Houseplants

Learn how to grow common houseplants indoors as a way to clean your air. Listen to podcast: I recently heard a story about NASA sending basil and turnip seeds to the moon in grow chambers to see how they will germinate in that gravity-less, high radiation environment. It prompted me to remember the now famous research NASA also did on house plants. When looking at long term stays on the space station, one of the challenges was to produce clean air for astronauts to breathe. We all know plants are […]

Sun Requirements Bright indirect light is best. They also grow well under grow lights. Bloom Period and Seasonal Color African violets bloom on and off all season long especially if grown under lights Mature Height x Spread 4 to 16 inches tall and wide, depending on the variety. Some miniatures are literally only a few inches tall. African violets are a forever popular plant that delight growers with their diversity of flower colors and shapes. Although they are native to Africa and grow outdoors there in the mountains, they are […]

Sun Requirements Bright indirect light and part shade is best, but some newer selections can take more sun. Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Caladiums are mostly grown for their colorful leaves and rarely flower. Mature Height x Spread 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety. Caladiums are subtropical bulbs that produce colorful leaves. The plants can reach to 3 feet tall, but most selections are between 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. Caladiums are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11. Like dahlias and canna […]

Learn how to take care of Christmas cactus, poinsettia and other holiday plants after the holidays. Listen to Podcast: Now that you’ve put away all your holiday decorations, what are you going to do with those holiday gift plants still adorning your house? Like many gifts, some are worth saving and others are better regifted. So let’s go through the list of holiday gift plants and I’ll tell you what I think you should do with them. Some plants require special growing conditions to look beautiful at the holidays. These […]

Learn about how to grow Christmas cactus to flower this winter in your home. Listen to Podcast: This common flowering houseplant is native the southeastern, coastal mountains of Brazil. It flowers in May in the Southern hemisphere in response to the shorter day lengths. Europeans starting breeding this plant in the 1800’s and now it’s one of our most treasured symbols of the holidays. It’s the Christmas cactus. Christmas cactus is actually a misnomer. This plant can bloom from November to March and it’s not really a cactus. Christmas cactus […]

Listen to this podcast on how to grow and care for cyclamen flowers.   This houseplant and, sometimes garden plant, originated in the Middle East and has spread throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Its name is derived from the Greek, “Kuklos”, which means circle, referring to the shape of the tubers and leaves. It’s a beauty, but also was use medically to treat depression. The tubers were even fed to pigs, hence the common name, pig bread. What’s this flower? It’s the cyclamen. This time of year you’ll see […]

Learn the easiest and best houseplants to grow indoors. Listen to podcast:   I’ve talked before about the air cleaning benefits of houseplants. Well, houseplants can help us in many more ways, especially in the dead of winter. Researchers for years have verified what many of use already feel about plants. Having plants in the home and workplace reduces blood pressure, raises attentiveness and well-being, reduces anxiety and increases productivity. But for black thumbs in the audience having houseplants that die can just contribute to plant guilt. Here’s a solution, […]

Learn about mistletoe and how to have it for the holidays. Listen to podcast: Merry Christmas. This parasitic plant has European and American roots. The Druids, Celts, Norse, and Greeks all used this plant to ward off evil spirits and witches. It’s a plant with magical and sacred powers that is said to enhance fertility, peace and extend your life. Modern scientists are even researching this plant to help cure diseases and cancer. Historically stems, leaves and berries of this plant have been gathered round the solstice decorated with ribbons […]

Learn about the easiest orchids to grow and how to care for them. Listen to podcast: They’re everywhere. In garden centers, florist shops, grocery stores and home centers. You’d think with such popularity, orchids would be easy to take care of. But, one of my frequent gardening questions is, how do I get my orchids to bloom again? First of all, the easiest and most widely available orchid type is the moth orchid. It comes in a variety of beautiful flower colors, blooms for months and can grow in our […]

Learn how to poinsettia plants for the holidays including information on getting them to rebloom. Listen to podcast: I recently returned from a trip to India, and while visiting a friend in his garden outside Delhi, I was struck by one brilliantly colored, red plant. This five-foot-tall and -wide plant looked familiar. Upon closer inspection, it was a poinsettia. While we mostly know poinsettias as those potted holiday plants, they actually are a shrub in their native Mexico. The name comes from an American who brought them into the gardening […]

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