Choosing the right houseplant can be difficult depending on where you live. Some homes have little window space, others run too cool or dry, and others might be too hot. In these instances, you may feel limited in your houseplant selection when you would prefer something like a Croton, but have to settle for a Snake Plant instead. There is a plant, however, that seems to thrive in that goldilocks zone of houseplant care: The Peperomia! Check out some of our favorite species below:
Peperomia ‘Fuzzy Mystery’
Peperomia Caperata ‘Schumi Red’
Peperomia Caperata ‘Napoli Night’
Peperomia ‘Variegated Upright’
We hope you love Peperomia just as much as we do. we are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting variegations and varieties. Keep checking in at our North Branford location to see what’s new!
We hope to see you soon!
Let’s all be honest, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, what is the number 1 gift we tend to give? If you were thinking of flowers you are right! Cut flower arrangements can be absolutely beautiful and grandiose, however, while they are pretty, they tend to only last for 7-12 days. Many people don’t realize, but there are a ton of beautiful houseplants that last way longer than cut flowers. Here are some of our favorite Valentine’s Day houseplants:
If you are thinking of a quintessential flowering houseplant that comes in a multitude of colors–both solid and variegated–then you’ve come to the right place! Orchids can produce multiple flower spikes on one stem and with some fertilizer and pruning, they will flower every year.
One might not consider daisies as an indoor plant, but these sun-loving houseplants are extremely hardy to early spring indoor conditions and thrive on the windowsill. the flowers of this plant come in a variety of warm colors like pink, orange, and red. These flowers will bloom until the harsh temperatures of the summer.
Named for its heart-shaped leaves, this hoya is the perfect plant to represent the season of love. These hoya will continue to grow as time goes on and will produce new shoots and leaves. Eventually this plant will resemble the more traditional hoya shape and structure with longer vines that drape over the edges of the pot.
These begonias are a beautiful winter-spring flowering plant that come in an assortment of colors like red, pink, and yellow. These plants make perfect windowsill additions and will add a touch of bright spring color to the home well after Valentine’s Day has passed.
We hope to see you picking out some Valentine’s Day favorites soon!
With the holiday season behind us, you might be looking at the empty spot where your Christmas Tree once stood, wondering, “What can I put here?” Nothing quite livens up an empty room like a decorative floor plant! With so many varieties to choose from, we wanted to show you a couple of our post-holiday favorites:
Fiddle Leaf Fig
- Can grow beyond 6 feet.
- Prefers bright indirect light
- Water once per week (allow soil to dry in-between watering).
- Naturally purifies and humidifies the air.
- Promotes concentration and mental positivity.
- Can grow up to 3-8 feet tall.
- Prefers bright – low indirect light
- Lightly water every 2 weeks.
- Cleanses the air of chemicals.
- Low maintenance, and perfect for beginners.
- Can grow up to 10-15 feet tall and 8′ wide.
- Prefers bright – medium indirect light
- Water every 1-2 weeks (Allow soil to dry in-between watering).
- Excellent air-purifying abilities.
- Rewarding to grow and support.
- Can grow up to 10-25 feet tall.
- Prefers bright – medium indirect light
- Water every 10 days to maintain damp soil.
- Excellent air-purifying abilities.
- Can promote concentration and focus.
We hope to see you soon!
It’s that time of year again. During the hustle and bustle that accompanies the holiday season, we somehow manage to find the time to continue the time-honored tradition of selecting and decorating the perfect Christmas tree. But after we’ve found that perfect tree, what should you do next? How do we make sure that our “perfect” tree continues to look perfect through the holiday season? This is a common question for us here at Van Wilgen’s, and I would like to go over some very simple steps for keeping your cut tree looking great.
It’s important to note that this article deals specifically with cut trees. We would be more than happy to assist you with any live tree (roots still attached) care at any of our locations. Before I list the steps that I recommend for keeping your tree looking its best, it may help to think of a cut tree like a large bouquet of flowers. Many of the practices we employ with the care of a vase of freshly cut flowers transfer over to our care of cut Christmas trees. Try these tips and I have no doubt you’ll be enjoying that perfect tree through the holiday season!
