Hoya, pothos, ferns, and other tropicals plants grown in hanging baskets are a wonderful way to have houseplants if you don’t have floor space!
Lucky Bamboo is a false bamboo. It is part of the family of dracaenas or cordylines. This plant can be planted in water as well as soil. Lucky Bamboo can be trained to make different shapes or even sculptures. If your lucky bamboo is in an arrangement held together by twist ties, these should not be removed since they provide stability to the plant.
Lucky Bamboo usually comes in a container filled with pebbles or marbles. Add water until the pebble/marble base is fully covered. Check your bamboo’s water level frequently at first! Arrangements with several stems will need water at least twice a week, maybe more, especially during summer. If the chlorine content in your water is very high, please use filtered or bottled water. If you keep lucky bamboo in a vase, don’t fill it to the top as you do with flowers. Lucky bamboo grows roots wherever water contacts it so a higher water level will sprout roots further up the stem than is attractive.
Lucky bamboo is tough and resilient. It needs very little light and is content with the artificial lighting in your home. Insufficient light, however, will fade the leaves to a light green. If this happens, just try another location with a little bit more light. As tough as lucky bamboo is, it should not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat. It should not be exposed to temperatures below 50–60°F. You may use a fertilizer for aquarium plants. You may find this at your local pet store. Another option is to use a liquid green fertilizer (Scotts Miracle-Gro has one) use it at a 1/10 of the strength indicated.
Poinsettias are tropical plants, originating in Mexico. These plants have tiny yellow blooms, surrounded by several colorful leaves or bracts (or modified leaf.) The traditional color is red; however, one can find them in an assortment of colors, ranging from deep red to white. The size and shape of the leaves can also vary. The most common leaf is the long pointed leaf, but as of late, one can find poinsettias with short, frilly leaves as well.
In selecting a healthy poinsettia, choose one that has abundant leaves and does not have long leggy stems. Poinsettias are somewhat fragile. The branches tend to break if bumped or mishandled. So getting to the store when a fresh shipment comes in is always the ideal time to get the pick of the litter.
Because poinsettias are tropical plants, make sure they are not exposed to temperatures below 60° Fahrenheit. The delicate leaves and branches will become damaged if the temperatures go below. At home, make sure the plant is in a warm, bright location (direct sunlight is not recommended). Avoid any drafts that can affect the plant, such as a cold blast of air that comes in the home when the front door is opened. Poinsettias enjoy temperatures between 60-70°F.
These plants do not like to be overwatered. Too much water can cause root rot. Wait until the top of the soil feels dry, then water the plant thoroughly. Let the plant sit in the excess water that drips out of the pot for about 45 minutes, then discard whatever water remains in the saucer or foil sleeve.
Finally, as with all plants, make sure that your poinsettia is out of the reach of children and pets. Houseplants are not edible.
When creating our gardens, most of us want plants that are low
maintenance, colorful, and will come back year after year. Who doesn’t want a garden that bursts into
color and drama without it being a huge amount of work? Well, perennials are just that, they are
ornamental plants that come back year after year. During the cold months of the
year, perennials will die back and go dormant, only to come back vigorously the
next growing season. Some come back 2 years in a row while others come back for
several years. There are over a thousand perennials that can compose your plant
palette. Perennials usually bloom for
about 4 to 12 weeks. Some bloom in the
spring others in the summer and yet others in the fall. How’s that for seasonal interest?
Combining perennials with different bloom windows can create
a garden that will have something different blooming during varying times of
the year. Common bloom sequences include:
• Salvia, veronica, hosta, daylily
• Bee balm, garden phlox, coneflower, black-eyed
• Aster, Montauk daisy, ornamental grass
Classic perennials include: Daylilies, Lilies, Groundcovers,
Ornamental Grass and Hostas. Some
perennials are more drought tolerant, pest & disease resistance than
others, for example: Yarrow, sedum, daylily, aster, and coreopsis. Some are more dramatic such as Calla lilies,
delphiniums and iris and can serve as a focal point in the garden.
When creating a garden using perennials, remember to select
plants that have like needs for water, light and temperature. Select plants that will complement each
other, grouping them in mass so the show of color and texture is seen from a
distance. Always keep blooming times of
individual varieties in mind when choreographing the bloom sequence of the
entire garden for the year. Extra planning in this respect will go a long way
when it comes to the ultimate enjoyment of your garden year-round.
