Thursday, January 26, 2017

5 Tips for keeping your houseplants happy this winter.

Keeping your houseplants healthy and thriving during the winter months comes down to these five things. First  make sure they have enough light. You may have to move your plants around the house during the winter in order to provide the best light situation.
Another way to increase light is to add plant grow lights like this Jump Start Light System. It comes complete with stand and light and is easy to set up. Great for starting seeds too.  You can also buy grow bulbs that will fit a standard socket. Second, water your houseplants consistently. Regular watering will keep the soil moist. You want to avoid letting the soil dry out completely or keeping the soil soggy.
A simple way to make sure you're watering correctly is to buy a water meter and use it to help you know when it's time to water.
Third, fertilize your plants every three weeks with a mild liquid fertilizer such as Schultz Plant Food or Jack's Houseplant Special. Another way to increase your houseplant's vigor is by giving them a supplement such as Superthrive every two weeks. Superthrive's kelp and vitamin formula strengthens roots and improves leaf growth. Fourth, increase the humidity.  Houses are dry during the winter, which doesn't help your houseplants.
One way to increase humidity is to group your houseplants together. This will help raise the humidity and make maintenance easier.  Another way simple way to increase humidity is to  place your plants on a pebble tray. Make a pebble tray by spreading an even layer of small pebbles in a saucer or shallow pan and then add water. As the water evaporates, it increases the humidity around your plants. Be sure that the bottom of the pot doesn't sit in the water.
Fifth, keep an eye out for bugs. Soil gnats, mealy bug and scale can appear suddenly and cause damage to your houseplants. Inspect your plants often for any signs of insect damage.
Use an insecticidal spray such as Safer Insect Soap at the first sign of insect distress.
Spraying the leaves of your plants with Leaf Shine will help deter insects and keep your plants cleaner. Doing these things will help your houseplants stay healthier and happier through the winter months.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Clean the air with these houseplants 

We've always known houseplants are good for us. They add beauty to our homes and offices, they have a calming effect on us and they give us a sense of well-being. We show how much we care about others in our lives when we give houseplants for birthdays, special occasions and as get well gifts. In addition to beautifying a room, houseplants work hard to make us healthier, by removing pollutants from the air and adding oxygen back into the room. All houseplants do this to a certain extent and some are really good at purifying our indoor air.
One outstanding air-purifying plant is the Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum. Peace Lilys are very easy to grow. Place them in a spot where they will receive bright, indirect light, keep the soil moist and feed them every three or four weeks and they will reward you with beautiful white flowers and cleaner air for many years.
Pothos are a great houseplant choice to help clean the air. They're easy to care for and they'll do well in areas where you don't have a lot of light.
Sanseveria or Snake Plant is another air purifying plant for your home or office. Snake plants do best in bright light. You can keep them in a place with low light. They just won't grow as fast. They also like their soil on the dryer side.
plants are slow growing, can take low to medium light and they also like their soil on the dry side, so avoid overwatering them. They'll do a great job keeping the air clean.
A houseplant that helps clean the air and blooms throughout the year is the Anthurium. Anthurium do best in bright light and moist soils.
Looking for a houseplant that likes low light and helps clean the air, get a
Chinese Evergreen plant. Known for its unique foliage, the Chinese Evergreen likes moist but not soggy soil. Let the top inch or two of soil dry out before you water this plant.
Another interesting foliage houseplant that will aid in cleaner air is the Dieffenbachia. This houseplant prefers bright light but will do okay in low light situations, so it's a great choice for many offices. English Ivy, Boston Ferns and Rubber plants are also good
choices to help improve the air in your home or workplace. Not sure which houseplant is right for you? Stop in and we'll help you pick out the best plants for your home and office. You'll feel better surrounded by houseplants and you'll breathe better too! 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Houseplants: the remedy for the winter blues


