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Top 4 Houseplants to Give and Get this Holiday Season

There’s so much to love about the holiday season — the cooking and baking, the time spent with family and friends, and the festive plants. Poinsettias or a blooming Christmas cactus are compact yet boast of holiday spirit. The more plants, the merrier!

With just a little care, holiday houseplants can continue to thrive throughout the year. Knowing how to care for them helps to keep them beautiful. Repot later if needed.

So whether you’re getting or giving holiday houseplants, use these tips to help keep them blooming.

How to Care for Holiday Favorites

poinsettia

Poinsettia: No other plant quite marks the beginning of the holiday season like the poinsettia. With more than 100 varieties available today in colors of red, white, pink and more, this plant can be found just about everywhere during the holidays.

First things first, don’t let poinsettias get cold on the ride home from the store. Keep trips and exposure to cold as short as possible. Once home, these cheery plants thrive on six hours of indirect light a day away from cold drafts and need proper watering. When the plant needs water, remove the decorative foil and let soak in a few inches of water for an hour or so. Let excess drain and rewrap.

Tip: Take the poinsettia out of its foil and place it in a decorative container.

Norfolk Island pine: A mini Christmas tree, this festive plant looks lovely when adorned with mini lights and homemade ornaments or just plain on its own.

Give pines about six to eight hours of light per day. Any less and lower branches are likely to drop. Water when dry to the touch. Fertilize Norfolk Island pines bi-monthly with our new liquid houseplant fertilizer to keep them happy and healthy.

Tip: Pines can last for years and be decorated for other seasons as well!

christmas-cactus

Christmas cactus: Though this cactus is known for blooming around Christmas, it’ll stay strong throughout the year and periodically rebloom. It’s ruffled flowers range in color from reds to pinks to oranges and creams.

Give this plant bright indirect light and place outdoors in a semi-shady spot during summer months. Allow plant to become slightly dry between waterings.  Keeps this holiday plant reblooming for years to come by giving it a rest during the fall and placining it in the dark for about six to eight weeks, encouraging new blooms.

Tip: No matter how diligent you are about care, bloom time may vary based on variety. Whether or not it blooms in time for the holidays, you’ll still have winter blooms to enjoy.

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Cyclamen: Cyclamen’s bright flowers in pink, white or red are great for adding a pop of color where you need it. With the right conditions, they can bloom for more than eight weeks.

Cyclamen likes light, but not super-bright light. Keep the temperature consistent and deadhead spent flowers and leaves. Pour water in a saucer and let the plant absorb it for 15 to 20 minutes.

Tip: During the summer, cyclamen’s foliage turns yellow and dies back. This is their dormant period when they’re storing energy for the next flowering season.

Any houseplant can grow with the proper care. Learn how here.

Five Reasons to be Thankful for Houseplants

While you’re counting your blessings and listing those things you’re grateful for this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to include houseplants. Indoor plants provide a pop of color and interesting texture to any space.

Houseplants are more than just a pretty face, though. They impact our everyday lives by cleaning the air and reducing stress. Give houseplants everything they need to grow and they’ll pay you back.

potting soil, houseplant care

Here are the Top Five Reasons to Be Thankful for Houseplants

1. Indoor Plants Purify the Air

Studies from the US Environmental Protection Agency have found that levels of indoor air pollution can be two to five times higher — and in some cases 10 times more polluted — than outdoor air. Houseplants such as bromeliads, spider plants and dracaena, remove the harmful compounds frequently found in homes and offices, produced by cleaning supplies, paint, furniture glue and nail polish remover.

2. Houseplants help us relax

Researchers have found that being around plants—especially indoors, can reduce stress and help us feel happier and more relaxed. You can never have too many houseplants so choose one, or 10 that work for you.

3. Plants Make Us Smarter

Having a plant around can enhance learning abilities by improving our concentration, focus and problem-solving skills. Make sure to place houseplant in home offices, studying spaces and at work.

4. They Improve Our Physical Health

Plants offer physical benefits, too. One study found that adding plants to office spaces reduces headaches, coughs and sore throats. And employees typically use fewer sick days.

Know someone in the hospital? Bring them a plant. A Kansas State University studied found that patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety and are discharged sooner.

5. They’re easy to care for

Seniors feel better and more fulfilled when they take care of houseplants (or pets). Keeping plants healthy, helps make us more socially connected and happy. There’s a perfect plant out there for anyone, and certain plants, such as sansevieria and zz plant, are surprisingly low maintenance .

Show gratitude for your favorite plants by giving them proper care. Learn how here.

6 Steps to Keep African Violets Blooming

The colorful blooms of African violets are extra special. They’ll instantly add color to any room.

They’re known to bloom continuously, even throughout the darker months of winter. Place them throughout the house to enjoy their colors and velvety texture throughout the year.