- Choose a stand that is large enough for your tree. Shaving down the bark to get the tree to fit is bad practice. Those outer layers of bark are the best at absorbing water, which is the most important part of keeping our tree fresh!
- Have a fresh cut done before putting the tree into the stand. This increases the water absorption capability of the tree.
- Get your tree in water AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after making this cut. Keep the cut free of dirt. This is the most critical point. The sooner you can get the tree into the water, the better.
- If you’re not putting the tree into a stand immediately after the fresh-cut, it’s ok! Just be sure to put that tree into a bucket of water until you’re ready to put it up!
- After your tree is in the stand, keep it full of water. Your tree will generally “drink” the most water within the first few days of being set up. It’s critical that the stand remains full of water so check often! At the very least, check daily throughout the holiday season.
- Drilling a hole in the base of the tree does NOT help with water intake.
- The temperature of the water that is added to the stand does NOT make a difference. Also, never add anything to the water to preserve freshness other than products that are specifically formulated to do so. Prolong is a good example of one. Using home remedies or solutions found on the internet have no effect at best, and at worst may hasten the decline of the tree!
- Try to keep the tree away from direct heat sources whenever possible. For example, away from heat vents/registers, fireplaces, direct sunlight, space heaters, etc. Also, use lights that produce less heat such as L.E.D.’s. This has the added benefit of less energy consumption and longer life. Both of which are better for the environment!
In the end, it is all about maintaining and keeping moisture in your tree. If you take the steps to get your tree into water as soon as you can after the fresh-cut and keep the water in your stand full at all times, you will have that perfect Christmas tree looking its best through the holiday season! We hope you have the very best and brightest holiday season! And we look forward to seeing you soon!
It’s that time of year here at the garden center when we peek through the holiday greens on the patio and spot families trudging through our tree fields, decked out in their Sunday best, bags of pre-wrapped gifts or other props in hand. Everyone’s in search of the perfect spot to take the annual family photo. So many of these photos will end up being featured in holiday cards. If your like us and love to make your own cards instead of purchasing store-made ones, we know you’ll want your photos to be extra special.
We also know that in the midst of the yuletide season, with decorating, gift buying, worrying about delivery dates, backorders, and everything in between this holiday season, accomplishing a family photo can feel like an Olympic event! Wouldn’t it be great if someone made it a little easier for you? That’s where we can help.
In addition to our tree field, you can find photo-perfect decorated areas and lovely vignettes for you and your families to pose with. You can stop by one of our classic red barns, pose with one of our tractors or Dimond T truck, or get festive in the tree field. There are also loads of colors and photo-op spots located in the greenhouse and on our front patio. The sky is the limit! It’s a fun, festive time of year and it’s always a joy for us to be able to help.
Just in case you are looking for a few pointers on how to create great photos, here are a few simple tips:
- The best place to get flattering, natural lighting is outside.
- Try shooting in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the squint-inducing glare of direct sunlight.
- Find an area that your family can be in the shade, to secure even, soft light.
- Take a walk around, and see what areas inspire you. The sky’s the limit!
Fall is here which means cool weather and frosty mornings are headed our way. Unfortunately for your plants, there’s no heater or jacket that can help keep them warm, and as a result, some of your plants will begin to look a little sad once temperatures start to drop. If you’re like many gardeners, that means it’s time to hack everything back! Well…maybe not. If you have any of these plants listed below, you’ll want to avoid cutting them to the ground later this fall, or in some cases, cutting them back at all.
- Azaleas: prune these once they’re past flower, but before the fourth of July.
- Rose of Sharon: likes to be left alone for the coming winter and instead cleaned up in the early spring.
- Lavender: Wait until March! Cut out any dead wood at the end of winter to ensure the best new flush for your lavender plants.
- Montauk Daisy: (Nipponanthemum) Cut this woody perennial back to six inches from the ground this fall, rather than all the way to the ground.
- Russian Sage: (Perovskia) If the shape or health of the plant has been compromised, cut it back aggressively this fall, to roughly six inches. If not, leave it alone until early to mid-spring, removing any dead wood and cutting back to where you see new growth emerging. Remember, it’s a late-breaking plant, so give your sage a little extra time to start growing.
