salvia. Salvias also grow to different heights and so it is possible to find varieties for any space in your hummingbird garden.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) – Tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers make this an irresistible temptation for our tiny bird friends. Flowers can be yellow, purple, pink or white and are “freckled” which adds to their charm. Foxgloves prefer a slightly shaded spot in the garden and will reward you with blooms beginning in June.

Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) – Another common name for this plant is Torch Lily because the flower spikes look very much like they are glowing. Flowers begin at the end of spring and can last through until fall, so they provide a good source of nectar for hummingbirds. The flowers are narrow and tubular, perfect for hummingbirds, and come in many shades of orange and yellow.

Bee balm (Monarda didyma) – Also known as Oswego tea or Bergamot, Bee balm is a well-known and well-loved perennial plant. Its spicy scent and unusually shaped flowers make it easily recognizable. The flowers are a round bulb with a ring of tube-shaped flowers sporting an extremely long lower lip, perfect for the long beaks and tongues of our beloved hummingbirds.

Bee Balms are interestingly shaped flowers that provide color and a delicious spicy scent to your spring flower garden.

Beard tongue (Penstemon digitalis) – Pretty tubular shaped flowers with a ruffled “beard” or lip are the hallmarks of a Penstemon plant. The colors run the full gamut of pinks, purples, whites and reds; every shade and blend you could imagine. If you wanted, you could make a whole garden of just Penstemons since there are so many varieties available. If you only choose one, remember that hummingbirds are extremely attracted to the color red. Butterflies and bees also enjoy the blooms, so these flowers make lots of pollinators happy.

Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) – Just like the name sounds, the flowers on this plant are heart-shaped and beautiful. They come in a combination of pink and white or all white flowers; both are lovely, classic additions to your shade garden. Expect blooms in mid to late spring.

Catmint (Nepeta) – Nepeta is great plant for beginner gardeners since it is a vigorous grower. As suggested in its name, it is in the mint family and can therefore grow and spread. Some cultivars stay neater and spread less vigorously if that is what you desire. The flowers are lavender, white, soft pink or blue and appear through the summer and early fall.

Gayfeather (Liatris spicata) – Liatris blooms first appear in mid-summer and continue to bloom through until early to mid-fall frosts hit. The flowers are either white or purple and look like bright colored candles in the garden.

Liatris are favored by hummingbirds, but are also a treat for bumble bees and other pollinators too.

Coral bells (Heuchera) – Usually gardeners only plant Heucheras because of their fantastic foliage, but they are perfect for hummingbird gardens. Their flowers are either coral, soft pink or white and float high above the foliage on wispy stems.

Larkspur (Delphinium) – The name Delphinium is derived from the ancient Greek word for “dolphin”, supposedly because their flowers are shaped like dolphins. The flowers open on tall spikes and can be white, pink, yellow, red, purple or blue as well as combinations of those colors. Delphiniums will probably be the tallest flowers in your garden and can provide a dramatic display throughout the summer.

I hope that this list has been helpful for you. Please help us by liking this blog post (because that helps us). Also make sure that you have subscribed to this website so that you don’t miss any new content. Simply head to the bottom of the Home page, click the Subscribe button and type in your email address. You don’t want to miss out, right?

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

Copyright 2021 Liquidambar Girl Gardening. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express permission is prohibited.

Peduncle Watch

I used to think that if I got peduncles on my Hoyas, it meant that I was an accomplished Hoya grower. After almost two years of blooming Hoya plants I realize that some peduncles come from good growing habits and some from the bad. Sometimes peduncles form on a super young plant, sometimes only after a hard pruning, sometimes because all of the stars in the sky have aligned. A peduncle can mean that beautiful, fragrant flowers are coming your way, but can also mean dried up, blasted buds will curse your dreams. I’ve learned that peduncles are a gamble like so many other things.

For whatever reason, many of my Hoyas have a mind to make some blooms this spring. Here are the Hoyas from my collection that are currently forming flowers.

Hoya lacunosa – This plant is a prolific bloomer and is dripping with peduncles. It actually began blooming for me the same year that I bought it as a small rooted cutting. It tends to take a month or so of a break in between bloom times and then it’s right back to being covered in blooms. If you want a super fast grower and an easy bloomer, I’d recommend H. lacunosa for sure.

