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House Plant Identification – Help!

Ask The Plant Expert:

I have inherited several houseplants, but I don’t know what kind they are.  I have attached pictures of 4 plants, any help would be much appreciated! – Jenny

Schefflera Schefflera Tradescantia Zebrina Sansevieria

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Plants 1 & 2 are Schefflera (care tips also at this link), sometimes referred to as Octopus plant or Umbrella plant.
Pant 3 is a Tradescantia zebrina, sometimes reffered to as Wandering Jew.
Plant 4 is a type of Sansevieria.

Hope this information was helpful.  Please let me know if you need any culture information on the plants.

What Kind of Palm Tree Has Artichoke-like Fruit?

Ask The Plant Expert:

What kind of palm tree has artichoke-like fruit? Trying to figure out what it is. Comes from a palm tree in central FL (Sarasota area). – Alicia

Screw Pine Fruit

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert:

Because I am not completely familiar with Florida palm trees, I contacted the Plant Sciences Department of the University of Florida to confirm it’s identification. Here is what they said,  “Looks like the fruit of a Screw Pine which is not a pine (Pinus) it is in the genus Pandanus.”   The Pandanus genus are palm-like shrubs (although not closely related to palms). Hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Help! What Is This Plant From Father’s Funeral & How To Revive It?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I received this plant from my dad’s funeral. The tag on it only said “green plant” I’ve had it for 2 months and the leaves just continue to fall off. It was a very full plant. (The orange Gerber daisies are fake.) Do you think if the all of the leaves fall off eventually, that it is dead, or do you think I can save it? What type of fertilizer do you think I should use? (I have very little plant experience) – Jenny

Stressed Out Ficus

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


It is difficult to tell from the pictures. My best guess would be a type of Ficus. It could be Ficus lyrata (Fiddle-leaf fig, Banjo fig) or Ficus pumila (climbing or creeping fig).

Ficus are funny. I once had a ficus we named Truman. In the 10 years that we had it, all the leaves fell off 3 times. Every time we corrected the problem and the plant flushed back out with new healthy leaves. Yours should do the same thing as long as the stems are still green.

To care for Ficus plants, you will need to keep the soil moderately moist and fertilize it once a month from April through August with a water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer. You can use a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro or Peters.  I would wait until the plant has some new growth forming before I fertilized the plant. Keep the plant in a brightly lit area, but away from cold drafts. I would remove it from the foil wrapping, and make sure that it is in a container that allows for drainage. If you need to re-pot the plant use a humus-rich potting soil.

For more, check out our Ficus Care & Information Page.

Hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else. [Read more…]

Help Identify These House Plants From A Dish Garden

Ask The Plant Expert:

Hi there.  I received a variety of plants in a funeral arrangement.  I re-potted them in the spring and now that it is getting colder at night, I need more help in determining how to care for them.  I had them outside on my porch, since I was not sure as to the toxicity of them, as I do have 3 cats and a dog.  Can you please identify.  I believe that one of them is a dwarf umbrella plant, but not sure on the other.  Thanks. – Jeanene

Wareneki Daceana House Plant Schefflera Houseplant

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:  
The first one is a Wareneki Draceana and the second one is a Schefflera. The first one should be okay for your pets  to be around. However, the schefflera can be a problem for dogs or cats who are prone to chewing on plants. If you read our article 10 House Plants Poisonous to Dogs, Cats or Children, it will help you decide which plants you should keep with your pets. You may also refer to the House Plant Care & Information Page.
Hope this information was helpful.
Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


Identification of an Interesting Red Seed Pod

Ask The Plant Expert: Can you help me ID this
Recent trip to a nature center here in Conyers, GA I photographed this plant/flower and would like to know its name.
Thanks very much. Russ

Plant Expert Reply: I believe the plant is an Euonymus americanus (Strawberry Bush). Native to the United States, this perennial shrub can grow from 6-12ft in height. If you want to grow a Strawberry Bush in your own yard you will need the following:

A part-shade exposure – grows best in light shade
A moist soil – although with proper watering can be grown in dry soils
Needs high amount of water – can be used in swampy areas

Strawberry Bush grows well in the following states – AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV.

This plant, also, goes by Brook euonymus, Hearts-a-burstin, Bursting-heart, Wahoo and is in the bittersweet family.

