Houseplants

Becoming A Plant Nerd

By Christina Timm

Living in Minnesota we can all agree that it’s no surprise that we spend most of our time indoors during the winter, but this holds true all year round. On average Americans spend about 22 hours indoors a day. Now if you are a gardener or a plant enthusiast, this probably does not hold true for you. Bur for most of us we are spending time at home, in our cars, and at work indoors. While it might not be realistic to change our routine and get outdoors there are ways to bring a little bit of nature inside. How do we do this you might ask??

Houseplants!!!

When we buy our first houseplant we don’t really realize what we are getting ourselves into. One turns into two, two turns into three, and before you know it all your windows are filled with a variety of plants and we are calling ourselves plant parents. Even when we think there is no more space, we always make space.

Discover the Benefits of Houseplants!!

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For those who have houseplants, you can relate to the bond that is created when owning them. We take pride in the fact we can take care of something and keep it alive. It never amazes me how plants can have different personalities. Depending on their light requirement, water intake, or foliage type each plant acts a little different.

The Cactus

I think we all can relate to the types of plants that sit there and look dangerous. You know… cactus. They don’t require a whole lot of attention and that’s why they are great to have on a sunny windowsill and let them be. It’s great to maybe sometime forget about them but come back to a happy plant nonetheless. That’s what makes cacti so great: their lack of needing water. Which brings us to our next plant type.

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Succulents

The sit there and look pretty plant: succulents! Succulents are a lot of fun, but sometimes can be tricky. They absolutely love the sun and can’t seem to get enough of it. Like the cactus they don’t require a lot of water either, which makes them great plant starters for new plant owners that are busy. However, too much water and you have an over-watered plant that just can’t seem to recover.

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Note to self: there is such a thing as loving your plants too much!

Water

Finding the right watering regimen is probably the trickiest part as a new plant owner. It’s all about getting to know your plant and what it likes. “How often should I water??” It’s the dreaded question we as retail team members struggle with, because it all depends on where you put it in your house. Window or no window, draft or no draft, a lot of light or no light, what your house temperature is normally, and so on.

Discover our H2O Grow water!

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Alongside your watering regimen knowing how much water to provide at a time is another factor. This heavily depends on the container size. If you have a small container with a foliage plant, you don’t want to water excessively and run the risk of standing water. Someone once told me that you should water about ¼ of the container size. And of course, it goes even deeper when you have different plants that prefer different amounts of water. There are so many variables that decide how often you should water.

My Process

For example, on average, and this is a rough estimate, I water most of my foliage plants every other day and my succulents every 4 days. I say this is a rough estimate because certain plants dry out faster than others and I have a wonderful sunny window, so my cacti and succulents get a lot of sun. However, all this can change depending on the temperature. A cooler temperature requires me to water less frequently. So, you can see there are a lot of factors that play into being a plant owner.

I wanted to share my plant parenthood journey with all of you because it’s fun to learn what other people do and how we take care of our plants differently. Most of my plants have been with me for a year or greater. I have been able to get to know my plants and they have also helped me discover what they prefer. Owning and taking care of plants can be a great accomplishment and I wanted to share what I discovered along the way.

Take a few moments to comment below and explain your houseplant process, if you have any questions on the types of plants you see in the photos, or if you have questions on my watering schedule.

Remember: Every plant has a different personality so take a couple weeks to discover what they are like.

Benefits to Houseplants

By Christina Timm

Aesthetic Appeal

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To all our green thumb plant parents, we understand the struggle of leaving the garden center with yet another houseplant that we know we don’t need, but gosh darn it, we want it. And why not? Houseplants can play multiple-benefiting roles in your home. For starters, a plant can change the look of a room by bringing a piece of nature indoors and creates a warmer environment for friends and family to enjoy.



Air Purifying

Ferns emit high contents of oxygen which makes them great plants to purify your home. The Boston fern is a common household fern with traditional foliage requiring filtered sunlight. They are an easy-care plant when a watering schedule has been established. However, there are a variety of exotic looking ferns that can be treated as a houseplant. The Adiantum capillus-veneris and the birds nest fern both have unique foliage providing different textures to your home.

Other Plant Purifiers: Palm, Money Tree, Spider plant, and Tradescantia Zebrina

Pet Friendly Plants

Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant

Another important factor to think about before selecting a houseplant is whether the plant is safe for pets and little ones. The following are a few pet-friendly and child safe houseplants that will make a great addition to your home.

The Prayer Plant is a multicolored houseplant with such unique features. The foliage of a prayer plant combines soft hues of green with striking reddish pink lines. It has been named the prayer plant because of the shape of its new leaves. As a new leaf emerges from the stem it uncurls resembling that of praying hands, hence the name Prayer Plant. They enjoy bright indirect light, moist soil, but not wet.

 

Air plants are great for small spaces and limited care. Buro’s Tail is a safe succulent and is one of the few that would look good in a hanging container. The Ponytail palm adds flair and volume to a space. Herbs like Basil, Thyme, and Sage are safe to grow in your home and will add flavor to your cooking.

