Plants to Help You Get Some Rest

Houseplants are so much more than decorations. They help reduce stress and tension and create a relaxed and happy atmosphere. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen while purifying the air by removing toxins. They say we spend a third of our life sleeping, so let’s do it in the best possible environment, a room full of house plants.

The best plants for a healthy night’s sleep.   

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Snake Plant

Snake plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at night. It is also one of the easiest and most forgiving houseplants you can grow. Whether you have bright or low light, a snake plant will adjust to it. It doesn’t require much water and even if you forget to water it for a couple of weeks, it will still look great. Overwatering it is really the only way to kill it. 

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Golden Pothos

A study from NASA shows that pothos removes toxins, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. This low-maintenance plant grows well in low light. Water it only when completely dry. Always pot your houseplants in quality potting soil like Espoma’s Potting Mix or a mixture of potting mix and Cactus Mix for plants like this that require excellent drainage. 

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Spider Plant

The spider plant removes formaldehyde from the air, which is a common carcinogen found in many household products and items. This is another easy to grow selection that enjoys bright light, but will adapt to low light situations. Like all house plants, a regular schedule of fertilizing will help keep spider plants in tip-top shape. Organic liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! works beautifully and has an easy dose cap, meaning you’ll never use too much or too little.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

English Ivy

English ivy has the unique ability to clean the air of mold. Ivy is a trailing plant that you can train to grow up a trellis or let it cascade down from a shelf.  It can be an aggressive plant outdoors, but inside it’s well behaved. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, and give it a place with indirect light.

Photo courtesy of Costa Fams

Aloe vera

Aloe has been used as a medicinal plant to heal: sunburn, cuts, insect bites, minor burns, and dry skin. It’s also an air purifier. Aloe likes bright light. Water it well every two weeks or when the soil feels very dry. Fertilize with Cactus!  monthly to give it nutrients.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies also made it on NASA’s list of toxin removing plants. They can absorb mold spores from the air into their leaves. It’s a pretty plant with calla-like flowers that likes bright light. Regular watering is a must (they’ll let you know when they’re thirsty by letting their leaves droop.)

Lavender

Lavender has been used for centuries for its soothing, sleep-inducing properties. Victorian ladies used to stuff their pillows with lavender to relieve stress. Today you can find a wide array of lavender products to help whisk you off to sleep. Lavender isn’t often sold as a houseplant but you can grow it outdoors and harvest the flowers for the bedroom.

Ready for more relaxing? Check out these blogs for ideas.

Create a Spa in Your Bathroom

Top 5 Low Light Houseplants

How to Decorate for Thanksgiving with Plants

 

Millennial Pink Houseplant Roundup

If you feel like your collection of tried and true houseplants is looking a little, well, green, then now’s the time to add some dramatic pink houseplants.

Millennial pink’s reign has extended well beyond its Pantone 2019 Color of the Year status. Choosing houseplants in this hue give it a timeless status.  

Houseplant lovers and interior decorators are embracing pink houseplants like never before. Want or little pop of color to mix with your greens? Check out some of our favorites.

Plus, these pink plants will outlast any pink cut flowers.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Colorful Aglaonema

Traditionally known as the Chinese evergreen, this houseplant has been bred to come deep green, silver, pink and red. It is slow growing, with large, narrow and glossy oval foliage. Keep in mind the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. If you opt for dark green foliage, it can thrive in low light. Water when the top two inches of soil is dry and add humidity around the plant in the summertime. Use Espoma’s indoor! liquid plant food during the growing season to give it the nutrients it needs.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Fittonia

A small houseplant like Fittonia fits practically anywhere — from a tabletop to a window sill or a desk. It’s a good candidate for low-light spots in the home or office, too. Pink-variegated fittonias like ‘Frankie’ and ‘Mini Pink’ capitalize on the pink hues. Fittonia is a thirsty plant that wilts quickly when dry. Don’t worry, it will perk back up quickly after watering, but for the best keep moist for best results.

