Houseplant of the Week: Philodendron Moonlight

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Moonlight is another bright and beautiful hybrid from the philodendron family. It’s leaves unfurl from a central red base and mature into a light, luminous lime green and mature into a deep emerald color. It’s vibrancy makes it a great addition to your household.

Here are some guidelines when cultivating your Philodendron Moonlight.

Light: Like most philodendron, Moonlight likes bright indirect light. No direct sunlight or you might risk burning those gorgeous leaves.

Water: A tropical plant, the Moonlight philodendron enjoys water in moderation. In the spring and summer, keep the top inch of soil moist to the touch, but starting in September, cut back and llow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.

Soil: A good, fast-draining soil is best. You don’t want your plant sitting in water.

Temperature/Humidity: Moonlight Philodendron likes warmth and humidity. A humidifier, pebble tray or daily misting can make your plant happier.

This Week’s Specials

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All specials below are good through March 10th, while supplies last:
  • 10% off 50lb chicken manure (regularly $8.99)
  • $10 off Planter Greenhouse 72-cell kit (regularly $39.99)
  • 30% off blue and red outdoor pottery
  • 10% off Luster Leaf soil test kit (regularly $22.99)
  • 10% off Luster Leaf professional soil test kit (regularly $39.99)

Houseplant of the Week: Anthurium ‘Zizou’

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The elegant cousin of the traditional red waxy anthurium, ‘Zizou’ blooms almost look like a prayer plant that decided to dress up in pink and purple. The distinctive bend at the top of its long colorful spathe leaves is why this anthurium is often known as the “flamingo flower.”

Native to South America and the Caribbean, this “statement” plant can make a lovely centerpiece on a table in your living or dining rooms, but it will also do well in a kitchen or bathroom as it loves humidity.

Like other anthuriums, Zizou thrives in bright, indirect light. You can have them in low-lit areas and the foliage will do well, but they won’t flower. They are not particularly fussy about feeding (general fertilizer every few months is a good idea), and they like their soil moist but not wet. Only water when the top inch or two has dried out. Periodic misting is also a good idea for this tropical beauty.

Warner’s is celebrating this beautiful plant with a sale: get $5 off your Zizou now until February 25, 2024.

 

Houseplant of the Week: The Money Tree

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Pictures of money tree, Pachira aquatica, outside and in Warner's Nursery

Pachira aquatica, a tropical wetland plant from Central and South America, got its common name “the Money Tree” from a bit of mythology about its origins: a poor man prayed for money and discovered this “odd” plant. After he took it home, he became rich selling the plants he grew from its seeds. Variations of this theme said he was able to make money because the plant wasn’t just one tree – it was five.

Pachira aquatica, the "money tree"And that’s typically what you’ll see in nurseries – a plant that looks like its trunk is braided; it’s actually the five or sometimes even seven plants that are woven together to make one Money Tree.

Although the plant got its start in the Western Hemisphere, it’s also often referred to as a “Chinese” money tree because of its popularity in Asia as a personal or business gift. In Feng Shui, the Money Tree has become a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. 

This is a statement plant, bold and eye-catching that deserves a dedicated spot in your home. In fact, you aren’t going to want to move your Money Tree around a lot, as it will start to drop its leaves. If that happens however, please don’t fret; it will recover.

Here are a few more tips on keeping your Money Tree happy:

  • Go with medium to bright indirect light.
  • Water when this plant is 50-70% dry. They do not have a lot of root mass, so they prefer a dryer pot.
  • Be sure to turn your Money Tree each time you water to allow for even growth and leaf development. 
  • It likes a good misting now and again (remember, it’s a native of the tropics)
  • Feed once a month during spring and summer while new leaves are being produced.
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Houseplant of the Week: Jasmine

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We typically think of Jasmine as an outdoor shrub or vine, making our gardens smell wonderful with its blooms of star-shaped flowers. But you can also grow this plant indoors, and while it’s not difficult, it does require a little more maintenance than many houseplants.

Many indoor Jasmine plants bloom in winter, releasing a sweet fragrance in your home. The most demanding part of this houseplant is creating the conditions that allow it to bloom during winter. This is accomplished by making sure your plant is located in a cool room that gets lots of bright (but indirect) light during the day and is completely dark at night.

