Archive for May, 2015

Discover some of our Favorite Fragrant Indoor Plants

May 27, 2015

flower-bachThere are many reasons to grow plants indoors — they clean the air, soften and infuse our décor with nature, and reduce the amount of stress we feel. There are a stunning array of leaf colors and textures to brighten spirits even on the shortest, dreariest winter days. But that’s not all: Pick carefully and they also provide scent — from rich and flowery to warm and spicy. Read on to discover some of our favorite fragrant indoor plants.

The gardenia is an extremely popular choice when growing aromatic houseplants. Gardenias have an intense, sweet aroma with dark green, glossy leaves and stunning white flowers. This beauty can be a bit difficult to grow indoors due to its high humidity, bright light and warm daytime temperature requirements with cool nights of 55-60 F. Additionally, this fragrant houseplant can grow quite large, up to 6 to 8 feet tall. Caring for this aromatic plant indoors may not be the best choice for those who will not pamper it.

Scented geraniums are also a popular option for fragrant indoor plants. Caring for this aromatic plant indoors is a bit simpler than the gardenia. Geraniums have a wide range of scents from lemon, peppermint, chocolate, orange, lavender, rose and even pineapple. The fragrance of scented geraniums comes not from the blooms, but from the foliage and as a result is fairly weak. Scented geraniums need well-draining soil and cool temps of between 55-68 F. Allow the plant to dry between watering and fertilize once a month during the winter months. Then, move the plant outside as temps warm to blossom.

Easier ones however are:
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) or pink jasmine is a member of the olive family and is an evergreen vine that grows outside in warm climates. It needs high humidity, warm temps and full sunlight. This jasmine has dark green leaves with tiny white flower clusters that pink up as they mature with a sweet aroma.

Hoya carnosa or wax plant is another vine with leathery leaves. It is not as picky regarding humidity and temperature but does require bright light. The wax plant can be trained on a trellis or up a wire the better to display its white to pink star-shaped blooms. This is one houseplant that blooms most abundantly when it is root bound and should be allowed to dry between watering.


Bringing Home Baby… How to introduce new houseplants

May 18, 2015

DSCF0598Once you’ve selected your houseplants, make sure they’re packaged properly before taking them home. Poorly packaged plants tip over and bounce around, which can damage branches. Good growers will package plants for you or give you appropriate containers so your plants can reach your home undamaged. Cold and heat can harm houseplants, too. During the winter, warm up your car and wrap your plants before taking them outside. Never leave your indoor plants in a cold car while you do additional shopping. During the summer, buy plants with well-moistened soil, because dry plants do not resist heat well. Have overly dry indoor plants watered. Let the water drain, then pack the plants. If left unprotected, houseplants can be damaged by wind. If you must transport a large plant in the open, cover its leafy branches to prevent them from drying out. Wrap heavy plastic or cloth around the branches and tie it to the stem. Remove the wrap as soon as you arrive home. If your concern is not getting plants home from the store, but moving your plants from one home to another, be aware that moving companies rarely handle plants properly. You may have to question several companies about their methods of transporting plants to find one that really knows this delicate phase of the business.

9 Houseplants That Ease Stress, Purify Your Home, And Are Impossible To Kill

May 12, 2015

Houseplants are a truly delightful addition to any home. They’re a great decoration, but they also have profound impacts besides just looking good. They create a relaxed ambiance and pretty any room of your home. According to a 2008 study, researchers found that hospital patients who had plants in their rooms reported much less stress than those who didn’t. That’s why we’ve compiled for you this useful guide to the 10 easiest houseplants to grow. Enjoy!

