Since 2001, I’ve owned a small plant care business in Albuquerque called Good To Grow. Since 2009, I’ve maintained this indoor and outdoor gardening blog.

Each Wednesday, I’ve been posting emails from readers who had questions about their houseplants. Most of the letters came from people who are not regular readers, but who stumbled across this blog because they had a specific houseplant question. When I could, I wrote them back with advice tailored to their specific question. I saved all these emails in a file.

Since my regular readers are so sophisticated with their houseplant knowledge, and because everyone has their own take on caring for plants, I wanted to turn the emails over to them and see what their advice would’ve been had the email come to them. On Wednesdays, I’ll post the original question, and on the following Wednesday, I’ll reveal the advice from the regulars, as well as my response, so we can see how we match up. It’s been an interesting experiment so far, I hope you enjoy. If you have advice, please leave it in the comment section or on my facebook wall.

Ok, so this one is a doozy. I’ll admit – I’m stumped! (I’m not a big fan of admitting that, though, haha!)

So I’m appealing to you out there for help.

The lovely and talented Alissa has this question:

>>>>I have a concern about my swedish ivy (is that the name?) you gave me cuttings of. It used to be right in an east facing window receiving some direct morning light. I noticed the leaves that were not in direct light all seemed much happier so it’s now sitting just below that window sill. I water it when I remember to lol. It gets very dry between waterings. It usually loses one or a few leaves when I let it get too dry. I thought it had spider mites at one point because a nearby plant had them right around the time the ivy started getting black spots on his leaves. I treated it twice along with the other plant. I don’t see any bugs now, but he still gets black blotches on his leaves. I usually pick off the sick leaves. Do you know what the problem might be? >>>>



Uhhhh, no, no I don’t Alissa.

Spider mites cause leaf damage, but not like that!

We emailed back and forth, and at one point, I asked her about fungus in the soil. Here’s what she replied:

>>>>I just checked out the soil, and it does not appear to have any fungus. Although I did now notice a bunch of little crawly guys all in the soil….yuck! I don’t know what they are and they are very hard to see. I tried scooping soil onto a plate to get a better look at them and now they are very hidey and hard to spot. The one I saw crawl across the plate was like the tip of a sharpened pencil and red I want to say. >>>>


Uhhhhh, huh? Help? Anyone have any suggestions/comments/ideas/thoughts? We would appreciate your help!

I’ll post your responses next Wednesday. Alissa, check the comments section for advice in the meantime.

I’m taking tomorrow off from blogging, but I’ll be back on Friday with a new puzzler for you. Hope to see you back here.