Once you get in a regular routine of taking care of African violets, you’ll find they grow very easily. All of their basic needs need to be met though, or they won’t bloom. Give them the right temperature, light and a good feeding, and you’ll be blooming in no time!

he colorful blooms of African violets are extra special. They’ll instantly add color to any room.

Choosing and Caring for African Violets:

1. Start off healthy. Choose a plant with bright emerald leaves and the flower color that you want. Make sure the pot has drainage holes.

2. The right light. The most common reason African violets don’t bloom is because they aren’t getting enough light. African violets need indirect sunlight, direct can burn the leaves. Choose a north- or east- facing window for best results. Keep plants away from cold glass and rotate the pot once a week so all leaves receive light. Extend daylight by placing African violets under a grow light during winter months.

3. Keep warm. African violets prefer the same temperatures most people find comfortable: between 70-80°F during the day, and around 65–70°F at night.

4. Water from below. Fill the saucer using room temperature water. Let sit for about an hour and then pour excess water out. Allow the plant to dry out between waterings.

5. Fertilize with Espoma’s new liquid Violet! Indoor houseplant food every 2-4 weeks in spring, summer and fall.

6. Think before replanting. African violets only bloom when they’re root bound. When it is time to repot, be sure to use an organic potting soil made specifically for African violets, such as Espoma’s African Violet Mix. They flower best in small pots — choose one that’s about a third of the diameter of their leaf spread.

Now that you’re African violet is off to a great start, it’s time to care for your other houseplants!    

Make a Happy Home for Plants

You may have noticed: your houseplants look crowed in their containers, they have droopy leaves or are thirstier than usual.

Moving on up! Now is the time to re-pot them.

Longer days and bright sun means that in just a few weeks, houseplants will wake up and experience a major growth spurt. When you start to see new growth, it’s time to start feeding and watering regularly.

Give houseplants everything they need to grow up in style – a hearty feeding and a stylish home included.

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Grooving and Moving: Repot and Feed Houseplants in Spring  

Houseplant care tip: Repot houseplants every six months.

 Let It Slide. Lightly water your plant an hour before the big move. When turned upside down, your plant will easily slide out.

Scoot the Roots. Snip off any dead or rotten roots. Then gently loosen living roots.

Room to Grow. Pick a pot one size up from your plant’s current home.

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Move In. Fill the pot 1/3 full with organic potting soil. Position the plant so it’s at the same depth as it previously was. When situated, backfill with soil, and gently pat it into place.

Clink a Drink. Celebrate a successful move with a refreshing drink. Water your plants, and top them off with potting soil if needed.

Food to Conclude. Feed with an organic plant food every 3-4 weeks. Make it quick and easy this month with one of our new liquid plant foods. With our easy dose lid, all you need to do is flip, fill and feed. No measuring or mess!

Look at those happy plants, making themselves right at home! Housewarming party, anyone? You’ve already got the flowers covered!

7 Plants Cupid Struck with His Arrow

Roses are red. Violets are blue. All flowers are lovely, but let’s try something new!

Show your love with these seven indoor plants this year.

Tie a big, showy bow around the pot! Then seal the deal with a handwritten love note (complete with houseplant care instructions, of course).

Divine Gifts for Your Valentine: 7 Indoor Plants to Show Your Love

valentine orchid, houseplant care, potting soil, indoor plants

Opulent Orchids. Gift simple elegance to the one you love. Choose pink, purple or multi-colored and opt for a romantic colored pot, too. When repotting, use an organic orchid mix potting soil. Water with three ice cubes weekly, and fertilize monthly.

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Amorous African Violets. Dainty yet bold, African violets are for sweethearts who are sugar, spice and everything nice. Plant in a pot using potting soil specifically for African violets. Water only when dry to the touch, and feed weekly.

houseplant care, potting soil, indoor plants

Fiery Flamingo Flowers. Made for Valentine’s Day – complete with red, heart-shaped flowers! Water only when dry to the touch, and feed every 3-4 months.

houseplant care, potting soil, indoor plants

Captivating Cyclamen. Choose sweet pink or daring red flowers coupled with dreamy, marbled leaves to make your valentine swoon. Water when dry, and fertilize monthly when flowering.

houseplant care, potting soil, indoor plants

Mesmerizing Miniature Roses. Give pink or red roses for Valentine’s Day that last! During winter, keep soil slightly moist. Come spring and summer, feed every two weeks.

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Kindhearted Kalanchoe. These ever-lasting pink or red blooms flourish all on their own, making them perfect for brown-thumb Valentines. Water when dry, and fertilize once a month when flowering.

houseplant care, potting soil, indoor plants

“Be Mine” Bromeliad. Bold, bright and beautiful! Water the center of its bloom when the soil is dry.

 With indoor plants this good looking, your sweetheart is going to be head-over-heels in love!

Deck the Halls with Holiday Houseplants

Hang the stockings by the chimney with care. Decorate the tree with glee. Then spread joy with holiday houseplants.