For those of us who love instant gratification, container
gardening is definitely for us! Container gardens will add that special look to
any space with minimum of work.
First, figure out where you will be placing the container. Once
you have figured out the location, select the container. The container should echo the look and style
of your area, modern sleek or shabby chic, there is a container out there for
your project. Aside from shopping in the
conventional stores, don’t overlook second hand stores and yard sales. Always
make sure the container has proper drainage.
Secondly, select the plant grouping for your container. Keep
in mind the location of the container, shade or sun; this will help narrow down
the plants that you have as an option.
Next, think about watering, succulents and cacti require minimal water,
where tropical plants such as ferns and hibiscus require more consistent
watering. How large is your container? If you have a large container you may
entertain the idea of using palms, hibiscus standards, or any other tall plant
as a focus point. If your container is a
small bowl, you should consider a grouping of succulents or small house plants.
When designing your container you may select a tall plant
for the back or center of the container, a bushy medium size plant for the
middle and then a trailing plant for the sides of the container. Of course, you may select any combination;
the design is up to you!
Finally, place the container in the area it will be
located. Moving a full container can be
very hard work. Place pebbles on the
bottom of the container to promote drainage.
Place some potting soil in the container, enough to hold the plants in
place. Remember not to bury the plant
too deep. Soil should never cover the existing trunk. Arrange your plants in the desired design and
fill in with the soil. Water thoroughly
Below you will see three containers created for the summer
months. Browse through our library or go to your local home improvement store
to select the plants for your next project. If you have any questions regarding creating
your own container, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cacti and succulents are being used more and more in the design of gardens and containers gardens. Their interesting shapes, colors and textures make them a great addition to any home or garden.
We usually think of these plants in the context of the desert, however, if one looks carefully, some of these plants resemble corals and flora from the sea. When decorating you may take the ocean theme and combine it with a succulent dish garden. Place some glass fish in the garden and the desert garden will be transformed into an underwater theme.
Given their texture and shapes, cacti and succulents can be use to compliment any modern décor. Recently, at the Flower and Garden show at Epcot, succulents were featured in a wall built of cinder blocks! Some of the cinderblocks were placed with the holes jetting out of the wall and then these holes were used as planters. See the picture below. This is a great design for anyone who wants a gorgeous low focal point for their garden.
Costa Farms offers a wide variety of cacti and succulents to choose from, finding the right one for your home or landscape should be easy. From upright, tall cacti to small trailing succulents the choices are almost endless. These plants can be used as container plants on patios, porches and inside the home; they can also be used in a water wise landscape design. Cacti and succulents are a perfect match for rock gardens.
These plants need bright light and good drainage to flourish. They should be watered only after the soil has dried out. As tough as these plants are, they do not do well when overwatered. Consider purchasing a moisture meter to measure the moisture in the soil. Use a fertilizer for cacti and succulents. Follow the product label instructions. These plants, especially succulents, should not be exposed to temperatures below 50ºF for prolonged periods of time.
Plants, like most living things, communicate using “body language.” Interpreting this language is the key to caring for our plants’ needs so they are healthy and vibrant. Below you will find some general topics and symptoms the plant might manifest as a result of the conditions listed. Some symptoms overlap, therefore being in tune with the care you are giving is essential. If you still have questions, please feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com.
If the plant gets too much light it will show the following signs:
1. Leaves turn brown or develop grey spots.
2. Leaves that dry up and fall off.
3. Leaves wilt during midday.
4. Leaves are dull instead of their usual bright green.
If the plant does not get enough light it will show the following signs:
1. Leaves yellow and drop.
2. Leaves become pale and elongated.
If the plant is overwatered you will see:
1. Leaves that are limp and mushy
2. Yellow leaves that wilt
3. Brown leaf tips
4. Soft roots
5. Brown leaves that drop
If the plant is experiencing drought you may observe:
1. Mature leaves that drop
2. Leaf edges that turn brown
3. Lower leaves that curl and wilt
If a plant is over fertilized the plant will
1. Exhibit stunted growth
2. Leaves will wilt and might have burnt tips
If the plant does not have an adequate amount of food:
1. Leaves will pale
2. Stems will look feeble
3. Mature leaves will drop.
If temperatures are too warm you might see:
1. Spindly or elongated growth even if the plant is in good light
2. Lower leaves develop brown edges
3. Lower leaves drop
If temperatures are too cool, leaves will brown and drop.
