Growing houseplants

(Question)

Hi, I am new to growing plants; having never done it before, I have a few questions. Is it possible to grow a bleeding-heart glory bower (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) and a Dragon Flower in Toronto living in an apartment with decent sun light. Also, where can I get it from? Thank you, Nicky

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiries.

As a beginner, you might want to review our Master Gardener Guide to growing houseplants for more general information.

Beginner’s Guide to Growing Houseplants: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

The bleeding-heart glory bower (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) plant is a tropical and you can have success growing it indoors in the right conditions which include warmth, humidity and bright, indirect sunlight.

Bleeding heart blooms best when it is slightly pot-bound.   Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil.  Repot when it has outgrown its container.  Repotting in springtime in  a pot just a little larger than the current one is recommended.

The plant will need good humidity over the winter months.  Either misting the foliage every day with room temperature water or placing the pot on a tray with wet stones or pebbles.  This will also help to prevent pests such as spider mites from invading the plant when the indoor air gets dry.

Flowering may slow down or stop in the fall and winter months when overall growth slows.

Infrequent watering at this time is recommended.  Once you see new growth on the plant in spring, you can start fertilizing again.

A pair of sharp, clean secateurs should be used to prune the plant.  Pruning should be done just above the place where a leaf is attached to the stem.

The dragon flower (Huernia schneideriana) is a cactus or succulent.  It is suitable for growing indoors in a container and does not require much moisture and prefers light shade.

Succulents are not prone to many insect pests, so there should be no need to use an insecticide to prevent occurrences.  You may find this Toronto Master Gardeners guide useful for specific guidance in dealing your indoor succulents:

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/growing-cacti-and-other-succulents-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

The best place to obtain these plants would be the indoor/tropical plant section at a reputable garden centre.