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October 28, 2019

Today is about an interesting factoid about the tip of roots. If the very end of the root hair is removed with precision, the root will start growing in every direction. This is because the very end of the root has an ability to detect the direction of gravity. The calyptra is the cap at the end of a root hair which is able to tell the plant which direction is down. This ingenious functionality allows the plant to always be able to grow roots into the earth, with the direction of gravity. Some experimentation has been done to understand this, and these results have been replicated! Nature is quite smart! Thanks for listening today, see you tomorrow!

October 27, 2019

Today's episode builds on yesterday's and will cover how to prune your roots. If you ever unpot your plant, and you find a mass of roots inside, but they are starting to outgrow your pot, it is very healthy for the plant to have the roots trimmed. Roots can get worn out and tired from years of digging through the earth, so do not be shy to trim them back. Get a clean pair of scissors or shears, and cut any pieces off that do not look healthy. Dark pieces of root, and areas that have an odor should be removed. Pull away any roots that naturally come out from the bottom of the plant. Assuming the plant has an adequate existing root system, this can have a beneficial impact and stimulate growth! Good luck with this practice, see you tomorrow!

October 26, 2019

Today's episode is about the importance of repotting your plants even if you aren't going to change the pot. In many instances, after about six to twelve months in the same container, many plants will have grown such a large mass of roots that not much space for soil is left. The best plan of action for this is to unpot the plant, and determine how root bound it is. If the roots are beginning to take the shape of the sides and bottom of the pot, then it is time to unwind the roots. Stick your finger into the middle of the root ball at the bottom, and essentially untangle the rootball. You want to encourage the roots to take new paths inside the pot, different than previously. Feel free to cut back small amounts of roots, and remove dead or disconnected root systems! Thanks for listening!

October 25, 2019

Today's episode is about adventitious roots! Those are the creamish colored brown air roots that come out of your philodendrons, monsteras, ivies, pothos, and many other plants. What they are looking for is a surface to latch on to so that they can climb towards the sun. This is how many vining plants make their way up trees and other surfaces in the wild. They also are looking for little pockets of moisture and nutrients while climbing vertically. Any pooling water or areas of soil along their path, they will find and dig themselves into in order to act as an anchor and form of nutrition. Many of the long vines you see in the jungle are actually just very long air roots. They can become very strong and large over time. We hope you enjoyed today's episode! We'll see you tomorrow!

October 24, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today we'll be exploring plants and whether they can hear. Many gardeners talk to their plants and some even play music for them. Plants respond to wind, light, and scent, so what about sound? Scientists have found that plants respond to sound vibrations. An experiment simulated the vibrations made by hungry insects and found some plants responded by producing chemicals that made them less appealing to snacking bugs. This is like a built in pesticide to deter bugs. Another experiment with wheat plants found exposing them to high frequency vibrations produced a bigger harvest. This is likely associated with the plant believing it is under threat or attack, and needs to produce more offspring. Thanks for tuning in today, and see you tomorrow!

October 23, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today is about leaf composition. It's helpful to learn a little about how leaves are structured to take better care of your plants. On the top and bottom sides of your plants' leaves, there is a layer of epidermis, which is plant skin. And just beneath the skin is the pores of the plant, which exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. This skin thickness on both sides of the leaf can help us understand where in the world the plant comes from. A thicker skin will usually mean a harsher climate likely with dry air. Whereas a thin skinned leaf probably comes from a region closer to the equator with more stable temperatures and humidities. The more extreme the weather is, the thicker the skin will need to be. The more temperate and moderate the climate is, the thinner the skin has to be. Understanding the thickness of the leaf skin will tell you how much you should water the plant, and how much light it can take. A thick skinned snake plant can survive long periods of drought, and some very strong direct sunlight. Whereas a thin skinned Chinese evergreen needs moist soil, and will wilt when exposed to direct sunlight. We hope this helps you get to know your plants better! Thanks for listening!

October 22, 2019

Today is about an underrated garden amendment. It's one that is not talked about much, but can have lots of helping effects on your plants! Regular construction grade sand. Sand, or decomposed rock, is a great way to improve the drainage of your soil. Especially in outdoor gardens. It is a dense material, so it can be heavy for some indoor houseplant soils, but outdoors it can be used to encourage the water to filter through the earth! We use it as an ingredient in our custom blended houseplant soil to improve drainage, and give another varied surface to microbial life. Another great use of sand is to prevent bugs from entering your soil! Sand is our most effective choice for creating a barrier between fungus gnats and your roots! The heavy barrier will act as a blocker between them and won't allow them to fly in or out! If you are interested, we carry small quantities in our online plant store. Thanks for listening!

October 21, 2019

Welcome back! Today we continue on how to read a plant for health. To start, look at the arrangement of the plant's leaves. This is best done from across the room, to get a sense of how the plant is feeling, and how to tell a plant needs water or not. If a plant's leaves are pointed upwards and out to the sides, that is a healthy and happy plant, generally speaking. When the leaves begin to point towards the floor, this usually indicates too little or too much water. Feel the leaves and the leaf stalks. Are they weak and flimsy, or rigid? Next, look at a plants direction relative to the light source. Is it bending or leaning towards the closest window? Is it stretching out the space between its leaves and branches? If so, it's probably not getting enough light. Are the top leaves changing colors and becoming yellow? It might be getting too much light then. Try and observe your plant more frequently. They're often telling us exactly what they need. See you tomorrow!

October 20, 2019

Happy Sunday everyone! Today begins a two part series on developing the innate ability to read and analyze a plant. It can be what gives some people a green thumb or not. Now, some of this will be learned with time, but there are many tricks to intuitively read a plant. Much about the plant can be learned from the direction of the leaves. Also, make sure to take the plants care directions not too literally. A plant's instructions might say, semi-sun and water once per week, and fertilize regularly, but it is up to the plant parents to decide exactly how much sun, water, and fertilizer is correct. Tune back in tomorrow to learn about gauging the right amount of water and light!

October 19, 2019

Today's episode is about bringing the unique colors out of your houseplants. Variegated plants and non green houseplants are all the rage right now in the houseplant community. But many plant parents have trouble bringing the unique colors out of their plants! We have a few techniques for encouraging your plants to express new colors. For pink leafed and dark colored leafed plants, make sure to not give them too much bright light, because it will turn their leaves back to green. This goes for the black raven ZZ plant, too. Too much light will cause the purplish black leaves of the ZZ to turn back to green in color. For the variegated plants like the thai constellation monstera, the opposite is true. Give this plant lots of light to ensure it will express as much variegation as possible! Thanks for listening today, we'll see you tomorrow!

October 18, 2019

Hello everyone! Since fall and winter are the seasons to be growing healthy roots for our plants, we're going to talk about how you can work with your root system. First of all, know that it is fine to gently cut back your roots without any harm. If they are tangled, and need to be separated, or if you see any brown or black areas, feel free to cut those out. Roots should be bright white when new and slightly off white when aged but healthy. Also, make sure your hands are clean from any germs before you touch your roots. Wash your hands well prior to touching your roots. You want to avoid contaminating them with pathogens. Try and handle them gently, and avoid touching brand new roots because you may damage the root hairs which actually work to absorb water! We hope this helps you maintain a healthier root zone! Thanks for listening!

October 17, 2019

Today's episode is about soil! We all know that a plant gets its nutrients from soil, but what exactly is soil? Perhaps you are picturing a bag of potting mix you can purchase from a garden supply store, but soil is actually a complex mixture of organic materials, air, water, and minerals. Soil can support growing plants, provide a habitat for animals, process composted materials, and it can absorb water. It can be used as a construction material for something like a dam or a foundation. Have you been somewhere and noticed different colored soil? The mineral composition of the soil can change its color. For example, soil high in iron may be red or orange while soil with lots of organic matter is typically dark brown or almost black. The clay can be seen with an orange tint to the soil! Thanks for listening today, we'll see you tomorrow!

October 16, 2019

Today's episode is about the different types of plants based on how they grow. Perennials, and annuals. It is always challenging to remember which is which, but a good way to remember is that annuals only last one year. And perennials, last permanently. Per being the common root word between perennials and permanent. Perennials come back year after year, while laying dormant through the winters. These tend to be bush like plants, and shrubs that become woody. Since annuals die back in winter, and need to be replanted in the spring, they tend to have much brighter colors and blooms, and are very fragile and supple plants. For a full looking garden, perennials should be the base of the garden, and annuals can be added in spring for a bright burst of color! We hope this helps you remember the difference between perennial and annual plants!

October 15, 2019

Today is about understanding the type of plant you have. Many plant parents misdiagnose plants as being unhealthy, when they are simply growing naturally. Broadly, in the world of perennial plants, there are two types of plants. Grass like plants, and tree like plants. Grass like plants will grow shoots up directly from the soil, in and around the existing growth. Whereas tree like plants will grow the newest growth from the highest point of the plant. We find some plant parents get nervous when the lower leaves of their tree like plants yellow off, and die back, but this is completely normal. This happens a lot with the Chinese Evergreen. The lowest leaves will yellow and provide for the top section of the plant to grow. Think of a palm tree. The sides of the tree are shaved off as old palm leaves die back, but the very top of the tree is green and healthy. It can sometimes be challenging, but try and understand which type of plant you have, and judge its health accordingly! Thanks for listening, have a great day!

October 14, 2019

Today's episode is about the importance of unwinding roots before you transplant into a new pot. Pots are an invention of mankind, and not at all natural for plants to live in. While they are in pots, and growing well, their roots will often circle the bottom of the pot and become rootbound! This is a good sign of healthy growth, but it is important to separate them out into long strands before putting your plant into the next sized pot. The best method for doing this is to dig your finger into the center of the root ball at the bottom, and move in a circular pattern. This should loosen the roots from the shape they've grown into, and look more scraggly and natural. If some roots break, or you need to use scissors, this is perfectly OK. Roots can be pruned lightly, without any health effect on the plant. Keep this method in mind the next time you transplant! Have a great day!

October 13, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we're going to discuss why it's important to change the water out of your propagation station, or even the vase you keep your cut flowers in. We all know plants need water, but they also need oxygen. Fresh water has new oxygen in it, as evidenced by the chemical compound we all know, H2O. But after the water sitting out with some plant material in it, the oxygen will slowly be consumed, and the water will become stagnant. Just like it is not a good idea to drink from a stagnant stream, because of increased microbial life, it is not a good idea to keep the same water for your cuttings or fresh cut flowers. Simply pour the water out, and refill with water from the tap every two days. You can check by smelling the water, and if it smells bad to you, or is cloudy, it is likely well passed the point for changing it. This strategy will help your flowers last longer, and your water clones root faster! Good luck!

October 12, 2019

Today's episode builds on yesterday's for winterizing your plants. Once you have your plants inside, ideally they are near a window, but if not, it is possible to supplement with additional lighting you may have available in your house. Fluorescents and CFL light bulbs work great for lighting your plants through the cold and dark winter. They tend to be lower wattage than incandescent bulbs, those are the old style bulbs, and don't put out too much heat. Many homes have long tube fluorescents in the garage or basement, and they will help to keep your plants alive. If you have extras around, LED bulbs are the best for this, as they are the most energy efficient, and typically put out the correct spectrum of light. Try out a fluorescent or LED bulb for keeping your plants happy this winter!

October 11, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today's episode is about winterizing your plants for the cold weather. Many plant aficionados keep their tropical houseplants in the outdoors, or semi outdoors where they are subjected to the elements. In many parts of the country, the outdoors are now too cold for most tropical houseplants, so it is time to bring them inside! Do your final pruning or transplanting, and begin to find a location in your home or garage that stays above sixty degrees fahrenheit. Ideally, the plants will have access to a window, but you can always use supplemental lighting to keep them expanding their root structure, which is the primary function during winter. Try and water them very little, as they will be metabolizing much less, and monitor their health, and adjust light and environmental conditions as appropriate. Too little light, and too cold of weather are the primary causes of trouble through the winter with houseplants! We hope you keep your plants happy this season! Good luck!

October 10, 2019

Today's episode is about the true difference between organic and inorganic soil. An easy way to think of it is, in organic gardening, the soil feeds your plants; and in non organic gardening, fertilizers feed your plants. When using organic soils, the microbes in the soil break down the wood chips and other materials, and make nutrients available to your plants. With chemical, inorganic soils, the soil acts simply as a holder of water, and fertilizer needs to be added back in addition to the soil; since the soil's biology is likely dormant, and not able to feed the plants. We always use and suggest organic soil, even if it's more expensive, because our plants will do better in the long run, and it's easier on the environment. Chemical fertilizer is derived from oil and gas, and is incredibly energy intensive to produce. Try using worm castings, compost, and an organic soil blend for your plants. They'll be happier and it's more affordable in the long run! See you tomorrow!

October 9, 2019

Today's episode is about the most popular and most effective organic pesticide used in agriculture and plant production. Neem Oil. Derived from the seeds of the Neem tree, neem oil acts as a wonderful insect repellant, as well as slows down the reproduction of insects on our plants. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, Neem oil is an effective pesticide in food production, as well is not cancer causing. Many trials have been conducted on animals, and no long term effects nor cancer has been detected. Neem oil is actually used in many household products such as toothpaste, cosmetics, soaps, and animal shampoos, and is Generally Recognized as Safe according to the Food and Drug Administration. Neem oil is the only pesticide we use in our greenhouse, and the only pesticide we sell at Pretty in Green dot com. If you're having issues with spider mites, thrips, or almost any other bug, or simply would like to prevent pest issues, try out neem oil for an effective and safe eradication method! Thanks for listening!

October 8, 2019

As many of you know, most of our favorite house plants come from tropical climates. These plants prefer a climate with a higher humidity level than many of our indoor environments can provide. This is important as we transition to winter, which is a notoriously drier season. We are going to discuss another way to give your tropical house plants another little boost of moisture. Plants release small amounts of moisture through their leaves through transpiration. You can see this happen on the Monstera Deliciosa as water aggregates on the edges of its leaves. Grouping several plants together allows them to create a microclimate in what may be a dry environment. It makes your plants a little bit happier and you get the benefit of a visually pleasing green arrangement. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

October 7, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about how you can use an all purpose natural soap to keep pests off your houseplants. We like to use an all natural peppermint soap with no extra additives. It can be used around the house or on your body, too! To clean off your plants, mix two teaspoons of liquid soap per quart of water. Add into a spray bottle, and douse your plants out of direct sunlight. Once they are covered in spray, grab a couple paper towels and scrub off the leaves! It's like a plant bath! The peppermint scent will deter the bugs, and the wiping motion will physically remove them and kill them. It is also a great way to shine your leaves. Now, remember this can't be done with just any soap, make sure the manufacturer suggests it is OK to use on plants! We hope this helps you keep your plants pest free! See you tomorrow!

October 6, 2019

Happy Sunday everyone! Today's episode is about the four primary components to include when making your own soil mixture. First is something to keep the roots moist. Peat or coconut coir. They are both considered to be inert, meaning they have no nutrition in them. Their main job is to keep the roots moist. Next is something like perlite or vermiculite to add oxygen to the root zone. Not only do roots need water, but they need oxygen. A rocky like substance can provide this oxygen to the roots. Now, we'll work to feed the plants properly by making sure they can absorb the plant food by adjusting the P H of the soil. We'll use a garden lime typically to raise the P H of our soil closer to seven point zero. Finally, we'll add an organic general purpose fertilizer that is well balanced to feed our plants through all of their growth phases. So in conclusion, the four elements keep the roots moist, provide oxygen, make sure the soil is the correct P H, and finally feed the plants. We hope this helps you understand the important elements in a good soil! Thanks for listening!

October 5, 2019

Happy Saturday! Today's episode is about the best houseplants for your bathroom! Now a bathroom has a particular environment that is actually quite ideal for a few tropical foliage plants. It tends to have a higher humidity and more warmth than the rest of the house, due to bathing. Also, most bathrooms have at least one window to provide some light! Usually this type of environment is ideal for a peace lily. Peace Lilies do well in lower light conditions, love humidity, and also absorb mold spores! It is truly the ideal bathroom plant. Another great option if you have slightly more light is the Calathea. They love the extra humidity, and with enough light can thrive in a bathroom environment. The third option for the brightest light is the english ivy. They do really well in bright bathrooms, and have a crawling cascading effect that looks beautiful in a bathroom. We hope you can try one of these plants out for a healthier and more beautiful bathroom setting! Have a great day!