Sun Parasol® Mandevillas are tropical flowering plants that
can be used in baskets or on trellises. These woody vines come in several
varieties of colors and sizes. Sun Parasol® Mandevilla flowers vary from the
large crimson trumpet flower to the small pinkflower. These plants are not cold
hardy. Where temperatures get below 45 degrees, they can be brought. In these
cases, Sun Parasol® Mandevillas are treated as houseplants during the winter
months. The plants might not flower and some leaves might fall off, however,
come the spring, the plant will recover. Make sure to decrease watering in the
winter while the plant is overwintering and not in an active growth period.
April 22 is
Earth Day! In celebration of this day how about preparing a gorgeous butterfly
garden for the summer and early fall months?
Butterfly gardens are easy to install, easy to maintain and ever so
beautiful to admire. Select a patch in
your yard that has full sun (at least 6 hours of sun a day.) Design your garden by selecting an array of
butterfly plants in vivid colors. Many
plants that attract these gorgeous insects are drought tolerant and once
established you will not have to worry about them. Remember to take into
consideration the height and width of the mature plant. Place the tall plants in the center or back
of the design and then tier the rest of the plants. If you would like an easy design, select lantanas
for the center and back, and then use salvia in the second tier. Use pentas in a deep crimson color at the
edge of the bed. This will be a
veritable feast for butterflies and other beneficial insects.
urban habitat is crucial to many insects and small animals that have been
evicted due to overbuilding. Go to www.nwf.org to see how you can create your own
Tropic Escape is Costa Farms newest
line of Hibiscus. These plants boast large
blooms, most of them about seven (7) inches in diameter! The blooms last 2 to 3 days and the colors of
the blooms are just spectacular! These
show stopping blooms come in a wide variety of color combinations that evoke
the colors of a Caribbean sunset, and the feel of a tropical paradise.
During the hot summer months
Hibiscus produce almost a constant show of flowers. These plants can be used in
the landscape in zones 10 and 11. In the other zones, this plant should be
planted in a container so the plant can be brought inside when temperatures dip
below 50 degrees F. When planting your Tropic Escape hibiscus, make sure the
soil and the container provide very good drainage. These plants benefits from being moderately
moist, but not continuously soaked.
Hibiscus bloom well in high light conditions. You may use a bloom burst fertilizer to feed
your plant during the growing season.
the summer season winds down, make sure to bring in the plant inside. The plant should be placed in a location with
bright light. Once the growing season
slows down, you might need to decrease the amount of water you give her.
Hibiscus leaves tend to yellow from the bottom up if the plant is not getting enough
light. This is not uncommon when plants
transition to the inside of the home, just keep an eye out for too much
defoliation. Once spring arrives, you
may take your plant outside and it should recover nicely!
Pick Me Pink is a new plant to the market. It has been trialed extensively for color and durability. Pick Me Pink is the beautiful result of a cross between a poinsettia and another euphorbia. You can see that the colorful leaves or bracts are more slender than the traditional poinsettia. What really sets this plant apart from its cousin is the amazing color and texture of the bracts. The pink color in the center of the bract is almost neon pink, while it is surrounded by a pale pink edge.
Pick Me Pink is a tropical plant that must be kept in temperatures above 65 degrees. Since it is a tropical plant it enjoys high, filtered light, however never bright direct sunlight. When it comes to watering make sure the soil is moderately moist. Water the plant from the bottom. Take the plant out of the decorative sleeve and place it in a saucer of water. When the soil has finished “drinking” there will be residue water left in the saucer. Place the plant in the sink and allow the excess water to drain from the soil (about an hour.) Your Pick Me Pink will now be ready to be slipped back into its decorative cover. If cared for properly, this plant will provide weeks of enjoyment in your home or office. When in bloom the plant does not need to be fertilized, after blooming, trim the plant down, place in a shady area of you patio or yard. Fertilize with a liquid green fertilizer. Alternate fertilization with a bloom burst fertilizer. As always remember to keep all house plants out of the reach of children and pets.
