Tropical plant loves low light
We’ve been getting some new and interesting indoor tropical houseplants at the garden centre. One that caught my eye is ‘Homalomena Selby’.
It is an attractive looking plant, grown for its attractive foliage and easy care.
The foliage is similar to that of a dieffenbachia. The large, thick, oblong shaped leaves grow on stems that rise from the soil. The leaves themselves are a light/medium green with dark green splotches running through the leave and along the edges. It is not a large plant, only growing 30-40 cm tall and wide, ideal for those smaller areas of the home.
Another attribute of this plant, is its ability to thrive in lower light areas. It should be placed in a an area that receives indirect sunlight. Keep it away from direct sunlight as this will cause the foliage to scorch.
In nature the Homalomena can be found growing on the floors of tropical rainforests and are used to filtered light. They like to be grown in temperatures of 15-25 Celsius but will tolerate cooler temperatures (not freezing). Keep it away from drying heat such as heaters and fans.
Most plants are killed by overwatering, rather than under-watering. When the top 2 cm of the soil feels dry to the touch, give the plant a thorough watering, using room temperature water. Drain out any excess water after 20 minutes. You will be able to tell if the plant is kept too dry, as the foliage will yellow. Many tropical plants enjoy an average to above average humidity, which can be a problem in many northern homes because of our dry air.
Placing plants together in a group, or putting plants on top of a water-filled pebble tray will raise the humidity level around the plant. Brown edges on the leaves is an indicator of low humidity.
During the growing season (spring and summer) fertilize the plant monthly with a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer and over the winter months when the plant is not actively growing every 8-10 weeks.
Over the summer months when all risk of frost has passed, the Homalomena plant can be used outdoors in patio containers. It is a shade loving plant, so mix it in with other shade loving plants such as ferns, begonias impatiens, fuchsias, etc. In the Fall before the first killing frost the plant needs to be brought back indoors.
The Homalomena Selby, is a beautiful, clump forming, foliage, plant that is ideal for those lower light areas of the home!
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road ( closed for the season)