Archive for April, 2015

Apartment and Kid-Friendly Plants

April 29, 2015

It’s kind of a tall order to find plants that are kid-friendly and able to thrive in even a typical city apartment. But we do have a few thoughts. (FYI, we’ve used our editorial license to go right ahead and eliminate those plants that are particularly attractive to mealy bugs since you have bigger things to worry about.)

  • African and flame violet (not good for cold climates)
  • Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen)
  • Begonias
  • Cast-iron plant.
  • Coleus (does need enough light)
  • Corn plant
  • Geranium
  • Pothos
  • Snake plants
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Spider plants
  • Wandering Jew
  • Yucca (needs high light intensities)


Mothers Day Gift Ideas

April 21, 2015

With Mothers day just around the corner we thought we would give you a cheat sheet for the best out of the box gift you could give, a PLANT!!!

To make a good gift, we believe a plant has to be one or all of these things:

  1. Easy to care for
  2. Useful
  3. Beautiful

Almost all plants fit the “useful” bill, since they absorb carbon dioxide and help to purify indoor air. As for a few “beautiful” and “easy to care for” selections, we’ve got you covered…

  • The Amaryllis is a traditional holiday gift, since this winter bulb blooms through the New Year. Pair it with a glass vase or jar to water the roots, and you’re all set.
  • Succulents are easy to care for since they don’t require much water, and they come in a wide range of shapes and colors. Fill a planter with a few varieties for a striking gift.
  • Lucky Bamboo is technically a member of the lily family. It grows in water, not soil, and will thrive as long as it has some sunlight and a constant supply of water. As its name implies, it’s also said to be a lucky plant, often used in Feng Shui.
  • Herbs are great gifts for home cooks. In winter, a potted indoor herb garden can keep someone supplied with fresh herbs until it’s warm enough to transfer them to the porch.
  • Aloe plants are members of the succulent family and require minimal watering. They’re also great to have around to treat burns and surface wounds. Just crack open a leaf and apply the inner lining directly to the skin.
  • The scent of lavender is said to relieve stress and induce calm. Dried lavender can also be used to cook with or make sachets. Can you say “perfect for Grandma”?
  • Air Plants don’t need soil or constant watering; they can live almost anywhere you put them and require only regular misting or soaking to survive. They also look great clustered in a bowl or used in a centerpiece.

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Plants for your Office

April 14, 2015

You’ve got greenery all over your house, but what about your office? These six air cleaners and mood lifters will thrive in a variety of conditions. When you’re at work, you need a mind-body tag team: a fragrant shrub to stimulate your brain and a leafy plant to scrub your office air (which can be five times more polluted than the air outside). Finding the right foliage for you depends on a number of factors, however, including the amount of sunlight in the room and the color of your thumb.

Areca PalmAreca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Direct
Care: Moderate
Thanks to its huge fronds (which can reach 6 feet in height and feature 60 leaflets), this palm is especially effective at filtering airborne particles.

mintPeppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Direct
Care: Easy
Sniffing mint can increase your alertness and enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Bonus: It can also help suppress your appetite.

ivyEnglish Ivy (Hedera helix)
Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
Tests at the University of Georgia show that English ivy is particularly efficient at absorbing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, airborne pollutants spewed by computers and office machinery, which cause headaches and nausea.

lemonbalmLemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
Researchers at Ohio State University found that the scent of lemon improved people’s moods and raised their levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to mood and behavior.

pothosGolden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Benefit: Cleans the air
Light: Indirect
Care: Easy
This hardy vine reduces indoor ozone, Penn State researchers found. Exposure to even low ozone levels, like those emitted by printers and copiers, can cause chest pain and throat irritation.

gardeniaGardenia (Gardenia augusta)
Benefit: Stimulates your brain
Light: Direct
Care: Moderate
It’s like a long-acting antidepressant. A gardenia can live for 25 years, and every time you smell its flowers, your emotional outlook improves, according to research from Rutgers.

Spring into Spring (with no allergies)

April 7, 2015

Did you know certain plants can help clear the air in your home? NASA’s official Clean Air Study sets the record straight. Here’s a quick list of the plants to have in your home:

  1. The Areca Palm – The most efficient air humidifier. You can count on the Areca Palm to keep your home moist when it’s dry, like in winter.
  2. The Lady Palm – This versatile air-purifying plant thrives in dry or humid climates, and resists most types of plant-eating insects.
  3. The Bamboo Palm – A little higher-maintenance than the first two on this list, the Bamboo Palm thrives when kept moist (but not wet) in indirect sunlight, and is a great air purifier.
  4. The Dracaena – Nicknamed the “Janet Craig” after a prominent nurseryman’s daughter, the Dracaena is beautiful and versatile, with shiny deep-green leaves. It is renowned for trapping allergens in its leaves.
  5. Other Options: Colorful Houseplants

There are some bright, colorful plants that produce pollens that are heavier and stickier. Plus, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Consider the Peace Lily, Marginata or English Ivy.

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