Afterglow Echevaria

This echeveria truly lives up to its name. With beautiful pastel pink and purple leaves, this succulent is a prize for any blush lover. Afterglow is perfect for indoor or outdoor containers. When growing succulents in containers, be sure to use Espoma’s Cactus Mix for best results.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Earth Star

There are more than 1,200 varieties of cryptanthus and they come in many gorgeous shades of pink. It gets its common name from its star-like spread and need to grow in soil (many other bromeliads are air plants.) Earth star prefers low-water, bright light and an occasional feeding with an organic fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! Like other bromeliads, each cryptanthus blooms only once in its lifetime, and then it begins a slow dying process. Before it dies, new pups are produced that can be replanted.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Anthurium

Anthuriums are elegant, easy-care plants with cheery blooms that last a long time. Anthuriums are also efficient air purifiers, so a colorful Anthurium will bring a pop of color and breath of fresh air to the room. This show-stopping plant is a two-for for any romantic with its glossy heart-shaped, pink leaves. Anthurium stands out of the crowd with blooms on and off all year. Its flowers will last for months under the right conditions. This exotic plant loves warmth and humidity.

Not ready for such bright color just yet? Check out these low-light picks!

Espoma products for pink houseplants

What’s an Aroid?

Aroids are from the family Araceae and include many common houseplants like aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons, pothos and ZZ plants. While these plants tend to be “low light” indoor plants, they’re often understory plants in the wild.  

Aroids come in all different sizes from the extra-large corpse flower to the desk-sized peace lily. You can usually spot them by their colorful, spiky blossoms. Each aroid blossom is made up of numerous tiny flowers clustered together on a “spadix,” that’s found within a curved, leaf-like “spathe.”

Some aroids have special talents, like being able to generate their own heat or being propagated in water. This family has long been swamp-dwellers that were able to adapt to regular floods, one of the reasons they’re an easy-care houseplant.

Many of these plants have waxy roots and leaves that prevent the plants from absorbing too much water. If you do choose to root your aroid in water for an extended period of time, remember that the longer they do, the harder it will be for them to adapt to soil conditions.

Many aroids have the same preferences, so they do well grouped together and make for easy beginner plants. These plants prefer medium light but will tolerate low light. Too much direct sun can cause them to get sunburn. They should be watered about once a week, allowing the top 1-2” of potting mix to dry out in between waterings.

The easiest aroids for new plant parents

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Peace Lilly

The peace lily is an essential houseplant. Not only does it have stunning green foliage, but if given enough light, classic lily blooms will flower. They have air cleansing and cooling abilities, making them perfect as part of your air-cooling house plant team. Peace lilies prefer medium to low light and well-drained soil. For quality potting soil and houseplant success, try Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix. The biggest danger with peace lilies, and most plants, is over watering. The peace lily is a hardy, forgiving plant that will let you know when it needs water. It has a telltale droop to signal it’s thirsty. It will pop back up as soon as it gets the water it desires.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

ZZ Plant

This is one tough houseplant! It can survive with only florescent lights and no natural light. Don’t worry if you forget to water it, it may start to drop some of its leaflets to conserve the water left and will rebloom after a good drink.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Monstera

Known as the split leaf philodendron, the foliage on this plant is striking. Being a tropical variety, this plant can survive lower light and higher humidity. It has large, lush, dark green foliage that stands out against a blank wall, making it one of the most popular plants of the year. Keep it near a window with indirect light and watch it grow.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Aglaonema

Also known as the Chinese evergreen, this houseplant can come in colors from deep green to silver to red. It is slow growing, with large, narrow and glossy oval foliage. When deciding where to put your aglaonema, keep in mind the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. So if you’d prefer dark green foliage, it can thrive in low light. Water when the top two inches of soil are dry and add humidity by surrounding ags with other houseplants in the summertime or set pot on top of a saucer layered with stones and water. Use Espoma’s Indoor! liquid plant food during the growing season to give it the nutrients it needs.

Looking for more easy care houseplants? Check out Garden Answer’s favorite low light houseplants!

Espoma products for happy aroids

Gothic Gardening – The Darkest Plants

These black beauties are some of the most sought after houseplants available today. While they’re certainly fitting for autumn décor, they’re stunning year-round additions to your collection. Use them to create dramatic accents in any room, alone or in combination with other favorite houseplants. They all prefer bright, indirect light. They tend to lose their deep coloring in low light locations. Keep them looking their best by feeding them every two to four weeks with an organic houseplant food like Espoma’s Indoor! fertilizer.