- Rhododendron: like azaleas, rhododendrons can be pruned once they’re past flower, but before the fourth of July.
- Roses: like to be left alone for the coming winter, and instead cleaned up in the early spring.
- Geum: Remove any damaged or dead foliage now, but leave the majority of the plant for the winter. You can repeat this process again in April, removing any leaves with winter injury, and even divide it around April or early May, every three to four years, but if you need to cut it all the way back, wait until after it’s past flower.
- Perennial Hibiscus: cut this plant back to about six inches from the ground this fall… not because it will grow from the stump, but rather to keep a marker for you to remember you have this plant. Perennial hibiscus won’t be back in your garden until at least June!
- Summer and Fall blooming Clematis: Wait until spring to clean up any dead wood on these plants, once you start seeing a little new growth.
- Ornamental Grasses: Keep these around all winter to protect the base of the plant, where the new growth will emerge in spring. Don’t cut them back until March at the earliest, or April at the latest.
- Panicled Hydrangeas: like to be left alone for the coming winter, and cleaned up in the early spring.
- Lilacs: prune after they’re past flower, but before the fourth of July.
- Evergreens: can be pruned in mid-spring after the plants have begun to flush lush new growth.
T’WAS THE LAST TIP BEFORE CHRISTMAS, WHEN ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE,
SOME CREATURES WERE STIRRING (MAYBE A MOUSE?)
THE FRUIT FLY TRAPS WERE SET BY THE FRUIT BOWL WITH CARE,
IN HOPES THAT THE FRUIT FLIES SOON WOULDN’T BE THERE.
THE MOUSE BAIT WAS PLACED, JUST STRATEGICALLY SO,
TO ENSURE THE MICE NESTING ALL WOULD GO,
WE WANT THEM ALL TO HEAD BACK OUT INTO THE SNOW!
HOUSEPLANTS WERE ALL NESTLED INTO BED
WITH ALL SEASONS OIL TREATMENT (NO SCALE OR MEALYBUGS TO DREAD!)
WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, IN THE CUPBOARD I HEAR A FLITTER FLATTER
AND I WITH MY PANTRY PEST TRAP SPRANG TO THE KITCHEN TO SEE WHAT WAS THE MATTER
WHAT WAS THAT RUSTLING OUT IN THE SNOW
IT WAS THOSE DEER EATING MY ARBORVITAE
THAT’S WHY THEY NEVER GROW!
OUT THE DOOR, I FLEW LIKE A FLASH
TO QUICKLY APPLY MY DEER SCRAM IN A DASH
THE MOON ON THE BREAST OF THE NEW-FALLEN SNOW,
GAVE THE LUSTER OF TUNNELS FROM MOLES AND VOLES BELOW
WITH A LITTLE RED BAG OF MOLE & VOLE REPELLENT I RAN
TO APPLY THAT MINTY SMELL THAT CRITTERS CAN’T STAND
AND THEN WITH A HAMMERING, I HEARD ON THE ROOF,
A WOODPECKER USING HIS BEAK LIKE A TOOTH
TO GET MY REFLECTOR TAPE, I TURNED AROUND
AND UP THE LADDER, I WENT WITH A BOUND
NOW, WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN, THOSE PESKY OLD DEER
“NOW ELAINE, NOW DARLENE, NOW RYAN, BILL, WILL, AND JASON!
TO THE EDGE OF THE GARDEN! TO OVER THE STONE WALL!
NOW DASH AWAY! DASH AWAY! DASH AWAY ALL!
TWAS A GREAT 2019 WITH ALL OF MY FELLOW EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS
WE CAME UP WITH MANY SOLUTIONS AND DID LOTS OF WORK,
TOOK LOTS OF BUG SAMPLES (THEY REALLY ARE SUCK JERKS!)
YOU PICKED UP LOTS, FROM FERTILIZER TO PRUNERS, TO MAYBE EVEN A HOSE
DON’T FORGET TO PLEASE JOIN US NEXT YEAR (TO PICK OUT THAT PERFECT ROSE)
FOR NOW, I SPRING TO MY LITTLE RED ELEMENT AND TO MY VAN WILGEN’S TEAM GIVE A WHISTLE
AS I DRIVE OUT OF SIGHT, THEY’RE SO RELIEVED THEY DODGED A KISS UNDER THE MISTLE (TOE)
BUT THEY HEARD ME EXCLAIM, AS I DROVE OUT OF SIGHT,
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!”