After all, the halls aren’t decked until the houseplants arrive! Houseplants can stand alone or complement other holiday decor. Plus, their lively blooms, colors and smells are the definition of holiday cheer!

Houseplants make sweet gifts to give — and even sweeter gifts for you to get yourself!

Below is everything you need to know about holiday houseplants.

Holly, Jolly Holiday Houseplants

Start with the perfect holiday houseplant! The rest is easy.

1. Festive Poinsettia. No other houseplant captures the Christmas spirit more than poinsettias.

2. Cheerful Christmas Cactus. Red and green all over, this flowering houseplant is super easy to care for and bursts with sweet, red blooms all season.

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3. Amazing Amaryllis. Bold, stunning and elegant, amaryllis delight with vibrant red and snowy white blooms.

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4. Nifty Norfolk Island Pine. These petite Christmas trees are simply darling! Plus, they can grow up to 12’ tall if properly cared for!

 

5. Charming Cyclamen. Cyclamen’s heart-shaped red or pink flowers instantly fill spaces with love.

Keep Your Holiday Houseplants Happy

  1. Package It Up. Add your personal touch by potting your houseplant in a container matching your holiday decor. Have fun with it! Tie a bow around it, or paint the pot with chalkboard paint.
  2. Season’s Soil. Add a bit of organic fertilizer, then fill the pot with organic potting soil.
  3. Let It Shine. Read the plant tag to see how much sunlight and water your holiday houseplant needs.
  4. Feast on Food. Enjoy more of those beautiful blooms. Feed with Indoor! every 3-4 weeks during periods of active growth, usually from March through September.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by placing a holiday houseplant here and here! Enjoy those blooming beauties all season.

A Plant Today Keeps the Doctor Away

For most of us, the outdoor gardening season is winding down. Yet, we want to keep that green thumb moving!

Channel your gardening energy indoors. A green-filled oasis awaits you! Add a few indoor plants today!

potted-cactus succulent

Top 3 Reasons Why You Can Never Have Enough Houseplants

Plants add a pop of color and a burst of life to spaces. But, they do even more.

  1. Pollution Solution. Indoor plants scrub the air clean by removing toxins, according to NASA research. Houseplants remove 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are in everything from rugs and grocery bags to paint and vinyl.
  2. Find Your Focus. Houseplants increase well-being by 47 percent, increase creativity by 45 percent and increase productivity by 38 percent, according to new research.
  3. Combat Colds. Powerful indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, found the University of Agriculture in Norway.

orchid houseplant

Caring for Houseplants is Easy

Houseplants provide us with all those benefits and ask for very little in return. Here’s all they need!

  1. Strong Soil. Organic potting soil packed with nutrients, enriched with Myco-tone® and fortified with worm castings sets houseplants up for success. Whether you’re planting new or repotting old plants, use an organic soil.
  2. Light It Right. Check your plant tag to see how much sun your plant needs.
  3. Wow with Water. Water most houseplants when the top of the soil feels dry. Only water succulents and cacti when the soil is completely dry.
  4. Fuel with Organic Fertilizer. . Fertilize houseplants with an organic fertilizer such as Indoor! during active periods of growth. This is usually during the spring and summer.

Those happy houseplants will make you smile every day! Check out Espoma’s “Houseplant” Pinterest board for more inspiration and ideas!

Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week

Indoor plants are the superheroes of the plant world. They have the power to aid in concentration, increase productivity and even boost well-being.

To honor these green heroes, the third week of September is recognized as National Indoor Plant Week. So let’s celebrate!

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top threats to public health. We spend as much as 90 percent of our lives indoors — so it’s time to add some greenery.

Houseplants are surprisingly easy to take care of with these six tips.

1. Bring them indoors. Many people place their houseplants outside in the summer, but when temperatures start to drop below 50º at night, it’s time to bring them in! Check houseplants for pests before moving them. Help houseplants to adjust by bringing them in at night and returning them outdoors during the day. Over the course of two weeks, gradually increase the amount of time plants spend indoors.

houseplant2. New space. Repot houseplants if they’re in need of some additional space. Select a pot that is at least 2” larger than your current container and transfer. Use Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to fill the rest of the container.

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3. Pick the right spot. A houseplant lets you know the spot is right by maintaining healthy leaves. If there’s enough light for you to read by, there’s probably enough for a low-light houseplant. Avoid placing plants near heat or air conditioning ducts, on TVs, or between the curtains and a chilly window.

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4. Give them a drink. If the soil is dry about an inch below the surface, add water. But don’t overwater! It’s the number one cause of houseplant death. Collect excess water in a tray or saucer and never allow plants to sit in water.

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5. Stay Comfortable. Houseplants are happiest when temperatures are between 70 and 80ºF during the day and 10-15º cooler at night.

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6. Feed houseplants. Fertilize houseplants with an organic fertilizer such as Indoor! during active periods of growth. This is usually during the spring and summer.

With these tips, your houseplants will be looking their best in no time! Tell us about your favorite houseplant in the comments!