October 4, 2019

Today's episode is about how to deal with an overwatered plant. Watering is like adding ingredients in a recipe. It is always best to add some ingredients, then check the effect, then add more if you need to. Because if you overwater your soil, it's very challenging to remove the moisture. It typically needs to be removed through the air. You're going to start by getting a fan. Now, ideally you unpot the plant gently, attempting to keep the root ball entact. If you can't unpot, then this will just work slower. Turn the fan on, blowing toward the soil. The goal is to evaporate the water from the soil. Try and keep the wind away from the leaves if you can. Just point it at the soaking wet soil. As soon as the soil gets closer to an ideal moisture level, repot the plant, and position it in bright but indirect light! We hope this helps you save some of your over watered plants! We'll see you back here tomorrow!

October 3, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about what you should do with browning leaves or branches. Many plant parents see leaves that are yellowing or browning, and eagerly want to remove them. Here is a trick for how you should handle leaves that look unsightly. Gently try and remove them by pulling them away from the plant. If the plant has no more use for the leaf, it should be dry and brown, and easily pull away from the stalk of the plant. This is called senescence of a leaf in botany. The plant should essentially give you its leaf. It will do this because it no longer needs hydration, nutrients, or energy from the leaf, so it is ready to deposit it back to the soil. It's a very intuitive process, but we understand sometimes the old and dying leaf looks unsightly, so we want to remove it! If you can avoid the urge, allow the plant to remove the old leaf at its own pace! Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you tomorrow!

October 2, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about a really simple trick to making your drought tolerant plants more happy. If you have snake plants, ZZ plants, or other low water plants like succulents, it is a really good idea to make sure that the soil has sand in it. Including sand in your soil mix at five to ten percent by volume simply makes the substrate closer to what their natural habitat is like. Sand is derived from rocks, and rocky regions tend to grow more of our drought tolerant plants, such as the Haworthia, which comes from the desert. The deserts of the earth have less trees, and those trees are what creates that deep brown and black parts that make up a rich soil. That rich earth is good to have for nutrition, but you want to make sure you aren't keeping too much moisture in the plants substrate! Sand will help to combat this by improving drainage! Thanks for listening today, we'll see you tomorrow!

October 1, 2019

Welcome back! Today we'll focus on understanding when your plants are getting too little light. A very easy way to tell a plant isn't getting enough light is when the nodes are spread apart. That is the space between the leaf stems. These spaces on a rubber tree will begin to stretch out and it will lean towards the sunlight. We've also seen this commonly happen with the dieffenbachia. The plant will become long and thin and usually bend. Very weak, and small growth that is light in green color is another sign of too little light. Since plants are efficient organisms, and leaves act as surfaces to catch light energy on, leaves that aren't receiving light will be shed. Often these will be lower leaves, or leaves on the backside of a plant. Make sure to turn your plant a quarter turn each week to evenly distribute sunlight amongst all the sides. Thanks for tuning in! Have a great day!

September 30, 2019

With winter coming, I think it's most appropriate to talk about plants that do well in low light and cooler air. Here are three plants that thrive in lower light conditions. Number one, the Snake Plant. Surviving in very low light, the Snake is our local favorite for its easy to care nature, and that it is nearly impossible to kill. Next is the Pothos. Coming in a variety of colors, pothos stands up to low light well, as well as some swings of temperatures, as long as they are brief. Third is the ZZ Plant. The ZZ is so resilient, it can take low light and very little water for months! But just make sure to not over water them! The Snake, the Pothos, and the ZZ. All super easy to care for, and thrive in lower light and lower water! See you tomorrow!

September 29, 2019

Today we're talking about succulents! Succulents have remained popular for their easy of care and hardiness. Most succulents originate from arid parts of the globe where water is hard to come by. Their thick skin helps maintain their sap like insides which helps keep their moisture in hot times. Succulents are fans of bright and often direct sunlight with infrequent watering, often on the order of months. The medium you plant succulents in should be that of their natural desert like origin. Something sandy with lots of drainage! Good luck with your succulents! Keep them in bright light and make sure not to over water! This concludes your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

September 28, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're talking about pruning and shaping plants. Most of us have seen or have a lanky plant that we can't get growing in the right direction. To solve this, use your nails or a clean pair of scissors to pinch off the very tip of the stem. Make sure to get the stem. If you want to encourage vertical growth, pinch the ends of lower stems or remove the branches completely. If you want to encourage bushy, wide growth, pinch the very top of the tallest branches to slow the top growth and develop lower branches. Pruning sends hormones away from the area you are cutting, and into the other regions of the plant to encourage more shoot production! Try this out to give your plant more shape! Thanks for listening!

September 27, 2019

Today's episode is about a popular plant, the Alocasia Polly. The Genus of Alocasia are often generally referred to as elephant's ear, and are native to tropical Asia and Australia. They get the name Elephant's Ear for their large leaves on very long leaf stems. The Alocasia Polly is commonly known as African Mask because of its uniquely shaped leaves, and the contrasting venation that makes for brilliant coloring. Its unique look is definitely contributing to its popularity. Our favorite name for the Alocasia Polly around the shop is the Dinosaur plant since it looks prehistoric. The Alocasia is also an air purifier and natural humidifier. Give it bright light, just out of sunlight. And water it when the soil starts to dry up, it tends to enjoy moist soil. Thanks for listening! See you all tomorrow!

September 26, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about a situation most of us have faced. A plant is stressed out and not doing well, but we don't know how to help it. It's a very helpless feeling when this happens. The first thing to do is not freak out. Any help you give the plant will take hours or even days to notice a positive change. Next, check if the plant needs water. The pot should feel light overall if it does need water. If not, then your plants may be experiencing some sort of stress that will likely not cure rapidly. The goal here is to give it moderate conditions. A common strategy for plant parents when their plant is unhappy is to water it and put it in direct sunshine. Intuitively, this makes sense, but this can be highly stressful for houseplants. Give it indirect light, and only water it if it really needs it. Too much water can degrade conditions further. Finally, give it time. Plants do not react quickly like animals do, so any changes will take place over twelve to seventy two hours. Be patient, and look for the plant to be trending in a better direction than before. Take photos to see if the condition is degrading or improving! We hope this helps you the next time your plants are feeling sick! See you back here tomorrow!

September 25, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about the two types of triggers that tell plants when to flower. We're experiencing one right now in the northern hemisphere, and that is decreasing daylight. Some flowering plants respond to shortening days by producing flowers that need to be fertilized before the winter comes. These are photoperiod sensitive plants. Cannabis and tomatoes are types of flowers that responds to shortening photo periods, and begin flowering in late summer and fall. The other type of trigger is temperature based. In the height of summer and the warm season, many plants respond with bright flowers that are ready to be fertilized by bees. Many planted bed flowers fall into this category! All plants need a trigger for when to reproduce, and length of day and temperature are two signals plants looks for to determine when they should look to reproduce! Thanks for listening today, see you tomorrow!

September 24, 2019

Happy Fall everyone! Today's episode is on supplemental plant lighting. As the days begin to shorten, you may want to think about using a grow light to promote spring like growth through the winter. The spectrum of light you give a plant is important to the type of growth it will stimulate. Think of lighting in two categories of color temperature, blue and red spectrums. Generally speaking, the blue spectrum simulates winter and spring months, while the red light simulates summer and fall. The blue spectrum will promote bushy growth, leaf development, and root development. Your red spectrum of grow lights will create flowering conditions for a plant, and this warm spectrum of light is required for the fruiting of a plant. The warm spectrum also has a tendency to grow plants up much taller, with more space between their nodes. The cool spectrum will promote the opposite; developing thicker stems, with tighter spacing between nodes, allowing for heavier fruits to be held by the plant. First, a plant needs the cool spectrum of light to develop its infrastructure, then it can focus on flowering and fruiting! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

September 23, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is dedicated to the importance of preserving plant genetics. Did you know that almost every banana shares the exact DNA with each other? Many agricultural crops are the exact same plant that is replicated to produce the exact same results season after season. This is very common in monoculture, which the majority of western farms are structured. One crop, one species is specialized in and produced repeatedly. This carries many advantages for the grower. All uniform plant height, growth patterns, and production volume. As well as more nuanced differences such as resiliency to pests, drought, and other challenging conditions. Though it has some downsides if a pathogen infects part of the crop, usually the entire crop suffers because they are all genetically the same. It's the same way that not all humans catch the same seasonal cold. Some of us are more susceptible to certain types of colds, but resilient to others! Hooray for genetic diversity and similarity! They can both be used powerfully in different scenarios! Have a great day everyone, see you tomorrow!

September 22, 2019

Happy Sunday everyone! Today is the final episode on methods that are used to create the majority of houseplants you see and have in your home! We've discussed tissue culture, stem cuttings, and dividing plants apart. The previous episodes have examined methods that maintain the same genetics of a plant, which is usually an advantage if you find a plant with beautiful coloring or ideal growth stature. The final way is the most traditional and natural method, but the main difference is that the genetics will be different from the mother plant. This method is growth from seed. A plant needs to be cross pollinated, and will produce seeds, then those seeds are germinated and grown up into new baby plants. Its genetics will be a combination of the parents, just like us humans. This can be a good thing, but the results are less controlled as compared to the methods that use cell division. We hope you've enjoyed and learned something from this mini series on the creation of new houseplants. Thank you for listening!

September 21, 2019

Happy Saturday everyone! Yesterday we discussed how most houseplants are created from dividing their cells, and this is harnessed by humans using tissue culture or by taking stem or leaf cuttings. The primary other ways are through dividing plants from one another at a young stage. Simply put, some plants have the ability to be cut apart from one another and will survive! Careful doing this though, because many plants will not survive being cut away from the host plant. A great candidate for this is the snake plant, scientifically referred to as the Sansevieria genus. Because the snake plant spreads itself by using runners that grow underground, we can cut apart the new growth and grow them into new plants! This is a selected method because of the advantage that the new plant will share the exact same genetics as the mother plant! Tune back in tomorrow for the final part on how houseplants are created!

September 20, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about how most houseplants are created. In order to maintain the same color, shape, growth pattern, and all other characteristics of a plant, many houseplants are created through multiplying and dividing their cells to create a genetically identical plant as the mother plant. This can be carried out in a variety of different ways, but the effect is the same. It creates a new plantlet that is exactly the same as the plant it was taken from. The most popular method for this is tissue culture, which uses a small bit of plant material in a test tube, and is grown in a highly controlled environment! The at home version of this is stem or leaf cutting. Again, the result is the same. The plant replicates its cells and will turn into a new plant all together! Tune back in tomorrow for part two!

September 19, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about how the earth's oxygen is produced. It is commonly understood that the world's oxygen predominantly comes from the forests and jungles. This is partially true, and forests, trees, jungles, and all plants contribute to oxygen being produced for animals to breathe. But the unsung hero of what actually produces the majority of atmospheric oxygen is a microscopic plant found deep in the oceans! Phytoplankton is a tiny plant that is impossible to see without a microscope. It tends to aggregate in shallower waters of the ocean, and nearby the coasts. But this small plant is what creates more than fifty percent of the world's oxygen! Pretty interesting fact we thought we would share with you all! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

September 18, 2019

Welcome back everyone! The Peace Lily is our most popular plant we sell in our shop, and because of this, it is the most commonly mistreated plant for our customers. The Peace Lily comes from the understory of a rainforest, and this means it needs a consistently moist soil, with bright light, but not direct sunlight. Dry soil will make the Peace Lily go limp and lose its water pressure, as well as direct sunlight will stress it out and make it wilt. To bring it back to life, put it in direct sunlight, and place the pot in a bowl of water. Make sure the water goes two to three inches up the side of the pot! And allow it to soak in the water for a couple of hours! Your peace lily should perk right back up! Try this trick out to bring a high water plant back to life!

September 17, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is dedicated to our succulent lovers out there! We're going to be talking about the type of medium you need to use for your low water plants. The trick we use to convert our regular houseplant potting soil to succulent mix, is to add sand. Regular construction grade sand is a great way to immediately add drainage to your snake plants and cacti. Many academic studies have been completed that prove this theory of improving growth by increasing drainage. To make a do it yourself cacti mix, mix a good organic houseplant mix with fifty percent sand. So your mix will have one part sand, and one part potting soil. The added drainage allows for more air to enter the root system and simulate a desert like soil for your plants! We hope this helps you create healthy low water soil for your succulents! See you back here tomorrow!

September 16, 2019

Today's episode is meant to answer a common question we get about why the lower leaves on your Chinese Evergreen are yellowing. This type of lower leaf yellowing is common on many fast growing leafy plants, and is nothing to worry about. What you're seeing is a lack of nitrogen, which is the nutrient that makes the leaves green. Since nitrogen is a mobile nutrient it can be transported throughout the plant. Therefore, when new leaves are being created, the plant will remove nitrogen from lower older leaves to provide for the new growth. This yellowing can be solved by fertilizing your plants soil with an organic nitrogen fertilizer such as worm castings. This way, the next time new leaves are growing, the plant can use the nitrogen in the soil instead of taking it from other leaves! Thanks for tuning in today, we'll see you tomorrow!

September 15, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about an unusual sight that you might encounter while practicing organic gardening. All of the soil we use at Pretty in Green Plants is organic and very alive with beneficial bacteria and fungi. This means that you might find different varieties of fungal spores growing on the top of your soil! This is completely normal, and what we call good mold. It is actually a great sign when you find the correct type of fungi living in your soil because it is part of the soil food web. Fungi breaks down large chunks of wood chips that exist in your soil! This allows for beneficial bacteria to enter the wood particles and make nutrients available to your plants! So if you see fungal activity on your organic soil, or in a brand new bag of soil, do not fret! It is actually a sign of very healthy and alive soil. Thanks for listening today, we'll see you tomorrow!

September 14, 2019

Happy Saturday! Today's episode is about the imperfections plants have. One of the primary questions new plant parents ask is if the marks on their plants leaves mean they are sick. Ninety nine percent of the time, the answer is no. It's usually just a scar from physical damage. Think about it. Tropical house plants have much softer skin than you and I do, so they are more likely to be bruised when they are touched or bumped. But just because they have a brown mark on their leaf, doesn't mean they are sick, necessarily. And that scar will scab up, but it will never heal, but that's okay! Plants continually produce new leaves, literally forever! A new leaf will appear and be perfect, until it is scarred, and a new one replaces that one! New plant parents are just like parents with their first child. Every mark and hiccup is scary, until the second kid comes around, and you realize all will be okay! Thanks for listening today, we hope you have a wonderful weekend!

September 13, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about the importance of keeping unneeded water off your leaves. As the ancient farmers wisdom goes, the best time to water is in the morning. This is not only because that's when photosynthesis starts, but you don't want to get unneeded water on your plants leaves in the middle of the day. If the water contains salts or minerals, it has the ability to stain or burn your plants leaves, when combined with the sun. If you'd like to mist your plants, make sure to do so in the mornings, and ideally not when the sun is directly on them! The worst time to mist or water your plants is when the sun is going down, because that is when decomposers begins to start their day. Decomposers thrive in dark and damp conditions, and that is exactly what night time brings, so you don't want to encourage that process! We hope this helps you keep your plants more healthy! Thanks for listening!

September 12, 2019

As the weather begins to cool down across north america, today is about trees that have adapted to survive the freezing winter weather. The two types of trees we're focusing on are deciduous trees and conifers; and specifically, we're looking at the example of the Maple tree to represent those trees that lose their leaves, and the pine tree, to represent the cone bearing trees. The reason why Maple Trees survive winter is because they drop their leaves as the temperatures begin to fall; and that protects their leaves from cold. But what protects their trunks and branches? Maple Syrup! Yup! Sugary sap runs through their veins during winter. It works like a plant antifreeze! Their sap contains hydration and nutrition to stay healthy through the winter season, and it won't freeze in low temperatures! It simply becomes thicker and moves slower as the temperature falls lower and lower! It's quite ingenious! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

September 11, 2019

Today is about the importance of watering slowly. Think about how plants receive water in the wild. It's typically through rain, or being near a body of water and continuously receiving moisture through the soil. In most normal cases, it's a very slow process of wetting the soil in a slow manner. This is how we should be watering our plants. Slowly, by letting each bit we pour on the soil absorb before pouring more. It is a bit more time consuming to water this way, but it will ensure that the root zone stays undisturbed, and the soil structure remains intact. It's also important to not disturb the microbes in your soil. After all, fungi and bacteria in the soil are the real heros of plants, by breaking down organic matter and making it available as a nutrient to plants! We hope this helps you understand a bit more about the biology in your soil! Thanks for listening, and be sure to check back tomorrow!

