Posts Tagged ‘inside plants’


July 28, 2015

IMG_20150623_161502421 (3)You have probably seen them and not knowing what you were looking at thought it was really cool art… or something. A green wall is a wall partially or completely covered with vegetation that includes a growing medium, such as soil. Most green walls also feature an integrated water delivery system. Green walls are also known as living walls, biowalls, ecowalls, or vertical gardens.

Such walls may be indoors or outside, freestanding or attached to an existing wall, and come in a great variety of sizes. As of 2012, the largest green wall covers 2,700 square meters (29,063 square feet or more than half an acre) and is located at the Los Cabos International Convention Center.IMG_20150122_125158534 (3)

Green walls have seen a recent surge in popularity. Many iconic green walls have been constructed by institutions and in public places such as airports and are now becoming common, to improve the aesthetics. For example: Edmonton International Airport(Canada),and Changi International Airport (Singapore).  If you are looking for that modern edge or just want something different for your space, this is an ideal way to go.  

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Romance With Bromiliads Part 2

July 7, 2015

BromeliadThe 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.

Bromeliads generally do not have problems with pests. If a dark mold from scale develops on the leaves, remove the mold with soapy water. Mosquitoes may become a problem if the water at the base of the plant is not drained regularly.

Under effective conditions, bromeliads will blossom with showy flowers. You can force mature plants to flower by placing the plant in a clear plastic bag with a ripe apple. Gases released by the apple will prompt the bromeliad to blossom. Remove the bag from the plant, and water it as usual. You can expect the plant to flower in six to 14 weeks.

As always, call us with questions and we’ll be happy to design an idea around your favorite room or favorite plant!

Facts about Fourth of July Traditions

July 6, 2015

july-4thOur country’s birthday was once again upon us, so it’s a good time to check out some of the facts about our favorite Fourth of July traditions.

Picnics are always on the agenda, and what seems to be the “official meat product” of the Fourth are hot dogs. It’s said that roughly 155 million dogs are consumed on Independence Day alone. But before the invention of the hot dog, what did the founders feast on? On that very first day of independence in 1776, the meal for John Adams and wife Abigail included turtle soup, poached salmon, peas and boiled potatoes (which, strangely enough, happens to be among the ingredients in some hot dogs). For dessert, the couple had a treat called apple pandowdy, similar to apple cobbler. No reports of a scoop of ice cream on top of that pandowdy.

One of the fun tunes sung on the Fourth is “Yankee Doodle” — a song actually crooned by British officers to make fun of those “backwoods” defenders of the colonies. When you think of the lyrics, satirical use of the song makes sense. Although the words have been tweaked over the centuries, the most popular version goes like this:
Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni
To truly appreciate the sarcasm of the lyrics, it’s important to note that “doodle” is most likely a derivative of the German slang word “dudel,” meaning a fool or dunce, and “macaroni” refers to a clownish, oversized wig worn as a part of a foppish masquerade costume.

You may have heard that instead of having the bald eagle represent the new country, Benjamin Franklin suggested the mighty turkey. He said the eagle just sits around on a tree, watching other birds catch their prey then snatches it from them. Franklin concluded that the eagle was a bird of “bad moral character.” On the other hand, the turkey was a “true original native of America,” and “though a little vain and silly” it is a “bird of courage,” suggesting it would even attack the Red Coats if they invaded its territory.

If you’re waiting to hear the Liberty Bell ringing out loud and clear on the Fourth, you better be ready to strain your ears. Because of that big crack, the Liberty Bell is only tapped 13 times on Independence Day — 13, of course, for the number of original colonies.

The 13 stars representing the first colonies were formed in a circle on a field of blue on one of the early versions of the American flag. The circle signified unity and represented the fact that no one state was more important than the other in the newly formed nation.

John Hancock’s signature is not only the biggest of the 56 inked at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence, but it’s said that Hancock was the only member to sign on July 4, 1776. All other signers added their own “John Hancock” on August 2 or later. Technically, it should be noted that Hancock’s “famous” signature was added after the Fourth as well. But Hancock, in his role as president of the Continental Congress, signed his name on the original document before it was sent to the printer on July 4. During the duplication process, however, it’s believed the original document was destroyed. The founders, including Hancock, signed one of the copies on or after August 2, 1776.