Hoya macrophylla albo marginata – These Hoya blooms act differently than any of the other Hoyas I have bloomed. The peduncle is covered with buds, but does not mature all of the buds to bloom at the same time as pictured below. The star-shaped flowers are a light blush pink color.

Hoya macrophylla albo marginata doesn’t feel obligated to bloom all its flower buds at the same time.

Hoya ‘Rebecca’ – The ruby red leaves on this Hoya are a treat for the eyes and the blooms are just as lovely. My ‘Rebecca’ had a few weeks of rest after its last blooms, but the peduncles are gearing up for another big show. This plant is very generous with its blooms.

Hoya wayetii variegata – There is only one peduncle on this plant, but it’s already a beauty. Even before the blooms have opened. The size of this umbel is impressive, it’s similar in size to a Hoya carnosa bloom. I’m really excited to see these blooms open!

There is only one peduncle on this plant, but it is huge!

Hoya sp. rangsan – I don’t want to take credit that I don’t deserve…this poor Hoya isn’t blooming for me because I’ve done a good job growing it. We’ve had a personality conflict which resulted in root rot and H. rangsan’s almost death. It panicked and threw out about 8 or 9 peduncles in a wild attempt to procreate. It bloomed once already, but I’m not sure that the buds that still remain will make it to a bloom. Only time will tell.

Hoya obovata – Only two peduncles have formed so far on this plant. It’s about a year and half old and has grown a lot of leaves. The peduncles have been on the plant for about four months; buds form and then blast. It feels frustrating; like I may never see an obovata bloom. I’m thinking that an up pot may give this plant the “kick in the pants” it needs.

Hoya sp. aff burtoniae – This plant was the first Hoya that ever bloomed for me and it has not rested since. I’ve had blooms from this lovely Hoya for almost a year and a half now…nonstop. The whole plant is covered with peduncles and blooms in all stages of maturity.

Flower buds on Hoya sp. aff burtoniae.

I hope your Hoyas are making peduncles to celebrate spring!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

The Forsythia is Blooming – It’s Time to Prune Your Roses

One of the sure signs that spring has arrived is the appearance of the lovely bright yellow Forsythia blooms. I’m usually so desperate for color after long Ohio winters, I swear I hear angel choirs singing when I see Forsythias in full bloom.

Forsythia blooms can light up the landscape.

I’m a visual person and a really great yearly reminder to do my spring pruning is when I see those pretty Forsythia blooms dotting yards all around town. So let this (extremely brief) blog be a reminder for you and for me to get those hand pruners cleaned and sharpened and get those fertilizers purchased because it’s “Go time” in our flower gardens. Yay!

Forsythia provides valuable early season pollen for our pollinators.

If you are wondering what I use to fertilize my roses, I use Espoma Rose Tone. I’ve given you a link here so you can see what it looks like, but if you can find it at your local garden center it will most likely be cheaper.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) – https://amzn.to/3m8OGkU

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

Butterfly Garden Plants

If you have ever wanted to attract butterflies to your yard, I’d say this is the time to do it. The pollinators on our planet are under attack from every direction; global warming, drastic loss of habitat, pesticides and other chemical abuses; thinking about it honestly makes my stomach sick and my mind reel. I feel an obligation and desire to support the butterfly population and I hope you feel that way also. In this blog, I’ll name five excellent plants that I have used for attracting butterflies to my flower garden.

Echinacea – Coneflower

A Yellow Sulfur on my heirloom Echinacea (they belonged to my Grandmother).

Coneflowers may be my most favorite butterfly magnet in the garden. They come in a huge variety of flower shapes and colors, are easy to care for and will be positively covered in pollinators. Echinacea will bloom throughout the summer and right up until the first hard frost of the season. The long bloom time means that they provide a lasting source of food for the butterflies until it is time for them to hibernate or migrate. Here is a link for Coneflower seeds.

Height/Width – 12-36 inches tall and 12-24 inches wide (Each cultivar will be different, make sure to check the tag before buying)

Colors – Red, yellow, orange, pink, white, green

Zones – 3-8

Gaillardia – Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower is an eye-catching flower in the garden.