September 10, 2019

Welcome back! Now we all know how to tell if a plant needs water based on its soil being dry, and the plant seeming limp. But a more subtle method for telling if a plant needs water is the color of the leaves. The typical vibrance and richness of color in a leaf will be decreased when a plant needs hydration. Most house plants do this, but many plants such as the spider plant, fittonia, maranta, and calathea will all begin to fade their color as their roots dry. This is an additional indicator you can use for intuitively telling when your plant needs a drink. The green colors will turn to a more muted green, and almost grey like color. Though it is not good for plants to reach this stage, if you see your plants losing their color, it could be from underwatering! Give them a good drink, and they will regain their color within a few hours! Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

September 9, 2019

Today's episode is about caring for hanging plants through the colder months of the year. While summer brings a humid heat in many places, the winter brings a dry cold, or artificial heat from indoor heaters. Since heat rises, make sure to take care that hanging plants are adequately watered. It is a good practice to take down your plants once a week and inspect them. We prefer Sundays for this task. Ensure there are no bugs, remove any dead growth, and water the plants that need the hydration. We prefer to water in our sink, and let the plant drip dry in the dish rack for an hour before hanging back up for the week! We hope this helps your hanging plants thrive this year! See you tomorrow!

September 8, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about caring for the Maranta, also known as the prayer plant. They are given this colloquial name because at night, they move their leaves toward the upright position that looks similar to hands praying. Marantas thrive in bright but indirect light, and prefer their soil to be moist. Like the Calatheas, they can succumb to browning leaf tips due to lack of water in their soil, or lack of humidity in the air. This is likely because the two plants come from the same family, marantaceae. At night, both the Calatheas and the Marantas tend to move their leaves upward, in a vertical fashion. This is thought to potentially pour any moisture that has aggregated on the leaves, back down onto their soil. Quite smart for a plant that needs moist soil to thrive! Remember these plants come from the tropical rainforest, so the closer we can get their environmental conditions to that, the better! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

September 7, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is devoted to a common issue with the Calathea plant family. The Calathea is known to be a fussy plant due to its commonly browning edges. Many new plant parents fret when they see this browning, but worry not, it happens to many Calatheas. This is due to a lack of moisture in the leaves. It can be from too little water in the soil, or from too little humidity in the air. Try and keep your calatheas soil moist so that when the plant needs water, it can take from the soil and not its own leaves. In combination with keeping the soil moist, but not wet, try and mist the bottom and top of your calatheas leaves. This extra moisture is another way to combat the browning leaf edges and should help too! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

September 6, 2019

Today's episode is about our most popular pet safe plants! These pet safe options are easy to care for too! And they are all non-toxic to dogs and cats! Number one for being pet safe and easy to care for is the Spider Plant! Medium light, and a waterings every week or so, the Spider Plant works well as a desk plant or a hanging plant option. Number two is the Neanthe Bella Palm. Doing best in medium to bright, indirect light, the Bella Palm is easy to grow and only needs to be watered once a week. The third pet safe option is the Calathea Rattlesnake. Non-toxic to dogs and cats, the Calathea enjoys bright, but indirect light with waterings once per week. We'll see you tomorrow!

September 5, 2019

With late Summer's heat, today's episode is about why plants wilt. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that the plant runs out of water. Plants use pressurized water throughout their stems and stalks to maintain their upright posture. The next most common reason for wilting is from overwatering. This type of wilting is not as drastic as underwatering. When a plant receives too much water, we would consider it to be called drooping. The leaves no longer point upwards to the sky, or parallel to the ground, and actually point down towards the ground. We've also seen wilting occur from cold weather, too much sun, or too much fertilizer. Any massive shock to the plant will make it react very quickly to the new condition. This is why it's so important to begin to learn to read your plants. Thanks for listening today, see you tomorrow!

September 4, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about how to inspect and treat for root rot. You can identify root rot by decaying mushy stems close to the dirt of the plant, and sometimes an odor. The plant will be limp and the exterior leaves will be yellowing. The first way to check is to unpot the plant from its pot. You are going to inspect the roots to ensure they are white or beige in color and should be crunchy and firm. If they are blackening, and slimy, it is likely you have root rot. Worry not, it happens to all of us! To treat it, gently pull away old dirt and dead roots. The healthy roots will remain on the plant, while the dead roots will come apart. Now, fill a bowl of water with a sterilizing solution. This can be done with equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide, or you can use five drops of bleach per glass of water, roughly a cap full per gallon. Submerge the entire root ball into the sterilizing solution, and gently move around to knock off dead browning chunks of roots. Swish the roots around gently, and try to keep the healthy roots intact. Now, repot the plant in healthy fresh soil with adequate drainage from perlite or another rock like media. Remember, root rot is encouraged by overwatering. We hope this helps you combat root rot! Thanks for tuning in, see you tomorrow!

September 3, 2019

Do you ever notice your large leafed plants having water droplets at the ends of their leaves? Frequently in the mornings, on our Monstera and our Chinese evergreen, we find single water droplets at the end of their leaf tips, and sometimes small droplets on the ground around them. What's going on here? What you're seeing is actually the aftermath of transpiration. That is, the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as moisture. When a plant enters a breathing cycle of inhaling carbon dioxide, and expelling oxygen, it must open its pores. When it opens its pores, or as they are called in botany, stoma, it naturally releases moisture. Most of this moisture is lost to the air, but some sticks on the leaves, and collects at the lowest point, which is often the tips of the leaves! This explains the water droplets we see on our plants! It's a very healthy sign if you see this! Thanks for listening, and if you enjoy the Alexa flash briefing, please rate and review it in the Alexa App! See you tomorrow!

September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day, folks! We'll continue today talking about functions a plant performs prior to the colder months of fall and winter. Depending on the level of cold your region experiences, your plant will adjust the degree of winterization it needs. Once a plant recognizes days are becoming shorter, and temperatures are falling, it begins toughening up all of its branches and stems that were green and new through spring. On tree like varieties, you can notice this happening by a browning on the stem, creating a woody look to the trunk of the tree. Overtime, this becomes what we all know as tree bark. As layers and layers of epidermis cover over the stalk of the tree, this thick bark develops. Notice that conifers and pine trees that reside in the colder regions have a very thick bark to insulate from the cold, whereas oak trees have a bark, but it is not nearly as thick as those plants experiencing freezing temperatures. Many of our indoor house plants will not winterize at all, as they come from the tropical rainforest, and they simply do not have that capability. So make sure to monitor the temperatures your plants are in, and keep them out of temperatures less than sixty degrees fahrenheit, or fifteen degrees celsius for our metric friends! A great rule of thumb to determine how much extreme weather a plant can take is how woody its stem looks! The tougher it looks, the colder it can take. The more tropical and lush green, the more fragile! Thanks for listening today, we'll see you tomorrow!

September 1, 2019

Happy September, everyone! Today's episode is all about roots. Since the fall and winter seasons will allow your plants to develop stronger and healthier root systems, it is best to know the importance and function of roots! Now we all know roots help plants consume water, but one we often forget about is anchoring! Roots serve a crucial mechanical purpose of anchoring a plant into the ground, or into another surface like a tree! This allows them to maintain their upright position and adjust their leaves for the optimal light. In addition, roots gather nutrients from the soil, as well as find oxygen pockets throughout. Remember, it's vital roots have equal access moisture and oxygen. Once the roots absorb water and nutrients, they use capillary action to move them vertically, against gravity, up through their stems! In some cases, hundreds of feet high, depending on the type of plant! Take care of your roots this fall, and it should create happy plants in spring! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 31, 2019

With kids back in school, and labor day weekend upon us, sadly the end of summer is approaching. For those who are counting, technically there are three weeks of summer left for the northern hemisphere of the earth! As the days continue to shorten leading up to December twenty first, which is winter equinox, plants will recognize the shortening days, and signal their system to prepare for hibernation. Through fall, you will still see mild growth, but it will be slowed compared to spring or summer! Even though you won't see as much growth going on above the surface, plenty is occurring beneath the soil! Root production is going into overdrive during winter hibernation, so your plants will be ready to find all the water they can, come spring time! So don't fret if you think your plants haven't grown much over the next few months, they are likely very happy! Also, remember they will be slowing down growth, therefore they will not need as much water as before, so adjust watering schedules accordingly! We hope you enjoy the long holiday weekend in the United States! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you back here tomorrow!

August 30, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about styling indoor spaces with plants. If you're planning to move, or simply would like to redo a room's decor, we have a couple handy tricks to make it go as smooth as possible! Step one is to pick out and place the major pieces of furniture and appliances. Place the bed, couch, tv, tables, and chairs in the final locations. Next up, you're going to choose the plants from biggest to smallest. Your large statement piece plants like fiddle leaf fig trees, rubber trees, tall snake plants, hanging plants, or any plants on stands should be placed in your space next. Then you'll move onto your table top plants that will be accent pieces. Finally, use art as a subtle backfill, without over cluttering the space. Likely the biggest misstep in interior design is overcrowding spaces. It is naturally calming for humans to have white space throughout the interior of a home. It tends to give a sense of calm, peace, and airiness, and allows the mind to fill in the gaps with what it chooses! We hope this helps your next interior design! Good luck!

August 29, 2019

Today's episode is about one of the oldest plants on land, the Fern! Ferns are estimated to have lived on earth for over three hundred million years. Because of their age, they interestingly enough don't have seeds, but instead they have spores. A Boston fern will drop millions of spores in hopes of creating new baby ferns, albeit with a low success rate. The spores can often be seen on the underside of mature leaves as black specks. The Boston fern is also a great humidifier, and air purifier. It has the ability to absorb formaldehyde which is found in cigarettes and fabrics, as well as other Volatile Organic Compounds. They make for gorgeous hanging plants, as seen in New Orleans and other parts of the South. They love the warm and humid air of that region. Just make sure to keep your fern's soil moist! Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

August 28, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about the importance of keeping CAM plants in your bedroom! Crassulacean acid metabolism, or simply CAM, is a type of photosynthesis that is the reverse of most plants. This means that they exchange air during the dark, whereas most plants do their air exchange while it is light out. This odd characteristic makes CAM plants perfect candidates for bedrooms, because they release oxygen while we sleep, and absorb the carbon dioxide, which exactly offsets us! To find these types of plants for bedrooms, look for low light succulent varieties such as snake plant and Z Z plants. CAM plants have been found to operate in this unusual way because the arid and tough conditions they come from. Every ounce of water they have cannot be wasted, so they have adapted to not open their pores when it is light out, in order to minimize water loss. Try out some of these unique plants to boost oxygen levels in your bedroom at night! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 27, 2019

Today's episode is about understanding the perfect amount of light for houseplants. For new plant parents, the number one question we are asked is, how much direct sunlight do their plants need. For tropical houseplants, the answer is none. In fact, with much of any direct sunlight, leaves will often burn. This leaf sunburn has helped us come up with the best way to explain the ideal light. The perfect amount of indirect light can be described as bright as possible without it sunburning you. So, if your skin can tolerate it, then a houseplant can likely, too. Another way to think about it is, the perfect amount of ambient light to read a book in. You don't want to read a book in direct sunlight, but also not in the dark. Houseplants rely on light photons being reflected off of other surfaces, and their leaves capturing them. Aim for this amount of light! We hope this helps you understand bright, but indirect light better! See you tomorrow!

August 26, 2019

Welcome back! Today is dedicated to one of our favorite plants, the Z Z plant. It is a perfect plant for the fall and winter months! It goes by a shortened name, because its full name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a bit of a latin mouth full! The Z Z plant is native to Africa. All the way from Kenya, down to South Africa! Because where it comes from does not experience lots of rain, it is very drought tolerant. We've actually only had issues with the Z Z plant when we've overwatered it! Give it low to medium, indirect light; with waterings every four to six weeks, and it will thrive! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 25, 2019

There is about one month until fall begins. So today's episode is about preparing your plants for the fall months. The autumn season brings shorter days and cooler weather. The shorter and colder days will slow down plant growth until they reach hibernation. Many houseplants can endure fifty degrees fahrenheit, and some as low as forty. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker your leaves are, the colder weather they can handle. If you have any plants outside, begin preparing your indoor spaces with temperatures above fifty or sixty degrees fahrenheit, and potentially with additional supplemental lighting. Additional lighting will allow you to extend the growing season, and trick your plants into believing it is still summer. There is something beautiful about an indoor thriving tropical houseplant contrasted amongst a snowy outdoors. Enjoy the last month of summer everyone! See you back here tomorrow!

August 24, 2019

Today's episode is dedicated to one of the most common houseplant issues, root rot. Decaying roots is one of the most typical issues with plants, due to overwatering. Pythium fungi is the genus to blame and is always awaiting the perfect opportunity to strike. It is in most water sources and soil, so there is no reason to try and avoid it, but the idea is to avoid creating its favorite conditions. Pythium thrives in moist, warm, and areas with low oxygen. Overwatering often creates these anaerobic conditions, and allows for the perfect opportunity for Pythium. Try and avoid it by not overwatering, and making sure your soil has adequate oxygen holding materials such as perlite. If you think you might have root rot, treat the roots with diluted hydrogen peroxide or a five percent bleach and water solution. This should kill off any fungi in the roots, but it kills off everything as it is an antibiotic of sorts. Let the soil dry out and you may have a chance of saving your plant! We hope this helps! See you back here tomorrow!

August 23, 2019

Today is about understanding the quantity to water, when you're watering. Understanding when to water is probably the most important, but the volume of water you're watering with is a close second. The rule of thumb you're going to want to use is just under half of the volume of the container size. We try and use a visual measurement. Sometimes we'll place a glass of water next to the pot, with enough water so that the cup would fill the pot halfway up. This doesn't have to be exact, it is just a good rule of thumb when in doubt. Also, keep in mind this method is best for plants that aren't very water hungry, and that have not been heavily dried out. This works great for Sansevierias, Pothos, Philodendrons, and most common houseplants that need to be watered every week or two. For Peace Lilies, Spider plants, and more water-hungry plants, you can water one to two times the volume of the container size. That is because these plants are more challenging to overwater. We hope this clarifies the second more important part about watering; how much water to give your plants! Thanks for tuning in today! Have a wonderful day!

August 22, 2019

As many of you know, most of our favorite house plants come from tropical climates. These plants prefer a climate with a higher humidity level than many of our indoor environments can provide. Try and aim for relative humidity levels greater than fifty percent in your home! Your skin might thank you, too! We are going to discuss another way to give your tropical house plants another little boost of moisture. Plants release small amounts of moisture through their leaves through transpiration. Grouping several plants together allows them to create a microclimate in what may be a dry environment. It makes your plants a little bit happier and you get the benefit of a visually pleasing green arrangement. You can also try to fill a tray with pebbles and a bit of water, and even point a fan at the water to speed up the evaporation into the air. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

August 21, 2019

If you've had houseplants for some time you may have noticed a crust like residue made up of tiny white granules on the surface of the soil. Just what is that, and how did it get there? It is a build up of soluble salts from fertilizer, or the use of hard water. Left unchecked, it could damage plants by preventing them from absorbing water properly. If you use clay pots the salts can build up on the outside as a white bloom. The easiest way to keep salt build up in check is to flush the soil several times with clean water until it drains from the bottom and make sure any standing water is removed. Use twice as much water as the container will hold. Wait thirty to sixty minutes and repeat. Do this every six months and avoid over fertilizing to prevent future build up. Thanks for listening and we'll see you tomorrow!

