Archive for July, 2014

Benefits of Being Green!

July 29, 2014

IMG_0448 (3)As well as purifying the air we breathe the presence of indoor plants have also been shown to have many other beneficial effects. These benefits include:

  • Increased positive feelings and reduced feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness.
  • Reduction of sound levels
  • Reduction of stress levels
  • Control of humidity to the within the optimum levels for human health
  • Cooling effect
  • Absorption of carbon dioxide and emission of oxygen refreshing the air
  • Improved concentration levels leading to improved productivity particularly with those working with computers
  • Reduction of absenteeism in the workplace
  • Faster recovery from mental tiredness
  • Interiors feel spacious, looked after and clean
  • People prefer to occupy rooms that contain plants
  • Improved image – interiors are perceived as “more expensive”

www.insideplants.net

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Pretty and Tasty, whether in an Arrangement or on your Plate

July 28, 2014

mini-chef-flower-petal-salad2Flowers have been used for thousands of years to enhance the flavor of food.  The thought of eating flowers may not seem appetizing, however you most likely have been eating flowers without realizing it.  Do you like broccoli, cauliflower or artichokes?  All three of these are considered the flowering part of the plant.  Here is a list of flowers that are edible and used in culinary arts to enhance flavor and add color:

  • Borage – taste similar to cucumber & used to add color to your food by sprinkling over food or freezing in ice cubes.
  • Chrusanthemums – have a spicy bold taste & usually sprinkled over food to enhance flavor.
  • Daylilies –  have either a sweet floral taste or metallic tasted & used on salads, desserts, Asian cuisine or deep-fried.
  • Lavender – compliments fish, poultry, sauces, marinades and dressings.
  • Nasturtiums – have a spicy tangy taste and is the all star of edible flowers.
  • Pansies – taste like grapes or wintergreen and is used as a garnish.
  • Pinks – has a clove taste and is used in hot beverages and cream soups.
  • Roses – variety of taste from sweet floral to metallic or slight gingery.  Used to flavor beverages, sorbets and jams.
  • Scented Geraniums – have a variety of scents and used to season ice cream, sorbets, and are sprinkled over deserts or frozen in ice cubes.
  • Squash – has a mild sweet zucchini taste and is used for stuffing or deep frying.

Plant Problems and the Possible Causes Part 2

July 18, 2014

Here are some more tips to turn that black thumb into a green thumb.  The rule of thumb is, how your plant reacts to it’s environment will give you clues as to which corrective actions your plant is needing.  Look at what the leaves, stems and stalks are showing you to help you know where to start.

wiltedplantFoliage is pale and weak looking or New foliage is small, pale or spindly:

  • Insufficient light… Move plant to a brighter location
  • Underwatering… Provide enough water to support full foliage

 

New growth wilted, or burned:

  • Fertilizer burn… re-potting your plant with fresh soil may be needed
  • Exposure to hot or cold drafts
  • Underwatering… Provide enough water to support full foliage
  • Sunburn… Too much direct sun
  • Temperature is too high… Move plant to cooler area
  • Freeze or frost damage.

Entire plant wilted:

  • Underwatering… Provide enough water to support full foliage
  • Overwatering possible… Check for root damage or rot
  • Fertilizer burn… re-potting plant with fresh soil may be needed
  • Exposure to cold temperatures

Pests

  • Mealybug – looks like cotton balls and found underside of leaves, sheaths, and roots
  • Scale – looks like hard white or brown circular or oval bumps and found on leaves and stems
  • Spider Mites – leaves look like salt and pepper markings and found on underside of leaves and sometimes will show signs of webbing

www.insideplants.net

Plant Problems and the Possible Causes Part 1

July 17, 2014

Have you ever thought that you had a black thumb? Ever told your friends that you can’t even keep a house plant alive? Or do you have an old leafy friend sitting on the corner of your desk or behind your chair in your office (probably with a cute nick-name or some reference to where you got it)?

If any of the above are true, please see below for the correct and proper ways of treatment, care and generally much higher survival rates of your plants.

tippingLeaf edges brown and dried

  • Temperature is too high… Move plant to cooler area

Browning of leaf tips or on leaf margins:

  • Fertilizer burn… re-potting your plant with fresh soil may be needed
  • Poor water quality (chlorine, fluoride, salts, etc.)… Allow water to set for 24 hours before using
  • Spray damage from insecticides, oil, leaf-glossing materials… Wash foliage with clean water and a soft cloth
  • Iron deficiency may result when soil pH is too high (alkaline)
  • Magnesium deficiency may result when soil pH is too low (acidic)
  • Pollutants in the air… Fumes from gases, chemicals etc.