Gaillardia, commonly called Blanket Flower, is a bright pop of color on the edge of or near the front of a flower garden. The flowers generally begin blooming in (late Spring) early Summer and will continue to bloom straight through to the first heavy frost. This makes them a consistent source of nectar for butterflies. Gaillardia doesn’t grow very tall or wide which makes this plant very easy to squeeze into an already established flower garden. Or if you are planting a new flower bed, I’d recommend planting a whole grouping of this plant for a bright pop of color and an irresistible treat for your butterfly population.

Height/Width – generally between 18-22 inches tall – generally 12-18 inches wide. Varieties vary so be sure to check for each plant you purchase.

Colors – red, orange and yellow

Zones – generally 3-9 (check individual plants to be sure they are zoned for your garden)

Scabiosa – Pincushion Flower

Scabiosa is on of my favorite flowers.

Scabiosa is a rather unusual and beautiful flower that butterflies cannot seem to resist. These plants are enchanting with a neat mound of foliage low to the ground and their flowers seemingly floating up above. If you keep the dead flowers pruned, Scabiosa will bloom throughout the summer and keep the butterflies well fed.

Height/Width – 12-24 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Colors – Blue/Purple, pink and white

Zones – 4-9 (Zones vary, check before buying a plant)

Stokesia – Stoke’s Aster

Stokesia blooms can reach 4-5 inches across.

Although Stokesia may max out at around 2 feet tall, it can spread quite prolifically, so I only recommend this plant if you have a large planting area and don’t mind plants that like to take over. The flowers on Stokesia can be giant, I’ve grown some as large as my hand. And the butterflies adore them. The flowers provide a large landing pad and quite enough pollen to keep the butterflies occupied while I take loads of photos. They sometimes don’t even notice (or care) and allow me to get in close for the bright detailed photos that I love. Stokesia will continue to bloom throughout the summer, especially if you keep them dead-headed.

Height/Width – 12-36 inches tall and 12-24 inches wide

Colors – Purple and pink

Zones – 5-9

Asclepias – Butterfly Weed

You may recognize this Ohio native plant. It lives quite comfortably in the median of Ohio interstates.

Butterfly Weed has the word “butterfly” in it, so you know this plant is a great one for the butterflies. I use this plant as a host for the Monarch butterflies that reproduce here. The adult butterflies do actually enjoy the nectar from the beautiful flowers, but they are even more drawn to this plant because it is where they will lay their eggs. Once the Monarch caterpillars are of a size to eat, they will enjoy eating the leaves of the Asclepias. (Eating the leaves of this plant is what makes Monarch caterpillars poisonous to birds and other animals.) It is a very important relationship between plants and animals and I love having it all happen right in my flower garden.

Height/Width – 12-36 inches tall and 12-24 inches wide

Colors – Orange, yellow, white and pink

Zones – 3-9 (Zones vary, check before buying a plant)

If you would like a more in depth article about plants that attract or host butterflies in the garden, make sure to comment that below. Please also comment to share with everyone which plants are your favorite butterfly attracting plants. I’d love to know!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Heat Mat (for propagating) – https://amzn.to/2MSezbk

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat – https://amzn.to/2PIjCwc

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Full disclosure – the last three product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

All photos in this post are the property of Liquidambar Girl Gardening. Photos may not be reproduced.

Some or all of the links in this article may be affiliate.

Peace Lily Silver Streak – Personality Conflict Episode 1

There are always a few “problem child” plants in any sizeable plant collection and mine is no exception.

Three plants come to mind as I am thinking of which plants are currently giving me issues, but I think I’ll focus on just the one for now. It’s been giving me trouble for quite a while.

Peace Lily ‘Silver Streak’ (Spathiphyllum wallisi ‘Silver Streak’)

It’s all brown edges and brown tips with this plant. Which is a real shame because the leaves on this plant are velvet smooth and the stripe of silver that runs the length of the midrib is actually reflective. Reflective! The leaves are stunning…on a healthy plant.

My Spathiphyllum ‘Silver Streak’…back when it was still beautiful.

My plant is less than healthy.

I believe that this plant is dealing with a few problems. First, I do believe that this plant may be a bit too rootbound. In fact, when I purchased this plant last year, it was already slightly rootbound. You may know from my videos or blogs that I like to keep many of my plants on the rootbound side so I didn’t choose to repot at the time. Now that the plant seems to be declining in health, I think it’s time to repot.

