Hello everyone!

Over the years of doing this blog, I’ve gotten lots of questions about houseplants via email. I’ve done my best to help these people, even though I don’t get paid for it. I do it because I want people to have healthy plants and more confidence in their ability to care for them.

I’ve saved the emails, and thought it would be fun to challenge you readers to come up with solutions to the problems presented. Everyone has their own take on how to care for houseplants, and since you readers are so intelligent, I’d love to hear your opinions.

I’ll present your answers and mine in tomorrow’s post.

One thing to know, whenever anyone writes to me with a question, I always ask for a photo to make sure the plant they are talking about is the same one I think it is. It’s also easier to diagnose a problem when you can see it.

I’ve removed the person’s name to protect their identity.

Here’s the 1st correspondence for you:

>>>> My corn plant is now hitting the ceiling! I want to cut it but would love some advice first.
The base is about 18cm high, then it branches into 2. The stem is brown from the soil and the 2 branches for another 11cm = 29cm. From there on each of the stems are green and healthy… but too tall and not able to hold itself up.. so for the past 2 months I rotated it to lean on the wall!
Where would I cut it? Can I put the stems straight back into the soil?
Looking at some of your other comments to others- do I just sit it in the room on the floor to let the cut scar for ?2 days? Do I take any leaves off to create a stem because after 29cm, it’s all continuous green? What is an optimal amount to cut it at?
The pot is too heavy to move – I use slow release fertiliser and occasionally a banana skin… should I try to replace the soil? Even though it is looking healthy?
Thank you so much – I love this plant – the first time I have ever felt as if I may have the beginnings of a green thumb – but not much experience!!


I asked for a photo, and asked where she lived. I got these responses:



I have just found your site and found it really helpful.

I live in Australia but would still love your help please.

Hope you could give me some tips to help me learn more and develop some confidence



Thanks Liza,

I will send you a photo later today- the lady who gave me the plant after our house burnt down in the January 2003 bushfires, just called it a Happy plant or Chinese money plant… she said if I could grow it well, it would reflect our future prosperity!!

PS  Happy Australia Day for January 26th


Dear Liza,

Here’s a photo for you!  It is close to the window – today it is 37 degrees and it is starting to get a bit of sun damage plus at one point I may have been overwatering it… more recently, I have been trying not to water much to slow it down!!  BUT your help on turning it into 2 or more smaller plants – without killing it would be SOoo good





From the plant’s perspective, this is a thrilling victory – he’s achieved his number one goal in life, to reach the ceiling. Good job, plant!

From the owner’s perspective, it poses a problem, what to do with the humungous Dracaena?

So dear readers, what’s your advice for our Australian greenthumb?