August 20, 2019

Today's episode is about the magnificent Ficus family. This massive genus contains over eight hundred and fifty woody trees. Many of which are popular house plants! Among some of the most popular are Ficus Lyrata, A K A The Fiddle leaf Fig Tree. Ficus elastica, the Rubber Tree. And Ficus Benjamina, the Weeping Fig. Ficus carica is the species that produces the fig fruit many of us enjoy! These trees are native to the tropics, and many have the ability to clean toxins from the air! Though, be careful with the sap that comes out of the plant when a leaf breaks, as it can irritate human skin. And they are not pet safe plants, generally. Many of these woody trees have the ability to grow thirty to fifty feet tall, and because of this, most can be transitioned to nearly full direct sunshine. If grown indoors, they need lots of light! Check out the Ficus family for a variety of stunning plants! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 19, 2019

Welcome back! Yesterday we talked about methods to sterilize scissors, razor blades, cups, or any other tools that come in contact with the newly cut plant. This can be done with alcohol or diluted bleach. Today, we'll discuss what you should be actually cutting. Many new gardeners attempt to take cuttings of simply leaves, but these will never be able to grow. The shoot you choose to cut from should be relatively new and young, feel soft and flexible, and should be where the primary growth occurs. For instance, when taking a cutting from a fiddle leaf fig tree, you need to include the primary growth stalk, not just the leaf. Though a leaf with petiole will root, it will not grow into a new plant, because it does not have stem cells. I think this is the first time the term stem cells has made practical sense! The D N A of the plant is carried in the stem, and in order for the new plant to have the same genetics, it needs to also have some of the stem! Whew! We hope that wasn't too sciency! Thanks for sticking with us! See you back here tomorrow!

August 18, 2019

Welcome back to Houseplant tips and tricks! Today is about tricks for multiplying your plants. Most commercially available plants are propagated through processes that do not involve the plant going to seed. This way, new plants can be made faster and cheaper than allowing a new generation be raised from seed. It's also preferred, because the new plants will be genetically identical to the plant that they were taken from. With youtube, and other video tutorials, it's becoming more common for gardeners to attempt to multiply their plants themselves, but it's important to remember a few different things before attempting cloning. The number one rule about plant propagation is sterilization. That means keeping all of your tools clean and free from bacteria and fungi. Most cuttings are taken with scissors or a razor blade, but it is critical this surface is free of all life. Sterilization can be completed in a variety of ways. The easiest and most effective is high strength rubbing alcohol. Wipe down all tools using during propagation with alcohol. The next is bleach. Though confusing to most new plant parents, bleach is widely used in the industry. Ten drops per gallon of clorox bleach should act to kill any pathogens on the surface. Tune in tomorrow for part two!

August 17, 2019

Today we're going to discuss the most obvious indicator of plant health. This should be very easy to notice, especially during the summer. It is how straight a plant is standing, both stems and leaves. Scientifically, this is called turgor, or a plant's water system pressure. Essentially, how strong its stems and leaves are. We've noticed that many Pothos around our shop are beginning to point straight up towards the light. They're beginning to grow, and this is a very obvious sign of a healthy plant! If your plants leaves are more limp or wilted, there might be something going wrong. This can happen from any sort of stress. Too much light, too much water, too little water, or too much fertilizer! We hope this helps! We'll see you tomorrow!

August 16, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some trees have small, skinny needle like leaves, whereas other plants have large leaves? Leaf sizes are thought to be determined based upon how much sunlight and heat a plant will get. For instance, pine needles, like those on a conifer are located at the higher portions of the canopy. These smaller leaves have the ability to diffuse heat, and capture plenty of light because they are often subjected to the brightest sun. There are many pine needles that act to capture sunlight simultaneously. In contrast, plants with larger, broader leaves light the Elephant's Ear, are often located in the lower elevations of the canopy where sunlight is more scarce. With more shade, these lower plants need a larger surface area to capture light energy, and they do not have to deal with overheating of the leaf surface. Plants never cease to surprise us with their adaptability! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

August 15, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about learning what type of light to use for plants that are not green. One of the most unique things to learn about lighting for plants is that they reflect and do not absorb light that is the same color as them. For instance, green plants do not see green light, and they do not absorb it. So, if you have a reddish plant, it is important to give it wavelengths of light that are more blue or green, and not red. This concept can be understood better by thinking about sunshine hitting a bright white wall. Much of the light is reflected because the sun is a similar color as the wall. Conversely, a black wall will absorb much of the light energy and heat up because it is the exact opposite color of the sun. Thank you for tuning in! See you tomorrow.

August 14, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today marks the one year anniversary of this flash briefing! We thank all of you for listening everyday, and hope to continue expanding the Houseplant tips and tricks! Today's episode is on supplemental plant lighting. Supplemental plant lighting can help extend the growing season. Come fall and winter, if you decide to opt for indoor supplemental plant lighting, you will likely purchase a full spectrum L E D light. It will provide the blue, yellow and red spectrum of light visible to plants. Once you get the light, make sure to place it close to the top of your plants. Light intensity decreases heavily with distance. Place your light between eight and eighteen inches from the top of your plants. If you purchased an LED light above twenty watts, increase spacing to closer to two feet away, as to not burn your plants! Put your light on a timer for between sixteen and twenty hours on; or just turn on as needed. But remember, your plants will photosynthesize more now, and consume more water, so make sure to water and fertilize regularly! Thanks for tuning in today, we'll see you tomorrow!

August 13, 2019

Today's episode is about basic houseplant upkeep. Since your plants' leaves primary goal is to absorb light, you want to make sure they can do this as efficiently as possible. When you have solar panels, you have to wipe them off for dust to make sure they continue absorbing light at an efficiency as high as possible. So you're going to get into the habit of cleaning your plants too. Keeping your houseplants' leaves clean not only make them shine and look great, but it can keep pests at bay, too! For this, you're going to need a spray bottle, a clean cloth, white vinegar and water. Fill the spray bottle with one part white vinegar, nine parts water; so a ten percent solution of vinegar to water. Out of direct sunlight, mist the leaves. Then, one by one, wipe them down gently. Making sure to remove any dust, dirt, or bugs. You'll notice this method removes any water spotting from the leaves, and the leaves will be much shinier. Try to do this every two weeks. Not only will it make your plants look great, but it will get you in the habit of inspecting for pests! Tune in tomorrow morning for another episode!

August 12, 2019

Welcome back! Today we continue on soil composition. Yesterday we discussed the ingredients that provide water and oxygen to the root systems of plants. Today is about what feeds the plants. When blending a soil mix, it is necessary to add a fertilizer. Assuming organic ingredients, which we always recommend, this is typically derived from plants or animals. Fertilizer will contain the appropriate building blocks for plant life, and allow plants to create chlorophyll, which is the green color you see, and this green color is what allows plants to photosynthesize and grow. But before the plants absorb nutrients, we need to add an ingredient to adjust the P H of the soil. This is typically garden lime to increase the P H of the soil to around seven, which is neutral. So to recap feeding a plant, we'll use an analogy. We need to give roots water to drink, oxygen to breathe, food to eat, and we need to make sure the food is the right temperature, so that it is absorbed properly. We hope this helps you understand a bit more on how soil is created to help your plants thrive! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 11, 2019

Hello everyone! Today begins a series on soil composition. Root systems need water, oxygen, and nutrients to thrive, though we'll cover nutrients tomorrow. We'll start with the large soil components that make up a good blend for all plants. These two types either hold water, or provide oxygen. The first is the one we are all accustomed to, water holding. This is your dirt. The decomposed tree bark, leaves, and other carbon based life forms that have transitioned into earth. In a soil mix, this can also be your peat moss, compost, or coconut coir. They all serve the same purpose to the root mass, to provide hydration. They store water, and give it to the roots when needed. The other large component of soil is one that provides oxygen to the roots. In commercial nurseries and houseplants, this is typically perlite, vermiculite, sand, gravel, pebbles, or rocks. The point is, these media do not absorb much water at all, and create voids in the soil mix that hold pockets of air, which provides oxygen to the root mass. So to recap, there are two main big ingredients in soil, one that holds water, and one that holds oxygen. Tomorrow we'll discuss the nutrients that feed the plants!

August 10, 2019

Today's episode is about our favorite organic fertilizer, earthworm castings. Worm castings are an organic fertilizer produced by earthworms when they eat compost. They aerate the soil and also aid in water retention. They also slowly release nutrients which is beneficial if you don't plan on repotting your houseplants anytime soon. Worm castings can also help repel pests like spider mites and aphids because of their beneficial microbial properties. Some gardeners use a diluted solution of worm castings and water to spray on their outdoor gardens to keep pests away. They're considered black gold in the organic gardening community! Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

August 9, 2019

Today's episode is about the fastest growing plant on earth, bamboo. Moso bamboo is the largest temperate bamboo on earth, and is known for being a rapid grower. The most mature groves will grow the largest and fastest bamboo. In its peak spring growth, Phyllostachys Edulis can grow as much as three feet per day, and will reach heights of seventy five feet tall. But it can take ten years to have a plant mature enough to grow at this pace. In China, Moso bamboo is the most popular and utilized version of bamboo, and is used for plywood, paper, food, furniture, and other green building products. This concludes our episode on bamboo! See you tomorrow!

August 8, 2019

Today's episode is devoted to the very popular, but smaller tribe of plants called the Monsteras. The name comes to us from latin, where it means monstrous or abnormal. Monstera is a genus in the Arum family with about fifty species in it. They primarily hail from central and south america, found deep in the jungles. The most popular species of the Monstera is the Monstera Deliciosa. Also known as the swiss cheese plant. Or more confusingly, the split leaf philodendron. Even though it is not a philodendron! Monstera deliciosa has massive dark green leaves that often look heart shaped. Once they are old enough, and receive adequate light, they will create slits and holes in their leaves. It's a heavily debated topic as to why these plants create holes in their leaves, but it makes for a visually attractive plant! If you'd like to venture down the very rare segment of Monsteras, check out the highly sought after Thai Constellation, which is a variegated Monstera Deliciosa. It is beautiful! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 7, 2019

Today's episode is devoted to a very popular plant tribe, the Philodendrons. Known for their heart shaped leaves, Philodendron the name comes from Greek. Where Philo means love, and dendron means tree. The love tree. Philodendron is the second largest genus collection in the Arum family, containing about five hundred different species. The most popular you likely know is the heartleaf philodendron. Its latin name is philodendron hederaceum. It has waxy, dark green leaves that are shaped like hearts. It makes for a beautiful hanging plant, and is wonderful for beginners. You may also recognize the Philodendron bipinnatifidum, also known as the lacy tree philodendron, with its massive leaves that are often found in peoples' yards in full sun. Try out a philodendron for an easy to care for houseplant experience! Thanks for listening! See you back here tomorrow!

August 6, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we'll focus on understanding when your plants are getting too little light. A very easy way to tell a plant isn't getting enough light is when the nodes are spread apart. That is the space between the leaf stems. These spaces on a rubber tree or fiddle leaf fig tree will begin to stretch out and it will lean towards the sunlight. The plant will become long and thin and usually bend. Very weak, and small growth that is light in green color is another sign of too little light. Since plants are efficient organisms, and leaves act as surfaces to catch light energy on, leaves that aren't receiving light will be shed. Often these will be lower leaves, or leaves on the backside of a plant. Make sure to turn your plant a quarter turn each week to evenly distribute light amongst all the sides. And finally, the most obvious tell that a plant is getting too little light is stunted growth during the growing months of Summer and Spring. Keep an eye on each of your plants and make sure they're getting adequate light! Thanks for tuning in! Have a great day!

August 5, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about the veins of a plant. The rivers and tunnels that keep plants alive. If you look at any leaf, you will notice a distinct pattern, much like a fingerprint, that is designed to carry hydration and sugars throughout the plant. Some plants like grasses and lilies have parallel veins, while others have highly complex systems of veins that look like valleys and rivers through mountains. These systems are called Xylem and Phloem. The Xylem carries the water for the plant, while the phloem tends to carry the sugars that have been produced through photosynthesis. These two systems maintain the health of the plant, and do so working against gravity to carry water hundreds of feet high, for certain trees. All without the use of a pump! Pretty amazing! This concludes our episode on Xylem and Phloem! Thanks for listening!

August 4, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today's episode is about what happens when plants overheat. We figure this is an appropriate episode since much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing a warm summer. When a plant reaches its threshold for weather that is too warm, it immediately goes into preservation mode. For many houseplants this is around ninety degrees fahrenheit, and for many fruits and vegetables, it can be above one hundred degrees, but it is plant dependent. The plants don't need to be in direct sun to react negatively to heat. At these threshold temperatures, the plant closes its stomata, which are its pores, to limit the amount of water lost to evaporation. Because of this, photosynthesis is halted, and growth stops. Many times the plant can avoid any harm, but if the heat lasts too long, the plant will begin to lose water, and eventually wilt. When you see a plant wilting, you're seeing a loss of water pressure through the plant. Make sure to keep your plants hydrated, and out of the summer's heat! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

August 3, 2019

Happy Saturday! We've all seen yellowing or dying off leaves on our plants, right? Keep in mind this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is quite natural for a plant to discard unneeded leaves. Also, if you can resist the temptation, keep the dying leaf on the plant. Plants transfer the nutrients from the old leaf and move that food to its other leaves. That is the green color you see in the leaf! If the yellowing leaves are primarily lower leaves, it might mean the plant needs a bit more fertilizer or light. Since a leaf's job is to absorb light, and a plant is getting less than ideal light, it will shed the lower, unneeded leaves to provide for new growth. Thanks for listening! Tune in tomorrow for more!

August 2, 2019

Today's episode is dedicated to determining the appropriate pot size for an existing plant in your garden. To determine when to go to the next size of pot, you are going to look at the drainage holes and see if any roots are popping out. If there are, it is time to transplant. Also, look for the pot bending and deforming due to a large root mass. These are all indicators your plant needs repotting. The goal of transplanting is to give your plants additional root space around the excess roots. Aim for about one inch all the way around. This will help hydrate the plant and allow it to expand its root mass, which is critical for growth. A rootbound plant's growth will be stunted, so make sure to transplant when needed. But it is also important to not transplant too early. It is common for new plant parents to be eager to transplant, but often that leads to a plant being overwatering, since the root mass is not large enough to support that volume of soil. We hope this helps you give your houseplants the space they need! Have a great day!

August 1, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is dedicated to one of the most common issues we see with newer plant parents, especially in the summer. The most popular issue is underwatering tropical, water hungry plants. Water hungry plants like the Peace Lily, Dieffenbachia, and Spider plants, all need to be thoroughly watered usually about once per week. And we mean really drench the soil, but do it slowly. Make sure the pot is much heavier than when you began, and make sure a good amount of water flows from the drainage hole. Although, in the winter, the most common issue is overwatering, we are currently seeing many customers having issues with under watering in this heat! Remember, the hot weather makes water evaporate into the air much quicker. So make sure to give your tropical plants the hydration they need; especially when it is hot out! Thanks for listening today! See you here tomorrow!

July 31, 2019

Welcome to the last day of July. In most parts of the United States, the weather has been quite warm this summer. It can be frustratingly warm, but be sure to make the best of it, because we only have half of summer left. Get outside and do the projects you wanted to. Plant those seeds you've been meaning to. Transplant those plants that are begging for some fresh soil. Your plants will thank you, and you'll feel good about the progress! The hardest thing is getting started, so get out there and do it before the cold of winter comes back, and we're all wishing for the warm air and long days again! From all of us at Pretty in Green Plants, we hope you have a great day today. See you tomorrow!

July 30, 2019

Today's episode is about pottery. We now have endless options for different pots and containers to put our plants in, but when did this all start? Pottery is actually one of the oldest human inventions. With the potters wheel originating in Mesopotamia about five thousand years B C. But ancient pottery has been around for tens of thousands of years in Europe, Asia, and South America. The process is shared all over the world. Mix a portion of earth with water, shape into the desired object, allow to dry, fire to harden, and pot with your desired plant. This process of shaping dirt, clay and water into useful objects revolutionized agriculture, and hasn't changed much since. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. See you tomorrow!

July 29, 2019

Welcome back. Today's episode is about determining the current health of your plants. When trying to see if there is anything wrong with your plant's nutrition, always look to the newest growth. This is typically on the top of the plant. Those newest leaves will reflect the most recent conditions the plant has been subjected to. Old growth that has marks, burns, yellowing, or any sort of discoloration on the leaves will never repair itself, so remember to look to the latest growth as an indicator of health. We hope this helps you diagnose your plants better! Have a great day!

July 28, 2019

Does your houseplant have brown tips? Sadly, there's no way to revive the dried up tips, but it is a reason for checking in with your care routine. Firstly, just because the tips are crispy it may not mean that your plant needs more water. Roots absorb water and the stems deliver it to the leaves, but if something is keeping the roots from doing their job properly it can prevent enough water from reaching all parts of the leaves. Let's start by checking the soil! If your soil is dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot, your soil might be a bit dry. If you check an inch below the surface and it's soggy, your watering routine may need to be decreased. Thanks for listening!