Air Plant

Air Plant

Non-pet Friendly Plants

Below are a few other popular houseplants that are, unfortunately, not safe for pets. Most can cause irritation to the mouth when ingested while also causing intestinal problems.

 The Dieffenbachia is known for its beautiful variegated foliage and lush tropical look. However, this is not a plant for pets and little ones. The sap of a Dieffenbachia can cause numbness when touched and could interfere with the ability to speak if the sap gets near your mouth. As a precaution, wear gloves when handling/transplanting and wash your hands afterwards. This plant thrives off indirect light.

 Crotons are a tropical plant that come in a variety of colorful foliage. With polka dots and stripes Crotons add beautiful color all year long. Crotons are toxic to pets if ingested, causing digestive upsets.

 Pothos are one of the easiest houseplants no matter what your level of green thumb. They can grow in bright indirect light or very little light. Provide a container with rich soil or grow in a vase of water. Honestly, it would take some effort to kill a Pothos.

What Houseplant should you choose?

Next time you are deciding on your next houseplant, we recommend doing a little research to make sure it will fit your home and the little creatures that may live in it. We believe houseplants and all plants bring joy to our lives. So, if you have an open shelf or an empty spot in your home, fill it with a beautiful living plant!

The Tillandsia Air PLant: Care tips

By: Christina Timm

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When air plants first started trending they looked fake having no root system at all. I thought to myself, is that thing even real. Some looked soft and hairy, others were different colors, some were small, and others were very large. Some even had a bright flower growing from the center, which had the appearance of looking fake. Little did I know at the time, a few years back, that these are most definitely real, living creatures.

With every new trend it can take some time to appreciate the beauty of something new and upcoming. All the qualities listed above that once I thought strange, are the very things that make air plants so unique and interesting. Let's be honest, a plant that survives with no soil whatsoever is very mysterious indeed! However, air plants have more depth than I first realized! Here is what I gathered being a parent to an air plant for some time.


About

Air plants are fascinating in many different ways. The most fascinating would have to be they can survive without soil. Being native to places like southern United States, Mexico, Central and South America they instead attach their roots to other surfaces like rocks, trees, and the ground to stabilize. There are more than 650 different types of Tillandsias, but here at Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery we carry about 5-6 different kinds. So, knowing that air plants survive without soil, how do we take care of them? You've come to the right place! Water, light, and air seem to be the most important elements to a healthy air plant. 

Water

 
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It is recommended that your air plant should be soaked once a week for 5-10 minutes in room temperature tap water. After soaking always let them air dry before placing them back in their home. They prefer to fully dry between soakings. If you have a drier climate it is recommended they be soaked 2-3 times a week.

Tip: If you find yourself having a busy week and there isn’t enough time to soak, at the very least mist your air plant using a spray bottle.


 

Light

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Place in a bright, filtered or indirect sunlit area.  Morning sun is ok, but they do not like a full sun window. Too much sun can cause the leaves to burn and turn brown.

Food

Just like any other plant, air plants get hungry too! For optimal plant care fertilize once a month by adding a bromeliad mix to the water during one of your regular soakings.


Air

Air plants do prefer air circulation, hence the name air plant. Being in an enclosed area increases moisture that the air plant does not prefer. Much like the succulent, it prefers to dry out between regular soakings.

Grooming

It is normal as your air plant grows and acclimates to its new environment that the lower leaves may dry out. Gently pull them right off. If you notice the tips drying out, you can snip them right off.

Tip: Trimming at an angle will help keep a more natural-looking appearance.

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Tillandsia Capitata - Native to Mexico, Honduras, and Cuba.

Tillandsia Capitata - Native to Mexico, Honduras, and Cuba.

Varieties

At Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery we sell a variety of different Tillandsia species. These are the most common ones that grow on our shelves.

The Capitata (Top Left) is a beautiful color-changing air plant with striking red foliage.

The Juncea (Top Right) is one of the taller air plants that stretches its long, thin leaves upward.

Tillandsia Juncea - Native to northern South America, Central America, and Mexico.

Tillandsia Juncea - Native to northern South America, Central America, and Mexico.

Tillandsia Bulbosa - Native to Central America, the West Indies, and southern Mexico.

Tillandsia Bulbosa - Native to Central America, the West Indies, and southern Mexico.

The Bulbosa (Bottom Left) is a very curly variety that is the easiest to care for and does not require any soakings; only 2-3 mistings a week.

The Pseudobaileyi (Bottom Right) is another larger air plant with hues of dark green colors and soft leaves.

Overall Tip: Don't worry about harming your air plant... they will regrow!!

Tillandsia Pseudobaileyi- Native to Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Tillandsia Pseudobaileyi- Native to Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Ways to Decorate your Home With a New Air Plant

So, now we know how to take care of an air plant, but how do we incorporate them into our living space? Here are a few unique and simple ways to decorate any home. There are a few ways to create an air plant holder that are fun and makes it easy to access the plant. 

