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 […]

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 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 how to grow holiday 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 […]

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 […]

Learn about poisonous holiday plants, including information on which to grow and which to avoid. Listen to Podcast: It’s fun to decorate the house with colorful holiday plants and seasonal greens. They create a warm, welcoming atmosphere during these cold, dark days. But whether you’re decorating your own home or giving holiday plants as gifts, you should keep in mind some can be toxic to pets and young children. The reactions can range from a mild skin irritation, to stomach upset, to a serious reaction needing medical attention. If you […]

Learn about making and growing terrariums indoors. Listen to podcast:   In the 1800’s a London physician called Nathaniel Ward wanted to watch an insect chrysalis transform into a butterfly. He placed it, with some soil, in a glass jar and sealed it shut. To his amazement, but not only did he see the butterfly form, but he also saw ferns and grasses growing in th e bottom of the jar. The plants continue to grow in the sealed jar for 4 years without additions of water. It was the […]

Learn about this unusual houseplant that just needs air and water to survive in your home. Listen to Podcast: Let’s face it. Houseplants just aren’t very sexy. Sure they are green and clean the air, but they’re often just very common looking. Plus, many people get intimated by houseplants, thinking they will kill any plant. Well, the latest houseplant trend changes all that. They are tillandsias or air plants. Tillandsias are types of bromeliads that naturally grow on trees in the topics. What’s cool about these plants is they don’t […]

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