Tag Archives: ponytail palm

Canadian Tire madness

I’m not big on shopping, but last year I had two mad spending sprees: decorative boxes at Michaels (they rope you in by offering a 40% off coupon every time you buy something) and plants for under $5 at Canadian Tire.

I picked up most of the plants from the Eaton Centre location, just south of Tiny Flower, during my lunch hour strolls.


I really like the contrasting white and green of the dumb cane leaves. I bought quite a few plants (possibly 4 but I can’t remember). One survived, only to be attacked by thrips at the same time that I was dealing with them on the ponytail palm.

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Potted and ready to head home


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You can see the clear little bugs crawling near the damaged parts of the leaf. The black dots are probably frass (poo).

Thankfully, the dumb cane had a better outcome.

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Spraying repeatedly with soapy water killed the thrips and made the plants leaves darker.

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Hopefully this brush with such a damaging pest has made the plant stronger and more resistant to future attacks.


I liked the shape of this mammillaria pilcayensis or bristle brush cactus.

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This one was labelled ferocactus wislizeni. I found it at the Yonge and Church street location with two closed up blooms. I thought that if I managed to get it home without the blooms dropping off, it would have more of a chance of opening than under the dim lights of the store.

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The spikes on this plant are deadly!

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What a bloom! Beautiful!


I was attracted to the thick leaves and red tinge of this kalanchoe longiflora coccinea.

Thankfully, I don’t think this kind makes millions of babies

Biggest regrets

Wish I’d looked closer at this chalkstick plant before I bought it.

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Clearly the stem is black. What was I thinking?! It died. I tried propagating the leaves without success

And I really wish I hadn’t passed on this ponytail palm (I didn’t know the cost, but I assume it was more than $5), especially in light of what happened to my other one. Will keep my eyes open for more this coming spring.

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A more manageable size than the one at work


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Office plants: Highs and lows of 2018

And just like that, we are well into 2019!

Usually when I come back to work after the holidays, some plants have died off but this year every single one survived! Perhaps it’s because I took a shorter break.

The year went by so quickly, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the highs and lows of my plant adventures in 2018. First, the office.



I snatched this baby up from the kitchen, on a table where people put things they dont want. I didn’t think much of it at first, but I’ve grown to love it! It was fun watching it grow a new branch over the past year.

It started with two branches

One day, I noticed this little guy poking out of the middle of the stem

It grew..

And grew…

Until it became a giant branch! Amazing!

Thanksgiving cactus

I finally learned how to care for these guys: soak them about once a month for about 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze the leaves and if they feel thick, they’re OK. If they feel thin, they need a soak.

I kept the cactus I bought last year in the same container hoping it would bloom again but it didn’t, so I bought another one with buds. Only one bloomed, but what a beauty!

Peperomia obtusifolia

I’ve bought these red tinged peperomia in the past but couldn’t keep them alive. This year I managed to keep them all alive (I have 3 or 4 plants). One even bloomed!

Yep, that little green finger pointing to the right is a bloom!


Ponytail palm

This beautiful specimen came to me late last fall from a friend at work. Had to put it in the kitchen because my office had no space.

Looks like a Muppet from Sesame Street. All she’s missing is googly eyes!

Some weeks later, I noticed there were silver streaks and black spots all over the leaves. We moved it to an office window when someone agreed to take it. I thought the black spots were frass and then I discovered they were moving! A Facebook group confirmed I had thrips.

Thrips suck the juices out of leaves

Spraying the leaves with soapy water was helping but I got to it too late.

Had to chop all the tops off, it was so infested that the leaves fell out when I tried to clean them off. I’m not sure if it will grow back.

We think that the transition from a home with lots of natural light, watering and fertilizer to an office kitchen with little light and much less watering (once a month, especially with the winter coming around) may have been too much of a shock, leaving it vulnerable to pests.

Fiddle leaf fig

Absolutely failed to keep not one, but two of these guys alive. Such a costly shame.

It was looking pretty good when I bought it, with leaves tight to the stem

And then the leaves started bowing out.

They had brown spots and were dropping off

This all that’s left. Not sure if it will grow back in the spring

Peperomia prostrata

I would guess over-watering lead to the demise of both of the plants I bought but I can’t be sure. One was meant for a friend. Should’ve gotten it to her sooner.

Look at how beautiful this was!!!

I am ashamed to see the difference. Gutted!

Best new find

ZZ plant

I absolutely love this plant! It’s so easy to care for. It’s even doing well at home where it gets much less light.

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The smallest branch at the back is unfurling and there’s a new branch growing at the front!


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