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Chenille plant looking sad...

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Amy R. on February 11, 2005 10:18 PM
I've had the poor thing for about three months now, and while it does have new growth, it just looks, sorta wimpy. It keeps flowering, and aside from a few yellow leaves, the color is good, but it looks nothing like the gorgeous ones I see at the nursery. I have it in a east-facing window, but out of direct sunlight, and I water it when dry. Perhaps a little fertilizer? Or maybe a box of chocolates??? Help!
by Will Creed on February 12, 2005 07:04 PM
Hi Amy,

Trying to match your plants to those in carefully controlled greenhouses is a match you will always lose. This is especially true with flowering plants. It seems that your is doing quite well considering.

Chenille likes a warm, sunny, humid environment. Thus it is not the easiest of indoor plants. Put it right in an east or west window or hanging outside on a porch in the warmer months. Protect it from direct midday sun, but otherwise direct sun is good. Keep temps above 60 degrees at all times. A humidifier in winter would help.

Do the best that you can and be satisfied with whatever success you have.
by Barb Illinois Zone 5 on February 12, 2005 07:06 PM
HI, Amy! [wayey]
Chenile Plant (Acalypha hispida) is a neat plant though I don't grow it myself. I did read up on it for you [thumb] and it seems they like full or filtered light, light watering in winter, moderate to heavy watering and a monthly application of a blanced fertilizer during the growing season. It's a plant that can be lightly cut back to improve symetry and deadheading (removing spent blooms) might be beneficial. Hope you find this helpful!

* * * *
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,
"WHOO HOO! WHAT A RIDE!"
by Amy R. on February 12, 2005 08:00 PM
Thanks everyone. I think perhaps it has been a bit too cool in the house for the chenille; I can't be bothered to turn on the heater as my backside seems to be glued to the computer chair. Did I mention that I am a perfectionist as well? After I posted, I took another look at it, and I suppose it is relatively healthy. So thanks for indulging in my nuerosis; I feel much better now. Must have been the chocolate and wine! [Wink]
Here's a pic:
http://tinypic.com/1pt3bk
by Will Creed on February 14, 2005 01:02 AM
Hi Amy,

OK, now I can see what you mean. You are doing a great job, but your Chenille needs more direct sun. That will make the leaves larger and the spaces between the leaves shorter, thereby creating a more compact look.

This is a good time of year to prune your Chenille back by about 50%, but leave the flowers on. Pruning will trigger new growth and also keep the plant less leggy and more compact.

Save some wine for me!
by Amy R. on February 14, 2005 04:15 AM
Thanks again, Will. Just curious, why keep the flowers? My assumption would be for aesthetic reasons, but you know what happens when one assumes!

by Will Creed on February 14, 2005 05:16 AM
Hi Amy,

In this case your assumption is correct - keep the flowers because they are pretty.

Will

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