July 27, 2019

Today we'll go over one thing to check if you notice your entire plant turning yellow. Is your houseplant getting enough light? It may seem obvious, but is your plant in a room with the curtains drawn? Plants that need more light may begin to shed the lower leaves. They are highly efficient organisms that only hold the amount of leaves that they must have. Depending on the species, you may want to consider moving it to another location where it gets more light. Make sure you check if your plant prefers direct or indirect light best. Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

July 26, 2019

Today's episode is about what makes a name. Plants have various names, but the most typical name a plant is referred to is the common name. And there are very often many common names for a plant; especially the popular ones. For instance, the Pilea is commonly referred to as the chinese money plant, flying saucer plant, and the pancake plant. Though common names make it easy to reference a plant, they can also lead to confusion. To be as accurate as possible, it is best to refer to a plant by its Genus and Species. For instance, Monstera deliciosa is the Genus and species of a very popular plant, but it is incorrectly referred to as a split leaf philodendron. Even though it does not belong to the genus Philodendron. So to be accurate, learn the genus and species of your favorite plants, then you'll be able to know exactly which plant you're referring to with friends and at nurseries! Thanks for listening!

July 25, 2019

Hello everyone! Have you ever wondered what kind of water you should be using to water your houseplants? Or how much? For most gardeners, tap water is OK to use as long as it is not too hard; meaning containing a lot of minerals. Avoid softened water, as it contains salts which can build up over time. Well water and city water are usually the best options. Just be careful with well water since it is typically not treated with chlorine or chloramine. When watering, make sure the water you are using is room temperature. This is especially important during chilly months when water can come out of the tap like an arctic blast, and can shock the roots of some tropical plants. As for the amount of water needed, different plants need varying amounts. A good rule of thumb is to water the soil evenly until water comes out of the drainage hole or you notice water collecting in the pot's saucer. Allow the water to drain for about half an hour and empty any remaining water. Thanks for listening, see you here tomorrow!

July 24, 2019

Today's episode is about the genus of Mother in Law's Tongue, also known as Sansevieria. The Snake Plant, a succulent desert plant, is actually a flowering plant that comes to us from Africa. There are about seventy varieties of the Snake Plant, that come in various colors and shapes, but all have in common the thick skin of their leaves that help to protect their inner sap. This thick shell allows them to survive drought and the harsh climate of Africa, and what makes them such an ideal houseplant! Oddly enough, Sansevieria is actually part of the larger plant family of Asparagaceae. Yup, that is the same family that contains the vegetable Asparagus in it. If you think about both plants, you can see the relation between the Snake Plant and the common vegetable asparagus. Both have a thicker shell, and grow in a cylinder like manner. Nature is pretty cool. Check out the Snake Plant for a super easy to care for and stunning houseplant! It is a great beginner plant! See you all tomorrow!

July 23, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today's episode is about fending off fungus gnats. The warmer weather and humidity of summer has brought back one of the most pesky bugs that houseplant owners have to deal with. Worry not though! We have been using a clever trick to keep them away. It is simple, and cost effective. The answer is sand. Yes, basic construction grade sand. Since fungus gnats, also known as fruit flies, primarily live in the top two inches of the soil, you want to scrape away the top half inch or so to make space for our new gnat barrier. Take your sand and spread a half inch layer across the top of the pot. This heavy barrier isn't going to let any flies through, so it will act like a gate into your plants soil. We've been very impressed with this simple hack to limit one of the most challenging pests to control! We hope this trick helps you out through the summer! We'll see you back here tomorrow!

July 22, 2019

Today's episode is about one of the most common questions we get from people shopping for new plants. How big will this plant get? The answer to this question is typically the same. In the ideal light and water conditions, your houseplants can become massive. Remember that the plants we choose for our houses, are simply small and adolescent versions of huge jungle plants. If you have the chance, go visit your local botanical garden, and try and identify common houseplants around the greenhouse. You will typically notice much larger leaves, trunks, stems, roots, and a general overall enlarging of all parts of the plants when they are in optimal conditions. But if you give your plants limited light and water, and trim them when needed, we have the ability to keep jungle plants in our homes! So we can always limit how large our plants get! Thanks for listening today, see you tomorrow!

July 21, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about mapping your home for its orientation. You're going to need a compass, which can be found in your phone's app store, as a download. You're also going to need a roll of colored tape, or something to mark the four directions temporarily on your wall. Now, stand in the middle of each room, open your compass and mark the direction for directly north on the wall; followed by south, east, and west. Your south facing wall and window is your brightest location. Save this for your light hungry plants. Next up is your west facing window. West windows work for plants that can tolerate some direct sun. Your east facing window will also get some direct morning sun, so put plants here that can tolerate direct sun. Finally the north window will get the least amount of light, so keep your less needy plants on that side of the house! We hope this helps you prioritize your houseplant locations! Thanks for listening, and see you all tomorrow!

July 20, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about a certain type of plant that responds to touch. The sensitive or shy plant is its common name. Mimosa pudica curls its leaves up to protect itself when it's touched. The second part of the name, pudica, means shy or shrinking in latin. This movement is called a thigmonastic response. It is quite impressive to watch and worth searching on YouTube to see this unique plant respond to human touch. They are creeping perennials, and actually part of the pea family, which has the capability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into its rootzone! This is quite a unique and special plant. We promise you will be intrigued by it! Have a great day today!

July 19, 2019

Most folks are familiar with watering a plant by distributing water to the soil and roots; but did you know you can water plants from the bottom up? It's a good method for reviving thirsty peace lilies or other plants that need a thorough watering. The amount of water you'll need is roughly the volume of your plant's container. Place your plant in a bowl or container and add the water until it's about two to three fingers high. Depending on how dry the soil is your plant may need up to two hours to allow the water to percolate to all the roots. Fill up the bowl as the plant drinks. Take the plant out of the water and allow to drain for half an hour before placing it back in its favorite location. We hope you have enjoyed this episode on watering! Thanks for listening!

July 18, 2019

Welcome back. Today's episode is about humidity. Relative humidity is the measurement of water in the air. Dry and desert like climates typically have less than forty percent humidity, whereas humid regions of the northeast and southeast of the United States typically stay above sixty percent, especially in the summer months! Humidity can be measured with a hygrometer. With houseplants, we are attempting to simulate tropical, humid regions of the world. It's important certain plants have damp air around their leaves, because when they transpire, they lose water. This is their form of breathing. It's similar to how us humans wake up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth from sleeping in dry air. Except plants don't have the luxury of drinking a glass of water. So that air around their leaves should always remain humid, as well as their roots should remain damp with water. Try a humidifier or essential oil diffuser to put more humidity in the air around your plants! Have a great day everyone! We appreciate you listening.

July 17, 2019

Today is about the self pruning of plants. That is, when plants release leaves that are unneeded. We're going to focus on when this happens in two types of plants. The first are those with bushy growth and many growth shoots, such as a pothos or philodendron. And the other is those with one to few primary growth shoots, such as a fiddle leaf fig tree or a dracaena. Assuming your plant is in the correct conditions, it is completely normal for leaves to deteriorate and fall off. In a bushy plant such as the pothos, which has many growth shoots, you'll find that lower leaves receiving less light are browning off. This is completely normal. The more light you give a plant, the more leaves it can support! In plants with one, or a few primary growth stems, such as a fig tree, you'll find the tree can only support the top ten leaves or so; and as it grows from the primary stem, which is the top of the plant, it will self-prune the lower leaves to free up resources for the new growth. A great visual example of this is the massive palm trees found in California and Las Vegas. There is one primary stem, the trunk of the tree, then a few palm leaves at the very top, which are green. And all the way up the sides of the tree, you can see where the old leaves existed, then we're self-pruned by the plant, and eventually removed by a tree trimmer. That's what gives palm trees the texture of their trunk. Those are the stems of many leaves trimmed off over the years! Thank you for tuning in, see you all tomorrow!

July 16, 2019

Today's episode is about compost. We love compost. It's even added to our potting soil. But what exactly is compost? Simply put, it is the finished product of recycling organic materials into a nutrient rich soil amendment. It is the product of a biological and chemical breakdown done by microbes, earthworms, and other bugs. What you end up with is a black crumbly soil like material that is rich in microbes which makes for a perfect soil amendment. You may be wondering what is the difference between compost and fertilizer. Compost improves the soil by adding oxygen and microbes so the plant can make good use of nutrients. Fertilizer specifically provides nutrients to the plant. Some gardeners tend compost bins to turn their vegetable scraps into compost for their garden. We recommend reading one of the many online guides if you're interested in trying composting for the first time. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more gardening tips!

July 15, 2019

Today is about an understandable misconception about how plants get their nitrogen. Nitrogen is the most abundant element in the earth's atmosphere, making up nearly eighty percent of the air, so it makes sense some would assume a plant absorbs nitrogen gas from the atmosphere. But plants receive nitrogen through their roots from organisms decomposing. Although there are some nitrogen-fixing bacteria that can harvest nitrogen from the air, and replenish soil using this method. Air plants also gather nutrients from the air and water that lands on them. But with most plants, it is absorbed through the rootzone. The nitrogen is then used to produce chlorophyll, the green part of a plant, which the plant will use to photosynthesize and create more leaves! Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

July 14, 2019

Happy Sunday! Today's episode is dedicated to reviving plants. We have a saying around the greenhouse, that we are not in the business of letting plants die. Now, that doesn't mean we don't make mistakes! But it does mean, if we think there is a chance to revive a plant, we do! We have an entire section dedicated to reviving sad or unhealthy plants! Usually, all you need is a root mass, and sometimes a stem. And definitely some patience! One of the best revival locations in a house is the back porch, or other similar space that doesn't receive direct sunlight. It is right outside of the sunshine. That way, it gets the warmth of the sun, without the punishing effects of the sunlight. Try not to overwater the soil, and let it semi dry out between waterings. Usually, you'll get a sprout back out from the soil, or from the stalk of the plant. We recently did this with an overwatered Chinese Money plant, the Pilea. It had no leaves on it when it came to us, but we kept it out of the direct sun, and watered it every week and a half, and it soon sprouted new leaves! Try and revive the next plant you think might be dead! It is a very rewarding process! Thanks for listening! See you back here tomorrow!

July 13, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about one of the keys to house plant care, consistency. Consistency is crucial when caring for houseplants. If you want to take your houseplants to the next level, the secret is giving them exactly what they need, exactly when they need it! And usually this mean water! Watering repeatedly on schedule is one of the best tricks for limited browning leaves. Browning leaves or tips of leaves comes from under and over watering. Water too frequently, and you'll have central browning and yellowing through the leaf. Water not enough, and you'll get browning from the tip of the leaf back towards the stalk of the plant. To maintain consistency, check on your plants religiously, just like anything you want to get good at. You have to practice, and do it over and over again. Keep trying, and watering on Sundays. Tomorrow, go around your space, and check in on each plant. See who needs water! You might find one plant that needs a bit of water, and you've then prevented browning leaf tips! Keep your consistency, and check back in with us tomorrow!

July 12, 2019

Today is about a small and special group of plants that have developed a unique ability to produce oxygen at night. This is the opposite of the majority of plants. This activity of absorbing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen when it is dark, only occurs in seven percent of plants. Plants that have this ability are called CAM plants. They are most often plants that come from arid regions, and they've developed this ability to limit the amount of water they lose through their pores, by keeping them nearly closed during the daylight. This quality makes them wonderful candidates for bedrooms because they produce oxygen while you sleep. Some of the notable CAM plants are the Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, Zebra Haworthia, Agave, some succulents, and oddly enough the pineapple plant. Check these plants out to improve the oxygen levels in your families bedrooms at night! See you tomorrow!

July 11, 2019

Did you know that theoretically, plants can live indefinitely? Unlike humans, plants cells continuously divide, and given the right growing conditions, plants can live continually. In botany, this is something called indeterminate growth. Unlike mammals, plants don't have a preset size that they will become and eventually stop growing. They grow to their size, and continuously produce new flowers, shoots, and branches, season after season. In fact, there is a bristlecone pine tree in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California that is over five thousand years old. And every year, it produces new leaves and new growth. That is absolutely crazy. Some very impressive houseplant caregivers have even had houseplants that survive over twenty years! Do you have any old plants? Thanks for listening today!

July 10, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about plants leaning toward sunlight. When a plant does not have light from directly above, it's very common for a plant to lean towards the location of sunlight. Sometimes, this is an indication that the light source is too weak. But other times, a plant will simply orient themselves in a perpendicular position so that their leaves have maximum surface area pointed towards the light. This is fine, and typical for tree like plants such as the fiddle leaf fig tree. If you find one of your plants leaning toward light, make sure to rotate it every week. You're going to rotate it a quarter of a turn once per week. This will act like a bit of a workout for the plant. Somewhat of plant aerobics class. It forces the plant to move and adjust itself so the entirety of the plant receives equal light. We hope this tip helps you out! See you back here tomorrow!

July 9, 2019

Welcome back from the holiday week we had here in the United States last week. Seeing that over the long weekend, even we lost a few plants, today's episode is dedicated to killing plants. We're gonna talk about it, because it happens to all of us. And sometimes, it happens for reasons outside of our control. Remember, we're trying to wrangle nature indoors, in an artificial environment. Sometimes plants just aren't going to make it no matter how hard we try. And sometimes, it is indeed our fault. Maybe it's overwatering, underwatering, or a pest taking over a plant. We lost some seedlings over the weekend due to underwatering. It got warmer than expected, and the soil dried out before we anticipated. It happens. But that's okay. We are all learning and working to get better at gardening! So don't beat yourself up if you've killed a few plants. It's part of the learning process! Thanks for listening today, and check back in tomorrow!

July 8, 2019

Yesterday we discussed water hungry plants going limp without appropriate moisture. Today's episode is for our serial over waterers. You know who you are! Just kidding, we all usually start overwatering early in our gardening lives. One of our most typical questions from plant parents on caring for a new plant is, how much should I water this plant? Everyday, right? The answer is no, not everyday. Think of the plant's natural habitat. It likely doesn't rain everyday where the plant came from. Unless of course, we are talking about a Peace Lily. In the rainy seasons of the equator, it can rain nearly every single day. But for most plants, every one to three weeks is a good starting point. The more tropical a plant looks, the more water it will require. The more tough and desert like a plant is, the less water it will need! We hope this helps some of our listeners understand the water requirements of their plants! See you tomorrow!

July 7, 2019

Today's episode is about our most frequently asked question. Is my Peace Lily dying? The answer is usually no, it just needs water! Now, the peace lily has earned a few appropriate nicknames around our shop. Dramatic plant is one of them, but our favorite is miss expressive. The peace lily tells you exactly what she needs, and usually it's just water. She will droop rapidly without moist soil, but as soon as you give her the water she needs, she'll perk right back up to where she was. The best way to water highly tropical, water hungry plants is with a tupperware, or other vessel that holds water. Fill it up two inches with water, and place your pot in it. With the help of capillary action, the soil will pull the moisture up into the roots. You're gonna want to do this every seven to ten days, typically. We hope this helps ease your mind about your peace lily! See you back here tomorrow!

July 6, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about the recent history of house plants, and how it became popular to bring native jungle plants into your home. Humans have not always had the ability to grow plants indoors with natural light. We now have this ability, in large, due to the mass production of glass windows. Glass windows began to be typically put into houses in England back in the seventeenth century. Once the glass window became affordable, homes were immediately much brighter with light, and were able to host house plants. These house plants typically came from tropical equatorial regions of the world. With exploration, many species of house plants were imported into Europe and North America, and soon multiplied to be traded as a commodity. We hope your favorite window in your home has a beautiful house plant next to it, because without the humble glass window, we wouldn't have some of our favorite plants indoors! Thanks for listening, we'll see you back here tomorrow!

