Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts

February 13, 2012

Green Walls

I'm not sure if you've ever seen these before but I happen to think they are the best things since the original wall was invented! If I could get more plants into my house without looking like the crazy cat lady (but for plants) I would! If I could make one of my walls a plant wall I would be all over it! In fact I'm still trying to find a way...In the mean time I live my dreams through photos like these.

January 30, 2012

Prayer Plant Care

Prayer plants prefer moderate to low indirect light levels. If the leaves on your plant begin to curl and turn brown, your plant is receiving too much light. Providing this plant with too much direct sunlight can burn the foliage.

Prayer plants require moist but not soggy soil. This houseplant also is one of the few houseplants that does not like its soil to dry out between watering, so try to keep the soil consistently moist at all times.

The biggest need for this houseplant is humidity. It requires high humidity levels to flourish, so a daily misting will go far. If the tips of the foliage begin to brown your plant may not be getting the humidity it needs. By providing high humidity levels, you help in ensuring beautiful flowers bloom. This plant is also very temperamental when it comes to temperature changes. It prefers a range of 65 to 80 degrees, however it does not like fluctuations in temperature. Do keep it away from drafts.


Also I found this very helpful:

If the tips of the leaves are turning brown or curling up, the plant is getting too much light. Another cause for brown tips can also be the chlorine found in tap water. Use filtered water or let water sit for 24 hours before watering the plant.

A daily misting can help provide the plant with the humidity it needs that may not be present in your home. You can also set a container of water near the plant, the evaporating water will give the plant some added humidity.

January 10, 2012

Norfolk Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) Care

I was at my favorite garden center and they had all of there Christmas plants and arrangements on sale and I saw a beautiful Norfolk Pine arrangement. It also has two other plants with it (that I am yet to figure out what they are!) and it's just so pretty! It also came in this fabric sort of pot that's made from recycled plastic bottles! It was $60 but I got it for $14 which I am very excited about.

I read up a little about this plant and so far so good, but here's some info, for you and for me, on this wonderful plant.

It makes me feel like I'm in the forest having this plant. I love it!

Known botanically as Araucaria heterophylla, the plant is native to Norfolk Island in the South Pacific between Australia and New Zealand.

Water then the first inch of the soil is dry. Water enough to get run off through the drainage holes and discard of that water.

Although the Norfolk Island pine will adapt to bright indirect light, the plant will look its best with a couple of hours of direct sunlight daily. Five feet from a window is as far as you should try if you wan the plant to get larger. If the light source is coming from just one direction, you'll want to rotate the plant a quarter turn weekly to keep it from tilting toward one side.

What is most challenging for the typical home gardener is giving this plant the high relative humidity it needs. Norfolk Island pine thrives at 50 percent relative humidity, yet it is not unusual for the average house to drop to 15 percent during the winter heating season, unless steps are taken to increase moisture in the air. Running a humidifier will increase the comfort of people and plant and is the most effective way to adequately raise the humidity.

It's suggested to mist the plant every day to really help the plant thrift (I've been doing that and so far so good! It's looking great and lush.)

When the plant is growing, feed with a fertilizer formulated for indoor foliage plants. It is not unusual for the plant to be in a period of rest during the winter months, at which time there is no need to fertilize.

When given proper care, the Norfolk Island pine will outgrow most indoor spaces, not surprising when you consider that it can reach up to 200 feet tall in its native habitat!

December 26, 2011

Rex Begonia Plant Care

Origin: Asia and India

Height: Up to 1 ft (30 cm)

Light: Bright light, but no direct sun which can scorch the leaves. Thrives under fluorescent light.

Water: Keep soil evenly moist at all times, but be careful not to overwater because the rhizomes are prone to rot in soggy soil. Avoid getting water on leaves because they may spot.