It's great to be looking at seed catalogs and planning for this year's garden, but nothing helps the winter blues more than bringing a living plant into the house. Houseplants brighten the indoors and when spring comes, they can add instant beauty to your patio and yard.  You can be successful with most houseplants if you give them the right light and pay attention to how you water them.
For example, Cineraria likes to have bright indirect light indoors. Water thoroughly when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.
African Violets will bloom almost continuously if you keep them in a warm, well-lit spot and water from the bottom. 
The Lipstick plant is an easy to grow houseplant with flashy red flowers. They'll do well in medium light conditions. 
Jasmine like bright light and evenly moist soil. It's best to keep the soil evenly moist. Jasmine is a favorite houseplant because it is very fragrant.
The Zebra plant gets its name from the zebra-like stripes along its dark green leaves. A Zebra plant needs bright, indirect light and moist soils. Zebra plants bloom with striking yellow flowers.
As a group, Bromeliads are excellent houseplants. They are tolerant of low light, can be watered from overhead in their central cups and feature beautiful flowers and foliage.
Crotons are also grown for their bright, multi-colored foliage. They want warm temperatures, lots of bright light and moist soils.
Many people shy away from orchids because they have a reputation for being finicky. In reality, orchids make extraordinary houseplants. If you're new to growing orchids, start out with a Phalaenopsis, also know an a moth orchid. If you've got an East-facing window and you watch the watering, you can grow orchids successfully.
ooking for a low-maintenance plant, consider a cactus garden. This miniature garden is ready to take home and enjoy.
If you have very bright lighting conditions, consider growing tropical plants such as  Bougainvillea.
Or a Hibiscus. Hibiscus flowers are large and eye-catching, while Bougainvillea produces long sprays of flowers. Both of these plants need very bright light conditions to bloom successfully.
There are lots of beautiful, vibrant houseplants to choose from. Each one will help to fill the inside of our homes with life and color. And, they're sure to get you through these gray, windy days 'til spring returns. If you're not sure of which houseplant to select, stop in and talk to us. We'll help you select just the right houseplants for your home.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

6 houseplants for a healthy New Year 

Now that we've stored away the Christmas decorations for another season, we can turn our attention to the new year and what better way to ring in 2017 than to create a healthier, greener home.
Even if you've not had much luck with houseplants before, we'd encourage you to try again. These houseplants not only add beauty indoors, they create a healthier environment for you. They'll do well in dorm rooms, offices and those hard to grow spots at home. You'll notice many of these plants will do well in low-light areas.
The Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum has dark green leaves and white flowers. They make excellent houseplants for your home or office. Peace lilies enjoy medium to low light conditions. Peace lilies are drought tolerant and prefer to be kept on the dry side.  Water them when the top inch of soil is dry.
The Chinese evergreen plant is another very adaptable plant. This easy to grow tropical plant tolerates low light and low humidity, making it a great choice if you're just getting started with houseplants. 
Looking for a plant that will do well in low light as well as bright, indirect light, consider Dieffenbachia. Dieffenbachia is a low maintenance houseplant that will add a tropical touch to any room. Dieffenbachia can handle low to high light conditions, but no direct sun. This plant likes to be misted often and you'll want to keep this plant watered regularly.
A super easy plant, you can grow Pothos in a pot on the counter and Pothos also make great hanging plants. Pothos will do well in low light as well as bright indirect light. Pothos like to be kept moist, so don't let the soil dry out.
Looking for a
very unusual plant for your home or office that wouldn't mind a little neglect?  Zamioculcas zamiifolia the ZZ plant will handle low to medium light and likes to be kept on the dry side. This easy-going plant rarely needs fertilizer, tolerates low light and will forgive you if you forget to water it once in awhile.
Sansevieria, commonly known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue or Snake Plant is a very easy plant to grow. Sansevieria do best in bright, indirect light. They will grow in low light situations, but very slowly. The biggest issue with Sansevieria is to avoid over watering it. Otherwise, it's a perfect compliment to most any room. Buying these plants and taking them home or to school or your office is a great way to get the new year started right; healthy and green.