July 5, 2019

Today we're going to explore the waxiness of leaves and how it relates to how much a plant needs to be watered! The top side of a leaf contains a shiny, waxy material that holds in the leaf's water. This fatty acid is water resistant, and makes up what is called the cuticle of the leaf. It acts to protect the leaves, and maintain their water content. The thicker the cuticle, the more drought tolerant a plant likely is. Think of a Hoya, the wax plant, or another succulent such as a snake plant. It has a very thick and shiny skin that doesn't allow much water out, or the exchange of gasses in or out. This is like a rain jacket for a plant. It traps the humidity inside, and makes it so the plant needs water less frequently. Now take a look at plants that are more water hungry such as the spider plant. The leaves are not very shiny at all. There is no waxy and shiny layer of skin on the leaves to hold its moisture in! Hence, it needs to be watered much more! Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July to our American listeners! Today is the two hundred and forty third birthday of the country. To commemorate the holiday, we're going to discuss a few plants that began their commercial cultivation around the same time! First off, we have the globe artichoke that was apparently grown by Thomas Jefferson at his Monticello plantation in Virginia. Also known as French artichokes, this plant thrives in a humid climate! Another highly popular and controversial plant was the tobacco plant. In those times, tobacco provided economic value that was worthy in trade. Finally, we have the classic green herb, that is widely used as a garnish in fine dining, parsley. Many American from that time period considered parsley to be a health tonic, and the root was used to treat digestive issues! It is thought the vibrant green coloring of parsley was even used to make dyes! Thanks for tuning in today, and have a wonderful day everyone!

July 3, 2019

Today finishes our series on propagation! Thank you all for sticking with us. Today we'll cover the two most common methods. The stem cutting method, and the water method. As the names imply, the stem cutting method requires you to cut the stem of the plant at the node, and stick it in moist soil. The water method is the same, but instead of putting the stem cutting in soil, you put it in a cup of water. In both of these methods, there are some vital tips we'll list now! One. Cut the stem cutting with a sterilized razor blade or scissors. Cleanliness is vital in cloning. Two. Keep the humidity around the leaves high. This can be done with a plastic bag or sheet. Something that will trap moisture. Three. Make sure the stem and node are always in contact with a moist surface, be it soil or water. Four. Don't put your cutting in too bright of light, and definitely no sun! Five. Don't over water your baby plants. Being dry is bad, but so is being drowned by too much water. Give your plants a few weeks to root, and you should have yourself some more of your favorite plants! Remember, not all plants do well with each propagation method. There is a preferred method for each variety of plant! Trial and error is key! See you back here tomorrow!

July 2, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode continues our series on propagation. We're going to cover layering today. Layering is the process many pothos and philodendrons use to distribute themselves across areas. The types of plants that are ready for this type of propagation tend to have small root nubs at the nodes of the stem. These air roots allow the plants to crawl for hundreds of feet in the wild. Humans have learned to understand this natural process, and we now imitate it in order to propagate such plants. To do this, you're going to find a long vine of a candidate plant, and find a node along the stem that has some roots beginning to search for soil. Once you find a good section, you're going to get a small pot filled with moist soil, then bury this section of stem in the moist soil; ensuring the air roots are covered in moist soil. Make sure to keep the mother and baby plants soil adequately moist. And during the two week rooting period, try not to bump the baby pot, as to not disturb the developing root system. In two to four weeks, you should be able to slightly tug on the stem of the child plant, and it should be anchored into the new pot of soil. Once you determine the baby is ready, cut the umbilical cord to the mother plant. You now have two plants! Nice work. Thanks for tuning in today! We'll see you back here tomorrow for the final episode on propagation!

July 1, 2019

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our series on vegetative propagation. We're going to discuss one of the easiest types of propagation many of you can try at home. It is the best one to start with if you have not tried propagation yet, and the success rate is high! The method is called propagation by division. It is the method of dividing a plant from itself. It can be done with many house plants such as snake plants, spider plants, pothos, philodendrons, and Monsteras. If you've never tried it before, it is best to try on a snake plant. Any plant that has many stems or shoots coming up from the soil is a good candidate. The process is you are going to divide some of the stems and roots away from the rest. Essentially split one plant into two. We have a one minute how to video on Youtube that shows this exact process. If you would like to see it, search, how to harvest snake plants, in the Youtube search bar. Once you split the two plants apart, make sure to give each of them good soil, and an adequately sized pot. Then finally, you can water them. Good luck trying out this style of propagation! See you all back here tomorrow!

June 30, 2019

Welcome back. Today we continue our series on vegetative propagation. Now the primary benefit of vegetative propagation instead of sexual reproduction is speed and genetics. The process of cloning is much faster than letting a plant go to seed. Flowering, pollination, seed formation, seed dispersal, then seed germination and growth can take three to twelve months. With vegetative propagation, you can have a new plant in as little as five days, assuming the plant is in ideal conditions. The second reason why vegetative propagation is favored is to maintain the exact genetics of the parent plant. If there is a variegation in the leaves of a previous type of rubber tree that you would like to preserve, taking a cutting of that plant will ensure the new plant will have the exact same genetic material as the parent. Now, the variegation may present itself differently, but the genetics of the plant are the same. Thanks for listening today, and we'll see you back here tomorrow!

June 29, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we begin a mini series on propagation. That is the ability to make two plants or more where there was one. Plants can multiply themselves in two ways. The first is the one we all know about, called sexual reproduction, and is when a plant grows traditionally from seed or spore. It gets its genetics from its plant parents, and develops a genetically unique plant. Most of us understand the process of a plant growing from seed, so we'll focus on the other type of propagation, vegetative propagation or asexual reproduction. Vegetative propagation can be carried out by the plant in nature, or be done in a nursery, or even done by you! It is quite straight forward and easy. With this method, a genetically identical plant as the parent is developed. A clone. It will share exactly the genetic material as the plant it came from! So if there are any characteristics of the plant you like, you can keep them intact with this method. Stick with us through the next few days while we explore the world of vegetative propagation! See you tomorrow!

June 28, 2019

Today's episode is about the Prayer plant, also known as the Maranta. The Prayer plant got its common name due to it closing up at night, seeming as if the leaves are praying like hands. The Maranta closes up when there is no light, and then the leaves fold down when the sun rises. The leaves move throughout the day, using their internal water pressure to aim towards the light. They work to remain perpendicular to the light. You can watch this motion by capturing photos of your plant in a timelapse, over the course of twenty four hours. Or, you can simply go on YouTube and search Maranta Timelapse. Thank you for tuning in today, we'll see you tomorrow!

June 27, 2019

Hello Pretty in Green listeners! We're going to talk about nitrogen today. It is a big component of chlorophyll which enables a plant to photosynthesize and helps a plant grow. How much nitrogen a plant can get depends on the condition of the soil, its composition, and how much moisture is available. Too much or too little can harm a plant, but when your plants need a nitrogen boost an easy way to help them is to sprinkle a thin layer of worm castings on top of the soil. Farmers rotate crops of certain plants between fields depending on how much nitrogen they consume. Some crops such as beans, have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. If you see your leaves yellowing, you might need a small nitrogen boost! Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

June 26, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're going to talk about seed starting in peat moss and perlite. Seeds should be started in a mix that contains little to no nutrients. That usually means not your typical gardening soil, because that has too much food in it for baby seeds, and it will stay wet for too long. Instead, try seed starting mix, which typically contains half peat moss, and half perlite. The peat moss will help to keep the moisture for the seed to germinate, and the perlite will maintain oxygen pockets in the starting mix. We hope you get to try out the rewarding process of growing some plants from seed this summer! Have a great day everyone!

June 25, 2019

Today continues our series on intuitive plant care. A good trick for telling the condition of a plant is to start by looking at the arrangement of the plant's leaves. This is best done from across the room, to get a sense of how the plant is feeling, and how to tell a plant needs water or not. If a plant's leaves are pointed upwards and out to the sides, that is a healthy and happy plant, generally speaking. When the leaves begin to point towards the floor, this usually indicates too little or too much water. Feel the leaves and the leaf stalks. Are they weak and flimsy, or strong? Next, look at a plants direction relative to the light source. Is it bending or leaning towards the closest window? Is it stretching out the space between its leaves and branches? If so, it's probably not getting enough light. Are the top leaves changing colors and becoming yellow? It might be getting too much light then. Try and observe your plant more frequently. They're often telling us exactly what they need. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

June 24, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode begins a two part series on the ability to read and analyze a plant. This can be the difference for what gives some people a green thumb. Now, some of this will be learned with time, but there are many tricks to intuitively read a plant. Think of gardening like cooking. The best chefs don't follow the recipe exactly. They gather the ingredients, and vary ingredients to taste. Taking care of plants works similarly. A plant's instructions might say, medium indirect light and water once per week, and fertilize regularly, but it is up to the plant parents to decide exactly how much sun, water, and fertilizer is correct. Take inventory of the plants toughness. Are its leaves thick and strong, or are they weak? Are any parts yellowing or browning? Tune back in tomorrow for the next part in this series! See you then!

June 23, 2019

Hello everyone! With summer upon us, we're going to talk about low humidity and dry conditions, and its effect on houseplants. Houseplants are from regions exactly opposite of cold and dry. Most of our house plants come from the tropical regions of Central America and Africa. It's often humid and warm in the tropics -- think vacation weather! So to combat the hot and dry air, make sure your plants aren't directly in the hot draft of a window or door; or even outside. You can put a tray of pebbles, rocks, or marbles in a saucer near your plant and fill in with water. The pebbles will provide varied surface area to allow some moisture to be released. You can even add a fan pointed at the water to encourage evaporation. If you have access to it, a humidifier is a great option too! Your plants are going to dry out much faster in this weather, so keep an eye on the soil! The aim is for above fifty percent humidity! Thanks for tuning in! See you all tomorrow!

June 22, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about soil aeration. Oxygen in the root zone allows for strong root growth and ample nutrient uptake. One of the most common mistakes when transplanting is to over compact the soil around the stem. By squeezing down the soil too much, the air pockets in the root zone are eliminated, and anaerobic zones develop. These zones encourage decomposing microbes, which can slow growth and create root rot. Think of how soil is built in nature. It's comprised of fallen leaves, bark from trees, rocks, minerals and other organic components. These ingredients fall together with gravity, and some compaction is done by animals, but the best soil is always loose and full of air. Only compact your soil as much as needed to stabilize your plants! This will make for much healthier and happier plants! Thanks for listening!

June 21, 2019

Welcome to the first day of summer everyone! Today marks the longest day of the year. Summer begins now, and will continue until September twenty third; three months long! Summer is created because the earth is rotated on its axis toward the sun. At the tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere, the sun is located directly above. That is because the angle of the earth's tilt is twenty three degrees, and the latitude of the Tropic of Cancer is also twenty three degrees! The tropic of cancer cuts through the bahamas, mexico, cuba, north africa, and much of asia. It is likely quite hot in most of these areas today, so we hope they can stay out of the hot sun! For the rest of us, let's enjoy summer while it is here! Thanks for listening everyone, see you tomorrow!

June 20, 2019

Happy last day of spring, pretty in green listeners! We hope that you have prepared your plants and garden well for the summer growing months. In the northern hemisphere, we have three months of growing season left, then plant metabolisms will begin to slow into the dormancy of winter. Make sure to take advantage of the long and warm days. Plants react to the longer days of light and their cells are more actively photosynthesizing in the warmer temperatures, too! Tomorrow will be the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, so make sure to get outside to enjoy it! Have a great day!

June 19, 2019

Hello everyone! Today is about orchids. A beautiful, and widespread plant that is often misunderstood. This is typically because of overwatering. We all have that one person in our life that knows how to take great care of orchids! My mom is that person. She says her trick is to give her orchids a few ice cubes to melt into the pot, as a way to slowly water. It's a great tactic! Now, you want to water orchids once every one or two weeks in the warmer months. And not let the soil dry out too much, and definitely not sit in any puddles of water. Keep your orchid out of direct sunlight, and ideally in bright, but indirect light. This is typically found near a window! Also, remember that when your plant loses its flowers, it's not dead! It will bloom again in time. We hope this helps make your orchids thrive! Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

June 18, 2019

Hello everyone! Today is about the curvature of leaves. Take a glance at the plant nearest to you. It likely has a middle rib which splits the leaf in two equal and nearly symmetrical parts. This is the primary vein which feeds the leaf, and distributes water and nutrients to the smaller veins. Now, that middle rib of the leaf is what dictates the shape of the leaf. Sometimes leaves are cupped like canoes in an attempt to funnel water towards themselves. And sometimes leaves make themselves completely flat to gather as much sunlight as possible. Light loving plants will often point their leaves directly at the sun to absorb as many photons as possible! Thanks for listening today, and we'll see you back here tomorrow!

June 17, 2019

Today is about keeping your soil the correct moisture. Since plants stand upright using internal water pressure, you want to keep your roots moist, and not let them dry out. But too wet, and the roots will begin to decompose and develop root rot; since they won't have oxygen. It's a careful balance that you'll learn to strike just right. Each plant will be different. You want to test the moisture of your soil where the roots are. For developed plants, this is throughout the whole plant. For younger plants, or those that have been recently transplanted, test the soil moisture between the bottom and the middle of the pot. It is usually a safe bet to assume the middle and bottom of the pot are more damp than the topsoil, since the top is always being exposed to open air. You can dig a finger into the soil to check a few inches down, or use a soil moisture tester, which measures the conductivity of the soil, since moisture conducts electricity. That concludes our briefing for today! Thanks for tuning in!

June 16, 2019

Did you know some genera of plants have separate male and female plants? The male plants contain the stamen, which produces the pollen. And the female plants contain the ovaries, and pistils, which collects the pollen. However, most plants contain both reproductive organs on one plant. And are born as both sexes. This means that they can self-pollinate, although for the strength of the offspring, it's best to be pollinated by another plant all together. Crossing two different plants in the same species allows for breeding out weak genes, and strengthening superior ones; therefore leading to a healthier line of plants in the long run! Thanks for tuning in to the Pretty in Green tip of the day! See you tomorrow!

June 15, 2019

Today is about the importance of watering slowly. Think about how plants receive water in the wild. It's typically through rain, or being near a body of water and continuously receiving moisture through the soil. In most normal cases, it's a very slow process of wetting the soil in a slow manner. This is how we should be watering our plants. Slowly, by letting each bit we pour on the soil absorb before pouring more. Now, it is a bit more time consuming, but it will ensure the root zone stays undisturbed, and the soil structures remains intact. It's also important to not disturb the microbes in your soil. After all, fungi and bacteria in the soil are the real heros of plants, by breaking down organic matter and making it available as a nutrient to plants! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

June 14, 2019

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! With the heat of summer starting to begin in many locations of North America, it is important that your plants remain hydrated. Compared to the cooler fall and winter months, your houseplants are going to be drying out much faster. Sometimes up to three times faster than the cooler months. This means you need to be checking their soil more frequently. For your larger pots, a good way to do this is with a single wood chopstick, and stick it down into your pot as far as it will go. Make sure to stick to the edges of the pot, to limit bothering the root system. Leave the chopstick in the soil for about a minute, to allow the moisture to be absorbed by the wood of the chopstick. We hope this helps you determine where the moist soil in your pot is located! Thanks for listening!

June 13, 2019

Happy Thursday! Today's episode is about the angle of the sun in the sky. With summer solstice around the corner, it is worth noting how high in the sky the sun is. In our area of Southern California, the sun is nearly directly overhead, which creates the ideal light for houseplants. This is because the sun doesn't directly enter our windows much, but indirect light pours inside! It's the best type of light, which is powerful and will help aid growth, but not harm your plants in the process! Thanks for tuning in today, and everyday, and hopefully we'll see you back here tomorrow!

June 12, 2019

Hello everyone! With the last series being on plants that do well in direct sunlight, we figured today we would talk about cacti. These sharp, and odd looking succulents thrive in direct sunlight in drought like conditions. Did you know that the spines on a cactus are just highly modified leaves, and the primary stalk is just a stem? Cacti can hold up to ninety percent of their weight in the stem, in the form of water. Because cacti are native to such harsh, desert like environments, they have adapted to photosynthesize at night. So instead of absorbing carbon dioxide during the day, they conserve their water content, and exchange air in their leaves at night when the temperatures are lower. Cacti thrive in bright, direct sunlight, with waterings every month or two. They can also tolerate extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures, similar to those experienced in the desert. Make sure to get a sand dominant cactus potting mix for any succulents you transplant! Thanks for listening today! We'll see you tomorrow morning!

