Plants that will Make your Bathroom feel like a Oasis

 

Incorporating house plants into the bathroom is a great way to make your bathroom feel lush with greenery and provide that spa factor without the spa factor price. They improve the air quality of your home and help eliminate all those toxins found in harsh cleaning chemicals. Bathrooms are one of the trickiest of places for plants to flourish due to the rapid changes in temperature, humidity levels and usually limited space.

Not only is the ever-changing temperature and humidity levels a factor but many bathrooms have limited light with either small windows or none at all which can limit the range of plants that would be suitable to thrive in such a space.

Due to these every changing and limiting requirements some of the best plants that can be used are those that can sit on a high shelf, windowsill or hanging from the ceiling.

With these points in mind, let’s look at 10 of the best bathroom plant choices:

1. Boston Fern, Nephrolepis exaltata

A popular variety of fern with frilly leaves and long, hanging fronds, the Boston fern is native to sub-tropical and tropical rain forests.

It grows best when placed on a windowsill or in a position which receives lots of indirect light. – Popular for hanging baskets with lush and arching foliage giving it a graceful look. They prefer slightly humid conditions and moist soil.

2. Dracaena, Dracaena marginata

This undemanding plant prefers indirect light; and a level of humidity not generally found in most rooms. Therefore, by placing your Dracaena plant in the bathroom, the lighting and humidity will prevent brown leaf tip and keep its greenery bright and flawless. It’s also great as you can select the height of this lovely plant is adaptable to the space available.

3. Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum

This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions and can live for years, it requires little in the way of care and they work well in bathrooms. Able to withstand both full sun or shade this is one adaptable plant that is brilliant at cleaning the air of toxins. Allow the top layer of the soil to dry out between watering.

4. Moth Orchid, Phalaenopsis spp.

Give your bathroom a luxury spa feels with the addition of a subtle yet elegant orchid plant that will thrive in indirect sunlight. This plant will provide beautiful annual blooms when in adequate light; while the high humidity conditions of the bathroom mirrors the flower’s natural environment, making its perfect fit. It’s also a relatively compact plant great for smaller rooms, where it can be perched on the corner of the bathtub or next to the sink.

5. ZZ Plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia

With beautiful oval-shaped glossy leaves, the ZZ plant will bring a fresh and vibrant feeling to any bathroom. This pre-historic flora can also handle a wide range of humidity and light. Looking almost unreal this is one plant that will sure be difficult to kill in most indoor conditions.

6. Foxtail Fern, Asparagus aethiopicus

The “asparagus fern”, though not a true fern, has earned the name due to its fern like appearance. They like direct, natural light so a window is desirable, but a full spectrum grow light will also work.

They enjoy humidity and can handle changes in temperature, they also need regular watering and misting.

7. Snake Plant, Sanseviera trifasciata

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the leaves of the snake plant grow upright, and feature yellow or white edging.

One of the hardiest houseplants, the snake plant can survive low light levels and is flexible in terms of heat and water.

The snake plant also filters some nasty household toxins from the bathroom air – including formaldehyde which can be found in cleaning products, tile grout, adhesives, and even some cosmetics!

8. Staghorn Ferns, Platycerium superbum

Staghorn ferns are epiphytic plants which are good low-care candidates for a humid bathroom setting with low-to-moderate lighting. These types of plants do not need soil to thrive. In nature, they attach themselves to trees via very shallow roots and glean all their moisture and nourishment from the surrounding air. For this reason, they do need ample humidity and/or daily misting. Staghorn ferns are also brilliant for limited space bathrooms as they can be hung against the wall just like a living piece of art.

9. Dragon Wing Begonia, Begonia x hybrida

With lovely bright blooms and vibrant green glossy leaves, the dragon wing begonia is ideal for bathroom conditions. Begonias do well in fluorescent lighting if your bathroom happens to have limited lighting, though they do produce better blooms when placed in window locations. They also require daily bathroom humidity or regular misting.

10. Golden Pathos, Epipremnum aureum

With marbled green and yellow heart-shaped leaves hanging elegantly, they are able to adapt and enhance almost any environment. Whether it’s trailing off a bookshelf or acting as a privacy screen in a window this is one plant perfect for an indoor hanging planter. Takes low or bright light and doesn’t mind the occasional waterlogging or neglect. The variegated foliage can provide a colourful accent to your bathroom.

