As we head into the fall, and as temperatures start to drop, it means closing up those beautiful outdoor spaces we’ve spent all spring and summer creating. (Raise your hand if you’ve had your own staycation in your personal patio paradise.) One silver lining to this situation is that any houseplants which had been relocated outdoors (to perfect those tropical getaway vibes) will soon need to come back in. If you tend to collect houseplants like a lot of us here do, that means the inside of your home is about to get a LOT cozier with houseplants. You still have a little time, but once the temperature starts to drop into the 50’s you’re going to want to start transitioning your leafy friends indoors. To keep your plants happy, we’ve compiled a few easy tips you can follow when bringing them inside.
Before you bring any plants in, spray them down from top to bottom with horticultural oil or Neem oil to suffocate stowaway insects (and their eggs) including mealybug, scale, and aphids.
You’ll also want to treat the soil for fungus gnats which won’t harm the plant but can be a huge nuisance to people. Punch holes in the soil with a pencil and sprinkle Mosquito Bits on top of the soil to stop them in their tracks! You can also use Sticky Stakes to catch some of the adults and stop them from mating. If Mosquito Bits don’t work, you can apply Diatomaceous Earth in the same way to get rid of other soil-dwelling critters from mealybugs to ants to sow bugs.
Give all your plants an appropriate fertilizer as a last hoorah for the season. Just remember most houseplants can take a little break from fertilizer through the coldest winter months, so you won’t need to fertilize again until the spring.
If possible, bring plants in slowly over a week’s time. If the pot isn’t too heavy for you to move around, bring your houseplants in during the cold nights and back out during the day. Once daytime temperatures reach 50 degrees, bring them in full time. If one of your houseplants is used to the full sun, slowly get them used to a little shade before bringing them right inside. The light inside is quite different from the sun outside. In other words, don’t shock your houseplants!
Wash Your Windows
Do a little fall cleaning and clean up the dirt and dust on your windows. In this case, a little dirt can hurt. For those houseplants that need a brightly lit space, like succulents, you would be surprised how dusty windows can really reduce sunlight inside.
There are some plants that are really fond of lots of moisture and sometimes they need a little extra care. For plants such as Easter lily and Gardenia, place a saucer filled with pebbles and water underneath the pot so they can soak up the evaporating water.
Too much water is a common cause of the demise of houseplants, so water on the side of caution. For most plants, allow the soil to dry out a little bit before watering it all the way through again. ZZ, Ponytail Palms, and Begonias would greatly benefit from this practice.
EVERY TWO WEEKS
These plants thrive when you water them sparingly, roughly every two weeks is just right.
- Aloe Vera
- Cast Iron Plants
- Jade Plants
- Orchids ( in Moss no ice cubes!)
- Ponytail Palms
- Sago Palms
- Spider Plants
- Snake Plant
- ZZ Plants
These guys like to be watered a little more frequently roughly every week, keeping the soil moist.
- Dracaena *small amount of water at a time
- English Ivy
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
- Flamingo Flower
- Norfolk Island Pines
- Orchids (in bark, no ice cubes!)
- Pothos *small amount of water at a time
- Rubber Plants *small amount of water at a time
TWICE A WEEK
Our next group really likes to keep the soil moist at all times. However, be careful not to overwater. You do not want the soil soggy, just moist. Water roughly twice a week.
- Areca Palms
- Peace Lily
- Staghorn Ferns
Breathe easy, by bringing the fresh air indoors with houseplants.
Did you know that houseplants can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen? According to NASA, they also remove airborne volatile organic chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. These chemicals are commonly found in things like detergent, paints, and tobacco smoke. Plants also have the ability to increase humidity levels inside, provide you with a less stressful, happier, and greener environment. NASA recommends at least one plant per 100 square feet of living or office space for efficient air cleaning.
Our Glasshouse is an oasis all year long, bringing you colorful plants for all the seasons. Our team is eager to help you find the perfect plants for your home.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Peace lilies- Did you know that this is the perfect plant to put in your bathroom? It will keep mold spores under control by absorbing those spores through its leaves, sending them down to the roots where it turns into food for the plant. Also does a great job of absorbing acetone, which all of us girls use on a regular basis.
- Spider plants- This is a good plant for those of us with allergies. Also good in absorbing carbon monoxide.