These conditions will also allow your plant to blossom more slowly, meaning you’ll get to enjoy its beautiful blooms and fabulous fragrance for a longer period of time.

These plants grow quickly and can either be used as hanging plants or upright with a little trellis support. Because they are vigorous growers, you’ll also need to prune your plant periodically – but wait until after it blooms so you don’t accidentally remove flower buds.

Caring for Your Jasmine

  • Light: Avoid direct sunlight, but make sure you plant gets lots of bright light during the day. During rest periods (dormancy) make sure the room is dark at night and cool.
  • Water: Jasmines don’t like dry conditions or soggy soil, and typically watering once a week will work well. Water less during periods of dormancy.
  • Soil: Make sure your soil is well draining.
  • Humidity. Jasmines dislike dry conditions, so don’t place near heating vents or ducts and consider using a humidifier to keep them moist.

Houseplant of the Week: Firestick Cactus

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Firestick Cactus

The Firestick cactus looks like it’s ablaze, with pencil-like green stems topped with a bright array of fiery colors. A succulent native to South Africa, it provides a distinct silhouette to your plant decor.

In addition to its striking stems, this plant also features tiny green leaves that emerge at the tips of its stems. These leaves, though small, play a crucial role in photosynthesis, helping the plant thrive.

The stems can turn coral, pink, red, or yellow, depending on how much light your plant receives. The basic rule of thumb is that the more sun this plant gets, the hotter its stems seem to “burn.”

Be careful of these stems, however. If you are pruning your plant, you should wear gloves as the white sap that emerges when the stems are cut or break is caustic.

Caring for Your Firestick Cactus

  • Light: Like most succulents, the firestick cactus likes bright, direct sunlight. It will not do well in low light situations.
  • Water: It is very low maintenance and only needs to be watered every 2-3 weeks. In winter you only need to water once every 6-8 weeks.
  • Soil: Use a soil for succulents that is well-draining.

Planting from Seeds

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Speaking scientifically, seeds are the reproductive system of a flowering plant; each one contains an embryonic version of its parent plant.

What they really are is little superheroes, tiny packets of potential that can totally transform bare dirt into beautiful garden beds or containers of flowers, veggies and herbs.

Of course, they need a little help from us to get there. But with some care and commitment, seeds can bring the garden of your dreams into reality.

Here’s my tips for you on how to successfully plant from seeds.

Getting Started

  • Gather the right supplies. In addition to the seeds, you’ll need containers, soil and, eventually, fertilizer. Seed trays are probably the easiest and most convenient way to begin your project.
  • Speaking of Soil… Resist the temptation to repurpose houseplant soil or just get dirt from your garden. Look for a “seedling mix” that is specifically formulated to help grow seeds and is typically a lighter soil, which makes it easier for seedlings to break through the soil once they germinate.
  • Get planting! Moisten your soil and pack it in your container or tray firmly to eliminate gaps. Check your packaging to determine if you should sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil or bury them. Give the planted seeds a little more water with a mister or small watering can. You might want to cover the seeds with plastic wrap or a plastic dome to keep that moisture in before they germinate, removing the cover when you see the seedlings start to grow. 

How to Raise Your Seedlings

Once they poke out of the soil, your seedlings need food and light.

When you see a little green growth, add some fertilizer to provide nutrients and make sure your seedlings are getting the sunshine (or light from an indoor lighting system) they need to grow. A south facing window is best for natural light. If you do use a lighting system instead, remember not to have the lights on all the time. Your seedlings need darkness so they can rest.

Finally, when your seedlings are ready for the great outdoors – and it’s warm enough outside – it’s time to transplant. But I’d suggest exposing your seedlings to the elements gradually before moving them to their final container or garden bed. One way is to leave the seedlings out during the day and bring them back in at night so they can adjust and “harden” to the elements.

Happy Gardening!
Misti

Houseplant of the Week: Philodendron Micans

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The Philodendron Micans, also known as the Velvet Leaf Philodendron or Sweetheart Philodendron, is a popular houseplant prized for its lush, velvety-textured leaves and easygoing care requirements.

