Plant Care
 
Care details with basic advice are available to ensure you initially know what to do with your exotic and tropical plants. New Care details are added on a regular basis and this information is to be used as a guide only. There have been many books written on 'exotics' and seeking further information would help further.
Washingtonia Care Details
The following will be of use to ensure that your palm has the best possible start.
 Take care on opening. The netting is best cut at the base of the container and pulled upwards to remove. Please be very careful though as they have sharp spikes which can stab you!
 Using ‘Feed-all’ controlled release fertiliser when planting will ensure that your plant is correctly fed and will grow at an optimum rate remembering to re-pot as necessary. John Innes or general multipurpose compost will usually have sufficient food for the first 4-6 weeks, if no food is added.
 If growing in a container, allow the plant to become near rootbound before potting on.
 Washingtonia filifera will live outside all year round in warmer parts of the UK with protection. If you live somewhere that regularly experiences temperatures below –6C or if prolonged frost is forecast then it is essential to tie the leaves together to protect the crown and cover with horticultural fleece for winter. Washingtonia robusta is less hardy and should be either brought inside or wrapped and protected for the winter. The crown is the most important part as this is where new growth forms.
 They will tolerate full sun or part shade in rich, fairly well drained soil.
 If a leaf becomes tatty, simply prune the stem to the trunk and new leaves will emerge from the crown of the palm.
 As Washingtonia are monocots (single trunked), the trunk will increase in size from the base of the old leaf stems and pruning old leaf stems will keep them looking tidy.
Caring for your Ficus
The ficus is a member of the weeping fig family. They like temperatures of 55 degrees on the lowest end to tropical climates. They are grown in greenhouses at 500–600 foot-candles of light for rapid growth but growers usually reacclimatize them down to around 300 foot-candles. Without skylights they should be placed 2-4 feet from a window to give them adequate lighting. They are sensitive to drafty areas and sudden temperature changes. The root ball must always be moist on a ficus. This is a good plant to use a moisture meter on. Water until the meter reads wet and withhold watering until it reads moist.
If a ficus is dropping yellow leaves, it means it is too dry. If it drops green leaves, it is too wet or it doesn’t have enough light to support the amount of leaves that it has.
Plant Care for Indoor House Plants
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