I hope this information was helpful.

Did you know that a local Conyers GA Florist can create an arrangement that simulates the unique elements of the seed pod?

How to Care for Jerusalem Thorn

Ask the Expert: Care of Jerusalem Thorn ?

It’s a plant that is usual grown in the hot climate. It has many thorns. Has a yellow or red small flower. Gloria

Plant Expert Reply:
Please take a look at the first picture shown below. Since common names like Jerusalem Thorn can be used for more than one and often different plants, I am assuming that the plant you have is a Parkinsonia aculeata and not a  Euphorbia milii var. splendens (shown in the second picture)

Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia aculeata) is grown as an ornamental tree for its attractive flowers and delicate foliage.

Location preferences: Jerusalem Thorn is a drought tolerant plant preferring a full sun location and sandy or gravelly soils. It tolerates chalky or alkaline soils. It thrives in hot climates and is susceptible to severe damage in climates that see temperatures below 18 degrees Fahrenheit or -7.8 degrees Celsius.

Water preferences: In the spring and summer, water this plant moderately and once a month apply a balanced fertilizer (something where the percentage of the primary nutrients are all the same. ie 13-13-13). During the winter water it sparingly.

Pruning needs: Jerusalem Thorn is a small ornamental tree that can reach heights of 25ft and a spread of 20ft. Prune it only if you need to restrict growth.

Pests & Diseases: Jerusalem Thorn is susceptible to galls, spider mites, mushroom root rot, dieback and some types of leaf spot.

Hope this information is helpful.


Is This A Weed or Flower?

Ask The Plant Expert:  Is this a weed or a flower?

Cleome PictureCleome PictureCleome Picture

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Cynthia,

I believe this is a Cleome which can be either an annual or perennial flower depending on which species it is. Many people love this plant in their garden. I personal like the look but do not like the smell of the plant. In the greenhouses, it smells like cat pee.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you need help with anything else.

Unidentified Pepper Turns Out To Be A UFO

Ask The Plant Expert: Attached pics show both plant and resulting seed pods. Not a particularly attractive plant and may even be considered to be weed! Flowers are individual and small with 5 or 6 petals consolidated together at base. Produces large pods as shown. Have tried to identify without success. Thought at first it may a type of chili/pepper but unable to identify. Could have come from Spain, but grown indoors in U.K. Many thanks for help. – Mike

UFO Pepper

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Believe it or not, I think it is a UFO pepper. The UFO stands for
Unbelievably Fiery Object, and is considered to be a very hot pepper. The only other option would be a Jamaican Hot Yellow Scotch Bonnet pepper which is also another hot pepper.  There are several places here in the USA that sell the seeds. I’m not sure where in seeds originate from.

Hope this information was helpful please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Angel Trumpet Or Devil Trumpet?

Angel's Trumpet Ballerina Purple Datura metelAsk The Expert: What is the differences between an angel trumpet and a devil trumpet? – Elaine

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

It depends. Most of the time, devil’s trumpet is associated with the genus Datura. These herbaceous leafy annuals/short-lived perennials have lobed toothed alternate leaves with erect flowers and spiny fruit..

Angel’s trumpet are associated with the genus Brugmansia and have pendulous flowers, smooth fruit and are small woody tree/bushes. The large leaves of this plant have fine hairs along the coarsely toothed leaf margin.

Both plants belong to the Solanaceae family and contain toxins.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can assist you with anything else!

What Chemical Property does this tree have?

Ask The Expert: The tree grows about 6-7 mtrs; very straight and skin is very smooth. When the leaves are chewed and digested, or boiled and drank as tea, it causes continuous diarrhea, depending on the amount taken. No other trees or plants, especially crawling plants, grow closer than 1 meter around. If any crawling plant goes any closer, it’ll eventually dry up and die. – John

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

John, Without seeing a picture of the tree, I not sure which tree you are talking about. There is an organic compound that occurs naturally in the leaves, bark and roots of some plants. This organic compound is called Juglone. Plants that produce Juglone create a toxic environment for other plants. The Black Walnut is an example of a trees that produces Juglone. I’m not sure if Juglone causes vomiting if consumed by humans, but I do know that it is toxic to horses.

If you could send me a picture of the tree and its bark, I might be able to determine what the tree is and what chemical it produces.