Pig’s Ears and Stevia as House Plants
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: February 27, 2001

I want to grow Pig’s Ears as a house plant. What type of soil should I plant it in?

Pig’s Ears (Cotyledon spp.) does very well as a house plant. Its succulent (fleshy) leaves and slow growth habit make it ideal for pot culture. It requires much the same conditions as Aloe Vera indoors: good light and a soil medium that drains well. Water only as the soil feels dry to the touch, but when dry water thoroughly so that water comes out of the drainage holes in the pot. If your potting mix is heavy on organic matter and tends to hold water too much, you should mix in a little horticultural sand (available from your local garden centre) or perlite -- up to 10 per cent by volume.

Pig’s Ears is not a heavy feeder, so the occasional feeding with a half-strength fertilizer every 3-6 months should be enough. Only fertilize when the plant is actively showing growth; do not fertilize during periods of slow growth such might occur during the winter months.

Does stevia do well as a house plant?

Stevia is what we call a high light plant. In fact, the more light it gets the more steviasides, the sweet tasting constituents, it produces. It can be grown indoors successfully but you need to provide excellent lighting conditions. Fluorescent grow lights may not be sufficient; you may need to supply the brighter light of the high intensity, and much more expensive, halogen lamps. For more information on lighting options have a look at the indoor growing articles in the "Magazine Rack" section of the Richters website (http://www.richters.com).

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