Claude’s Gardening and Landscaping Forum


By Claude Smith

Dear Claude, My Pencil Cactus seems, since I brought it in, to be dropping branches. Should I be concerned? From Cactus Mom.

This is a common occurrence with many plants when bringing them in from being outside during the summer. The change in temperature, light and humidity are all contributing factors in the dropping of leaves. Nothing to worry about as long as the cactus gets plenty of light, preferably in a south facing window, and reduced watering to once a month during the winter. When watering your cactus, allow the water to drain completely out of the pot and ensure that it is not sitting in water. This also applies to all your plants during the winter as they will require less watering than during the summer.

Dear Claude, I only have sun coming in from the back end of my house, so my living room is devoid of sun but I would like to have greenery (preferably non plastic) around that space. What could you recommend? From A Brown Thumb.

Depending on the space you have and the size of the plant, the following would be my suggestions for the easiest plants to care for:

Small – English ivy (Hedera helix) a vine that requires little light.

Medium – Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) a variegated green and white plant that can be used in a hanging basket and one of the best air purifying plants OR Snake plant (Sansavieria trifasciata) a spike shaped succulent requiring very little attention.

Large – Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) the shape of the leaves is what makes this plant a favourite of mine.

Hope this helps with your selection!

Thanks for your questions and looking forward to more of your gardening and landscaping questions!

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