Humidity: High humidity. Increase humidity by standing pot on a tray of wet pebbles, or use a room humidifier. Do not mist because this can cause spots to form on leaves.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F, 18-24°C

Soil: African violet potting mix works well.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Take leaf cuttings in spring or summer. Cut a healthy, medium-sized leaf with 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) stem. Poke stem at a 45° angle in moist half-and-half mixture of peat moss and perlite. Enclose the whole thing in a plastic bag to hold in humidity. Keep the cutting in a warm spot (75-80°/24-27°) in indirect light. Leaf cuttings usually root in about 3-4 weeks, but it takes about another 4 weeks for plantlets to form. Pot up each plantlet when it has 3 leaves, and cut away the parent leaf.

Care Tips:
Provide a humid environment for the Rex begonia. To increase the humidity around the Rex begonia, fill a tray with pebbles and set the planting container on top of the pebbles. Add water to the tray of pebbles, but don't allow it to touch the bottom of the planting container.

Place the Rex begonia in an area with plenty of air circulation. Use a good-quality African violet potting mixture, and a container with good drainage holes in the bottom. Keep the plant clean. Pinch off any dead or yellowing leaves, and don't let debris gather on the surface of the container.

Water the Rex begonia whenever the top of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch. Water until the soil is moist, but don't water excessively, as Rex begonia is susceptible to rot if the soil is too wet. Water on the leaves will cause spots, so don't mist Rex begonia, and don't allow water to splash on the leaves.

Maintain the room temperature at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rex begonias don't do well in cool temperatures, so don't allow nighttime temperatures to fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Feed the Rex begonia every other week, using a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength. Withhold fertilizer during the winter.

December 16, 2011

Nerve Plant Care

Pinch your plant. Pinch stems regularly to keep plant bushy and full. Also pinch off any small flower spikes that may appear, because they are insignificant and will weaken the show of leaves.

Mist it. This tropical beauty loves to be misted. Give it a fine spray of tepid water every morning to provide the moist air it craves. Or, place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles to raise the humidity around it.

Repot in spring every couple years to refresh the soil. Nerve Plant has shallow roots, so you can keep it in a small pot.

Origin: Peru

Height: Up to 6 in (15 cm)

Light: Low to medium light. Grows well under fluorescent light.

Water: Keep soil constantly moist, but not soggy. Plant will collapse if it dries out.

Humidity: High humidity. Grows best in terrariums.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F, 18-24°C


Soil: Peat-based potting mix that holds moisture well.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2-3 months spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in spring and insert them in moist potting mix. They propagate easily in a warm, humid environment, rooting in about 2-3 weeks

November 27, 2011

Indoor Fern Care

Choose the right soil for your fern. If you have an epiphytic fern (a fern that grows in a tree), you should plant it in a coarse soil that allows water to drain more easily. If you have a terrestrial fern (a fern that grows in the soil), you can plant it in ordinary potting soil found at your local retailer.

Put your fern in a plastic container or other container with a sufficient drainage system. It's important to allow for drainage, so avoid solid containers like clay pots without holes in the bottom. This will allow for better moisture levels, mimicking the humidity that ferns are used to.

Set your fern in an area of the house that will allow it to get indirect sunlight for about four hours daily. Too much direct sunlight will dry it out or even burn the leaves, so it's better to place it in a partially shaded area. Room temperature should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water your fern fairly regularly, but be aware that these plants can be overwatered. Stick your finger in the soil to test whether your fern needs to be watered. If it's fairly moist, then you may skip watering for the day. If, however, it feels slightly dry, then add water directly to the soil (making sure not to pour over the leaves) until it becomes evenly moist. If you notice black roots, reduce the amount of water you pour, as this is an indication of overwatering.

Add plant fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (for instance, a 20-20-20 mix) once monthly between March and October. If you notice the foliage colors turning lighter green, then you may want to get a mixture with more nitrogen. Avoid feeding your fern during the winter months. However, it is a good idea to mist it during the winter.