Each of the plants on this list requires good drainage. Make sure containers have a drainage hole and consider setting them on a saucer of pebbles to catch any run-off water. The potting soil is also important. A 50/50 mix of Espoma’s Potting Soil Mix and Espoma’s Cactus Mix would be ideal. The potting mix will help hold nutrients while the cactus mix will ensure good drainage.

Black Raven ZZ courtesy of Costa Farms
Image Courtesy of Costa Farms

Raven ZZ

Raven ZZ is the “Top Model” of the house plant world. Everyone from plant parents to interior designers are scrambling to get their hands on one of these. It’s shiny, nearly black foliage and strong, upright form gives it a bold visual presence, perfect for modern and contemporary homes. As if that wasn’t enough to recommend this plant, it will grow in almost any place in bright or low light. The key to keeping Raven healthy is not to overwater it. They grow from one to three feet tall.

Image courtesy of Monrovia

Black Prince’ Echeveria

It’s no secret that succulents are all the rage and this deep purple, nearly black variety is king. The dramatic foliage is accented by salmon to red-colored flowers in the fall and early winter. This plant shines in succulent arrangements, providing a spectacular color contrast. ‘Black Prince’ grows best in bright light. The foliage color will fade in low light. Water sparingly and use a container with good drainage.

Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Burgundy Rubber Tree

Green rubber tree plants are beautiful, easy to grow houseplants. Burgundy rubber plants however, steal the show every time. The new foliage emerges blood-red in stunning contrast to the deep burgundy leaves. Give this beauty a spot in bright, but not direct sun. Designers often use them to accentuate corners as they grow quite tall but not necessarily very wide. They will tolerate low light but the color will be less intense. Make sure the container you choose has good drainage.

Courtesy of Proven Winners

Charmed® Wine Shamrock

This lucky plant is growing in popularity as an indoor foliage plant. The bright purple foliage adds bright pops of color to any room. In the evening the leaves fold down but lift back up in the morning light. The small pink flowers are delicate and attractive. A sunny window with bright, but not direct, light is best and good drainage is a must.

Black Velvet’ Elephant Ear

This is a must-have for any houseplant collector. Many people are familiar with giant elephant ears that grow outdoors. ‘Black Velvet’ is a dwarf variety, with nearly black foliage accented with silvery-white veins, a truly striking combination. This tropical loves warm, moist places like kitchens and bathrooms. It prefers bright, but not direct, sun and well-drained soil.

Ready for more? Learn How to Fertilize Houseplants with Homestead Brooklyn

Espoma Products Indoor!, Potting Soil Mix, Cactus Mix

How to Plant a Terrarium with Summer Rayne, Homestead Brooklyn

Terrariums are beautiful, fun to make and easy to care for. Our favorite Brooklyn plant expert, Summer Rayne Oakes, guides us through the process step-by-step in this episode of Plant One on Me.

Summer covers which plants, tools, containers and soil mix you’ll need. Plus, how to water, the number one reason people kill plants.

If this terrarium seems too large to start with, go with a smaller version.

You don’t need a green thumb for this DIY project, promise.

Getting Started

First of all, choose a glass container. It’s easiest if the container is big enough to fit your hand inside. Next, choose plants that have the same kinds of light and water requirements. Check the plant tags to make sure they’ll be compatible. Generally speaking, terrariums are best in bright, indirect light. Full sun can be magnified by the glass and burn foliage. Base the container size on the number of plants you’d like to include.

Tools

Summer uses a set of aquarium tools for her terrariums. It’s a clever idea because they are extra-long. Having said that, it isn’t really necessary to buy this type of set when starting out. A long pair of chopsticks does a great job. She also uses a spoon and a narrow garden trowel. A watering can with a thin spout is handy to direct the water.

Soil Mix

The soil for terrariums needs to be a light, free draining mixture. Espoma’s organic Cactus Mix combined with perlite makes the perfect blend. If plants are small you can start with a drainage layer of an inch or so consisting of small rock and or charcoal. In this case, she didn’t use a drainage layer because the plants were relatively large and would have rooted into the drainage layer too quickly.