Now that the holidays are over, we are left with a handful
of New Year’s resolutions and several holiday plants that we want to save and
possibly integrate into our homes or landscapes. The Norfolk Island pine is a cute little pine
that can grow up to 80 feet if planted in the landscape. This subtropical pine must be kept as an
indoor plant if you live in Cold Hardiness Zones 9 or lower. It also should be kept inside if you live in
a dry area of the country. This pine
needs warmth and at least 50% humidity at all times to survive. Place the pine on a humidity tray if your
house if very dry during the winter months. These plants grow best in high,
indirect sunlight. Avoid direct intense sunlight. When watering your pine,
water from below. The soil should be
kept moderately moist. Do not allow the
plant to sit in water. Fertilize your plant with a liquid green
fertilizer. Always follow the product
label instructions when using any fertilizer.
And as always, keep all plants out of the reach of pets and children.
With proper attention and the right environment, Zygo cacti will continue to bloom year after year. Zygo Cacti or Christmas Cacti have flowers in various shades of pink, coral, red, and white.
Potting or Re-potting: Zygo cacti require soil containing rich, organic material. The recommended growing medium is one part potting soil, two parts peat, and one part sand. It is very important to choose a pot that allows for proper drainage. Pots appropriate in size for the plant should be used when up-potting your Zygo (Christmas Cacti year after year
Lighting: Moderate, filtered lighting is recommended for your Zygo. Direct sunlight can be damaging, especially in the autumn, spring, and summer months. Christmas cactus can be placed outside in a partially shaded location during the summer. To avoid shocking the Christmas cactus, it should be gradually acclimated to indoor conditions before it is brought back inside at the end of summer. This can be done by bringing the Christmas cactus inside for a few hours each day and gradually increasing this time throughout out the late summer.
Re-Blooming: In order to promote blooms, placing Christmas cacti in locations ranging between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit beginning in November. In addition, in order to bloom, they need several hours per day of complete darkness beginning around the middle of October.
Pruning: After blooming, is the best time to prune your Christmas cactus. Remove a few sections of the larger branches of your Christmas cactus either by pinching or by cutting them off with a well-sharpened knife. Doing so will promote branching and new growth.
Watering: Proper watering is important to the successful growth of the Christmas cactus. If you want to encourage buds to form, less water should be given in late spring. After the Christmas cactus has formed blooms, it will require regular watering. Although these plants are considered as succulents it does not tolerate drought conditions very well. The best way to decide if the plant needs water is by feeling the soil. It should never be completely dry.
Fertilizer: Christmas cactus should be fertilized once a month after blooming up until autumn. Do not apply fertilizer during autumn and winter months. Using a fertilizer with a high potassium (potassium is the K in the fertilizer.) Be sure to follow label directions carefully for proper application and dosage information.
Tropical houseplants and container plants give such a lush look to our patios, decks and gardens during the warm summer months. When the temperatures drop, these plants should be brought inside the home. Because these plants are tropical, they do not go dormant so putting them in a basement or garage like you would do for bulbs or other plants is not the correct course of action. Since tropical plants are cold sensitive, should not be planted in the ground in areas where it gets colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you can’t resist the tropical beauty the plants add to your home, plant them in containers so they can be moved indoors when the weather dips below 50 degrees. You should keep your tropicals in a heated area until conditions allow the plant to be moved outdoors again. Hibiscus in particular, do not flower and can end up with yellow leaves over the winter. This is just the hibiscus telling you it does not like the winter and you should continue to care for the hibiscus normally. Once outdoor conditions improve and you may move your tropicals outside.
Pets are such an integral part of
our families. They bring comfort and joy as well as endless hours of
entertainment. Whenever you add a plant to your home or landscape, make
sure you research its harmful degree, especially if your pet may make contact
with it. There are a variety of online resources you can use to determine
this information; however your best resource is your veterinarian. Not
only does your vet know the common plants that can cause your pet to get ill,
he also knows if your pet has any allergies or individual health issues that
would make your pet sensitive to plants including the ones listed as “non
When researching online, www.aspca.org is a great place to start. This site will give you an
extensive, though partial list of toxic and non-toxic plants. The ASPCA
site also has valuable information and resources on how to care for your pet.
Many animal lovers keep terrariums
with reptiles. It is important to note that the plants need to be free
from chemicals before introducing them into the habitat. So when it comes
to reptiles, it is crucial to consult your vet or the store where the pet was
purchased to determine the best supplier of safe, yummy greens for your
mosaic of plants on the wall of your patio or home. Wall décor is now being extended into the
realm of plants. This interesting concept
had its inception in Europe and is now
spreading around the world. From Australia to North America,
living walls are popping up everywhere.
and green roofs became popular several decades ago in Europe. This was a result of bringing back green
areas to heavily populated urban areas to help mitigate storm water runoff and
the excess heat trapped by concrete in cities.
