Re: new to growing a china doll

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Posted by Kelly on June 05, 2003 at 02:13:40:

In Reply to: Re: new to growing a china doll posted by Paula on May 25, 2003 at 14:15:53:

I have always felt the same as you about the china doll. I tried some a few times living back in the midwest, had a lot of trouble knowing what I was doing wrong, and always killed them. Well, now that I live in southern CA I thought I would try it again, and a few years ago I bought one about 18 in tall to have behind my couch in the living room. Well, it survived that winter behind the couch and when I brought it outside to the patio a couple of years ago, well, let's just say it is thriving, since it is about to outgrow the rafters on the patio (9 ft)... I am thinking I need to corral it now so it does not outgrow me!! I do know it likes it's water, I was not watering it quite as religiously last year, and it did not grow as fast. Now, I have a hose hooked up out there and I flood it a couple of times a week and it is growing out of control...

: : : : I have just recently purchased a china doll plant, and I know how hard they are to take care of, but they are so beautiful and I have always wanted to buy one but I was afraid it will die right away. Any advice is welcome. Thanks, Lisa

: Lisa,

: I was given a china doll as a gift two years ago - and after three months of following the instructions I had this darn plant near death! I was able to revive it fine, but here's what I learned in the process:

: * The instructions say "can tolerate moderate light to low light" but China dolls really need at minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, and it's better to have more light than less. I currently have mine on a windowsil that gets morning sun, filtered through some blinds. It grows like crazy there.
: * Keep the soild moist at all times. Instructions say "water weekly." However, I found if you let the soil go dry even one day, the leaves yellow quickly and die. Water it as often as you need to keep the soil moist. Buy one of those ceramic stakes you can stick in the soil to monitor dryness, they help.
: * Make sure whatever you pot it in drains well. The other problem with this plant is it is sensative to overwatering too, which is worse in a pot that does not have a drain hole.
: * Don't be afraid to cut back leaves! If you grow a china doll in a good spot (and feed it plant food regularly), they sprout like crazy. Taming new growth helps the plant fill out more rather than grow strait up.

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