 

Grow Your Winter Herb Garden Indoors

 

I’ts officially winter out there and the coming of winter is a not always the most exciting or activity packed time in most gardens. During this season of short, dark days, indoor herb gardens offer welcome greenery and fragrance. You can easily bring herbs indoors for the nippy months even if you have little experience with plants or very little space to work with.

Some herbs naturally lend themselves better to indoor growing conditions. Parsley, basil, sage and thyme are known to hold up stronger inside. Extra perk is they are all perfect herb solutions for winter stews, casseroles and roasts. Isn’t it great when those things work out?

To bring your herb garden indoors for winter you need to find a table or shelf with sufficient fluorescent light (you must remember that to a plant, light is food) this will guarantee that your herb plants obtain all the necessary light and will also prevent them from die-back that occurs from being against a cold window. In warmer months, you can move your herbs to a sunny window or a shady balcony that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day so that they thrive.

The easiest way to start your indoor winter herb garden is to buy established plants especially if you’re only a novice gardener. There are several types of containers you can use for the plants, but terracotta planters are very popular and can me the modest option if you’re only starting out. Make sure the pots and container you select have drainage holes in the bottom Whatever container you select it should be deep enough to promote proper root development. You can plant multiple herbs in one container or select individual pots for each herb plant. You should also make sure that your herbs are not to overcrowded as this, too can lead to fungal problems that may kill your plants.

When repotting It’s a good idea to go with a store-bought potting mix. Be sure the mix is lightweight and will drain well. Pour a 5cm layer of potting soil into the bottom of your container and place your plant gently in its location. Finish filling it with potting mix, pressing it firmly around the plants. Leave about an 3cm of space at the top to make room for watering.

Remember that too much love can kill your herbs by watering too often: Excess water is harmful to the roots and causes rotting. Fertilize your herbs once a month with an organic fertilizer. Once you start to see new growth, you can begin to use your herbs for cooking.

Here are a few herbs that are particularly well suited for indoor growth:

  1. Parsley: Parsley needs at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day. If you can’t provide enough natural sunlight, grow the plants under fluorescent lights.

  2. Basil: Requires bright light and warm temperatures.

  3. Sage: Appreciates a manicure (prune back spindly branches) and drier conditions.

  4. Chives: Member of the onion family is best used fresh. Chives like bright light and cool temperatures.

  5. Dill: Choose a dwarf variety. You’ll need to make successive plantings to ensure a continuous crop since dill doesn’t grow back after harvesting.

  6. Lemon balm: This is easy to grow from seed and its fresh fragrance can be enjoyed in salads and drinks.

  7. Oregano: The soil must need to be loose and well-drained to prevent over-watering. The plant requires partial to full sun light either in a well-lit window seal or under a florescent light for at least 6 – 8+ hours per day

  8. Rosemary: Soil needs to be well drained, but don’t let it dry out completely.

  9. Thyme: Many varieties of thyme are available. Very well-drained, or gravelly soil is especially important for woolly or creeping thymes. Keep the plants moist by misting until you see new growth.

 

Caring For Your Monstera – Swiss Cheese Plant

 

Swiss Cheese Plant; Monstera deliciosa is a native to the jungles of Southern Mexico and Guatemala, and is one very easy houseplant! Yet it needs space to grow giving your home that instant jungle feels. Possessing all the qualities that are required of a good houseplant this plant is making a comeback.

The Monstera’s leaves are a rich green in colour and have a natural gloss to them which is heightened when plants are cleaned with a damp cloth, unless the leaves a new, lime green in colour and soft. Cleaning the leaves will also help keep pests under control as they are prone to mealybugs on the undersides of the leaves. It’s also ideal to give them the occasional misting of water to help increase humidity levels if located in climate controlled conditions such as a office.

They grow well shaded from the sun and in reasonably warm environments but need to be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent leaves scorching.

Watering? Let the top 4cm of soil dry out between watering as over watering may lead to root rot, signs of this are yellowing or wilting leaves. For best results Monsteras should enjoy conditions that are fairly moist so avoid artificial heating and cooling, they will require quarterly feeding in spring and summer when planted in containers.

In ideal conditions the monstera will produce quite enormous leaves that, as well as being deeply serrated along their margins, will also become naturally perforated. The leaves on a young plant are not serrated, as it grows the leaves become larger and their shape will form so don’t be alarmed when you bring home your new plant and notice un-serrated heart shaped leaves, it’s a matter of patience.

Occasionally the Monstera produces aerial roots, plants will do better if the aerial roots that grow from the main stem can be directed into a container of water from which supplies will be drawn for the plant, thus reducing the need for too frequent watering of the mixture in the pot, these roots can be also directed into the potting mixture when re-potting.

