September 2015 Master Gardener Meeting Recap

2015 September DCMGV Meeting Recap



Left: Patti Nagai Right: Diane Frank

The September Master Gardener meeting featured Dr. Patti Nagai, a horticultural educator for Racine County UW-Extension. She spoke on the topic, “Brighten Your Indoor Space with Living Plants.” In her presentation she spoke about the selection and care of houseplants – tropical foliage, flowering plants, citrus and herbs.   Plants help create a healthier and more beautiful indoor environment, if they are in the right place, and cared for to stay insect and disease free.


Dr. Nagai spoke about a number of well-known houseplants:

Heartleaf philodendron
English ivy
Chinese evergreen
Snake plant
Figs (Ficus species)

Included in her presentation was information about flowering houseplants:

Peace lily

Dr. Nagai stressed the importance of clean plants. When houseplants are brought in from outside, they should be washed outside before taking residence inside. Most houseplants that stay inside all the time would benefit from a washing once or twice a year. Take the plant to the sink or tub and spray the upper and lower leaf surfaces with lukewarm water. A clean plant is a healthy plant because a washing decreases pests and increases light absorption. Dust on leaves reduces light interception by 25%.

Finding the best location for your houseplants is important. Each plant has a different requirement when it comes to light much like plants have different watering needs.

The presentation also covered additional information:

  • Factors that affect light
  • Helpful hints for monitoring light level
  • Dealing with mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites

At the end of her presentation Dr. Nagai conducted a Q & A.

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