- Boston ferns- not only is this a great-looking plant, but this plant is a great humidifying plant and helps restore moisture to the air.
- Aloe vera- this plant not only looks cool but helps heal cuts and burns. But did you know that it also helps rid the air of benzene which is commonly found in paints and chemical cleaners.
- English ivy- This is a good plant for pet owners. It absorbs lots of chemicals given off from pet odors. Also, been known to help you focus better. This is why we often see ivy in a lot of office settings.
- Bromeliads- This air purifying plant is not only one of the most colorful. But it also ranks up there very high among the air purifiers because it has been tested to remove 6 of the top eight chemicals we try to get rid of in our daily life.
- Here are a few more: Dracaenas, snake plants, areca palms, rubber plants, robellini palms, and Chinese evergreens.
So if you are looking for a great air purifier, stop in and take a look at any one of the above, and breathe easy.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HOUSEPLANTS
(BRINGING PLANTS IN FOR THE WINTER)
You invested good money and time into your summer plants. You may have enjoyed tropical Hibiscus, sweet-smelling Gardenias, and luscious Lemons out on your deck or patio all summer long. All of these plants love the summer heat and the more sun they can get, the happier they are. BUT…There is always a BUT, isn’t there?! It is starting to get a little chilly. These plants are going to get a little sad once nighttime temperatures dip below 50 degrees. You don’t want sad plants, do you? I have some tips for cheering them up this fall and winter:
*Bring plants inside slowly. Baby steps always work best. If the pot is not too heavy, bring the plant in at night and back outside on a warm fall day. If you cannot move it in and out daily, tuck it in closer to the house to keep it a little more protected. If you must move it inside in one fell swoop, put it in the sunniest spot in the house if it was used to getting tons of sun outside.
*Treat plants first. Give them a nice shower with Neem Oil or Horticultural Oil. Spray the leaves, top, and bottom. Spray all branches. The oil will suffocate any sneaky insects or eggs trying to make their way into your cozy, warm winter house.
*Treat the soil first. Use a granular Houseplant Systemic Insect control on the soil. The systemic helps to eliminate soil-dwelling pests like fungus gnats. In addition, the plant absorbs it all the way through every branch and leaf, protecting houseplants from the inside out. Aphids, Whitefly, and Scale get one taste and they are toast!
*Treat the soil first. Fungus gnats can be a real bear to get rid of once they lay their eggs in the soil of your plants. They look like little fruit flies and are just as much of a nuisance. You can treat the soil with Systemic Houseplant care or with organic Mosquito Bits. Trust me, take a moment to do this because once Fungus Gnats make your home, their home, you will not be smiling.
*Fertilize. Use a slow-release fertilizer so they can feed slowly while spending the winter months inside.
See, the “BUT” wasn’t so bad. A little attention to your houseplants now will keep them from being sad inside. Keep them happy with a little extra TLC.
Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!
*Systemic Houseplant Insect Control
*Van Wilgen’s All Purpose Control Release Plant Food
Over the last few years, the cactus has become the most wanted and most asked for plant here at Van Wilgen’s.
Almost everywhere you look you can find cacti, whether it’s here in the greenhouse or in any magazine, and even on clothing.
It really doesn’t get any easier than cactus. It truly is the perfect plant for the busy millennial family. They really do take care of themselves with little or no help from you. Their hardiness to handle the hot sun, requiring very little water, and their cool aesthetic-looking varieties make it an easy pick for just about anyone.
Many of our customers have a collection of cacti. They are always coming in to add just one more. You can never have too many, right??
My love for cactus comes from my many trips out west to Arizona and Utah. A trip every cactus lover should do at least once. Arizona is where I had my first prickly pear cactus for dinner. Did you know you can eat cactus?? Although it wasn’t my favorite, I did like it in the form of a prickly pear margarita.
So if you have not yet added cacti to your family of plants at your home, now’s the time to get with the trend and try these easy-care low maintenance plants.
Autumn is a wonderful (some might say the best) time of the year for color. Trees and landscapes turn into amazing shades of reds, golds, and oranges. Everything in the yard makes us want to bring those same colors indoors.
While a cutting arrangement full of autumn flowers is wonderful, they won’t last all season. That’s why we have autumn houseplants. Indoor plants bring a welcoming burst of color during the dark winter evenings and keep homes feeling cheerful.
