Archive for February, 2015

6 Easy Tips For Caring For Your Valentines Day Orchid

February 25, 2015

1038-PW-LGOrchids have long been a symbol of love and beauty. Grown by enthusiasts for their sheer elegance and fascination, they’re also favored as either a corsage worn on the dress, or as a wristband at many proms and special events. On many occasions, from weddings to conferences, sprays of orchids grace the tables as decoration.

  1. Find the right orchid for your home. The proper care of orchids starts with choosing plants that are suited to your particular environment.Will the orchid have enough space when fully grown? Or will it need to be moved somewhere else?Can you provide the temperature requirements that the orchid needs? Orchids can be divided into three types by temperature requirements––cool, intermediate and warm, meaning that orchids require certain minimum night temperatures in order to grow successfully.
  2. Buy flowering plants. The plants that already have flowers are a great buy, because it can take up to five years for a seedling to produce a flower. Unless you’re exceedingly patient, or already have a greenhouse full of orchids, you probably don’t want to wait that long.
  3. Consider your growing conditions. Select an orchid based on the growing conditions in your home. This matters because each type of orchid has different requirements, dependent on the orchid’s origins. Always read the label accompanying the instructions to make sure the plant is suitable for your home.
  4. Learn how to water your orchids. Orchidaceae are one of the largest families of flowering plants, and as such there are many sub-families, or variations, and they have different watering requirements. What might be parching to one species risks drowning another. Generally, water your orchids every five to twelve days depending on what type of orchid you have, what the temperature is, and the time of year—–or more in summer, less in winter.
  5. Maintain the blooms. Peak blooming time starts from late winter, primarily February and March in the northern hemisphere. Blooms normally last from four to twelve weeks. When the blooms fade, cut off the spike 1/2 inch (12mm) above where it projects from the foliage. Also trim off any dead leaves and tissue, including old flower stems, old leaves, anything rotting, dead roots, etc
  6. The following list shows the orchids that can generally handle growing indoors, albeit with some careful placement, additional lighting and temperature control:
  • Brassolaeliocattleya “Norman’s Bay”
  • Cattleya bowringiana
  • Coelogyne cristata
  • Cymbidium devonianum
  • Cymbidium “Touchstone”
  • Dendrobium nobile
  • Epidendrum cochleatum (also known as Encyclia cochleata)
  • Laelia anceps
  • Maxillaria tenuifolia
  • Miltonia clowesii
  • Paphiopedilum callosum
  • Paphiopedilum “Honey Gorse”
  • Pleione formosana
  • Vanda cristata

Have questions? Call us. We have the answers and gorgeous orchids to choose from, either to gift or to give to yourself.


Top Ten Plants for Removing Toxins from the Air

February 17, 2015

Common indoor plants may provide a valuable weapon in the fight against rising levels of indoor air pollution. NASA scientists are finding them to be surprisingly useful in absorbing potentially harmful gases and cleaning the air inside homes, indoor public spaces and office buildings. The indoor pollutants that affect health are formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (benzene and trichloroethylene or TCE), airborne biological pollutants, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, pesticides and disinfectants (phenols), and radon. These pollutants contribute to ‘sick building syndrome’, which causes symptoms ranging from allergies, headaches and fatigue through to nervous-system disorders, cancer and death. The following are the top ten plants for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air:

Areca palm1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
Also called the “Butterfly Palm”. An upright houseplant that is somewhat vase shaped. Specimen plants can reach 10 to 12 foot in height. Prefers a humid area to avoid tip damage. Requires pruning. When selecting an Areca palm look for plants with larger caliber trunks at the base of the plant. Plants that have pencil thin stems tend to topple over and are quite difficult to maintain.

Rhapis Palm2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Also called the “Lady Palm”, this durable palm species adapts well to most interiors. The Rhapis are some of the easiest palms to grow, but each species has its own particular environment and culture requirements. The “Lady Palm” grows slowly, but can grow to more than 14′ in height with broad clumps often having a diameter as wide as their height.

Bamboo Palm3. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Also called the “reed palm”, this palm prefers bright indirect light. New plants will lose of some interior foliage as they acclimate to indoor settings. This plant likes to stay uniformly moist, but does not like to be over-watered or to sit in standing water. Indoor palms may attract spider mites which can be controlled by spraying with a soapy solution.

