Supporting Plant Parenthood

Cycad @SanAntonioBG 2003nov30 LAH 003

When I first saw the headline, I had to snicker:

Most millennials are intimidated by plants, survey finds.

A recent poll has revealed that while millennials (aged 25 – 39) love house plants and want them in their homes, they’re also clueless when it comes to caring for them. Most decide to adopt a plant anyway, but some are so worried that they’ll commit planticide that they refuse to accept the responsibility of plant parenthood. Happily, there’s hope.

Continue reading “Supporting Plant Parenthood”

Just Call Them Holiday Cactus

Is it a Christmas cactus or a Thanksgiving cactus… or perhaps an Easter cactus? If you’ve always wondered which is which, here’s the best explanation I’ve seen yet. It’s accurate (as I would expect), funny, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I thought, why try to rewrite this and mess with perfection? I found this article on my favorite gardening blog, that of the Garden Professors.

A Cactus by Any Other Name: A Case of Mistaken Holiday Cactus Identity

And if you’re wondering how to get these babies to rebloom every year, see my post from 2009, “Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera sp.).”

Gorgeous Ginger

dbg_lah_2899

I love Asian cooking, or at least the American version of it. (I didn’t recognize anything on the buffet at the hotel in Bangkok!). Anything with plenty of onions, garlic, and ginger makes my mouth water. I’ve grown onions and garlic before, when I had more room for such things. But living in the cold part of Zone 5, any ginger I planted would have to be in a pot so I could bring it in for the winter. And at the rate I use ginger, it just didn’t seem to be worth the trouble.

Continue reading “Gorgeous Ginger”

Colorful Houseplants

@ColoSpgs 2008oct16 LAH 014

Looking for a last minute gift for a gardening friend? How about a houseplant? At this time of year, when the world outside is dormant, I depend on my houseplants to feed my need for color. And while I appreciate healthy, green leaves, we certainly don’t have to stop there.

Continue reading “Colorful Houseplants”

Colorful Crotons

Codiaeum variegatum_Croton_Conservatory - VolunteerPark-Seattle-WA_LAH_0334-001

My first thought was, is this for real? If I hadn’t seen it growing in the conservatory at the Denver Botanic Gardens, I’d have thought someone had been playing with Photoshop. I wondered what kind of plant could have leaves that are green, red, black, purple, orange, pink, yellow, and creamy white—all at the same time, and in crazy combinations!

My next thought was, can I have one?

Continue reading “Colorful Crotons”

Moth Orchids

Orchid_2943_filt_rel

With the holidays behind us, winter seems to stretch out as far as we can see. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for a tropical vacation! We can’t afford tickets to a balmy beach or verdant rainforest, but I can manage to plunk down a mere $19.95—or less—for a blooming orchid. My imagination will have to supply the rest.

Continue reading “Moth Orchids”

Save the Poinsettias!

I’ve been down with the crud that has been going around. Luckily, I don’t have to come up with an inspirational year-end post; the Utah State University Cooperative Extension has done the job for me. I urge you to watch their short video on the torture and destruction of post-Christmas poinsettias. Then take action. Please.

Not-So-Trendy Plants

Sempervivum 'Palouse'_Houseleek_DBG_LAH_0817

Should my jeans be high-waisted or hip huggers? Should my tops drape or cling? It seems that clothes go out of style the moment I finally break down and buy them. And it’s not just fashion—plants are trendy too. Houseplants are back in vogue. Recently, I’ve seen headlines like “The Trendy Gardener,” or this one from Sunset magazine: “9 Super-Chic Houseplants.” The Sunset article insists that spider plants are out, and fiddle leaf figs are in. But wait—another website reads, “The 13 Plants That Are Leading The Trends This Year: Say goodbye to the fiddle leaf fig (or at least give it a friend).” It appears that plant styles change just as often as hemlines. Continue reading “Not-So-Trendy Plants”

Do Houseplants Reduce Stress?

Are you stressed? You should grow houseplants! Just ask all the experts. Try an online search and you’ll come up with almost two million sites claiming that growing plants reduces stress. Even the National Institute of Health has jumped on the bandwagon with a study “proving” that houseplants reduce both physical and psychological stress, at least in young men.

Unlike the articles that tout huge benefits in air quality from including plants (especially spider plants) in your home (NASA said it so it must be true—but see my post here), there may actually be some basis for the stress-reduction theories. Or not.

Continue reading “Do Houseplants Reduce Stress?”

Houseplants & Indoor Air Quality

spider-plant-home-28mar2006-lah-123rI’ve been down with a nasty stomach virus for the past week, more interested in the distance to the bathroom than in gardening. As a result, I’ve been perusing articles instead of writing them (it takes far less effort!). I’ve also spent considerable time reading bogus gardening advice on Pintrest—it’s an amazingly rich repository of horticultural mythology. One afternoon I focused on the idea that houseplants purify the air in our homes. We’ve all seen the articles…

Continue reading “Houseplants & Indoor Air Quality”