Planting

Add an inch or two of the soil mixture to your glass container. Play around with the plants until you have an idea of how you’d like them to look. Every plant won’t be blooming all of the time so choose ones with different textures and foliage to create the terrariums subtle beauty. Plant around the edge first, adding soil around the plants as you go. Plant the centerpiece last.

Watering

Terrariums create their own humidity which means they’ll need to be watered less frequently than houseplants in pots. Water sparingly and keep an eye on them. If plants seem to be wilting, water them. As time goes by, you’ll find the right watering schedule for your terrarium. Once every two weeks is about average.

Plant List

Here is a list of the plants Summer used in this video:

  • Monstera siltepcana – light and dark varieties
  • Peperomia trinervula
  • Hemigraphis/Strobilanthes alternate
  • Pilea asp.
  • Begonia conchifolia
  • Peperomia caperata

More Information

Here are links to other videos and blog posts we think you may find interesting:

How to Make an Easy Terrarium

DIY Terrarium Ideas

Everything Old Can be New Again with Terrariums

Plant Parents: Summer Houseplant Care

Summer sun can be tough on houseplants. They’ll need us to turn up the love and give them a little extra TLC during warmer temps and sunny days.

Even though many houseplants originate in the tropics, too much heat can be stressful. Your houseplant may be trying to tell you something if you see wilting, yellow or brown leaves. These are signs your houseplant is stressed! Brown patches could be sunburn.

Here are some ways to make sure your plant babies get through the summer months with flying colors.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Made in the Shade

Hot sun magnified by window glass can cause even cacti and succulents to get sunburnt. Check on plants in windows with a southern exposure. If you see signs of too much sun, such as browning, move them back or relocate them for a few months. If that’s not possible try to pull down the shades during the hottest part of the day.  

Chill Pill

Air-conditioning can be a saving grace in the summertime heat, but plants need to be out of the direct line of cold air. Just like people, they get chilly. Air-conditioning dehydrates the air and your tropical babes need humidity. If your space is especially dry, place plants on a saucer filled with pebbles and water. It will slowly evaporate and provide some much needed moisture. Misting plants often will make them very happy. Moving plants into the kitchen or bathroom where there’s running water will provide a touch more humidity for them.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Hydration Station

Chances are you’ll need to water your plants more often in the summertime. Check to see if they feel dry more often than usual. Watering deeply is also important. Put plants in a sink filled partway with water and allow them to soak it up for 20 minutes or so. Pull the plug and let the plants drain completely before placing them back in their space.

What’s Bugging You?

Houseplants can be prone to pests in the summertime. Keep an eye on them and if you see any insects, cobwebs or white powdery substances, take action. Sometimes it’s enough to take them outside and wash them off with a gentle stream of the hose. If it persists, use Espoma’s organic insect spray or neem oil. Remove any dead leaves or other debris from the soil surface to prevent mildew and other disease.

Shower Them

Nothing is better than fresh air flowing through open windows on a cool summer day. The down side is that a lot of pollen, air pollutants and dust blow in and build up on plant leaves. That makes it hard for plants to breathe and absorb sunshine. Wipe off foliage with a damp cloth every couple of weeks or give them a soft shower. They will love getting a deep watering, lots of humidity and having clean fresh leaves. After the shower, give the plants some time to drip dry. This allows the water to completely drain out of the pot too.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Nature’s Vitamins

This is the perfect time to feed your plants. In spring and summer it’s a good idea to keep plants on a regular feeding schedule with an organic liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! Feeding after watering helps ensure that the plant food doesn’t just run out of the pot. Moist soil is better at absorbing the food.  

Now that your plants are clean and fed, we think you might enjoy these blogs.

Parenting Advice for New Plant Parents

Your Plants Are Trying to Tell You Something

Plant Parenthood: Top 5 Plants to Start Your Houseplant Family With

Espoma Products for Indoor plants

Monstera Q&A with Plant Guru Justin Hancock

Houseplants have steadily grown more popular over the last couple of years, particularly with Millennials. It’s no surprise why—houseplants are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to acquire. They’re beautiful home décor items, but rather than just sitting around going out of style like plaid throw pillow, plants improve our health.