Inspect your fern periodically for diseases. Typical signs of disease include yellowing and withering of leaves, as well as drooping of foliage or brown spots on the leaves. If it seems that your fern has a disease, spray it with an insecticidal soap.


October 24, 2011

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) Plant Care

This is my Dumb Plant. It started out at 7'' tall and now it's over 3 feet. 

Dieffenbachia requires moist soil, so water frequently. You may also place a tray under the pot with water in it to help in keeping the plants soil moist at all times. This houseplant also requires high humidity levels so misting daily will also help keep the Dumb Cane healthy.

This houseplant prefers to be within 5 to 8 feet of a window, but will survive lower light levels. However please caution against placing the plant anywhere near drafty areas. The Dieffenbachia also prefers temperatures above 60 F.

The Dieffenbachia contains a toxic sap thus giving the name Dumb Cane, so please keep out of reach of children or animals that may try and eat the plant. It is one of the many poisonous houseplants you may have in your home.

Common varieties of the Dieffenbachia include the Exotica Compacta, Australian, Tropic Marianne, Paradise, Camille and Tropic Snow.

October 23, 2011

Cycad/Sago Palm Plant Care

I sold a pair of shoes on Kajiji and with the money I bought this pretty. It's it a beautiful plant? Turns out this plant dates back to when the dinosaurs roamed the earth! Crazy right?! AND one plant can live up to 1000 years! It's that amazing? 

(See those sort of yellow pieces in the middle? Five new branches starting to grow!)

I thought seeing as this is such an incredible plant I would shared a bit more about it.

Here is a great video to get you started.

Common Name: Sago Palm
Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta
Lighting: Moderate to Bright Light
Water: Low
Origin: Tropical Asia

The Sago Palm prefers bright light, but will also tolerate moderate levels as well. Try to keep the plant near light or else new growth will dramatically lean towards the light. It also is a good idea to turn the plant slightly every couple of days to keep the plants shape.

You should allow your Sago palm to dry out (not 100%, maybe 85%) in between waterings. If you are successful at growing cactus or succulents, you'll do well with this plant. Their watering also should follow according to the amount of light they receive. If it is placed in an area with lower light levels, you may only need to water it every couple of weeks. If matured foliage begins to yellow you are probably over watering the plant. (Take care to water the soil, not the crown of the plant which can lead to crown rot and may kill the plant).

This houseplant is pretty hardy. It doesn't seem to have a real temperature preference and do not have any humidity requirements but does prefer humidity if you can give it. During dry months, a daily misting will add some extra lift to your plant.

The only downfall to this houseplant is that they are extremely slow growers; so do not be discouraged if your plant doesn't appear to be growing. Source

Up to 6 ft (1.8 m) indoors. Can be kept dwarfed by growing it in a small pot. Sago Palm is also popularly grown as a bonsai tree. 

Normal room temperatures 60-75°F, 16-24°C

Cactus mix works well. Or combine 2 parts peat-moss based potting mix and 1 part sharp sand or perlite.

Seeds take months to germinate and years to grow into a tree. Everything about this plant is s-l-o-w. Mature plants grow offsets -- called pups -- that can be separated and planted into their own containers.

Feed monthly spring through fall with a liquid fertilizer (such as 18-6-18) diluted by half. Only fertilize when watering to avoid fertilizer burn. A slow-release fertilizer also works well, but I only use half the amount recommended on the package. The leaves will shrivel and dry up when it has been over-fertilized. Source

October 18, 2011

Amarylis Plant Care

I was at the MCC on a thrifting trip around Manitoba and I got two of these plants! I didn't really know what they were when I got them but the lady there tried to explain them to me but I thought either way for $1 each I couldn't really go wrong. 

Like every time I get a new plant; I took pictures right away and starting looking up care instructions. And of course then is started on this post! So here's what I found on this wonderful plant! 

