As you select plants to serve as focal points in your décor, consider how large the plant grows and also how quickly it achieves that size. Plants like sentry palm and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) can double their size in a few years, given the right conditions. Chinese money plant, on the other hand, maintains a tidy size, growing slowly to 8 to 12 inches tall. With thick, succulent-like leaves, the plant doesn’t demand much water and thrives in low light. Unusual, round leaves make this plant a conversation piece.
Hardy in zones 6-11, cast iron plants can be grown as houseplants or outdoors in shady garden areas. They tolerate heat and arid conditions and make a lush backdrop for smaller plants that also love shade.
Love air plants, but not quite sure what to do with them? Buy glass orbs, and hang them on an accordion rack. The easy-care plants will instantly bring life to any room without taking up valuable floor space.
Be creative as you design a trellis for your pea plants. Traditionally gardeners use fruit tree and shrub trimmings to craft a twig trellis. You can do the same thing with twigs that winter has tossed onto your lawn. Simply stick pencil-thick twigs into soil beside peas as you plant them. Another option is to string netting between stakes. This easy trellis (above) supports pea plants with a double row of twine that runs alongside plants. Insert stakes at either end of your pea plant (or every 4 to 5 feet for long rows), and wrap the twine around stakes to create a tight support. The plants will grab one another and the twine for support.
Native plants are famous for their carefree personalities and ability to thrive on rainfall. Mexican hat plant is no exception. It delivers season-long color to the landscape in plants that demand minimal care and water.
The outdoor dining table is styled with evergreen plants and winter-friendly floral. Anytime you're dressing up your porch for the holidays and using floral, it's best to simply keep it out while entertaining, then bring it back it once you're done. Evergreens are weather-resistant and can stay out all year long.
Variety is the hallmark of the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) family, which has members with broad, round, long or narrow leaves. Snow White (shown) is a small plant that unfurls light green leaves marked with white and pink. Purple waffle plant needs medium to high light to keep the pretty leaf coloring. Because of its small size, it’s a great choice for any room, fitting easily onto an end table, kitchen counter or nightstand.
Problem: Lower leaves turn yellow and drop. Solution: Several issues can cause foliage to turn yellow and fall off. First, be sure you’re not overwatering or underwatering. To check for signs of overwatering, gently ease the plant out of its pot and look for rotting or blackened roots. Leaf drop can also result from insufficient light, so try moving your plant to a brighter spot. Finally, make sure you’re using the right fertilizer for your plant, and feed as directed on the label. This Zamioculcas, or ZZ plant, seldom has these kinds of problems. It's tough enough to tolerate low light and little water.
A replica of a wire Victorian plant stand celebrates indoor gardening’s golden age. This plant stand, with its rectangular shape, fits neatly along a window, allowing plants to get maximum light without occupying nearby tables. The wire design allows air flow to plants, which helps maintain leaf health.
Sharp blades are vital to successful gardening, whether they come in a pair (pruners) or as single blades, like these tools. The large tool is a perennial divider. The heart-shape blade slices through the center of perennials like pudding, and the short handle provides enough space to get some real oomph behind the effort. It also makes quick work of edging a small bed. The big knife (sold as Fiskars Big Grip Knife) makes quick work of weeding, seed planting, dividing small plants and digging holes for bedding plants. A similar tool is the Japanese hori-hori knife (which can easily take the place of a trowel). While these types of bladed tools are somewhat specialized, their versatility in the garden makes them worth the investment.
Potting mix that has fertilizer in it will give your houseplants or other container plants a good start. But eventually, the nutrients will either be used up, or they'll leach out after frequent waterings. When your plants are ready for a boost, apply a slow release fertilizer that lasts for several months, or feed more often with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Stop fertilizing if your indoor plant goes into a period of dormancy for awhile.
Dry winter air causes houseplants to dry out quickly. At the very least, check plants weekly to assess soil moisture. Sticking a finger onto—or even into—soil is an easy way to determine if plants need a drink. With small plants, lifting the pot is another good way to figure out how moist soil is. Dry soil is light; wet soil is heavier. Soil color also changes as moisture evaporates. Wet soil is dark; dry soil is lighter in color.