It doesn’t get more trendy than the Monstera plant. Read on for our Q&A with Costa Farms Horticulturist Justin Hancock.

How much light does Monstera need? 

Lots of light. Inside, the more light you can give your monstera, the better. It’s a big plant, so it doesn’t come from the deeply shaded rain forest floor like a lot of our favorite houseplants (Chinese evergreen, Fittonia, Snake Plant, etc.). Monstera doesn’t necessarily like direct sun inside (direct afternoon sun can cause sunburn, which looks like bleached areas of the leaves), but it does want enough brightness that it casts a good shadow.

Do these plants like humidity? 

Humidity definitely helps. Because monstera does hail from the tropics, it likes plenty of moisture in the air. Provide average to above-average relative humidity levels for optimal growth. Keep leaves lush and green by boosting humidity levels with a small humidifier, growing it in a bright bathroom, or grouping it with other plants.

How should Monstera be watered? 

A lot of folks find watering plants is easiest when we come up with a regular schedule—once a week, for example. And while your monstera should grow fairly consistently, different factors can cause it to push out new leaves faster—or take a break and slow down. This affects the amount of water it uses (the faster it grows, the more water it drinks). You’ll find your plant will stay healthiest if you check for water regularly and only provide moisture when needed, rather than splashing on more H2O regardless if the potting mix is wet or dry.  

Can Monstera be overwatered?

Yes! Too much water actually kills more houseplants per year than any other single cause. Monstera is no exception. Because, as it grows, it’s used to forming lots of aerial roots that cling onto tree trunks, the roots tend to rot if they stay wet and soggy. Let the top inch or two of the potting mix dry between waterings, and if in doubt, it’s better to keep it a little too dry than a little too wet. And if you have a saucer or drip tray at the bottom of the pot, don’t let water sit in there for more than 45 minutes or so — if the pot is standing in water for longer periods than that, the roots can start drowning.  

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

How much nutrition does this plant need? 

For best growth, you will want to feed your Monstera. Think of it like this: When growing a plant in a pot, that soil provides all the nutrition the plant gets. Nature doesn’t supply the constant cycle of fresh nutrients. So fertilizing your monstera ensures healthy growth. You can feed it as little as once a year (in spring) with a an organic liquid fertilizer such as Indoor!, or as often as the directions on the fertilizer package recommend. It all depends on how much and how fast you want your Monstera to grow.

When’s the right time to repot a Monstera? Or does Monstera even need repotting?  

No plant truly likes being rootbound, and Monstera does best when roots get more room as they fill the pot. So give your plant a larger container when you see roots begin to circle the inside of the pot. Select a pot that’s 2 to 4 inches wider than the container it was in. Don’t jump to a pot that’s dramatically larger because it can lead to watering issues.

What does it mean if the leaves turn yellow and start dropping?

Yellowing leaves are kind of like the upset stomach of the gardening world—the one symptom could come from any number of causes. Watch for drafts: Blasts of hot or cold air, such as being next to an exterior door or heating/cooling vent, can cause the leaves to go yellow and drop prematurely. Overwatering can also cause leaves to go yellow. In general, stress can also cause Monstera to yellow some leaves, so you don’t necessarily need to be alarmed if you see it drop a leaf or two right after you bright it home from the nursery (or unpack it if you purchased it online).

 Is Monstera a bush or a vine or what?

Monstera is a large plant, which when young, looks bushy. As it grows, it becomes vine-like. If you want yours to produce huge leaves (and who doesn’t?!), help it grow upright on a strong, sturdy structure, such as a wood or moss-filled pole (totem). I’ve also seen Monstera supported on a decorative chain hung from the ceiling.

Can the leaves be cut off without hurting the plant?

Yes! Don’t be afraid to cut an older leaf or two to decorate for a dinner party or show off to friends. Monstera are evergreen plants—so they keep their leaves all year. But, individual leaves do fade and will eventually drop from old age. If you’re going to cut, it’s best for the plant to cut the oldest leaves.

