A Garden You will Love

By on Feb 10, 2018 in Houseplants |

A GARDEN YOU WILL LOVE Time spent in a garden is a metaphor on life. The objective is not to “prove” yourself. Your intent should be to “improve” yourself and the quality of your environment. A garden by definition is a space, a plot, a pot, a place where plants are cultivated. This can be just about anywhere and size does not matter. It’s the cultivation part that matters. It is projected that in the coming years the percentage of city dwellers will increase from 54% to 66% of the world’s population. A move from the rural to the accessibility of city life. Older generations like the convenience of walking distance and younger generations like the opportunities for experience and lifestyle. This move will change how we love our gardens and we will use plant material in tighter or smaller spaces. It has also produced a resurgence in indoor foliage plants for “breathing” rooms. Cultivate...

Two Plants with a lot of character

By on Jan 27, 2018 in Houseplants |

As always some stress will reveal character and in the case of plants show how well grounded they are. Plants with fibrous and shallow roots tend to be less adaptable or easy to grow than those with tuberous, thick or rhizomatous roots. When people complain of their vines not blooming or their houseplant’s demise the root of the problem is exactly that, the roots. Take as an example a couple of houseplants that are the closest living thing to plastic known to man. The Zamioculcas zamifolia and the Sanseveria plant. Often seen in office environments or airport terminals these two seem to thrive on neglect. Both have thick waxy leaves and low rates of transpiration. You have to however look at the business end of these plants to see thick roots, in the case of a ZZ plant tubers allowing it to go long lengths without water. Adaptable to harsh environments the ZZ plant is native to Africa...

A lesson from a Ficus tree

By on Jan 27, 2018 in Houseplants |

I watch the Ficus benjamina trees that are shipped from Florida to Michigan. When they arrive their glossy leaves have a very pronounced midrib. That’s the visible line right down the middle of the leaf from petiole to the tip. Over time as they endure the cloudy low light seasons of Michigan weather, that midrib begins to disappear on the foliage. Important when it lived in the Florida sun, the midrib would cause the foliage to fold up in half to conserve moisture. Not needed in Michigan the foliage indoors becomes flat trying to absorb what light it can. In addition seasonally up to half the foliage drops off the plant as a defensive mechanism. When that happens if you run for the watering to can and apply more water you simply rot the roots and speed the decline. Here too I see a correlation between the landscape and our lives. When plants are situated in a shaded or dark place they...

The Gift that keeps giving

By on Dec 7, 2015 in Houseplants |

The Gift that keeps Giving Indoor plants today provide style to the home. Indoor plants provide a transition from nature to our domestic living space. Indoor plant arrangements in diverse and creative containers have gained popularity. As opposed to being innocent living defenseless and sympathetic individuals stuck in a corner, today’s indoor foliage breathes life into a home. Indoor plants help clean the air, provide oxygen and brighten our spirits. This can be done in a stylish way. It wasn’t always that way. Years ago indoor gardening meant a Ficus, Dieffenbachia or Dracaena plant stuck in a corner losing half its leaves in winter. A token Fern basket would hang deprived of the humidity it needed because of dry furnace air and then maybe a Christmas cactus and an African violet on the windowsill. Today Orchids, Tillandsia, Succulents, Herbs, Fiddle leaf Fig, Sanseveria, Palms and...

Pamper your Plants

By on Jan 30, 2015 in Houseplants |

In social media lately a post has been circulating about the use of diapers to improve your plants. If you want to “pamper” your plants or give your houseplant a “huggie” I suppose you could consider using a diaper. You see the super absorbent material in disposable diapers is just that….”SAP” or super absorbent polymers. The “bottom-line” is it’s much easier to use “Soil Moist” granules where you can use just a few in the soil to help retain moisture. Each granule can hold 30 times or more it’s weight in moisture. Understanding OVER-watering kills many plants be careful how much you use. Want to learn more? Check out this video of a recent TV segment I did on the subject……...

Bon Foliage My Friend

By on Dec 30, 2014 in Houseplants |

Bon voyage as we begin our journey into a new year. The New Year provides a fresh start often accompanied by resolutions to live healthier. How about adding a natural inexpensive air purifier to your home or landscape? How about something that will improve your mood and just might enhance your productivity? Well then it’s Bon “foliage” as we begin our New Year. Talk about functional decorating! Style with a purpose! You’ll find the benefits of some well placed houseplants will grow on you! Cleaner indoor air decreases stress and noise reduction enhances your productivity. In our enclosed sealed tight spaces for winter, plants create oxygen and remove CO² as well as connecting you with the outdoors improving your mood. Who would think the Space Station would teach us the benefits of clean indoor air? It makes “scents” when you think about it. Astronauts can’t throw open a window when...