Maintenance

In an office setting, plant care can often go by the wayside if no one takes the responsibility. It is a good idea to designate someone, or a few people, in the office who will take care of watering and maintenance on a regular basis.

Rhapis excelsa loves moist well-drained soil, so water generously. Avoid over watering. Over watering any plant that can cause root rot. The Lady Palm can thrive in shade as well as full solar exposure. Tip burning can occur in full direct sun while the plant is in the process of acclimating. For best leaf color and optimum growth, grow in full yet indirect light. In shade the leaves will darken.

Rhapis excelsa, lady palm »

Neem oil insecticide can be used safely to treat office plants for mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, thrips and fungus gnats. Neem oil causes bugs to lose their appetites causing them to starve. Neem oil also reduces female fertility and inhibits reproduction. Consider 2 to 3 applications over a short period of time to affect every life stage.

A common problem with office plants is an infestation of Fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are small, dark-colored flies that jump and fly across the office plant potting soil surface. Studies show that gnats are attracted to vinegar. Fill a jar almost to the top with vinegar, poke several small holes in the lid and then set it out.

The gnats will swarm to the jar, wiggle down into the hole, and will not be able to climb back out. If you set several of these traps around your office and monitor them to determine the highest concentration and subsequently find the gnat source.

If your office plants are dusty or you see a few bugs or gnats, try cleaning your plants with a mixture of 6 oz. of rubbing alcohol, 24 oz. of water and 4 drops of ivory soap. Don't use on African violets. Don't clean more than once per week. Don't apply in direct sunlight.

Keeping the Bamboo Palm in hot, dry environments will encourage spider mite infestations. Medium light is best with Eastern or Northern exposure to natural light, supplemented with fluorescent or incandescent artificial light in the office.

The orchid is one of the easiest plants to maintain in an indoor space. Medium light is best with Eastern or Northern exposure to natural light, supplemented with fluorescent or incandescent artificial light in the office.

Often, sticky leaves is caused by Scale. Scale is an insect that sucks the juices out of plants. The sticky stuff that accumulates around the plant is from insect secretion. Take a look at the undersides of the leaves for tan, black or brown bumps. Control Scale by suffocating the insect. A safe horticultural oil will do the trick.

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