So, how can
you build this living piece of art? There are many different strategies from
using chicken wire to purchasing ready made kits. In the inaugural issue of Costa Farm’s
Growing Styles e-magazine you will be able to read about some of these
If you are
looking to experiment with living walls, you might want to start small. A good project is one using chicken
wire. It is inexpensive, and you will be
able to see how it works for you. This
particular living wall is for the outside since it does not have a water
For the project you
2 - 2x2 pieces of chicken wire
About 20 succulents in 4 inch pots
1. Place one piece of 2x2 wire on workbench.
2. Place a generous amount sphagnum moss on wire. This will
be the medium that the succulents will be planted in so make sure there is
enough moss for the plants to take root.
3. Place the second piece of chicken wire over the moss. The
moss should be neatly sandwiched between the wires.
4. Secure the wire with the zip ties
5. Water the moss thoroughly (make sure your work space is
6. Plant succulents in the frame to cover your 2x2 area,
leaving some room for the plants to grow.
7. Keep project flat for 3 to 4 weeks or until the plants
8. Once the plants have taken root, hang your piece of
garden art on a fence or a patio wall (somewhere that you can water with a hose
or a watering can. Water thoroughly when moss starts to dry out.
you can mix and match different succulents to create a mosaic effect. Group succulents together by color and
texture to create a large area of color for visual impact.
Easy to care for, hard to kill, these plants are a busy persons dream! Sansevieria, ZZ plant, Ponytail palm and Aglaonema are the plants that make up our line of Plants of Steel. They make perfect for full-time professionals, college students, and anyone with a demanding schedule. The ZZ, Sansevieria and Ponytail palm are some of the most popular indoor plants. All of our house plants are grown in shade houses to mimic the conditions of the home.
The ZZ plant, also known as the “eternity plant,” is one of the hardiest plants on the market. It is a great ornamental plant in the kitchen or basement, since it does not require bright light to survive. The ZZ does well in a low light environment. This plant should not be kept in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist. Don’t let it dry out, but don’t let the plant stand in water. Use a liquid green fertilizer to feed your plant. Make sure you follow the product label instructions on the fertilizer.
The Sansevieria, also known as a Snake Plant, is also among the hardiest of house plants you can find. There are several species and cultivars of this plant. They range in size from just a few inches to several feet tall. This plant loves warmth, so place it in well-lit spot in your home. However, it can tolerate low light if necessary. Never allow the temperature to fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You should take care not to overwater this plant since it will rot if overwatered. Allow it to dry out completely before watering again. During the winter months, reduce the amount of water you give the plant. The Sansevieria only needs to be fertilized once a month. A liquid fertilizer for indoor plants will also work well with this plant.
The Ponytail Palm plant grows tall and is a sturdy plant that can withstand temperature changes better than most plants. This makes the Ponytail Palm ideal for a home entrance. It requires high light, and can survive in temperatures as low as 50 degrees and as high as 90. Keep the soil moist, and not allow it to dry out.
And as always, plants should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
During the hot summer months, we all want to find plants that will grace our gardens with color and yet stand up to the hot weather. Our Shades of Summer program offers several plants that meet those requirements. Hibiscus, Caladiums and Kanga Paw all love bright light and warmth.
In a recent survey of readers, Birds and Blooms magazine found that 46 percent of respondents said that they would like to have tropical hibiscus in their gardens. These plants have deep green glossy leaves and large, colorful flowers. During the hot summer months Hibiscus produce almost a constant show of flowers. These plants can be used in the landscape in zones 10 and 11. In the other zones, this plant should be planted in a container so the plant can be brought inside when temperatures dip below 50 degrees F. When planting Hibiscus, make sure the soil and the container provide very good drainage. These plants benefits from being moderately moist, but not continuously soaked.
Hibiscus bloom well in high light conditions. You may use a bloom buster fertilizer to feed your plant during the growing season. When the summer season winds down, make sure to bring in the plant inside. The plant should be placed in a location with bright light. Once the growing season slows down, you might need to decrease the amount of water you give her. Hibiscus leaves tend to yellow from the bottom up if the plant is not getting enough light. Make sure you keep an eye on your plant. Some of our most popular varieties include: Tye Dye Wind, Candy Wind, Sunny Wind, Starry Wind, Cool Wind, Montego Wind, Mandarin Wind, Carolina Breeze, Baja Breeze.