About the Author

Passionate about plants only begins to describe Costa Farms Garden Guru Justin Hancock. A lover of houseplants, tropicals, annuals, and perennials, Justin has a wealth of experience gardening all the way from Northern Minnesota to Miami. At Costa Farms, you’ll find Justin running between research and development, marketing, and everywhere in between!

Espoma Products for Monsteras

Hoya Care Tips and Propagation

Hoya, commonly called wax plant or wax flower, are sought-after house plants because they are easy to grow, easy to propagate and have exotic, highly fragrant flowers. They are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on other plants and derive nutrients and moisture from the air. There are at least 300 to 400 different varieties, some even say 600 to 700.

Here are our care tips for some of the most common varieties.

Light

Many varieties of Hoya have waxy foliage resembling succulent plants. But, don’t be fooled. They’re not related to succulents and don’t care for the hot sun in south-facing windows. Try an east-facing window or a bright spot with indirect light.

Soil Mix

Because Hoyas grow on other plants, they need good air circulation and like their roots to dry out. Overly wet soil spells disaster. It’s easy to create the perfect soil mixture yourself. Simply mix equal parts of these three products; Espoma’s organic Cactus Mix, Espoma’s Orchid Mix and Espoma’s Perlite.  

Feeding and Watering

Water your Hoya when the soil mix feels almost completely dry. Water it until the water runs out of the bottom, then dump out the excess water. If leaves begin to drop, you may be watering too often, just let the soil dry out a bit more in between waterings. While not in bloom, feed your plant every 2-4 weeks with Indoor! Espoma’s liquid, fertilizer otherwise use Espoma’s organic, liquid Orchid! food. It has a little more phosphorus that will help the plant to produce lovely, long-lasting flowers. They are both organic, gentle on plants and come with a cap that premeasures the right amount for one quart of water.

Propagation

The best way to propagate Hoya is to take cuttings that have two nodes. A node is a place where the leaves emerge from the stem. Either place them in a vase with water or into a jar with moist sphagnum moss. Check on them every few weeks. When you have a good root system, pot them in the same soil mix described above.

In Homestead Brooklyn’s Hoya Care video Summer Rayne Oakes talks about the following Hoya varieties:

Hoya carnosa – It looks like a trailing plant, but will climb a trellis.

Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta Variegata’ – A variegated form with strongly curling foliage.

Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson’ – Has reddish stems and variegated foliage.

Hoya multiflora – This one doesn’t like to dry out. Add a larger percentage of cactus mix to the soil mix you make or water more frequently.

Hoya pubicalyx – This is a climbing variety.

Hoya bella – A trailing habit for a hanging basket.

Hoya cumingiana – This is similar to Hoya bella but prefers a more alkaline soil. Add crushed oyster shells or washed out, crushed eggshells to the top of the soil to lower the pH.

Hoya pachyclada – This one is mounted on wood with sphagnum moss. It’s a beautiful way to display the plant but it will dry out faster and need to be watered more often.  

Espoma Products

Espoma Organic Orchid Mix

Parenting Advice for New Plant Parents

Plants can be just as baffling as children for those who’ve never cared for them before. New plant parents may find themselves wondering if their plant’s growth is normal or stunted. And questioning their abilities to give their plants what they need. Let’s look at some common growth questions so you can be the best plant parents ever.

Time for a New Pot

Your baby’s growing up and it’s time for a new pot. Generally speaking, you should give your plants a new pot and fresh soil every year. Choose a pot that’s one or two inches larger than the one it’s in. Make sure it has a drainage hole in the bottom and a saucer to put underneath the pot. You don’t want water marks to staining your furniture.