Decorating Can Be A Delight

November 20, 2014

One of the great joys of decorating is heightening and beautifying the seasons. Bringing autumn to your home is fun and easy to do! Here are some tips and hints from our top designers and how we can help to lighten that holiday load.

thanksgiving5 (3)Where & What to Decorate
To get the most enjoyment out of your decor start with the areas inside or outside of the home that are the most visible, like your front door. Don’t forget areas that you see each and every day. You should enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Areas to decorate: Front steps or front porch, Just inside your front door on an entrance table , On the mantle, A centerpiece for your dining table, Pots on the patio, courtyard, and balcony, and Flowerbeds around the home

What to Decorate With
Decorate with items that you love and that speak to the season. Play with a combination of plants, items harvested from the garden and traditional décor. Mixing various items into one display gives it that professional look that will be the envy of friends and neighbors. If there’s natural plants sprigs that you enjoy plant the bush in your garden for years of decorating. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.candles-centerpieces-thanksgiving-decorating-8


  • Mums
  • Crotons
  • Heuchera
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Ornamental peppers
  • Ornamental kale and cabbage
  • Edible lettuces (reds) and kale

Items from the Garden

  • Hay bales
  • Indian cornBeautiful-thanksgiving-table-decorations-10
  • Pumpkins & gourds
  • Pyracantha branches
  • Beauty berry branches
  • Decorative (packaged) moss

Decorative Items

  • Candles
  • Lanterns
  • Harvest figures

QUICK IDEA: For a side table or centerpiece, take an autumn wreath, lay it down and place pillar candles of various sizes in the center.

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Decorate your Home with Green Plants

August 11, 2014

Go ahead, track some dirt inside. Indoor foliage, including crazy-cool plant walls, can purify air, reduce anxiety, and hike up happiness. Follow these three uber-smart pointers to decorate your home with green things (and reap the benefits)!

Start Small
Newbies should first practice just keeping a houseplant or two alive for a few months,see our informative blogs for some 411.  Try hardy, water-once-a-week varieties such as philodendrons, snake plants, or ZZ plants.

Get Vertical
Graduate to a plant or living wall. These vertical gardens can double as artsy conversation pieces and aren’t that tough to set up.  Pot your flora in planters, then mount them one on top of the other in a row or however you like!  For example, on a wall directly opposite or close to a window. Or contact us and let our professional designer do all the hard work for you.

IMG_3450 (3)Add Oomph
For an even bigger setup, large wall-pocket frames can hold dozens of plants in individual cells, the overall  effect makes it appear as if an entire garden is growing directly out of a wall. Fill the various plant cells with different types of vegetation or edible herbs. Or create a mini forest out of ferns or succulents. Research from NASA suggests that indoor plants remove significant amounts of harmful contaminants from the air.

Sticky Situation: Cacti Truth

June 17, 2014

Cacti_succlulants2OK, so you just returned from the store with your first cactus plant, or perhaps you bought one of those funny looking little plants with a tag sticking in the pot that says “Assorted Succulents.” You might be asking yourself, “how do I take care of this thing?”

The first thing to realize is that the words “cacti” and “succulent” are general terms. Cacti belong to a specific family of plants, but the species within that family come from some very different habitats. Many cacti, such as those in the genus Ferocactus, are in fact true desert dwellers. Others, such as those in the genus Echinopsis, live in the grasslands of South America, those in the genus Oreocereus live in the high Andes mountains, and those in the genus Epiphyllum live in jungles and don’t even live in the ground, but upon other plants.

Many cacti and succulents are extremely well adapted to living in houses where the relative humidity is low (10-30 percent). They require only modest amounts of water and fertilizer, but do need abundant light. They should be placed in a bright, sunny window. Insufficient natural light can be augmented by artificial lighting. A cool white fluorescent tube, or a combination of daylight and natural white fluorescent tubes will give good results. Position them 6-12 inches above the plants, and keep them on for 14-16 hours each day.

Before watering your cactus, check to see if the soil is dry. Then water well, especially in the growing months (April through mid-September) and let the water drain off. In the winter, water sparingly — allow your cactus a rest. Perhaps a sip once a month if required and your cactus is in a hot sunny place. Adjust according to conditions. Some shriveling in the winter is natural — especially when keeping hardy cacti indoors.