Caladiums are tropical perennials grown from tubers. Caladiums are grown for their large colorful leaves. Although these plants produce flowers they are not significant. One of the great advantages of this plant is that it comes back year after year after year. Not only do they come back but they multiply. Caladium leaves come in a variety of colors and patterns. They make lovely bedding plants as well as container plants. Caladiums should be planted in part sun and in well drain soil. These plants go dormant during the winter season. In zones below 9 the tubers should be dug up when the leaves die back. Store them indoors until the spring.
Kanga paws are exotic and unusual plants that originally are from “Down Under.” These plants have long flat leaves and the flower spikes end in fuzzy, colorful tips. Kanga paws are available in red/orange, pink and white. They make great specimen border plants, container plants and even work great as cut flowers. They can be place in a garden to attract birds, bees and butterflies. They should be watered regularly, but not over-watered. They need full sun to continuously bloom.
Cacti and succulents are often thought of as desert plants but they are becoming more and more sought after by homeowners. The exotic beauty of cacti and succulents has captured the interest of many gardeners and collectors. Many cacti are native to the Americas. They grow in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Most cacti are characterized by their spines. Some cacti even have showy blossoms. Succulents on the other hand do not have spines. They are characterized by their fleshy foliage that function to retain water. These plants are hardly ever bothered by pests, so you don’t have to worry about this aspect of plant culture.
Costa offers a wide variety of cacti and succulents to choose from, finding the right one for your home or landscape should be easy. From upright, tall cacti to small trailing succulents the choices are almost endless. These plants can be used as container plants on patios, porches and inside the home; they can also be used in a water wise landscape design. Cacti and succulents are a perfect match for rock gardens.
Sun Parasol® Mandevillas are tropical flowering plants that can be used in baskets or on trellises. These woody vines come in several varieties of colors and sizes. Sun Parasol® Mandevilla flowers vary from the large crimson trumpet flower to the small pinkflower. These plants are not cold hardy. Where temperatures get below 45 degrees, they can be brought. In these cases, Sun Parasol® Mandevillas are treated as houseplants during the winter months. The plants might not flower and some leaves might fall off, however, come the spring, the plant will recover. Make sure to decrease watering in the winter while the plant is overwintering and not in an active growth period.
Once the spring arrives, the plant should be moved outside. Since it will be actively growing, make sure to increase watering. Sun Parasol® Mandevialls sprout during April and May therefore a well balanced fertilizer should be applied during the growing season. Sun Parasol® Mandevillas need warmth and bright light to grow optimally. The plants start flowering in late May and keep flowering until the temperatures dip down into the 50’s. Gently, prune this plant in the fall. Hard pruning is not recommended especially in the spring. Sun Parasol® Mandevillas like rich, well draining soil, so when repotting, make sure you use a good quality soil as well as a pot with good drainage. These plants are fast growers therefore they should be given ample room to grow when they are transplanted.
April 22 is Earth Day! Celebrate the benefits of our environment by incorporating indoor plants into your interior design and planting trees and shrubs in the landscape. Indoor pollution is a major health concern in the United States and around the world because many of the products used to build homes and workspaces contain toxic materials Volatile Organic compounds that leach into the indoor environment, and can cause chronic disorders eventually into our bodies. Houseplants remove many of these harmful chemicals VOC’s from the indoor environment. Spathiphyllum and Anthuriums both beautiful and beneficial and can remove many harmful chemicals VOC’s from an indoor environment. .
Spathiphyllum, or Peace Lilies, are the rock stars of removing indoor air pollution. “Spaths”, like other plants, take in the air Carbon Dioxide we let out through small openings on the leaves called, stomatas. The plants then process the air CO2 taken in, and release clean fresh oxygen, fresh air. Spaths in particular, process Acetone, Ammonia, Benzene, Ethyl Acetate, Formaldehyde, Methyl Alcohol, Trichloroethylene and Xylene. There are several varieties of Peace Lilies that range in size and leaf texture. Peace lilies enjoy moderate light; however do not mind lower light environments like a bathroom, office cubicle or even classroom. Spaths like to be moderately moist and can be fed with plant food like Miracle-Gro® Watering Can Singles®, which come in a convenient, pre-measured package.
