Growing Food Indoors? Sure!

As we celebrate National Indoor Plant Week, my question turns to can we grow food indoors?  The answer is emphatically, yes! Perhaps the simplest option for indoor food production would be to grow some container plants that would work well.  Crops like lettuce, arugula, and some of the other leafy greens have lower light requirements…

Moving Houseplants Indoors

September is the best month for transitioning our houseplants from the outdoors to inside.  At this time of year, we don’t have the impending crunch of time when frost is imminent and our only choice is to hastily move plants indoors. By planning ahead, we have the time to pay attention to our houseplants by…

Plant Societies

This week we kick off National Indoor Plant Week.  As an avid houseplant enthusiast I belong to a few different national plant societies.  The two national societies I belong to are the African Violet Society of America and the Gesneriad Society.  Sadly, with today’s capabilities to connect to with people around the globe membership has…

Fall is For Planting

A term in the green industry – an oldie, but a goodie – is “Fall is For Planting”.  The term sort of begs the questions: Planting what? And why?  Good questions, because some things are more suited than others.  In short, the items for planting are: trees, shrubs, turf, perennials, some veggies and even transplanting…

The Hard Truth about Rocks at the Bottom of Planting Containers

As we get our containers ready for planting our amazing annuals or that coveted tomato plant, conventional “wisdom” dictates we must first add an inch or so of gravel.  Problematic? You bet! Rocks in the bottom of containers do not contribute to better draining soils and healthier plants.  Instead, plant roots encounter saturated soils that…

Plants With Heart-Shaped Leaves

Nothing says “I love you” like a plant! Why not a houseplant with heart-shaped leaves for your main squeeze on Valentine’s Day? After all, roses aren’t the only romantic gift. Give the gift of romance and healthy air, all at the same time! The chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) has wonderful drooping spikes of muted red…

African violet no more!

I am a huge African violet nut.  Huge.  African violets belong to the family Gesneriaceae and belong in the genus Saintpaulia.  Until recently taxonomist have pretty much left this genus of plants alone.  At one time there was about 21 recognized species of African violets until a few years ago when the “Great Merger” occurred. …

How Much?

How much water should I give my houseplant?  Simple.  You water until it comes out of the bottom of the pot.  We often get asked to quantify the amount that is needed.  Does it need to be a cup (8 oz.), a few tablespoons, or a gallon?  Every container is different in size and the…