When potting plants on into larger pots, a mix comprised of equal parts potting mixture and sphagnum moss will do the job, also once the plant reaches heights of 80cm tall it will need the support of a moss pole or bamboo cane as its naturally tendency is to grow up.

Mature Monstera deliciosa plants grown outdoors produce flowers that only last a few days, but they develop into a rich-tasting fruit, which can be picked for eating once it’s ripe.

 

How To Water Plants While Your On Holidays

 

I’m off on holiday in a couple of weeks. Believe me, I really can’t wait for the escape. But being the obsessive house plant collector that I am, going away without having someone look after the beloved plants can leave me feeling quite anxious.

Most house plants will tolerate a week without water, while you’re on holidays. But, if you’re going away for two weeks, it’s well worth making arrangements to keep them watered while your jet setting. Given I am currently watering my growing army of ferns, orchids and herbs virtually every other day in hot weather, a two week absence could be enough to finish off some of my more delicate specimens. But things don’t have to be this way!

If, like me, you are planning a summer break, there are a range of super-simple measures that you can take to ensure your houseplants survive the temporary abandonment. And the best thing is it’ll only take you five minutes to do before you dash out the door.

So What to do?

As the primary factor affecting how quickly your plants will dry out is temperature, simply moving them from sunny window sills to cooler, shadier spots in the home can reduce their rate of water loss. It doesn’t really matter if they are sun-loving plants either as, for a short break, water stress is likely to have a much larger impact than a spell with lower light levels.

This is particularly important for fast-growing, thin-leaved plants, such as ferns, herbs and indoor bedding plants, which are likely to succumb to the effects of water stress far more quickly than slow-growing or succulent plants like aloes, cacti, yuccas and tillandsias.

Other plants that require attention include ones in small pots, as their small volume of growing matter will dry out more quickly, as well as anything in a porous unglazed terracotta container.

Grouping your plants together in a close huddle will further reduce water loss by creating localised humidity, as the leaves of neighbouring plants both emit and trap the water of each other’s transpiration.

Go one better!

If you want to go one better, the standard advice is to put all your plants either in the laundry tub or bathroom tub and lay a towel down underneath. Plants can draw on the moisture through the holes in their pots via the wick effect when thirsty. Make sure you water the plants thoroughly first.

For those plants that can’t fit in the bathtub or laundry sink due to the size or weight of the pot, the solution here is a waterworks watering system. The waterworks system is great and super simple, I even use mine as an ongoing system even when I’m not away on holidays. The water will slowly seep out through the ceramic cone over a period of time and will help ‘water’ your plant while you are away. Perfect!

Five minutes work for complete holiday peace of mind. Vino, here I come…

 

The Perfect Plant For The Hanging Basket

 

Space planning in high density living is a key factor in making sure your home works for you and the same concept can be applied to your urban garden or balcony.

Lucky for us we have so many options, being wall planters, balustrade planters the traditional pot or the lovely hanging planter/basket all being fantastic choices. Unfortunately though we don’t see hanging planters and baskets used enough.

The use of hanging planters as a decorative means is lovely, as they are perfect for colourful annuals and cascading succulents. There are some great plant options that look brilliant especially when placed above eye level, so today I’m sharing our favourites, so you too can enjoy the understated simplicity of cascading plants hanging from your balcony, patio and alfresco areas.

Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera – A humid loving and low light succulent with its origins in Brazil. The more humid the better, so it’s perfect for the north east coast of Australia. They don’t require replanting often as they thrive in a cramped, competitive environment. Keep them root-bound in well- draining, sandy soil. They bloom during late winter to early spring with spectacular flowers in colours of pink, fuchsia, purple and apricot.

Donkey’s Tail Sedum Morganianum – A Fantastic trailing plant with blueish-green clusters of rain-drop leaves. Native to Mexico and growing in long, hanging bunches. This succulent is easy to care for, requires less water than traditional house plant and adds interest to any environment. The leaves are susceptible to dropping off when handled, so they won’t do well in areas of high wind or clustered against other plants.

Rabbits Foot Fern Davallia fejeensis – Its name comes from the furry rhizomes (which are petable) that grow out of the pot and downward like creeping rabbit’s feet. The lacy green foliage makes a spectacular display when cascading from a hanging planter. A low maintenance houseplant that does well in bright, indirect light or outdoors in a sheltered environment.