June 11, 2019

Welcome back to the last episode on exposing your houseplants to outdoor conditions. Now that you have your plant picked out, you're going to find a location that receives one to two hours a day of direct sunlight. Make sure your plant is adequately watered, and put it in your selected location. Note how it is doing before you put it outside, or even take a photo of it. Check in on it the next day, and every day after that. If there are no signs of the leaves burning or yellowing, you're doing a great job. The next week, move it to a position that gets two to three hours of sunlight per day, and monitor it as before. Keep in mind, some plants will be overwhelmed by this amount of light, and some can only tolerate less than an hour of direct sunlight per day. Look at the top of the leaves for yellowing and brown marks, and if you see issues, bring the plant out of the sun. Transitioning your plants outside takes many weeks of slow exposure, and remember to water more often, and be more vigilant about pests! We hope you enjoyed this series on transitioning houseplants to the outdoors! We'll see you back here tomorrow!

June 10, 2019

Welcome back! Today is about converting certain houseplants to become outdoor plants. Now, keep in mind this cannot be done with all plants. Plants that make good candidates for the outdoors, are those that have tough leaves. There needs to be a protective layer between the plant cells and the powerful sun. If you're questioning whether you can put your plant outside, go out and feel the leaves of a few naturally acclimated outdoor plants. They will likely be tough and woody. So choose plants like Rubber Trees, Fiddle Leaf Fig trees, Dracaenas, or Snake Plants. Anything with a thick cuticle on the leaf will do well. Tune back in tomorrow to learn how to acclimate certain plants to outdoor conditions! See you then!

June 9, 2019

Hello Pretty in Green family! Today is about your houseplants getting direct sunshine. It is counter intuitive, but plants can harness light that does not directly hit its leaves. Photons have the ability to bounce off reflective surfaces, like a white wall, and eventually reach your plants. Actually, one of the best locations for a houseplant is directly next to a window, yet not directly in front of it. That way, the plant never has sunshine directly hit the leaves. Houseplants come from the jungle, living beneath massive trees which create lots of shade. That's the ideal amount of light houseplants should get. Bright, indirect light. Not in direct sunshine! Though some plants can become acclimated to direct sunshine, it must be a slow exposure over a course of a few weeks. Tune back in tomorrow to learn how to select certain plants for outdoor conditions! See you then!

June 8, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about when leaves brown from overwatering! While leaf browning from under watering causes a dry browning that makes your leaves crunchy; when plants are overwatered, they can brown and blacken throughout their leaves causing almost a blackening. Overwatering drowns cells with water, and depletes the overall oxygen levels in plants. Just like animals, plants need adequate amounts of both water and oxygen, but too much of one or the other can harm them. Moist black spots can develop in the middle of leaves when too much water is given to a plant. This is the cell literally dying back. If you see this happening to your leaves, and your soil is moist, you're likely seeing symptoms of overwatering! Remember, most plants like to have their soil dry out slightly between waterings! That is typically every one to four weeks! Good luck with watering. It is the most simple, yet challenging concept in plant care! See you tomorrow.

June 7, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Yesterday we talked about the very end of leaves browning, which is caused by too much nutrients. Today, we'll discuss a larger version of that, where leaves brown from the tips back, but is a much larger area. This occurs due to underwatering! This happens a lot with the lower leaves of a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree! When the plant is thirsty, and doesn't have adequate moisture in the rootzone, it will pull from its lower leaves to provide for the rest of the plant. The furthest edges of the plant will be cut off first. That is why the leaves brown from the furthest tip away, back toward the middle of the leaf. It is important to remember this is what we call a dry browning. These dead leaves will be crunchy, and will never heal. Plants do not heal their skin like animals do. Once a leaf has a bruise, it will be a scar forever. Tune back in tomorrow for when we discuss another type of browning.

June 6, 2019

Welcome back! Are the tips of your plant browning? It's common that leaves brown at the very end when plants have too much fertilizer in the soil. About a quarter of an inch from the end, the leaf tips will brown and sometimes point up. It is a very small portion of the leaf. This happens when gardeners fertilizer with synthetic fertilizers derived from chemicals. Always try and use organic gardening products when you can. They are easier on your plants and are naturally derived from the earth. If your plant has burning tips, rinse the soil through with water to clear away some of the salt buildup. That should help. Now, if the plant has a few inches of the leaf browning, that is something different, that we will talk about tomorrow! See you then!

June 5, 2019

Hello everyone! Don't we all love the shine in our plant's leaves? That waxy shine is what gives our plants their beautiful look, but where does this come from? This water resistant layer on the top of leaves is called the cuticle. It is the top layer of the epidermis of the plant leaf, and it protects the inner cells of the plant. Its job is to prevent pests, weather, and sunshine from permeating the plants leaves. It is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. So the thicker the cuticle of the leaf, the more water it can hold in. Feel your plants leaves. The thicker the cuticle of the leaf, the less you need to water it. Look at a cactus or a Snake Plant. It has a very thick skin, which holds in its hydration. Compare that to the thin cuticle of a Spider Plant, or even a peace lily. Notice how much more frequently those plants need to be watered! We hope this all makes sense! Have a great day today! See you all tomorrow!

June 4, 2019

Hello everyone! With summer less than three weeks away, it is important to prepare for the heat summer brings. To survive the heat, plants need more water. And that water is best kept in their leaves if their roots have substantial access to it. So that you're not having to water your plants too frequently, try a barrier on the top soil of your plants. Bark, moss, or a mulch all accomplish this goal. This aims to retain the moisture in the soil and slow evaporation, thereby allowing your plants to survive the long and hot days summer brings! We hope you can get outside to plant some summer fruits and vegetables! It is incredibly rewarding to eat something you grew! Happy June everyone! See you tomorrow!

June 3, 2019

Welcome back! Today we'll be exploring plants and whether they can hear. Many gardeners talk to their plants and some even play music for them. Plants respond to wind, light, smell, and touch; so what about sound? Scientists have found that plants respond to sound vibrations. An experiment simulated the vibrations made by hungry insects and found some plants responded by producing chemicals that made them less appealing to snacking bugs. Another experiment with wheat plants found exposing them to high frequency vibrations produced a bigger harvest. It is challenging to conclude they respond to sound, unless the sound is substantial enough to be felt by the plants, but nonetheless, very interesting! Plants are much more perceptive than we give them credit for! Thanks for tuning in today, and see you tomorrow!

June 2, 2019

Welcome back! Today finishes our series on plant defense mechanisms. Today's episode is on chemical defenses plants use to manipulate animals. If a plant wants to discourage animals from eating its leaves, it is quite common for plants to manufacture poorly tasting leaves so it doesn't become a popular dinner for animals. Plants will even go to lengths of making their leaves toxic to animals. Without leaves, a plant cannot create food and survive, so it is vital their solar panels are protected. Though on the flip side, some plants use putrid smells to simulate a meal for insects and animals. When the animals arrive expecting a meal, they are lured into the flower of the plant, thereby pollinating it. Plants are very subtle in their approaches, but quite crafty in their own ways! Thank you for tuning into this series on plant defense mechanisms! See you tomorrow!

June 1, 2019

Hello everyone! We've been talking about different protection strategies plants use against animals. Today we'll introduce another; mechanical defenses. Not only do plants use visual trickery to be different, they also use active tactics to ward off predators eating them. Have you ever felt the spines of a rose or thorn bush? Or how about the thorns and hairs on a weed. They don't look very tasty to me! Heck, you can barely get me to eat a salad! These painful tactile and mechanical defenses make it so plants do not lose their most important parts, their leaves. Leaves are what allows them to turn sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into sugar; through photosynthesis. If the animals are patient though, the flower or fruit of the plant is ripe for the taking, which is exactly the plant's plan! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

May 31, 2019

Welcome back! Yesterday we talked about how plants imitate prey animals to trick them into eating them. Today is about plants that imitate predator animals, with the goal of scaring them away! Many herbivorous and omnivorous animals rely on plants as a substantial portion of their calorie intake. But being eaten by an animal is hardly a plant's goal in life! To prevent being eaten too early, some plants imitate predator animals so they will not be eaten. This is a popular strategy in nature amongst animals too. Whether animals want to camouflage with their surroundings, or appear larger than they are, plants and animals use many tactics to survive and reach reproductive age! Thanks for listening everyone! See you tomorrow!

May 30, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is about how plants try and imitate animals so they can trick them to spread their seed. Have you ever looked at the shape of an orchid flower? It looks a bit like an animal's face. This is not by accident. Plants are known to imitate animals so more animals and insects are attracted to them. They do this in an attempt to spread their pollen, or be eaten entirely by the predator. Unknowing predators will often attack plants that look like prey, only to find out they are not animals. But by then, the plant got what it wanted. Which was to spread its seed throughout the earth; further and wider. And animals help with this all the time. Many plants solely rely on tricking animals to reproduce. It's a smart tactic by the plants, but one day the animals might catch on! Thanks for listening everyone! See you tomorrow!

May 29, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Have you ever wondered why leaves have seemingly decorative patterns on them? We know why plants produce fruit with seeds in them. But why might non fruit bearing plants have patterns on their leaves? This is a widely debated topic, and all opinion based, but there are some interesting theories on it. One of the most logical explanations for why plants have patterns on their leaves is to attract insects and animals to them. A plant's sole purpose in life is to reproduce and plant more of themselves across the earth. Animals help with this. Some are attracted to the plants as shelter to blend in from predators, and others think the plants have some sort of food or reward for them. While taking shelter on or near the plant, it is possible the animal captures some of the plant's pollen or seed, and spreads it to be reproduced elsewhere! The seeds might hook into the animals coat and take a few mile journey, spreading the plant across the world. These types of seeds are commonly referred to as hitchhikers! Seeds attached to the back of birds are often how plants travel across oceans! Thanks for listening, and tune back in tomorrow for more tricks plants have for animals!

May 28, 2019

Today is about the commonly confused Pothos and Philodendrons. We're definitely guilty of confusing these easy to care for plant families. Both plants can be climbing vines, make for great hanging plants, and have spade shaped leaves! They look very similar, but have some nuanced differences. First off, the Pothos has more of a cupped leaf, with a slightly bumpy texture, and a waxy feel. Its leaf colors tend to be very bright. The philodendron typically has a flatter leaf, with a smooth texture, and a matte feel; and its leaves tend to be more muted in their color. The leaf stems on the Pothos are quite thick, whereas the philodendron leaf stems are more delicate! Try out either of these popular plants for an easy to care for classic! Thanks for listening!

May 27, 2019

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! We hope your long weekend has been enjoyable. With the unofficial start of summer here, today's episode is about timing for when to water your plants. When you can, always water your plants in the morning. It's an old farmers' trick, and it makes sense. Breakfast is the most important meal for us to remain energized throughout the day. The same applies to plants. Water in the morning, so the plants can immediately use the water to metabolize and grow. Watering at night is like eating late at night, too. The food or water is used much slower at night, if at all, and can create disease and issues from rot. So water in the morning for the most happy plants! Thanks for listening, see you all tomorrow!

May 26, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today is about compost. Compost is a mixture of decomposed organic material. It is often confused with potting soil or fertilizer, but it is neither. It contains a mixture of mostly decomposed wood and bark, and decomposed green material. This plant mixture is ground up, and left to decompose; harnessing microscopic organisms to do the work. This final product contains massive amounts of surface area, thereby adding oxygen to a plant's root zone. Finished compost usually doesn't have much chemical elements in it. It is all about the life that is contained in the compost! Compost is then adding to make traditional potting soil, with peat and perlite, typically. The organisms contained in the potting soil break down more organic material in the soil, which feeds your plants over time! You can amend compost into your outdoor garden, or layer a small amount on your houseplant soil! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

May 25, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some trees have small, skinny needle like leaves, whereas other plants have large leaves? Leaf sizes are thought to be determined based upon how much sunlight and heat a plant will get. For instance, pine needles, like those on on a conifer are located at the higher portions of the canopy. These smaller leaves have the ability to diffuse heat, and capture plenty of light because they are often subjected to the brightest sun. There are many pine needles that act to capture sunlight simultaneously. In contrast, plants with larger, broader leaves light the Elephant's Ear, are often located in the lower elevations of the canopy where sunlight is more scarce. With more shade, these lower plants need a larger surface area to capture light energy, and they do not have to deal with overheating of the leaf surface. Plants never cease to surprise us with their adaptability! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

May 24, 2019

Welcome back! The majority of transplanting occurs this time of year for natural reasons. The weather is warm, the ground is soft, and plants are growing. Today's episode is about getting the correct drainage for the type of plant you're transplanting. All potting mixes come with water holding compost or mulch. This comes in the form of decomposed organic matter, and will often have much of your minerals in it. But we want to make sure our plants have enough media that does not hold water. This is typically perlite, vermiculite, sand, pebbles, or rocks. The idea is that these small pieces mixed in with your organic material will allow water to pass through to the bottom of the pot, thereby adding oxygen to your rootzone. This will make your plant grow faster, and will make it harder to overwater. Make sure to use a houseplant specific potting soil that has perlite or vermiculite visibly mixed in. Perlite looks like small white rocks mixed through the soil. Perlite makes up around a third of our organic potting mix, and we suggest a similar mixture for our listeners! Good luck with your plantings this year! And enjoy the long weekend for our listeners in the United States! See you tomorrow!

May 23, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we're going to talk about inspecting your leaves for bugs. Most houseplant pests live beneath the leaves of our plants and pose no threat to humans. They are not interested in us. But our plants' sugary sap and water they love! Look on your leaves for small amounts of webbing. It is very common to have Spider Mites. They lay their eggs on the underside and are nearly microscopic. Look for tiny specks grouped together tightly. Small white marks will appear on the topsides of the leaves. The other pests to look out for are Mealy bugs, which are larger, like a lady bug, but white. They look like a small piece of cotton on your leaves. Use a mixture of Neem spray to remove these guys and prevent other bugs from making your plants home! Thanks for listening everyone! See you all tomorrow!

May 22, 2019

Welcome back! As the weather continues to warm into summer, keep watch for pesky soil dwelling insects. With weather warm and dry, certain flies will search for damp and moist conditions to make a home in. Try and prevent this by using a top layer of sand on the top of your soil. If you already see the fungus gnats flying in and out of the soil, use a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Use this mixture to water your soil once a month. It will kill off any larvae. You can also use sticky traps to catch adult bugs. Keep in mind, most winged insects are not harmful to your plants' health, they are just annoying! Good luck this spring and summer! Tune back in tomorrow for more houseplant tips and tricks!

May 21, 2019

Does taking care of your houseplants make you happy? There are lots of plant owners who would say yes! In previous briefings, we have mentioned studies that show indoor foliage can benefit you emotionally and physically. Plants can make a space more inviting, but foliage can lift your mood too! Taking care of a plant and watching it thrive can be rewarding. Giving them water and tending to their needs is both gratifying and can be calming activity. Taking a moment to interact with your own little piece of nature, is a great way to give yourself a break. Do you feel gratification when you tend to your houseplants? We sure do! Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

May 20, 2019

Welcome back everyone! How much greenery does your office have? Do you have any plants on your desk, or in the common areas? By the way, fake silk plants don't count! Real plants have remarkable benefits for mental health, air quality, oxygen content, and ambient noise reduction. The corporate benefits have also been measured, and show that employees are happier and more productive with leafy plants near them. It must be something hardwired in us to crave the natural world, when we're in human built spaces. Try out some office plants to keep you calm, cool, and collected on this Monday morning! Thanks for listening everyone, see you tomorrow!

May 19, 2019

Welcome back to houseplant tips and tricks! Today's episode is on hydroculture. That is, the science of growing plants in a water and air solution. Many houseplants are able to be grown in hydroculture systems, and often will grow quite rapidly in this environment. This is due to the extra oxygen available in the rootzone, and how quickly the roots receive nutrients. In hydroculture, plants are grown in a material such as coconut husks, which contains no nutrients at all. Nutrients are then supplied to the roots via an aqueous solution which contains all of the necessary macro and micro nutrients. Water hungry plants like the peace lily and spider plants do exceedingly well in these types of systems. Try out hydroculture for a more involved and advanced approach to growing houseplants. Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

May 18, 2019

Today's episode is about keeping your soil aerated. Oxygen in the rootzone allows for strong root growth and ample nutrient uptake. Over time though, oxygen can be depleted and soil is compacted, and is often over compacted during transplanting. To combat this, you can use this handy trick to increase the amount of air in your soil. You're going to need a chopstick or something thin and sharp to poke your soil. Get your single chopstick, and push it down a couple inches into your soil. Try and stay towards the edge of your pot, and if you feel any resistance, try not to be forceful. The goal is to open up the soil, but not to hurt the roots. Good luck with this trick and try and do it every few months! Thanks for listening!