The defining characteristic of the Philodendron Micans is its stunning foliage. It emerges as a beautiful coppery-pink shade before the leaves turn a dark green color with a shimmering, velvety texture.

This plant can be trained to climb or trail gracefully from hanging baskets.

Caring for Your Philodendron Micans

  • Light: The philodendron micans enjoys bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the delicate leaves, causing discoloration and crispy edges.
  • Water: Allow the top two or three inches of soil to dry out before watering. If your plant’s leaves start to droop or curl inward, it’s another sign that your plant needs water.
  • Humidity: Like most philodendrons, this plant prefers warm and humid conditions. Normal household levels of heat and humidity will do fine, however, as long as you keep your philodendron away from drafty areas or vents.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix. A mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and peat moss is ideal.

Hanging with Houseplants

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Everything old is new again, and that’s true in the world of houseplants, where one trend that first appeared half a century ago is making a strong comeback.

Hanging plants first became popular in the 1970s, in part because macrame was a common hobby during that time; many homes featured macrame plant hangers, typically with easy-to-grow spider plants inside.

This trend has made a resurgence, but now the reason has more to do with limited space, as more people congregate in urban areas with smaller homes and apartments. 

Hanging plants offer a clever solution to shrinking living quarters. Using vertical space, they maximize your leafy green decor without sacrificing floor area. Strategically placed, they can even create a visual separation between living areas. 

And you are no longer limited to just spider plants! There are many choices readily available at local garden centers like Warner’s Nursery. 

Cascading pothos and philodendrons, trailing air plants, and vibrant string of pearls will create visual interest in any room. Succulents like echeveria, jade, and donkey’s tail offer unique shapes and textures. Indoor ivy and Chinese money plants can be trained to climb up or cascade down, depending on your preference.

Your hanging plant is part of your room design. A cluster of greenery – mixing hanging, windowsill, and floor plants – can give you a mini jungle retreat indoors. Hanging plants can also soften corners, frame windows, and create a privacy “screen” within your home.

Caring for your hanging houseplant will depend on the species you use, as each has its own particular needs, so make sure to check the care label on any plant you purchase. 

But there are some general tips that apply to most hanging houseplants: 

  • Always use a quality potting soil mix that is suitable for your plant.
  • If you are mixing plants in the same hanging basket, try to group plants with similar care needs together.
  • Keep in mind that air in your home tends to get warmer and drier as it rises towards the ceiling, so your hanging plants might dry out a little faster than ones you have on counters, window sills, or on the floor.
  • If you are hanging from the ceiling, make sure to use a strong hook. 
  • Hang your plants in low-traffic areas. The last thing you want is for your plant tendrils to grab people as they walk by. 

If you are looking for a fresh take on houseplants for the new year, why not give hanging plants a try? They’re a budget-friendly way to add life and personality to your home, and their benefits extend far beyond their high-flying good looks. 

Happy gardening,
Misti

Bird’s Nest Fern

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The versatile fern comes in many shapes and forms, but one of the most intriguing is the Bird’s Nest Fern. Unlike ferns that feature wispy leaflets that flutter delicately in the breeze, the bird’s nest grows study, bright green fronds that are typically wavy at the edges.

The fronds emerge from a central rosette, which looks very much like a nest, hence the name.

In their native tropical rainforests, these plants were epiphytic, clinging to the surface of other plants and soaking up the humidity around them. Given the right indoor environment, however, this wonderfully unique houseplant will thrive.

Bird’s nest growing tips:
  • Light: Medium to bright indirect light is ideal. It can survive in lower light situations, but you probably won’t get the groovy ripples in the leaves. As with many plants, you should avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the fronds.
  • Humidity: Your plant will tolerate average indoor humidity, but it would love higher humidity, so think about misting it regularly or keeping it in a steamy bathroom!
  • Watering: Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the top inch to dry slightly between waterings. Avoid getting water directly on the fronds or the “nest.”
  • Do Not Touch: As new fronds emerge from the nest, take care not to touch them; they are very fragile.