Quick Tips:

  • Planting PeriodOctober until the end of April.
  • Flowering PeriodLate December until the end of June.
  • Flowering time is 7-10 weeks.
  • Larger bulbs produce more flowers.
  • Always store un-planted bulbs in a cool place between 40-50 deg. F
When it's blooming:
A blooming amaryllis does NOT need to sit in a bright room or sunlight. Heat & light causes the bloom to wither. Blooms may last several days to a week. Be careful to not let the pollen get on fabrics - it can stain some cloth.

When it's starting to grow:
Water your amaryllis thoroughly right after you plant it (or repot it), and allow the soil surface to dry a bit before watering it again. Place it in a warm spot to stimulate root growth. A sunny spot is best. If you try to rebloom your amaryllis in dim light conditions, the flower stalk will grow long and your amaryllis will be more prone to breakage or tipping. Wait until the first flower has opened to move the plant to a location with subdued light and cool temperatures to preserve the flower as long as possible. 

(This is mine. It's coming along. It already has one new leaf so that's a good sign!)

There is a lot to this plant and it has different care all throughout the year so it's a little hard to condense info about it; so if you want to read more about this great plant go here and here! Oh and here!  

October 8, 2011

Double Late/Sun Lover Tulipa Care

Aren't these pretty? I think they look a lot like circus roses which are my favorite flower so when I found these and that I could grow them here I was very excited! I planted all my bulbs already so now I just sit and wait till spring!

Bloom Time:  May
Color:  Red and Yellow
Foliage Color:  Green
Hardiness Zone: 3,4,5,6,7

Description: Unbeatable for large flowers and brilliant color.  The flowers of this standout double-late tulip are a vibrant golden yellow with light red brush marks—a color so bright and vibrant that they seize attention even from across the yard.  Tall and vigorous, Sun Lover grows 20- to 24-inches and blooms in May.  Plant a bed full to brighten the entire garden and cut some for spectacular bouquets.

Plant 6'' deep and 5'' apart. Cover with mulch to add extra protection in the winter. They can be in full sun to part shade.

October 3, 2011

Growing Hycinths Inside

I'm really curious to try this. I think I will let my bulbs multiply outside first a bit and then take one inside one fall and do this. It seems like it would be pretty easy!  And I love how they calling it forcing the bulb. I'm not sure why but I think it's neat!

Forcing is easy if you use a special bulb glass that supports the bulb as it roots in water.
You can also care for hyacinth plants indoors in containers. A hyacinth plant will also do well in containers so long as you can plant them deep enough.

Here are the steps to follow to force hyacinths:

  1. Cool the bulbs for 8 to 10 weeks in the refrigerator if you don’t buy pre-chilled bulbs.
  2. Set the bulbs one to a bulb glass with the pointed side up so the water just touches the bottom of the bulb. Keep each bulb in a cool, dark place until you see a mass of roots floating in the water and a 3- to 4-inch shoot with the flower bud coming out of the center.
  3. When the shoot appears, move the bulb to a sunny location and watch the water level being sure it is maintained.

    In a few weeks you will have a beautiful flower to enjoy. Because the hyacinth plant bulb uses up all its energy during the forcing process, you can simply discard the bulb after the blooms fade.

    October 2, 2011

    Devil's Ivy Plant Care

    Native to: Solomon Islands
    Growing Habits: A low growing vining plant generally not over 18" tall unless grown on a pole. Vines can reach 10 feet in length.
    Flowers: No
    Temps: Normal indoor temps
    Humidity: Not critical
    Lighting: Low, indirect light

    When you first bring home a new Golden Pothos plant that was purchased from the local garden center, the plant will have an over abundance of leaves due to the excellent lighting conditions of the greenhouse. In the home or office environment lighting is not as good, so the Golden Pothos will naturally shed leaves during the acclimation process. Don't be to alarmed if your new Golden Pothos plant sheds 20 or 30 leaves during its first month at its new home.
    Golden Pothos can be kept virtually anywhere in the home or office. If there is enough light to read by, you can grow a Golden Pothos in that location. About the only place a Golden Pothos won't thrive is full hot sun and total darkness.

