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Video: Indoor Succulents for Beginners with Garden Answer!

Watch as Laura from Garden Answer shows you 7 great succulents for beginners!

 

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Video: Caladiums for Christmas with Garden Answer

Laura from Garden Answer got her hands on some gorgeous new caladiums just in time for Christmas. Follow along for some keys to transitioning to holiday decor using Potting Mix!

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4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Poinsettias

‘Tis the season of poinsettias! These jolly red plants are a classic holiday gift and household decoration all across the country during the winter months. Unfortunately, for many people, the leaves quickly turn lackluster and the plant dies soon afterward. But you can avoid this outcome with proper care and maintenance! Here are 4 ways yours can thrive this holiday season, as told by Garden Answer.

1. Get a healthy start

Did you know poinsettias are actually tropical plants? These festive spurges have somehow become a staple during the colder months, but they very much still appreciate their native climate! That means you should try to avoid the ones that are placed near the entrance of your local grocery store, since the draft from outside and the dry heat from inside are already harming the plants’ health. If you find them elsewhere, be sure to check that the foliage has solid colors and is not showing any green as this could mean they’re finished flowering for the season.

2. Give them a loving home

Since poinsettias appreciate that tropical climate, be sure to place them somewhere with lots of light that’s away from cold glass. As mentioned before, keep them away from any drafts — warm or cold. Be sure to check their soil moisture regularly as heated homes often lack moisture in the air. You can water them when the top layer of soil feels dry. As a finishing touch, feel free to mist them regularly and use Espoma Bloom! to give them a boost.

3. Stay safe this holiday season

A widely believed myth is that poinsettias are incredibly toxic to pets and humans. But the truth is that you would have to ingest an exorbitant amount of it for it to actually be dangerous! You should still err on the side of caution since the white sap that’s produced when the stems break can be a skin irritant, and it’s best to set them somewhere pets and kids can’t reach as with all houseplants.

4. Start anew next year

No matter how devoted you are to your beloved poinsettias, you should still think of them as annual plants that need to be replaced each year. It can be very difficult to get them to bloom again a year later and it involves much stricter care than the tips listed above. 

Now that you have all the necessary knowledge, go find the biggest and brightest poinsettias you can locally buy — and rest assured that they’ll last much longer than last year’s!

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Video: Epic Gardening: How to Transplant Water-Rooted Cuttings Without Killing Them

Houseplant propagation can be challenging. Check out @Epic Gardening’s foolproof transplanting method for water-rooted cuttings – featuring Espoma Organic Moisture Mix!

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Unusual Houseplants to Add Life to Your Home This Fall

With fall underway and winter on our heels, you’re probably putting away your gardening tools for the season and taking the last bits of veggies and fruits you can harvest before the ground freezes over. And if you’re anything like us, you’re probably sad to see all the greenery and colors go. But don’t let that crush your spirits! While you’re waiting for spring to arrive, you can stay busy raising colorful houseplants.

This plant has green leaves with red, yellow, and orange hues in them, so you get the greenery and some beautiful colors all in one! Direct sunlight may burn their leaves, but bright light will produce the beautiful red and pink colors — so be sure they’re receiving bright indirect light. But don’t fret if your home is low light! Your Aglaonema can still grow, it will just be less colorful.

1. Colorful Aglaonema

 

2. Prayer Plant

Don’t have space on the windowsill to put the plants? Try hanging them up! Prayer plant is a favorite of ours because it has the habit of sprawling out. It can make any room you put it up in look cozy! It has dark green leaves and purple-mauve stems and veins that give your space a classy look.

3. Neon Pothos

If you’re someone who’s going to get the blues in winter from the lack of color outside, this plant is just what you need! Neon pothos adds a pop of color to your living space and will brighten up your day every time you look at it. This will also present a good contrast to any darker colored plants like the prayer plant or calathea. It’s an easy to grow plant that you can hang up or put it on your coffee table and let the vines take over. It needs direct sunlight to grow, but you can swap that out with fluorescent lights if your house isn’t very sunlight-heavy.

4. Anthurium

Want a plant that’ll bloom every season? If you take care of this plant right, you can have shades of pink and red residing in your house all year long! All you need to do is keep it in a well-lit place and water it regularly. This valentine’s day favorite will definitely give your house a more quirky look.

5. Monstera

You might’ve seen this one on aesthetic Instagram accounts or have it pinned on one of your “dream room” Pinterest boards. This plant has been a popular go-to for a lot of people in recent years, and we totally get why. It’s a plant with big green leaves that can be placed anywhere without taking up too much space! They can also grow in almost any atmosphere. If you’re looking to add some simple green to your room, monstera is the way to go.

Ready to head to your local plant shop yet? Stock up now so you can sit back and relax with your indoor green space this fall and winter. They’re sure to bring colorful life to your home and remind you of the upcoming spring and all of the beautiful outdoor blooms that are yet to come!

 

 

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!

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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!

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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

Plant Parents: Moving Plants Outdoors

Houseplants aren’t limited to staying indoors year-round, in fact they love the feeling of sunshine on their leaves and breathing in some fresh air. However, when you take them outdoors, you need to do so appropriately, otherwise they may go into shock.

Acclimating houseplants to outdoor conditions will reduce shock and give them the best chance of thriving. Wait about four weeks from the last frost before you start to acclimate them to the outdoors.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Tips for Taking Plants Outdoors: Hang in the Shade
While this might seem counter-intuitive, direct sunlight can do more harm than good at first. Since the sunlight is filtered through windows inside, your houseplants aren’t used to the harshness of direct sun. Find shaded areas on your patio or under a tree for a few hours each day. Gradually move houseplants to an area with a little more sunshine daily, until they can be outside all day.  

It will only take a few weeks to adapt to the light and then plants can stay outside until the end of the summer. Once they have adapted to the sunshine, be sure to place them in light they will enjoy. Similar to being indoors, don’t place plants in direct light, if they prefer indirect.

Clip and Snip
Trim away any foliage that might have been damaged from the move or from being inside. Remove any brown tips and inspect them for signs of pests or diseases.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Top it Off:

Revitalize soil by working in fresh Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to each container. This will help to hold moisture and nutrients around plants’ roots.

Give Them a Drink
Power up plants by giving them a big drink of water enhanced with nutrients. Make it easy on yourself and use Espoma’s Grow! Liquid plant food.

Dump the water
Get in the habit of dumping the excess water after watering to avoid mosquitos and other unwanted pests..

Learn more about houseplant care with Garden Answer.

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