Brown leaf tips and edges on my Peace lily ‘Silver Streak’.

Another problem for this poor Peace lily is the extremely low humidity that is happening in my home. I live in Eastern Ohio and we are currently in the middle of a cold snap. We’ve been dealing with some of the lowest humidity that I’ve ever experienced in many years of growing houseplants. Back in the day when I only grew succulents, super low humidity would have been a non-issue. But the majority of the plants that I grow now are tropical and do not appreciate the low humidity. This Peace lily has brown tips at the end of every single leaf.

(Oddly, my Spathiphyllum ‘Silver Streak’ is sitting right next to another Peace Lily variety that has not reacted at all to the low humidity. That Peace lily is called Spathiphyllum ‘Platinum Mist’ and is, not surprisingly, my favorite Peace lily cultivar.)

Peace lily ‘Silver Streak’ (on the left) is looking rough in a too-small pot and too low humidity. Peace lily ‘Platinum Mist’ (on the right) shows no signs of stress at all but is kept in the same location. Go figure.

So…what am I going to do with this poor plant baby?

I’ll repot immediately. I’m thinking about planting it in Lechuza pon since Peace lilies are such thirsty plants. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Increasing humidity will be simple enough too. I need to find space for this plant in my greenhouse cabinet or buy some sort of cloche until this weird low pressure system moves on.

Thankfully, those were simple fixes for a plant that I really do enjoy. Or, I will enjoy keeping it once it looks happy again.

Thanks so much for reading, my friends. Leave me a comment below if you’d like to see a follow up blog about my Peace lily ‘Silver Streak’. Or comment with any other blog topics that you’d like to read.

Take care and be safe.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Full disclosure – the last three product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

How to Clean Terra Cotta Pots

Although soluble salts can make for an attractive pot, a build up can be harmful to your plants.

Personally, I love when terra cotta pots have a “patina”. New planters look so shiny and new. I prefer my terra cotta to look aged.

That pretty patina has been left behind on my terra cotta by additives from the tap water that I’ve used for my plants and also from fertilizer. Another name for these remains is soluble salts. And, unfortunately, once they have built up, they can cause burning on your plant’s roots and even any leaves that rest against the planter. So we must remove it. Thankfully, it’s super easy to do.

Begin by removing any loose soil. I use a toothbrush with firm bristles, but any kind of scrubbing brush will do. I like a toothbrush because it’s easy to use for cleaning all different sizes of terra cotta pots. Remove any loose soil or soluble salts and don’t forget to scrub down the outside of the pot and the bottom of the pot (inside and outside).

Once you have all the loose dirt and grit removed from the pot, it’s time to soak. The mix I use is one part vinegar to four parts water. (This is what works best for me, but there are about a million different recipes online. Feel free to use whatever recipe sounds the best for you.) Soak the pot for 20 to 30 minutes and then scrub the pot with a scrub brush/toothbrush. If the build up scrubs off of the pot easily, then the pot is all done. If the build up can’t be removed completely, soak it for another 20-30 minutes and repeat the process. For really hard to remove minerals you may need to add more vinegar. You can even use pure vinegar for extra difficult planters.

I always make sure to rinse planters thoroughly after soaking in vinegar. Technically, vinegar shouldn’t cause any damage to the roots of plants, but I don’t like to risk it. Just rinse under a faucet or soak in clean water and the vinegar should be rinsed out. Another, excellent way to rinse and sanitize is to run a load of terra cotta on the quick wash cycle in your dishwasher.

It doesn’t much matter how you rinse your terra cotta, but something that matters very much is drying it out completely before storing it. I like to let my planters sit for several days in a low humidity area of my home. Drying planters on a cookie cooling rack works very well since it allows the entire pot a chance to dry out, top and bottom. Like many people, I stack my pots when they aren’t being used and I don’t want any moisture left in the pots before storing because they can and will grow mold and mildew.

So now you can clean all of your pots and have them ready for the upcoming growing season. Thanks for reading, my friends. I hope you are all doing very well.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

If you would like to see this in video form, here is the YouTube video How To Clean Terra Cotta Pots

Social Media

Instagram  @liquidambar_girl

Facebook  Liquidambar Girl Gardening

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Full disclosure – the last three product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.