A word about water: Tap water often can be alkaline and/or hard, meaning it contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals. Such minerals can build up in the plant’s ‘soil’ over time, causing harm. This is one good reason why your plants should periodically be ‘repotted.’ Buildup of such minerals can also cause unsightly deposits to form, especially on unglazed clay pots. Never water your plants with water that has been through a softening system that uses salt as a recharging agent, as these systems simply replace the “hardness” in the water with sodium ions.

Southern and western exposure windows give cacti the sun that they need, although you can possibly store them in a north or east window in winter if you are really careful about the watering. Be careful when first placing a cactus in the window, care needs to be taken so that the plant does not sunburn.

Give low nitrogen fertilizer sparingly (1/4 suggested amount) every other watering April through August especially if the cactus is getting good light and is growing.  Some people grow cacti outside in pots during the growing season and place their cactus indoors for storage during the winter non-growing season.

It’s Getting Hot In Here! Part I

June 3, 2014

images925690_2You might be wondering why an institution such as Inside Plants is writing about a heat wave. Heat waves happen out doors right? Well, are your plants looking a little sad from the intense summer heat? Find out what you can do to keep them alive when things heat up. Here are three simple tips for keeping your plants in good shape:

1. Keep your cool
When a heat wave strikes your area, plants can scorch causing you to freak out and want rip things out. Don’t panic if this happens to your yard. Heat stress can make plants wilt, but things aren’t necessarily as bad as they look. Some plants can bounce back as the temperature cools in the evening. Try to give your plants a little extra TLC to see if they recover before taking them out.

2. Adjust your watering schedule
When things heat up outside, consider watering your plants at night. There is a long-held belief that watering plants in the middle of the day when the sun is scorching hot can potentially burn your plants.  Another concern is evaporation. This is particularly an issue if you live in a dry climate. If you live in a more humid environment, consider watering in the early morning instead so that the water that remains on leaves isn’t partial to disease (this could be an issue if watering at night).  Plants in containers should be watered every day because the soil tends to dry out more quickly.

3. Get your mulch on
Adding additional mulch not only helps with keeping pesky weeds under control, it helps hold in moisture. A layer of mulch can also offer a layer of protection for keeping plant roots cooler and away from the summer sun.

Still curious? Here are some tell tail signs you might be in need of some help…wilting or drooping leaves that do not return to normal by evening

  • curled or chlorotic (yellow) leaves that may fold or drop, or foliage that becomes grayish and loses its green luster
  • new leaves that are smaller than normal

Stay Tuned for Part II……

Healthy Environments Part I

May 13, 2014

When you embellish interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These living organisms interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of life.

ImageBreathing Easier
When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels. At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants – orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.

Releasing Water
As part of the photosynthetic and respiratory processes, plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.

Stay tuned for part II tomorrow……..

NASA Report Top House Plants

April 30, 2014

House plants are the ultimate in functional decorating. Some well-placed greenery can not only brighten a space but also purify the air and they’re also helpful in creating a more relaxing, restful ambiance in any room. We know that spending time in nature is linked to reduced stress levels and relieves tension. In fact, in a 2008 study, Dutch researchers found that hospital patients with indoor plants in their rooms reported lower stress levels than patients without them.

That’s why we’ve rounded up beautiful houseplants that are easy to take care of and effective at increasing oxygen and clearing out toxins for cleaner breathing air. (Some were listed in the top 10 best air-purifiers in a study of houseplants by NASA scientists!). So try adding one to your bedroom or office space for a little dose of zen.Picture3

To learn more about office plant maintenance services, or discuss any indoor plant maintenance issues, please contact us. Inside Plants has been providing premiere home and office plant maintenance in Southern California for over 35 years.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design

April 22, 2014

ImageLEED is transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project.

Each rating system groups requirements that address the unique needs of building and project types on their path towards LEED certification. Once a project team chooses a rating system, they’ll use the appropriate credits to guide design and operational decisions.

One of these is Interior Design and Construction. That’s where we fit in! If you have not considered us or our services before, have you considered the tax breaks higher LEED scores get you? Have you considered what a higher score can do for your marketing? We provide a great product with not just visual benefits (although its always a plus).  Ask us today what we can do for your LEED needs, whether you are a newbie or an old pro, we can help.

To learn more about office plant maintenance services, or discuss any indoor plant maintenance issues, please contact us. Inside Plants has been providing premiere home and office plant maintenance in Southern California for over 35 years.

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