Houseplants can provide year ‘round beauty and interest to all your indoor living and work areas. Looking for another good reason to enjoy houseplants? Studies conducted by NASA show that certain indoor plants can help clean the air that we breathe!
Chances are, there’s a houseplant that’s a perfect fit for every room of your home or office. Exotic tropicals such as orchids, palms, scheffleras and dracaenas add interest to dining, living or bedrooms. Shady characters such as peace lily, grape ivy and Chinese evergreen provide a dose of needed green in lower light situations often found in offices, foyers or dens.
Our popular Garden in a Basket™ creations are perfect for gift giving any time of the year – birthday, anniversary, get-well or just because. They’re always available in our greenhouse or we can custom create one for you.
Not sure what to use? We can help you select the right houseplants for green thumb success.
Click on the topics below for more information on Indoor Plants.
African Violet, formally known as Saintpaulia species, is one of the most easily recognized houseplants in the world. Chances are you’ve grown an African violet, hopefully with success.
African violets have come a long way since the late 1800’s! Thanks to incredible interest and breeding work done over the past 100 years, we now enjoy a wide range of flower colors, growth habit, bloom type, and leaf shapes! Flowers can be single, bi-color, double, bell or star shaped, ruffled and so on. From standard size plants to the ever-popular miniatures, it’s safe to say there’s a different African Violet for every day of the year!
African Violets can be simple to grow and care for, once you know the rules. Light - African Violets prefer bright, indirect light – think western exposure. Avoid full southern exposure as intense direct sun can cause the leaves to ‘sunburn’. Northern exposure would yield insufficient light that can cause the plant’s leaves to stretch and become ‘leggy’. Watering – soil should be kept slightly moist, never soggy. It’s best to allow the top inch of soil to dry somewhat between waterings. Avoid wetting the leaves when watering, carefully water around the crown of the plant – not overhead! This can cause leaf spotting that’s unsightly and lasting. Another option – place pot in a saucer of water for 5-10 minutes, allowing it to soak up water from the saucer. Then drain saucer of all water. Use room temperature water whenever possible; never cold water straight from the tap. Humidity - boost the humidity around your African violets. Use a pebble tray and place the plant on top of, but not in, the water. Temperature – a constant 68 – 72 degree F temperature is ideal. Avoid cold drafts or air below 64 degrees F.
A little bit of TLC goes a long way – remove spent flowers and flowering stems to encourage additional blooms. Fertilize with an African Violet food freely during the spring and summer according to label directions. Cut back on fertilizing during the winter; once a month should be adequate. African violets do take a vacation – so don’t expect them to be in flower all the time. They, too, need a rest!
Aglaonema, another one of those interesting Latin names, for an interesting group of plants. Ag-lay-oh-knee-ma, that’s better! If you refer to it by its common name, most people will know what you’re talking about: Chinese Evergreen.
Aglaonemas are members of the Araceae family, found in tropical areas of Asia. This genus of plants is grown for its beautifully patterned foliage. The flower, called a spadix, adds little, if any, interest to the plant.
Just like Spathiphyllums, Aglaonemas are the mainstay in many mall, office and atrium plantings. Why? They perform nicely in medium to low light areas. Another big plus, they are low maintenance. Provide a little grooming to remove yellow leaves or an occasional dusting and they do quite well.
First and foremost, Aglaonemas are tropical. Many of the newer varieties are tolerant of temperatures to 40 degrees with no reported leaf damage. But the bottom line, they do need it warm. Indoor temperatures in the 60 and 70’s should prove adequate.
Aglaonemas are tolerant of low to medium light. Those varieties that have more ‘color’ in their leaves would probably benefit from a medium light location.
When to water – that’s really up to your plants. Never put them on a schedule; it will not work. Your best bet: stick your finger several inches into the soil, when it’s dry to the touch, it’s time to water. Be sure to drain excess water from saucer after watering. Unless you are using them in aquariums, allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
Just like you and me, your aglaonemas can enjoy a summer vacation outdoors (June 1 through September 15). Try to duplicate the same light conditions they had inside the home. Never put them in full sunlight! Aglaonemas need to come indoors by mid-September.
Aglaonemas leaves can be dust-magnets. If possible, put the plants in the shower and rinse them with lukewarm water. Plants depend on their leaves to manufacture food; keeping them dust-free allows the process to happen more efficiently!
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Rieger begonia, formally known as Begonia x hiemalis, is a hybrid cross between tuberousand wax begonias. The Rieger begonia is named for Otto Rieger, a German plant breeder.
Riegers are excellent flowering houseplants for the home during the winter months. Why? They offer weeks of blooming interest in many colors (pinks, yellows, oranges and reds) to choose from. And believe it or not, they are not prima donnas! Their care is simple: provide an eastern or western exposure (medium light) and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Average house temperatures of 68 – 72 degrees F are fine; a bit cooler is almost preferable. Deadhead spent blooms to keep them neat and encourage additional flowers. Fertilize with a water-soluble blossom booster fertilizer during spring and summer.
Riegers easily transition outdoors after mid-May – that’s when you’ll want to cut them back and encourage new growth that will once again provide flowers later in the season.
A few words to the wise: powdery mildew can be a problem for Riegers when the growing conditions are not correct. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering, if possible. Do not mist, either.
Cyclamens, adored for their incredible flowers and interesting heart-shaped patterned leaves, are must-have plants for the upcoming holidays. Cyclamen flowers, thought to mimic the grace of swans, come in beautiful shades of pinks, reds, and white. Some are spotted with color; others are two-toned with a defined edge of a contrasting color along the margin of the flower petals
Cyclamen are grown from corms. If you sneak a peek at the soil in the pot, you should see the corm with its many leaves and flowers growing out of it. Cyclamen prefer bright light areas, so look for an eastern or western exposure in the home. Keep them cool - day and night. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees F. (Avoid temperatures lower than that; they are not hardy in our climate.) It’s best to let the soil dry ever so slightly between waterings. If you can, water from the bottom (similar to the way many people water African violets). The intent is to keep the corm dry to avoid rot. Best way to water: place the cyclamen in a saucer of water for 5-10 minutes. Then drain excess water.
Is it the intoxicating fragrance of paperwhites that people fall in love with? Paperwhites, formally known as Narcissus tazetta, are flowering bulbs with greatest seasonal interest during the winter months. Ever so easy to care for, paper whites make a fragrant statement in pre-planted pots – perfect for gift giving for that special someone or for you!
Paperwhites will last longer where indoor temperatures are cooler; hot rooms will cause them to expire quickly. Once they begin to bloom, bright or direct light is no longer needed. Always keep the soil moist, but never saturated.
Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly called moth orchids, are native to India and Southeast Asia. They are among the easiest orchids to grow! They flower once a year, and the flowers last 6-8 weeks at a time. Well grown, mature plants, may be in flower for up to 3-4 months.
Phalaenopsis need filtered sunlight for flowering. In winter and spring, west windows are the most desirable; east windows are best during the higher light intensity of summer. Well-grown plants generally have yellow-green leaves. In fact, dark green leaves usually indicate that more light is needed, especially for flowering. Night temperatures of 60-65o F are ideal for this warm growing orchid. Daytime temperatures should stay close to 80-85o F. Watering: The potting media should not be allowed to become bone dry. Water thoroughly and then allow the media to dry slightly between waterings. If you can increase the humidity, that’s always beneficial. To learn more, click here.