Anthuriums are part of over 800 species which are subtropical favorites with varieties growing in such diverse areas as South America and the Pacific. To get them to flower continuously, place in a high light location. Anthuriums remove Ammonia, Formaldehyde, Toluene and Xylene from the indoors and like to be moderately moist and fed with a high quality plant food. Both plants make great house warming presents, hostess gifts or office plants. Consider placing these plants in spaces that are newly constructed, or recently remodeled.
To learn more about the toxins mentioned in this article and where they can be found in your home, visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov. To learn more about Miracle-Gro®, visit www.miraclegro.com.
Hanging baskets are a wonderful way to usher in springtime. Baskets full of impatiens, geraniums, pansies and ferns are an instant way to bring color to the outside of the home when cooler temperatures are subsiding but have not disappeared completely.
Ferns have always been the classic choice when it comes to hanging baskets and interiorscaping the home. They offer a quiet, graceful beauty and soften landscapes indoors and out. Ferns became all the rage in the 1850’s. Their intricate and delicate appearance made them a great match with the tastes of the Victorian era. What started as a fad soon became a trend for homes in Europe and America. The fern’s staying power has made it the quintessential plant for homes all around the world. The minimal care this plant requires as well as its’ tolerant nature make it a great porch or deck plant as well as a suitable plant for a living room, bathroom or kitchen.
They all enjoy filtered light and moderately moist soil. Fertilize with a liquid green fertilizer for indoor plants.
The orchid family of plants (Orchidaceae) is one of the largest families of plants in the plant kingdom. It is comprised of over twenty-five thousand naturally occurring plants. At Costa, we have selected five genuses that are beginner friendly orchids to help ensure success in the home or office environment. We offer Phalaenopsis, Oncidum, Vanda, Dendrobium, and Cymbidium orchids. These genuses of orchids provide a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes that are sure to compliment any décor.
Given the proper growing conditions, orchids will perform beautifully year after year. The most important factor in growing orchids is understanding their needs
One of the most important, and tricky, parts of orchid care is watering. Many orchids hail from tropical, moist climates; they are usually attached to trees with their roots exposed. These wild orchids need the constant moisture that exists in the rainforest since they have no medium around their roots. In the case of the domestic orchid (except for the Vanda), they are planted in moss or bark. This allows the roots to stay moist for a longer period of time so they do not need to be watered constantly. A good rule of thumb is to water the day before that plant will be completely dry. Another good way to check if the plant needs to be watered is to feel its weight. If the plant is light, this is an indication that the media has dried out and needs to be watered. Water the plant by drenching it in the sink for about thirty seconds. Let the plant drain before it goes back to its permanent spot.
For more orchid tips visit us at orchidsareeasy.com
Lucky Bamboo is a false bamboo. It is part of the family of dracaenas or cordylines. This plant can be planted in water as well as soil. Lucky Bamboo can be trained to make different shapes or even sculptures. If your lucky bamboo is in an arrangement held together by twist ties, these should not be removed since they provide stability to the plant.
Hibiscus and Tropical Plant Overwintering
The Hibiscus is a tropical plant and cannot withstand temperatures below 50°F. As with all tropical plants, it is best to bring them inside everyday/night it gets colder than 50°. Keep the plant in a warm, sunny spot until the temperatures outside warm up in the spring. The plant will probably not flower, and it will get yellow leaves (lack of sufficient light) and possibly drop some leaves. It is just telling you it does not like the winter. Keep caring for them has you normally would. Once it is placed outside in the spring, the plant should recuperate. As for pruning, a gentle job will do just fine.
Norfolk Island pine grow best indoors, in a sunny location, and prefer to be near an east or west window, preferably within two feet of the window so the light can land on the plant, but away from direct heat. Avoid direct intense sunlight. Indoors, they flourish in 50 percent humidity, so consider running a humidifier or sit them in a tray of pebbles, watering the pebbles during winter months. Also, keep the soil moist, but don’t let it dry out or stand in water. Use a liquid green fertilizer for your plant, making sure you follow the product label instructions. There are no real insect problems indoors, but it never hurts to wash the leaves down with a soapy water mixture, which you can make from 1 gallon of water, mixed with 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Norfolk Island pine should not be planted in the landscape in zones 10 or lower. As a houseplant, the Norfolk Island pine naturally filters the air from indoor toxins and provides much needed moisture during the dry winter months.