Rubber Plant4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)
Grows very well indoors, preferring semi-sun lighting. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer. Young plants may need to be supported by a stake. The Ficus grows to 8’ with a spread of 5’. Wear gloves when pruning, as the milky sap may irritate the skin. Water thoroughly when in active growth, then allow the soil to become fairly dry before watering again. In winter keep slightly moist.

Dracaena Janet-Craig5. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis)
The Dracaena grows to 10’ with a spread of 3’. Easy to grow, these plants do best in bright indirect sunlight coming from the east/west. They can adapt to lower light levels if the watering is reduced. Keep the soil evenly moist and mist frequently with warm water. Remove any dead leaves. Leaf tips will go brown if the plant is under watered but this browning may be trimmed.

Philodendron6. Philodendron (Philodendron)
One of the most durable of all house plants. Philodendrons prefer medium intensity light but will tolerate low light. Direct sun will burn the leaves and stunt plant growth. This plant is available in climbing and non-climbing varieties. When grown indoors, they need to be misted regularly and the leaves kept free of dust. Soil should be evenly moist, but allowed to dry between watering.

Date Palm7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
A hardy, drought-tolerant and long-lived plant, the Dwarf Date Palm needs a bright spot which is free of drafts. It grows slowly, reaching heights of 8-10’. The Dwarf Date Palm should not be placed near children’s play areas because it has sharp needle-like spines arranged near the base of the leaf stem. These can easily penetrate skin and even protective clothing.

FicusAlii8. Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii “Alii”)
The Ficus Alii grows easily indoors, and resists insects. It prefers a humid environment and low to medium light when grown indoors. The Ficus Aliii should not be placed near heating or air conditioning vents, or near drafts because this could cause leaf loss. Soil should be kept moist but allowed to dry between watering.

Boston Fern9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)
The Boston fern grows to 4’ in height with a spread up to 5’. It has feathery ferns which are best displayed as a hanging plant. It prefers bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and mist frequently with warm water. This plant is prone to spider mites and whitefly which can be controlled using a soapy water spray. Inspect new plants for bugs before bringing them home.

Spath10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”)
The Peace Lily is a compact plant which grows to a height of 3’ with a 2’ spread. This hardy plant tolerates neglect. It prefers indirect sunlight and high humidity, but needs to be placed out of drafts. For best results, the Peace Lily should be thoroughly watered, then allowed to go moderately dry between waterings.

Not Your Normal Valentine

February 10, 2015

Are you looking for that one of a kind Valentines Day gift? Tired of the same old roses and chocolates? Do you have a “hard to get for” special someone? WE GET IT!!! We’ve all been there. So here are our little helpful hints and tips.

Try an Anthurium

AnthuriumWith their open, heart-shaped flowers and tropical disposition, it’s no wonder that anthurium have come to symbolize hospitality. The name anthurium comes from Greek, meaning “tail flower.” Exotic and compelling, with bold, typically red flowers and shiny, dark green foliage, anthurium, like the hospitality they represent, are long-lasting and irresistibly beautiful.

Thought to bring luck and protect against evil, legend has it that when the anemone closes its petals, it’s a signal that rain is approaching. Still other mythology connects the anemone to magical fairies, who were believed to sleep under the petals after they closed at sunset. Perhaps it’s because of this magical and prophetic tales that today in the language of flowers, anemones represent anticipation.

Care Tips
Anthurium plants can tolerate all levels of indirect light, but anthuriums growing in low light will have fewer flowers and will grow slower. These plants cannot tolerate direct light, however, as this can burn the leaves. It grows best in bright, indirect light.

Try a Bromeliad

BromeliadThe Bromeliad is perhaps best known for the pineapple plant species. This family of tropical flowers have a unique appearance and flower. Native to the Tropics, areas of the world where the sun reaches a point directly overhead at least once during the solar year, tropical flowers are sometimes called exotic flowers because of their association with alluring, lush locations that are warm year-round. All tropical flowers share a unique quality – an uncommon, striking spirit that reflects a sense of adventure and singular brilliance.

Care Tips
The general rule is to water bromeliads, and when the soil around them is nearly dry, water them again. Bromeliads’ leaves grow to form a natural reservoir around the base of the plant. If water collects in the reservoir and sits over time, the roots will rot. Remove water standing in the reservoir to keep the plant free of disease. These plants prefer moist air, so if relative humidity drops below 50 percent, mist the plant to keep it moist.

We know that no gift will be fool proof but feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.  We wish you all long love and happy days!  Happy Valentines Day!

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