Photo courtesy of Homestead Brooklyn

A Solid Foundation

Fresh soil is really important, think of it like the foundation of a house. Your plants health depends on the nutrients and soil structure of your potting soil. Espoma’s Organic Moisture Mix is the best all-purpose soil. If you happen to be repotting cactus or succulents, orchids or African Violets you’ll want to buy a special blend of soil that’s been created specifically for their special needs.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Make it Your Own

Gently remove your little one from the pot, loosen the roots and shake off some of the old soil. You’ll want to plant it so that the old surface and the new surface are at the same height.  Work in soil all around the sides so it feels solid and there aren’t any air bubbles. Some people like to top dress their plants with a decorative layer of moss or colored pebbles. Feel free to experiment and make it fit into your decor.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Feeding Your Baby

Naturally, you’ll want to feed your babies the best food possible so, they’ll grow up big and strong. Feed them once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer like Organic Indoor! Houseplant Food. Always follow the directions, more isn’t better when it comes to plant food or people food for that matter. And, just like the soil some plants have special dietary needs like Cactus and succulents, orchids, and African Violets.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Succulents Going Through Puberty?

Sometimes plants go through awkward stages. Their growth slows in winter and they may pout and look a bit lack luster. Summer light and warmer temperatures should cure that. Some plants get stretchy trying to reach out for the sun. Succulents that don’t get 4 to 6 hours of strong light per day are especially prone to this. Here is a video from Garden Answer to show you how to save your naughty succulent and propagate a bunch of new babies too.

Think it’s time to repot your own plant? Garden Answer shows you how! https://youtu.be/nPhNOi-LsAE

Where to Buy

Espoma Products for New Plant Parents

Potting Soil

Moisture Mix

Cactus mix

Orchid Mix

African Violet Mix

Indoor!

Cactus!

Orchid!

African Violet!

Fern Care Guide

We all love ferns, they are a classic houseplant. Ferns come in all kinds of sizes, textures and colors. Yet as far as plants go, they can be fussy. Laura from Garden Answer has the scoop.

If your fern is happy and healthy, great job! You can probably skip some of the topics toward the end.

Now let’s take a look at your fern and double check it is living its best life.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you tend to your fern:

Light Exposure

Contrary to popular belief, ferns need quite a bit of light. Though, they don’t like to be in direct sunlight as their foliage will change to a lighter yellow color or burn. Keep them near a place that receives plenty of sunshine throughout the day.

Only few varieties can handle shade and moisture like most people think. Check your plant tag for the most accurate information for your fern.

Temperature

Ferns like their surroundings to be similar to what we like between 65 and 75°F, matching the temperatures in our home. They don’t like it too drafty so keep them away from doors that lead outside and away from air vents.

Humidity

This is the most important thing to be aware of for keeping your fern healthy, especially if you live in a dry climate. Placing your fern in a bathroom or kitchen near the water source can help, since they typically get more moisture in there naturally.

For a more decorative option, place pebbles in tray with some water and place your fern on top. The moisture will carry up to the foliage as it evaporates. Add water to the tray as needed.

Soil Type

Use Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix for your ferns. Organic potting mixes have the right kind of drainage, and will hold just enough water that is needed without drowning your fern.

Repotting

Typically, ferns need to be repotted every two years. Check its roots once a year. If the roots are starting to circle around the container, it is time to repot. If there is still soil around the edge of it, it should be fine for another year.

When it is time to repot your fern, only go up one size for your container. Be sure there is a drainage hole at the bottom of your container. Place a small layer of Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix in the bottom and fill around the sides as needed.

Watering

Ferns like to be consistently damp, but not wet and soggy like many people think. Each fern and home is a bit different, especially this time of year. Water your fern and keep an eye on it. If the soil at the top feels dry, water it again.

Fertilizing

Ferns like to be fed about once a month during their growing season. Each zone and climate will have a different growing season, which you can ask your local garden center about. Feed your fern with Espoma’s Organic’s Indoor! liquid plant food. Check the label for instructions on how to use.

Grooming

All houseplants should be groomed about once a month. Remove any foliage that looks damaged, unhealthy or is turning brown or yellow. Discard any leaves or debris that is  on top of the soil to keep insects and disease at bay.

Insects

The most common insects to watch out for are mealybugs, aphids, fungus mites, white fly and spider mites for just about any houseplant. If you are unsure of the insect you are dealing with, take a picture and take it to your local garden center. They will be able to offer suggestions on how to get rid of it.

Toxicity

Ferns are non-toxic, but it is still a smart idea to keep your pets and kids away from eating or playing with a fern. That might just cause a tummy ache or a mess in your home!

Drop any other questions below in the comments and we will help you out the best we can!