  1. 4432258122_dfa480573b_zAloe Vera, Aloe barbadensis miller
    They stay small if you keep them in a smaller pot but get much larger if you transfer them to a larger one. They’re succulents, so they don’t mind a little bit of neglect. Not just that, but they also have some medicinal properties. They’re good for detoxing the body when you add a bit to a smoothie or a juice, can be used to soothe the pain from cuts and burns on your body, and they’re also good for cleaning the air of pollutants. If your air quality is too poor, the plant will begin to show brown spots. Aloe vera enjoys warm, sunny conditions.
  2. 12606763924_01d34b106c_zRubber Tree, Elastica
    Rubber trees are fast growing and easy to please. They thrive in dim, cool environments, making them one of the best houseplants for homes that don’t necessarily get a lot of direct sunlight. It’s a powerful air purifier that will leave your home a more relaxed, clean environment.
  3. 6782746608_Peace_zPeace lily, Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum
    The peace lily is a wonderful, easy to grow and impossible to kill houseplant that periodically sends up the gorgeous white flowers you see above. Like the aloe, it can get huge if you plant it in a larger pot, or will stay small in a smaller pot. They enjoy shade and cooler temperatures and help reduce the presence of various household toxins.
  4. 5620176368_snake_zSnake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata
    The snake plant is another easy to grow and hard to kill houseplant. They require little water or light to survive. They’re a great choice for a corner of your home that you often forget about. They’re a little bit different from most of your house plants. During the day, the plants absorb carbon dioxide, and at night, they exhale oxygen. This makes them a good choice for bedrooms too, as that oxygen released at night will help you sleep easier and wake up refreshed.
  5. 16404871208_cham_zBamboo palm, Chamaedorea
    The bamboo palm also made NASA’s list of best air-purifying plants. It’s especially good at cleansing the air of benzene and trichloroethylene, but require a little more maintenance than the others listed here. They enjoy lots of water and need shade or indirect sunlight. This makes them a great candidate for the kitchen.
  6. philodendronPhilodendron, Philodendron bipinnatifidum
    Philodendron comes in tons of different varieties. Some have long, finger-like leaves. Others have holes in them. Some are rounded and some are even heart shaped. They’re a popular plant for the home. They’re easy to grow and care for. Like the English ivy, it’s great at absorbing formaldehyde and can last for decades if you take care of them well. They like moderate water and some sunlight, but not direct sun.
  7. spiderplantSpider plant, Chlorophytum comosum
    Their longevity isn’t just what makes them immortal. A mature spider plant will begin sending off chutes with baby spider plants on them. You can snip them, plant them in soil, and the next thing you know, you have a few dozen of them growing. This is what makes them one of the most common plants. Not only are they easy to grow, they’re effective at absorbing benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. They enjoy shadier conditions and moderate amounts of water.
  8. 8168423124_draceana_zDracaena, Dracaena braunii
    It’s not uncommon for a dracaena to grow to ceiling height, up to 15 feet tall, but they can be stunted by staying in a smaller pot. These beautiful plants are known for removing xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. They do like lots of sunlight and moderate water, however.
  9. 7358705348_pothos_zGolden pothos, Epipremnum aureum
    Last but certainly not least is the nearly mythic indestructible golden pothos. It made NASA’s list for its ability to easily clear formaldehyde from our air and the things are seriously difficult to kill. They’re a vine, so they make great hanging baskets. They’ll grow and grow and grow until they’ve reached the floor. They like cool temperatures, low levels of light, and while they do enjoy plenty of water, they can take some serious neglect.

A Quick Guide to Lighting

May 5, 2015

plant-light-bulbHouseplants are good for us. Their presence eases much of the stress that leads to disease and may even lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Some, such as the spider plant, actually act as air purifiers, absorbing formaldehyde and other toxic indoor fumes. Beyond the health benefits, houseplants provide a living link with nature, make pleasant winter companions and lend softness and warmth to our surroundings. The problem, though, is that most indoor environments are not good for plants after all, homes are designed to provide human comfort. Modern interiors are generally very dry, whereas many houseplants are tropical and subtropical natives that require high humidity. And indoor environments often rely on artificial lighting, which may be insufficient for many plants. So indoor gardening is not simply a “pot and forget” proposition. A lot of houseplants fail to flourish because of inappropriate environment or inadequate care.

The minimum light setting acceptable for raising plants, a low-light environment, is that typically created by northern window exposures or by an all-fluorescent setting with no outdoor lighting. A typical medium-light situation would be an east window location with about four hours of gentle morning sun each day or south windows that offer varying amounts of sunlight throughout the day. The bright-light environment supplies about four hours of strong afternoon and evening light each day through a large west window or wall to-wall southern exposure.

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