One Item: Two Holders

Hitting the local craft store I was able to find a jar and lid that fit my needs all in one to create two simple air plant holders. Using the lid I was able to glue a piece of fun-printed plastic to hold colored-glass and moss to support the air plant.  For the jar portion I used some natural cord creating a macrame holder, tying knots to support the glass. On the inside I layered sand, rocks, and moss to create a soft bed for the air plant. 

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It's time to Wash Away Winter!

By: Christina Timm

It may not feel like Spring outside, but living in Minnesota we must make do with what the weather throws at us. Just because we have snow on the ground and it’s mid-April doesn’t mean we must give in to winter holding on. There are still ways to add color to the inside of your home. Incorporating different elements like texture, height, and color can add a little spring color into your home.


Adding Texture

"Draw people in to get a closer Look!"

Texture is a fun element to play with, and when it comes to plants it seems like the options are endless, but knowing how to compose a balance between container and plant can sometimes be a challenge. The human eye is drawn to color, so it’s only human nature to want to match the container color with the flower color. However, instead of making the impact you thought it would it only washes out the beauty of the flower itself. Instead, try pulling from the color in the plant’s foliage. The Cyclamen is a very easy to care for plant with a unique marble-like design on its foliage. Pairing the silver tones in the foliage with a metal, soft-textured container we can highlight the unfitness of the plant without overshadowing it.

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Increasing Height

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"Reach for the sky when space is limited!"

It can be tricky to incorporate plants into small confined areas, but this doesn’t mean you must give up your dream of adding some greenery. Finding a plant with great vertical height might be all you need. The Calla Lily is great for an area with little space. This tall, slender plant adds a pop of color in red, orange, or pink, against bright green dagger-like foliage. Paired with an industrial-shaped container to complement its linear form, it’s ready to add some height for an indoor area with limited space. Add a blanket of moss to tie the look together, adding a soft finishing touch to an overall rigid composition.


Keeping it Modern

"Sleek and sophisticated with a pop of color!"

When we think of a modern living space we generally think geometric shapes, uniformity, and simple colors. So how do we combine this environment with mother nature’s greatest gift? Keep it simple, play with color, and find a pattern. The Asiatic Lily is a great plant to play with because of its stunning color and what better way to add a pop of color. The round shape and the pattern of the container screams contemporary, which will work well with any room tones. Playing with the linear lines of the plants stalks and the pattern on the container we create a balance between plant and container.

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Pop of Color

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"Let the container do the showing and the plant do the growing!"

Sometimes it can be challenging coming up with ways to add color to a living space without overwhelming the eyes. However, it can be done!  Take this container for instance: bold in orange color and stretching tall, it may seem intimidating. When paired with a solid green plant like this Schefflera, its shiny green, rounded edges softens the loud container complementing it well. Its long, beautiful leaves stretch over to completely conceal the container, hence its nickname, the Umbrella Tree.

How to make a Kokedama String Garden

By: Christina Timm

Materials Needed:

  • Peat Moss

  • Lynde Soil

  • Water

  • Sheet Moss

  • Wax-Coated String

  • Scissors

  • And of course, the plant of your choice

10 Easy Steps on how to create a Kokedama String Garden

Step 1: Pre-soak the moss and set aside. We’ll come back to it later

Step 2: Loosen and remove the soil from your plant of choice. 

Helpful Tip: Only remove what the roots will allow. You don’t need to remove all of the soil.

Step 3: Mix equal parts of peat moss, Lynde soil, and about a cup of water.

Step 4: Mix until soil is damp, but not muddy.

Step 5: Press soil into a ball form to create your garden, making sure it’s about the same size at the plant’s roots.

Step 6: Split the ball form in half, place the plant in the middle, and press soil around the root system. 

Helpful Tip: Make sure the soil covers all the roots. Be mindful that the soil rests at the base of the plant stem.

Step 7: Lay your moss out flat. 

Helpful Tip: Make sure the moss is not dripping wet. It helps to squeeze out the excess water before laying it out flat.

Step 8: Place your plant and ball form in the center of the moss. Start pressing the moss to the soil to create your garden. 

Helpful Tip: Continue to squeeze the shape to hold the moss to the soil.

Step 9: Wrap the wax-coated string around your garden and tie off the end. Continue to wrap the string until you think all the moss is secure. Cut the end with scissors and tie off the end.

Step 10: If you want to make a hanging Kokedama simply cut three equal length strings and tie off evenly around the garden.

A Kokedama String Garden is a Japanese method of gardening. It means a ball of soil that is covered in moss from which an ornamental plant can grow from.
2. Loosen and remove soil

2. Loosen and remove soil

4. Mix peat moss, Lynde soil, and water

4. Mix peat moss, Lynde soil, and water

6. Split the ball form in half

6. Split the ball form in half

7. Lay moss out flat

7. Lay moss out flat

8. Press moss to the soil

8. Press moss to the soil

9. Wrap the wax-coated string

9. Wrap the wax-coated string


And there you have it. A Kokedama String Garden made easy in 10 simple steps!

Think you might need help creating your very own Kokedama String Garden. Register for our class Friday, April 27th. Click here to register!

Hanging Kokedama

Hanging Kokedama

Standing Kokedama

Standing Kokedama