    Check the soil of a new Golden Pothos every few days for watering until you become familiar with the plants needs. When the surface soil has dried about 1/2" down it's time to water. Usually once a week. Water thoroughly all the way around the plant until water runs from the drainage holes. Excess water should be removed to help prevent root rot. Golden Pothos is not finicky about water quality, so regular tap water will be just fine.

    Propagating Pothos is really easy. When the vines become unmanageable, trim them back to any where you like. The vines can be easily rooted in water or vermiculite.


    September 16, 2011

    My Mystery Vine....Clematis- Warsaw Nike

    Product Description:

    Clematis Warsaw Nike, Clematis 'Warsaw Nike', produces mysteriously dark violet-red 5" flowers that have a velvety texture with contrasting golden stamens. The ruffled petals overlap each other and have curled edges. 'Warsaw Nike' is more tolerant of shady sites and poor soils than most clematis. Clematis 'Warsaw Nike' needs a supporting structure to grow properly, and it is easy to grow with a rich, porous, alkaline soil that has plenty of room for the roots to spread. Best performance is when the tops are in full sunlight and the roots are shaded, but will thrive and bloom in shade. Apply a generous mulch or a shallow-rooted ground cover near the base of the vine. Very reliable performers once established; they take a season or two. Prune lightly above the new leaf buds in early spring and remove any dead or weak stems. 

    So I had this vine in my yard and I wasn't too sure what it was. I was waiting for flowers....nothing last year...nothing this year.... and then last night when I was mulching all my plants I saw this...

    I knew what it was and was so excited!! I couldn't remember the name but a little help from my friend Sheri and I found the name: Warsaw Nike Clematis.

    I was thinking of buying a couple of these this spring but then when I read how to plant them I wasn't confident I would do it right so I decided I had already taken on enough for this year but now I have them already so it's good I waited!

    I had transplanted part of this vine to another location and it's already started a couple new vines so I know the roots are happy. I look forward to it growing and filling that space next year.

    Isn't it fun finding all the great things people leave behind (when you move into a new house)?

    Anyways, so as I always do with a new plant I post the care for it.

    The location should be sunny, for at least half of the day.

    For the proper Clematis care, your soil should be rich, loose, well-drained, soil that will permit the roots to run freely. With that said, You should realize that digging a little bity hole, and stuffing the roots of the Clematis into it, isn't going to allow it to do that, so... Dig the hole much bigger than needed, and put in that organic stuff! This gives the roots maxium aeration.

    When planting, spread the roots out and cover with soil. Press down lightly, and water well. The roots must become established before the top growth occurs. They like their tops to be in full sun, but their roots shaded. Applying a thick layer of garden mulch wil keep the roots shaded.

    The roots must become established before the top growth occurs. They like their tops to be in full sun, but their roots shaded.

    Be sure to keep watered during dry spells.

    Where To Plant

    It is best to protect your Clematis from strong winds. 

    Arbors and Trellis's are good supports for them. They look stunning growing up your mail box pole, or lamp post.

    Fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once a year during the growing season. Put the fertilizer right on top of the mulch, no closer than 2-3 inches from the stems, to avoid burning. Be sure to water it in well.

    September 7, 2011

    St. Brigid Anemones Care

    Aren't these beautiful? I bought some bulbs at Costco the other day. I planted them already but then read more about them and realized they're not going to do well over winter with the cold so I'm going to have to dig them up and store them inside until spring, but now I'm really excited to get to plant them then! If you can I suggest giving this flower a try!


    • Suitable Zones: 3–9
    • Hardy Zones: 6–9
    • Spacing: 2"
    • Height: 8–10"
    • Blooms: Summer (1st year); spring thereafter
    • Ships as: Package of 15 bulbs
    • Full sunFull sun
    • Partial shadePartial shade
    • Good for cuttingGood for cutting
    • Deer resistantDeer resistant



    Anemone coronaria is in the Buttercup family and native to the Mediterranean. The St. Brigid group is a collective name for the double-flowered varieties, also known as poppy anemones. Ours is a colorful mix of red, white and violet double blooms in various shapes. They have strong stems and are long lasting in bouquets.