Golden Pathos Epipremnum aureum – With marbled green and yellow heart-shaped leaves hanging elegantly, able to adapt and enhance to almost any environment, whether its trailing off a bookshelf, or acting as a privacy screen in a window this is one plant perfect for an indoor hanging planter. Takes low or bright light and doesn’t mind the occasional water-logging or neglect. The variegated foliage can provide a colourful accent to your home.

Fuchsia Fuchsia Spp. – If you intend to use a fuchsia use good soil and give it a spot with shade as they’re not great sun worshippers. Fuchsias flower for a long time, usually October through to March and will flower abundantly with spectacular flowers that look like ballerinas. They prefer to be on the damp side, so keeping them well watered is essential.

Tahitian Bridal Veil Gibasis geniculata – Delicate and dainty trailing plant with attractive foliage ideally suited to hanging baskets, can be grown indoors in a sunny position and outdoors under shelter. Prefer humid conditions, watering when the soil feels dry to the touch. Soak the plant well in a bucket of warm water rather than adding small amounts of moisture ever so often.

Petunia Petunia x hybrida – Lovely annuals and great for a north facing environment, as they require full sun and will bloom from spring into autumn. They are low growing and can either grow bushy or spread on the ground. Pinching some off after the first bloom will encourage more dense growth and flowers. They are available in a vast array of colours and just “wow” when mixed amongst other colours.

Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata – Popular for patios with their lush and arching foliage giving it a graceful look. They prefer slightly humid conditions and a well-lit, protected position, so get these growing conditions right and you’ll have a lovely fern all year round. They can also be grown indoors making them quite a versatile plant.

Silver Falls Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ – An exotic ground cover that works well in hanging baskets, with small silver-grey kidney shaped leaves The wonderful silver foliage of the silver falls is a useful colour contrast in the garden. Drought hardy with foliage that can trail down over the sides of the planter. Will require trimming back to assist keeping the plant dense and full. Great for areas subjected to direct sun.

Nasturtium Tropaeolum polyphyllum – A hardy and delightful perennial, from South and Central America, with edible flowers prefect for a bright salad and well suited to borders and hanging baskets. Tolerates wide range of soils (not too fertile) and dry conditions. Great for either full sun or part shade. Colours, as well as being edible, are what make these wonderful flowers very popular. They come in Yellow, Orange, Red, Cream, and variations of all these colours including a beautiful Ruby.

No matter what the style, size or aspect of you balcony, patio or garden hanging baskets and planters offer endless ways to give it a boost. The only limit is your imagination.

 

No-Gardening Garden

 

Think ‘garden’ and you get a mind full of fabulous flowers, leafy trees and lush lawns; a gorgeously green place of peace and placidity. But, the truth is, most of us don’t have the ground to grow such greenery.

The busy, concrete congestion of city life can leave us pining for a patch of earth to call our own and nurture our connection to nature. With a bit of imagination, there’s no reason we can’t combine the two and give ourselves some breathing space.

Watching plants grow satisfies a basic, instinctive need. Caring for and cultivating a garden brings health benefits and soothes stress while nourishing you and creating a calm corner to escape to. Even though houseplants have made a comeback, they might not scratch your green itch or counter your garden craving.

While indoor plants give blooms to boost your living space, outdoor plants bring something more. Beyond thriving in artificial and protected environments, they speak to us of fresh air and open spaces, sunlight and summer scents. Bringing birds, butterflies and creatures, this open-air greenery changes with the seasons and plays to the patterns of nature.

By learning to make the most of your space, you’ll be astounded at just how much joy you can gain from gardening without a garden. There’s always a way – even house walls and boundary fences can carry climbers and wall plants. When you think outside the planter box, the variety of available containers means paths, patios, steps, porches and balconies can become green havens.

Don’t let a lack of space deter you; fruit and veggies can flourish in containers. While you’re not likely to produce a commercial-sized crop, they can still bring you great satisfaction. There’s nothing quite like strolling through your garden, gathering your own home-grown strawberries, lemons and herbs.

Get the kids involved in the ritual of gardening. By letting them get their hands dirty, they can learn about living things. Putting them in charge of their own pot plants and including them in basic gardening rituals helps furnish family-time. It’s so important that they gain a greater appreciation for the living world and the creepy crawlies that go with it.

Gardening in a small space can be equal parts challenging and rewarding. Each plant commands focus, and as you watch them reach maturity or follow a fruit to ripening, you get a real sense of achievement that you’ve been part of this growth. Whatever the size, gardening is all about trial and error. We’re not born with a green thumb – the reality is, it takes practice and patience to build the skills to keep your garden thriving in any space.