Rapid defoliation:

  • Rapid changes in temperature or light… Was plant moved to a new location?
  • Overwatering possible… Check for root damage or rot
  • Underwatering… Provide enough water to support full foliage
  • Exposure to hot or cold drafts

Gradual defoliation (lower leaves become yellow and fall):

  • Overwatering possible… Check for root damage or rot
  • Underwatering… Provide enough water to support full foliage
  • Insufficient light… Move plant to a brighter location

Leaves drop continuously or new leaves on tip are small and curled:

  • Pollutants in the air… (fumes from gases, chemicals etc.)
  • Spray or vapor damage from cleaning fluids
  • Possibly aphid or mite damage

Spotted foliage:

  • Overwatering possible… Check for root damage or rot
  • Sunburn… Too much direct sun
  • Cold water on foliage… Use room temperature water for watering or misting
  • Fungal infection… Especially possible if plants are in very humid, wet conditions
  • Pollutants in the air… Fumes from gases, chemicals etc.

Stay Tuned for Part II    www.insideplants.net

Benefits of Interior Plants

July 14, 2014

Wondering what to have where for the most benefit? We have your answers here:

IMG_20140514_111416_821Kitchen: Grow Rosemary or Scented Geraniums
You can minimize your coffee dependency by raising rosemary; the aroma improves alertness. The added benefits here are: You can minimize your coffee dependency by raising rosemary; the aroma improved alertness

Bedroom: Lavender
This is natures natural sleep aid. People with mild insomnia–particularly women–got more shut-eye in a room filled with the plant’s sweet aroma than in a scent-free room.

Home Office: Try Blooming Plants and a Touch of Green
When looking to be productive, get colorful. People who keet a vase of vibrant flowers on their desks, along with green plants elsewhere in the office, generate more creative ideas than those in an environment lacking vegetation. Try azaleas, cyclamen, and kalanchoe. While you’re at it, add a few dracaenas, a simple yet stunning floor plant, to accent empty corners. ( By the way, WE CARRY THESE AND MANY MORE!!)

Avoid allergy aggravators.
If you’re sensitive to pollen, nix chrysanthemum and daisy arrangements; they’re ragweed relatives. Over watering plants, or leaving standing water in the bottom of pots leads to moldy leaves and soil which can release asthma and allergy triggering spores into the air.  www.insideplants.net

NO FIDO! A Beginners Guide to Petsafe House Plants

July 1, 2014

Riley_Heddy SalernoHaving plants in the house is a very easy way to spruce up a room, and they can benefit our indoor air quality as well as our mood. The tricky part can be finding plants that are aesthetically pleasing to us and our particular tastes and safe for our pets.

Cats and dogs sometimes chew on plants, and if the plant contains toxins it can cause intestinal problems and – in bad cases – death. Some plants can be kept high on a shelf or hanging from a hook which can deter a cat or dog from getting to them. But sometimes that isn’t possible.

Here are 8 indoor plants that are safe for pets:

  • Bamboo has a lot of symbolism in different cultures. It is seen as a sign of longevity in Chinese culture and friendship in India. In Vietnamese culture, it symbolizes the spirit of hard and soft, and that the Vietnam nation and values will persist with each new generation.
  • African Violet, a perennial flowering plant that is commonly indoors but may also be planted outdoors. Flowers are usually purple but can be pale blue or white.
  • Lady slipper is a type of orchid that can grow up to 2 feet tall. The flowers range from pink to purple to yellow. It is believed that the plant has tannin oils but there’s been no known effects on pets who may have had contact or chewed on it.
  • Spider Plant, a very common houseplant that is known to reduce indoor air pollution. It can be a hanging plant so that its stems and plantlets can be displayed, or a smaller variation that is ideal for a shelf or end table.
  • Money Tree. Need a little luck? Money trees are thought to bring good fortune to those who place it in their home. As the money tree grows, it will sprout new leaves which unfold into five leaf stems.
  • Cast-Iron plant is great for those of us who have black thumbs. It’s a hearty plant that can withstand irregular watering, low humidity, temperature changes, and low-light. This doesn’t mean you can totally forget about this plant, but it is a good option for those of us who lack talent in the gardening area, like me.
  • Ponytail plant is another “set it and forget it” type of plant and can be grown in a shallow pot. It’s a slow-growing plant and can be watered every 1 to 2 weeks. Keep them in bright light.
  • Catnip is a fly and mosquito repellant and can be used as an herbal ailment. Most commonly it is given to cats. Which reminds me, your cat might chew on this one so you may want to keep it somewhere where your cat can’t freely chew on it. You can cut a few leaves off and let your cat roll around and chew on them, as too much might bring out an aggressive response.

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