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What are some tips for identifying a houseplant?

A:

Quick Answer

The key to identifying houseplants is observing as many details as possible. Houseplants are usually identified by leaf shape, flowers, color, scent and growth habits, among other features. People who are trying to identify the plants should take as many notes as possible.

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Full Answer

There are a variety of illustrated plant identification guides available online. Some are specifically geared towards popular houseplant varieties. These are often separated by leaf shape and other factors for easy identification.

Houseplant owners can also contact garden centers, extension offices or other professional centers for help. If the plant is small enough, the owner can bring it in directly. Otherwise, the owner can send or bring in a photograph.

Identifying the basic type of plant also helps narrow down the results. Houseplant keepers may benefit from learning the difference between major types, such as ferns, succulents and flowering plants. When an unidentified plant arrives, those knowledgeable people may be able to skip several steps in the search.

Leaf shape is one of the primary ways people identify plants, but some leaf shapes are fairly similar. People should observe closely and consider learning about the subtle differences between leaf shapes.

Growth habit is one of the factors in identifying a plant, but it can be confusing. It involves several metrics, including the size of the plant and where it seems to thrive. The type of growth also matters. Some plants grow tall and straight, while others tend to expand outwards.

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