Is Tradescantia zebrina ‘Tikal’ dangerous?

Some people have suggested the plant has symptoms of a viral infection. Some have even gone as far as to claim that the plant should be quarantined or banned from sale for fear that it’s contagious. Others have grown the plant for years and report no evidence of the symptoms spreading to nearby plants.

The ‘Nanouk’ controversy

Tradescantia ‘Nanouk’ and Tradescantia ‘Lilac’ are particularly trendy cultivars with thick stems and tough, pink-striped leaves. But there’s a lot of controversy and arguments about the plants’ status and identity. ‘Nanouk’ is often described as stolen, fraudulent, or a scam. People say that ‘Nanouk’ doesn’t truly exist, and is just ‘Lilac’ disguised with plant growth regulators.

“Pink Congo”, misinformation, and the downsides of global plant distribution

If you’ve been interested in houseplants for more than a year or two, you probably already know the original “Pink Congo” story. A few years ago, a new plant called Philodendron “Pink Congo” came onto the scene. Its lower leaves are dark green, but the new leaves at the top are bright pink. It quickly became a wild hit among tropical plant enthusiasts and prices skyrocketed.

Systems of plant naming

Plant names can be complicated. It seems like it should be easy enough to refer to a plant and have another person know what you’re talking about. But as soon as you get into plant-related conversations you quickly end up in a tangle of Latin, confusion, and even misinformation.

Do gravel layers help in non-draining pots?

“Just put a layer of rocks in the bottom!” – it’s a fairly common recommendation to houseplant beginners who are wondering how to use a plant pot that doesn’t have drainage holes. But, “that doesn’t work!” is an even more common reply from other growers. Meanwhile, people who make terrariums and vivariums (glass tanks containing sealed ecosystems of plants, soil, and sometimes animals) are almost universally agreed that drainage layers or “false bottoms” are helpful for water regulation. So which is it?

The myth of the myth of using rocks for drainage

Putting rocks or gravel in the bottom of a plant pot is a common recommendation, usually described as “improving drainage”. But in recent years it’s become just as common (maybe even more) to describe this idea as a myth, and actually harmful to plants.

What is Monstera borsigiana?

Like any popular conversation topic in the age of the internet, Monstera deliciosa has attracted its share of controversy and misinformation. In this article I’ll address one particular discussion that pops up regularly: the identity of Monstera borsigiana.