 

5 Tips to Keep Your House Plants Healthy

 

Best ways to decorate your home with plants

Decorating your home with pot plants is easy and doesn’t take much to make that eye catching feature you want. Choose a pot that makes a statement, decorating your home with some quirky pot plants not only adds some greenery to your life but adds character by using clean and white pot plants for a sleek finish or golds and bronze pots for a rustic look. For a bold statement in the home add plants with big leaves such as palms, umbrella trees and ferns. You can maintain these to appear as big or small as you like. If you have a very neutral home spice it up with some colour. Orchids are great because they not only are interesting to look at they are a beautiful flower as well and can add feature to any dull room. Violets are also extremely easy to grow, maintain and bloom all year round.

Why pot plants make better decorations than materials

While pot plants make a great natural feature for the home they also boost your mood and improve wellbeing. Plants also create a fresh natural environment, which you can style to different décor styles and homes.

Benefits of having house plants

Plants add a sense of life and energy to a home which is why you should add them to your interior styling as it creates a natural and vibrant ‘wow’ factor. Indoor plants set a welcoming tone as the colours of nature make our homes feel fresh, calm as well as renewed, which is a nice ambiance to enjoy after coming home for a long day of work. Not only do indoor plants make a space feel alive, they also add great texture, shape and colour to a room. Plants are also a long term design solution as they can stand the test of time. This can save you money in the long run.

What you need to know about pot plants

When gardening indoors it’s important to take into consideration the follow points. Do I have the right light? Different pot plants thrive on different lights, make sure you tailor your indoor garden to the right lighting needs. Make sure you understand that some plants are poisonous to animals such as the peace lily to cats and dogs – so check these details about your chosen plants before bringing them into the home.

You also need to understand your plants needs – a lot of plants are seasonal based so a lot of your greenthumb work needs to go into the off season. Making sure you have a clear understanding of what is required to care for you plant is really important for the survival.

Tips on looking after indoor plants

Make sure you position pot plants around the home according to their light levels and temperatures, some plants thrive in the colder temperatures, where some need light. Do not over water your plants. While you think you might be doing them a favour some pot plants only require a small amount of water and too much can drown them. 

Be aware of the types of diseases your indoor plants can catch. For example, indoor palms can catch mealy bugs. To avoid this, wipe down the palm leaves and spray a palm safe insecticide. 

5 tips to keep your plants healthy 

1. Keep soil moist with regular but light watering, keep a tray to catch any excess water below to avoid over watering them.

2. Make sure your plants have the right air supply, especially if they are inside. They not only need fresh air to grow it also helps reduce diseases.

3. Fertilise every one to two months pending on your plant. Always make sure you have information about your plant as so many indoor plants vary.

4. Keep an eye out for bugs, if you notice any bugs on your plants remove them and get rid of any dead excess leaves to prevent diseases.

5. Repot your plants every 1 – 2 years pending how quickly they grow. This will help your plant thrive and grow.

 

Terrarium Basics

 

Terrariums are literary a collection of small plants grown in a sealed transparent container creating an environment like a mini ecosystem. They are a great way to add life to your space if you lack the free time or the “green thumb” to care for a bounty of houseplants.

They are known as the ultimate, low-maintenance indoor garden and can make it possible to grow things in places that aren’t exactly conducive to growth, and can pretty much be self-sufficient aside from the occasional misting or watering.

There are two general types of terrariums: open “Desertariums” and enclosed. It’s important to pick your plants based on the style of your terrarium if you want them to thrive. An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and lower levels of humidity. It is perfect for plants that thrive in a drier environment, like succulents, cacti and air plants.

Different plants require different amounts of care and it’s important to match your plants together by determining if they can be grown together e.g. humidity loving plants that require low light or plants that can be found in dry environments in full sun.

Another great thing about terrariums is your plants are not going to die overnight if your forget to water them. Closed terrariums should be self sufficient with very little water required. Water your closed terrarium every few weeks so the humidity level remain substantial.

Open terrariums will require weekly watering if you plan on housing tropical plants. If you open terrarium is home to desert like plants then a good drink once a month will be sufficient but make sure you don’t over water as succulents do not enjoy wet feet.

If gardening is your favourite way to recharge your creativity don’t let a small space cramp your style and if your new at this and refer to yourself as a brown thumb, don’t be disheartened because the best way of learning is sometimes with trial and error and your almost cannot go wrong with a terrarium if you get the main steps right.