    Soak the tuberous bulbs in lukewarm water for 5-6 hours or overnight before planting. The bulbs will swell with water, which will give the roots a head start. It may be hard to tell which end is up on these irregular, flattened bulbs, so plant them sideways and the roots and shoots will find their way. St. Brigid anemones do best in moist, well-drained soil in a semi-shady spot, like under deciduous trees. If planted in full sun, provide plenty of moisture. They are most eye-catching when planted in groups of at least 5-10. Plant 2” deep and 2” apart; space a bit closer if planting in containers. Water well and mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds. To prolong the bloom period, plant bulbs in succession every couple of weeks.


    St. Brigid anemones are low maintenance. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong the bloom period. Anemones require a dormancy period after flowering, preferably with dry conditions. After blooming, slowly cut back on watering and allow foliage to die back, which usually happens by midsummer. Feed with an all purpose fertilizer in the spring when shoots appear.


    St. Brigid anemones are hardy in USDA zones 6-9. Apply a layer of mulch in the fall for added protection. In colder zones, either treat the plants as annuals or dig up the bulbs for the winter. Allow to air dry in a cool, dry area for several days. Store in bags or boxes in peat, sand or vermiculite in a cool area.

    September 6, 2011

    My Flower Garden

    So I decided to dig up a space on the side of our house and turn it into a flower garden. I wanted to have cut flowers in my house all throughout the summer and I don't like paying stupid prices for flowers so I thought this would be a great project for me.

    (This was it a few weeks ago)

    It was tricky because I had to find flowers that could do with park shade and I find all the common ones seem to like a lot of sun (any suggestions of something you love I'm all ears).

    I started buying the flowers pretty late but I think they'll hold over winter (I only really buy perennials. I feel like I'm wasting my money on most annuals). I got a lot of really great deals and even got one that looked totally dead (for free) and I've nursed it back to health which I am very excited about!

    I thought to keep myself organized and to plant things in the best places I better do myself up a plan. And now I figure I'd do a post about all the flowers I'm growing. I think I'm likely more excited about doing this post them most of you would be about reading it but it's my blog, and it's here for me to express myself so I'm going for it. (I love doing posts like this where in a year I can look back and see how much things have grown!! So satisfying!).

    I've put together a little before and after sort of thing. I've found pictures of each of my plants in bloom and then I've taken pictures of what they look like right now.

    Daffodils (Just planted the bulbs)

    Bleeding Heart (There are a lot of roots the ground, it's going to be large next year)


    Lamb's Ear (No not a flower but I thought it would add a little something to the area)




    Hybrid Golden Rod

    Fox Glove
    Aster "Alpinus" dark Beauty

    Habenera white/red Tipsbells

    Monk Shood

    Drumstick Thrift

    Sea Holly

    Pink Cone Flowers

    Three Flowering Avens


    Snow Cap

     St. Brigid Anemone
    (I will be planting the bulbs in spring because they don't winter well around here, it's too cold)

    Sun Lover Tulipas
    (just planted the bulbs!)

    (just planted the bulbs!)

    Clustered Bell-flower


    White Daisies

    Chinese Lanterns
    (I planted these somewhere else but I'm going to start some from seeds again next spring and plant them in the flower patch)

    Lily of the Valley
    Pink Lily

    Jacob's Ladder

    Dame's Rocket Mix

    Tiger Lily
    Chinese Astibe

    Wow, I have a lot more plants then I realized! It's going to be so pretty next year!! I can't wait to show you more photos then!

    (I also have this fern that's going to spread and fill in some of the empty spots. It's already got five new shots growing so now it just needs time)