Keep plants happy during colder months by following directions for your houseplant’s light and water requirements. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Indoor! liquid fertilizer to keep those amazing colors vibrant all season long.
8 Houseplants You Need This Autumn
Invite this bold houseplant to your space this season. The foliage comes in incredible colors of red, green, orange, yellow, and even black! You will not be disappointed. Crotons like bright areas, so place them near a big window.
- African Violet
Bring vibrant hues to your home with African violets. They can be grown almost anywhere there is light and a bit of humidity. African violets prefer full sun in the winter to get their gorgeous color. Rotate them regularly to keep growth even. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Violet! liquid fertilizer to ensure sensational blooms.
Nicknamed the dragon plant, this houseplant brings great texture to any décor. Choose the variety of dracaena that best complements your design styles– such as dark green foliage or red lined foliage. These plants are easily cared for, tolerating low light, but thriving in medium to bright spots, too.
- Lemon Cypress
This holiday favorite brings joy to your home all season long. Keep it trimmed into the cone shape to keep it looking like a miniature tree throughout the rest of the year. Keep it in direct light and cool temperatures.
Mums are a sure indicator of autumn with their yellow, orange, and red hues. Put them anywhere they can get bright filtered light during the day but remain in the dark at night. They look great on shelves and desks that have some sunlight hitting them.
- Goldfish Plant
A member of the African violet family, the goldfish plant brings a unique orange flower to your home. It’s named for the flower’s fishlike bodies and puckered mouths. Place this plant a few feet away from windows. Its curved stems make this a great choice for hanging.
- Oxalis triangularis
Also known as red shamrock plant, oxalis triangularis is a wonderful addition to any houseplant collection. It has big, reddish-purple, clover-shaped leaves which give it the nickname shamrock. It blooms little pink or white flowers that contrast with the foliage so well. It is a dream to have. Oxalis triangularis doesn’t like direct sun, so anywhere will work for this plant. It is a bulb, so allow for drying in between waterings to prevent rotting.
Known for the bright yellow, it may be surprising to some that bromeliads are offered in a sunset of colors. Bromeliads thrive on low light and minimal watering. So those who are looking for hardy plants, this one’s for you!
Orchids have become a houseplant fan favorite, and rightfully so. The indoor plants add a touch of the exotic to any home and bloom for weeks at a time. Plus, orchids are typically easy to care for and relatively low-maintenance once they are established.
Here are three ways to keep your orchid happy and healthy!
3 Secrets to Orchid Success
1) Light & Temerature
Orchids love light, yet direct sun can often burn their delicate leaves and flowers. Avoid damaging orchids, by placing them near a window with a sheer curtain. Sun rays will seep through the curtain, providing your orchid with just the right amount of light. Or, keep your orchid in a well-lit area in your home to completely avoid the risk of sun damage. While they do love warm temperatures during the day; they also like to keep cool at night, so let your orchid chill at the end of the day in a cooler room. In the summer, if the heat breaks and temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night, you can place your orchid outside to cool. Just be sure to remove it from direct sunlight before morning.
Water is probably where most of you have issues with your orchids. When we say water, we do NOT mean ice cubes. Sometimes when you buy an orchid they come with a tag that says to use one ice cube, but please, throw that tag away and don’t do that. My way of explaining it to most of you is, “how would you feel if you were thirsty and I gave you an ice cube to put on your lips”. First off you wouldn’t get enough water at any given time to quench your thirst. And most important you couldn’t keep it on your lips because it’s too cold. If it’s too cold for your lips it’s too cold for the orchid’s airy roots. If you think about it, orchids don’t have ice cubes in the rain forest where they grow naturally. So instead, just take your orchid to the sink let the water run completely throughout, let drain, and put it back in its favorite spot. Now, relax and enjoy its beauty.
3) Proper Potting
You won’t need to re-pot your orchid very often, typically once a year. Start with Espoma’s Organic Orchid Mix and then plant your orchid in plastic growing pots. These containers have great drainage, avoiding problems related to overwatering.
If you’d like a more stylish pot to add to your décor, simply place the plastic container inside the decorative one.
Follow these simple tips and your orchid will produce beautiful flowers you’ll be enjoying for years to come!