The holidays are upon us, and nothing brings that festive spirit out more than getting your Christmas tree. For many families, this means gathering up the family and traveling to cut a tree down. But for others, this means going to a nursery to pick out a live tree. While it may seem intimidating at first, decorating and then planting a tree that you can enjoy the rest of your life is simple, and only requires you to follow a few key guidelines.
- Pre dig your hole: By digging now and covering your hole with mulch or straw, you can avoid the hassle of having to dig in frozen ground.
- Slowly bring your tree inside: Your tree will be used to cold temperatures. Before bringing it to your heated indoor space, bring it to an unheated garage or porch first, allowing it to slowly acclimate.
- Plan to keep your tree inside no longer than five days. Any longer and the tree may begin to break dormancy.
- Keep the root ball moist but not overly wet.
- When moving outside, follow the same routine as you did while bringing them inside. Allow a week to readjust to colder temperatures before putting your tree out in the elements.
By following this list, as well as your usual planting instructions, you will be able to enjoy your tree year after year. Happy Holidays!
There’s so much to love about the holiday season — the cooking and baking, the time spent with family and friends, and the festive plants. Poinsettias or a blooming Christmas cactus are compact yet boast of holiday spirit. The more plants, the merrier!
With just a little care, holiday houseplants can continue to thrive throughout the year. Knowing how to care for them helps to keep them beautiful. Repot later if needed.
So whether you’re getting or giving holiday houseplants, use these tips to help keep them blooming.
How to Care for Holiday Favorites
Poinsettia: No other plant quite marks the beginning of the holiday season like the poinsettia. With more than 100 varieties available today in colors of red, white, pink, and more, this plant can be found just about everywhere during the holidays.
First things first, don’t let poinsettias get cold on the ride home from the store. Keep trips and exposure to cold as short as possible. Once home, these cheery plants thrive on six hours of indirect light a day away from cold drafts and need proper watering. When the plant needs water, remove the decorative foil and let soak in a few inches of water for an hour or so. Let excess drain and rewrap.
Tip: Take the poinsettia out of its foil and place it in a decorative container.
Norfolk Island pine: A mini Christmas tree, this festive plant looks lovely when adorned with mini lights and homemade ornaments or just plain on its own.
Give pines about six to eight hours of light per day. Any less and lower branches are likely to drop. Water when dry to the touch. Fertilize Norfolk Island pines bi-monthly with our new liquid houseplant fertilizer to keep them happy and healthy.
Tip: Pines can last for years and be decorated for other seasons as well!
Christmas cactus: Though this cactus is known for blooming around Christmas, it’ll stay strong throughout the year and periodically rebloom. Its ruffled flowers range in color from reds to pinks to oranges and creams.
Give this plant bright indirect light and place it outdoors in a semi-shady spot during the summer months. Allow the plant to become slightly dry between waterings. Keeps this holiday plant reblooming for years to come by giving it a rest during the fall and placing it in the dark for about six to eight weeks, encouraging new blooms.
Tip: No matter how diligent you are about care, bloom time may vary based on variety. Whether or not it blooms in time for the holidays, you’ll still have winter blooms to enjoy.
Cyclamen: Cyclamen’s bright flowers in pink, white, or red are great for adding a pop of color where you need it. With the right conditions, they can bloom for more than eight weeks.
Cyclamen likes light, but not super-bright light. Keep the temperature consistent and deadhead spent flowers and leaves. Pour water into a saucer and let the plant absorb it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Tip: During the summer, cyclamen’s foliage turns yellow and dies back. This is their dormant period when they’re storing energy for the next flowering season.
Each year we gather a few of our favorite things together in an effort to help you find your loved ones the perfect gift!
1. STONE DUCKS range $34.99-$74.99
2. RECYCLED BARNWOOD BIRDHOUSE $54.99
3. FROG RAIN GAUGE $34.99
4. BIRDSEED BIRDFEEDER $11.99