May 17, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we're going to talk about fertilizing. There are two types of fertilizer, organic and synthetic. If you're using organic fertilizer, you can treat your plants as often as every other week. If you're using synthetic or conventional fertilizer, use half the suggested strength and fertilize every month in the growing season. The concept is similar to a healthy style of eating. Smaller meals, but more frequent meals! We hope you'll try out organic fertilizers that are derived from other natural sources! They're gentle on your plants and on the earth! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

May 16, 2019

Welcome back! As we enter the planting season, today we're going to talk about the difference between perennial plants and annual plants. Simply, perennial plants rebloom every year from the same plant, whereas annual plants flower once, then die back once they finish flowering. Perennial plants tend to become more woody and their flowers exhibit less bright colors. Each year they add branching and become larger over time, and will often not flower their first growing season. In contrast, annual plants have very vibrant colors, due to their shorter timeline for pollination. They grow, flower, reproduce, and die back all in one season. Annuals are often called bedding plants for their bright colors, since many people use them in their garden for the pop of color. We hope this helps you distinguish perennial plants from annuals! See you all tomorrow!

May 15, 2019

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today we're going to discuss how old a plant's lineage may be. Some of the simplest and oldest plants are the non-flowering varieties. Many grasses, ferns, and other leafy plants. Take a look at these plants closer. What do their leaves look like? Take a look at their venation pattern. If the veins are parallel, you likely have a more primitive variety of plant, know as monocots. These grass like plants tend to have little to no stem or stalk, and usually generate leaves from within, or beneath the soil. They are very efficient photosynthesizers, and can produce a large amount of foliage compared to their dicot counterparts. Think of how fast grass grows, or other simply structured plants. The Lily is a monocot and is a fast grower too! Look at its spade like leaves and flowers. Somewhat leafy, and almost like a tropical grass, right? Interesting. Thanks for listening today everyone! See you all back here tomorrow!

May 14, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today's episode is dedicated to a smart, frugal, and environmental tip for spring seed starting. You're going to need the cardboard from paper towel rolls, cut in half, and or toilet paper rolls. You'll also need a tupperware or other structure to keep them upright. Start by placing your cardboard paper towel rolls upright in the tupperware, so they're all standing vertically like pots. Get them close together so they hold each other upright. Now, fill in each roll all the way up with seed starting mix. Gently water each one so the soil falls down a bit. Now, place one to two seeds in each tube! In a week or two you should see sprouts! Good luck trying this handy tip out! See you tomorrow!

May 13, 2019

Welcome back! Woday we're going to talk about plant pairing and plant design. The typical way most people choose their plants is by finding the ones that look best to them; and there is nothing wrong with that! But if you want to take your plant design to the next level, think about contrasting them. You can contrast color, overall plant shape, leaf shape, flowering versus non-flowering, and plant size. An easy one to try is contrasting color. Try out a Moonshine Snake plant, which has a sage green-like color to it, and very smooth leaves, contrasted against a Peace Lily, that has very dark green leaves with pronounced venation, and bright white flowers. Another favorite of ours is contrasting the golden pothos with the marble queen or neon pothos. It makes for a very symmetrical combination since they are both the same size and shape, but the colors starkly contrast. 

May 12, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're talking about the difference between watering styles. We're going to make a broad generalization to simplify this topic and place houseplants in two categories. Think of them as two groups of watering needs. The first is the more drought tolerant category. This group thrives in medium to dry soil, and should dry out before being watered again, They react very poorly to overwatering. Think of Snake Plants, Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, Dracaenas, and Pothos. When you water these types of plants, make the soil thoroughly moist, but no need to soak the plant for extended durations and make the soil too muddy. This can get you into some trouble with these drier houseplants. The second group thrives in moist soil, but if the soil dries out, the plant will show signs of distress, and tends to react more strongly to underwatering. This second group is quite water loving. Think of Lilies, Spiders, and other plants with soft tissue type leaves. This group can be soaked in water, and the soil can become quite wet and muddy usually without issue. We recognize this is a simplified way to classify houseplants, and there is a middle group, but it helps to understand how much to water. To recap, plants with tough leathery leaves you want to keep the soil between moist and dry between waterings. Then there is a group with more delicate leaves, you want to keep between moist and wet between waterings, making sure to not let the soil dry out. We hope this helps out the most challenging topic for plant parents! Have a great day!

May 11, 2019

Welcome back! Today we'll focus on understanding when your plants are getting too little light. A very easy way to tell a plant isn't getting enough light is when the nodes are spread apart. That is the space between the leaf stems. These spaces on a rubber tree will begin to stretch out and it will lean towards the sunlight. The plant will become long and thin and usually bend. Very weak, and small growth that is light in green color is another sign of too little light. Since plants are efficient organisms, and leaves act as surfaces to catch light energy on, leaves that aren't receiving light will be shed. Often these will be lower leaves, or leaves on the backside of a plant. Make sure to turn your plant a quarter turn each week to evenly distribute sunlight amongst all the sides. Thanks for tuning in! Have a great day!

May 10, 2019

Welcome back! Today is about your house plants getting too much light. As the summer approaches, keep an eye out that your houseplants aren't getting direct sunlight. A little direct sunlight is okay for some plants, but for most houseplants, it's too strong. Look at your leaves and make sure they aren't bleaching. Your leaves losing color and whitening could mean the area of your house they're in is too bright. Try moving your plants out of the direct light, and just next to your window. Or even try a north window in the summer. We recently had to move a fiddle leaf fig tree out of the sunlight, and near a bathroom window where it is now much happier! Thanks for listening everyone! See you tomorrow!

May 9, 2019

Today is about the spectrum of light that is usable to plants. It can be broken down into two primary spectrums of light: the red and blue spectrum. The red spectrum simulates fall and late summer, and signals some plants to flower. The blue spectrum of light comes from winter and spring types of light, and signals to plants that they should develop leaves and foliage. Green spectrums of light are actually reflected by plants, and oddly enough, that is why they appear green to us. Let me say that once more, slower. Plants appear green to us because green is the color of light that they reflect. That reflected light hits our eye, making them appear to be green to us. This fact has our head spinning a little bit. But to summarize, plants absorb the blue and red spectrum of light, and reflect the green spectrum of light. Thank you for listening today! See you tomorrow!

May 8, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're going to talk about physically training your houseplants. If you want to guide your plants to grow in a particular direction or shape, you can do so with twist ties. This works great with vining plants such as the Pothos, Philodendron, or Ivy. Gently wrap a branch with a few inches of twist tie, making sure it isn't too tight to the branch; or else it could sever it. Then attach the twist tie to a hook or other fastener. We currently have a Neon Pothos growing along a window in our greenhouse. We used some simple green twist ties and a few hooks! Really simple and easy way to create the urban jungle feel. Thanks for listening everyone! Happy Wednesday!

May 7, 2019

Today we're going to discuss the three most common mistakes plant parents make. We all make these mistakes, so if they sound too familiar, don't be too hard on yourself! The first is overwatering. It's the number one thing new plant parents do. And the intention is good, it's just that most houseplants can tolerate a couple weeks between waterings. Number two is giving your house plants direct sunlight. Most house plants come from the jungle, and will burn when exposed to direct light. Number three is not giving enough indirect bright light. The perfect light will be just next to the sun streaming into a room, but not directly in it. It's a fine line. One of our favorite locations is just next to a window, but not in front of it! We hope these help, and if you're enjoying the daily episodes from Pretty in Green, please leave us a review in the Amazon Alexa app! Have a great day everyone!

May 6, 2019

Today we're going to discuss the three best practices in caring for your houseplants! The first is to get on a weekly watering schedule. Now, this doesn't mean water every week if the plant doesn't need it. Just check your plants on a regular schedule. The second is to rotate your plants in their locations, and change their locations if they aren't working. Give each plant a ninety degree turn once a week. The third is to transplant your plants when they need it! Many plant parents leave their plants in their original containers for too long, and they suffer from it. So to recap, check your plants for water, weekly; rotate your plants' locations; and finally, transplant when it's time! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

May 5, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about the tips browning on your Dracaena Lemon Lime; also commonly called limelight. Now, you can tell a lot from this plant by feeling its leaves. They're tough, with a thick outer skin. The cuticle of the leaf. Because of this thick skin, the soil can dry out between waterings, but if you let it go too long, the leaves will die back from the ends back toward the center of the plant. It's also a good idea to give you Dracaena a bit more bright indirect light. We actually have one that receives an hour or two of direct sun light and is thriving! So try and get on a more consistent watering schedule, without overwatering, and give it a bit more light. The brown spots and tips should go away! Thanks for listening!

May 4, 2019

Hello everyone! Today we're going to talk about what is known as the growing season. In most parts of the United States, and northern hemisphere, deciduous trees are beginning to get their leaf sprouts back. This is your indicator that the growing season is upon you. It's time to take advantage of this six month period, because once it's gone, you'll have to wait another 6 months for it to fully begin again. The growing season for plants is when the noticeable growth occurs. This is the foliage and leaf development, branching, lengthening, and stretching of branches. Plants put out as many leaves as possible in this phase to capture the extra available sunlight. Whereas in winter, root and trunk development occurs, which is harder to notice, and generally less exciting! So take advantage of the growing season, and grow some plants! Have a great day everyone!

May 3, 2019

Welcome back! Today we'll explore reasons for a plant's leaves turning yellow. Yellowing lower leaves is commonly from too much or too little water. The top of the soil can sometimes be an unreliable indicator so make sure to check an inch or two below the surface. If it's dry, your plant may be in need of a drink and a more regular watering routine. If the soil is soggy, your plant is overwatered and you may need more time between waterings. Over or under watering can stress your plants so if your plant is yellowing, it's a good idea to check the soil. Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

May 2, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about certain colors appearing on your fiddle leaf fig leaves. You might see reddish rust colored spots on the new leaves that come out. This could be from a variety of things. Though the typical culprit is overwatering. The Fiddle Leaf likes to have its soil dry out between waterings. Excess water might be pooling and creating an anaerobic zone in the roots, which allows fungus to attack the plant. To cure this, try and allow the soil to dry out more between watering. The rust spots might also be caused by Magnesium deficiency. Cure this with one tablespoon of Epsom salt per gallon, watered once every two months. We hope this helps! Have a great day everyone!

May 1, 2019

Hello everyone! Happy May! Today's episode is about cleaning leaves. Clean leaves are vital to allow the maximum amount of light to be absorbed by your plants. Just like solar panels, build up of dust and dirt can decrease the efficiency of your plants' solar reflectors! You're going to need a soft towel or paper towel, dampened with some water. Go around to each of your houseplants' leaves, place a hand under, and wipe off the top of the leaf. Be gentle, and make sure to not damage or bruise the leaves. This should help your plants absorb more light over time, and grow faster! Thanks for listening everyone; we'll see you tomorrow!

April 30, 2019

Today's episode discusses the portion of the rainforest that gives us most of our house plants. The area between the forest canopy and the forest floor is called the understory. The canopy of a forest tends to be many meters thick, and because of its thickness, it absorbs almost all of the sunlight. The plants that can survive in shady areas are called understory plants, and many have become house plants for this unique characteristic. They have the ability to photosynthesize using this indirect and scattered light energy. Next time you're looking for the ideal location in your house for your plants, think about the filtered light that makes it through to a forest's floor; that's the perfect amount of light for almost all houseplants! Thanks for tuning in!

April 29, 2019

Hello everyone! Have you ever wondered how many leaves are on the average tree? I didn't think so, but we're going to tell you anyway! According to a paper out of the University of Washington, there are about a quarter million leaves on a mature Oak tree! That's quite a lot! Keep in mind, this is an estimate of an ideal tree, but it still gives us a quantity reference. We have an Oak tree out of our window, and it was bare a few months ago, now it must have hundreds of thousands of leaves, all in a matter of two months! Very impressive! Thanks for listening everyone!

April 28, 2019

Welcome back everyone! We hope your day has been well. Today is an episode about gratitude. We're very grateful for all of you tuning in each and every day. We're also very grateful for plants and trees for providing oxygen for us all to breathe. Did you know, plants and other oxygen producing organisms create all the oxygen we breathe? What are some things you're grateful for? Today, we're grateful to be alive. Life is quite a beautiful journey, when you take a step back and look. Thank you all for joining us again, and we'll see you all tomorrow!

April 27, 2019

Have you been observing your plants in the last couple of weeks? The longer days of spring should be making them jump! More hours of sunlight, and the more powerful light of spring should have your plants growing! We have an olive tree outside that we pruned in early March, that has grown eight inches in some areas! Also, a few Fiddle Leaf Figs trees around that house are starting to grow too. For the first time in six months! We thought they might be dead. But no. They were just dormant! Take a look around your home or garden, and see what your plants are up to! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

April 26, 2019

Have you ever felt like your plants are struggling? You're not alone. There are tons of blog posts dedicated to plant failures and folks dealing with the aftermath when a withering plant doesn't make it. We've got tons of stories! Maybe you've heard someone say they have a black thumb. All gardeners have had plants die on them, so don't give up. There's a plant out there for every type of gardener, so try to find what will work best for you. Use it as an opportunity to look at what isn't working. Maybe the location doesn't get adequate light, or skipping one too many waterings resulted in a parched plant. But mostly, be patient, and don't be too hard on yourself! You're doing great! Thanks for listening!

April 25, 2019

Get ready Pretty in Green listeners! Today we're going to talk about bat guano! Believe it or not, bat droppings are a great fertilizer. It also improves the soil by improving drainage and the texture of the soil. It can be added to the soil prior to planting or during the growing season. It has a high concentration of minerals so it should be used in small amounts. It can be spread thinly on the top of the soil or worked into the soil. Some gardeners make a compost tea by bubbling water overnight then using the strained water while going about their normal care routines. Bat guano is carefully harvested so as not to disturb the bats. Would you be willing to try it as a fertilizer? Don't worry, it has very little odor! Tune in tomorrow for more tips and tricks! Thanks for listening!

April 24, 2019

Since the weather has been warming up you may have transitioned to focusing on gardening outdoors, but we wanted to take a moment to appreciate the plants that keep us company indoors year round. If you have had houseplants for some time now, your collection has probably evolved. Perhaps you have a large number of plants that are sprawled throughout your space or you have cuttings from your favorite plants that are adding to your collection. Maybe you have just one or two plants that you enjoy tending. Many of our listeners might be first time houseplant gardeners. Indoor plants rely on us for their care so take an extra moment today to appreciate them. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a first timer, we are glad to have you along as a listener! Thanks for tuning in and don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back for being a great plant parent!

April 23, 2019

Today we're going to talk about soil! We all know that a plant's roots get its nutrients from soil but what exactly is soil? Perhaps you are picturing a bag of potting mix you can purchase from a garden supply store, but soil is actually a complex mixture of organic materials, air, water, and minerals. Soil can support growing plants, provide a habitat for animals, process composted materials, and it can absorb water. It can be used as a construction material for something like a dam or a foundation. Have you been somewhere and noticed different colored soil? The mineral composition of the soil can change its color. For example, soil high in iron may be red or orange while soil with lots of organic matter is typically dark brown or almost black. We hope you have enjoyed this fun science lesson! Thanks for listening!

April 22, 2019

When our house plants are in need of a fertilizer boost or a drink of water we take note and provide them with what they need. But what about plants in nature? How does their natural environment provide them with nutrients? When leaves or branches drop to the forest floor they are broken down by microbes, insects, and small animals. Through this process nutrients are returned to the soil and plants can absorb needed minerals to grow. Forests with trees that seasonally lose leaves typically have nutrient rich soil because of the decomposing leaves. The process of decomposition can vary depending on the organisms in the soil, climate, and the composition of the old vegetation that winds up on the forest floor. Tune in tomorrow when we talk about soil! Thanks for listening!

April 21, 2019

Here at Pretty in Green we love compost. It's even added to our potting soil, but what exactly is compost? Put simply, it is finished product of recycling organic materials into a nutrient rich soil amendment. It is the product of a biological and chemical breakdown done by microbes and earthworms. What you end up with is a black crumbly soil like material that is rich in microbes that is a perfect for amending soil. You may be wondering what is the difference between compost and fertilizer. Compost improves the soil by adding oxygen and microbes so the plant can make good use of nutrients; while fertilizer specifically provides nutrients to the plant. Some gardeners tend compost bins to turn their vegetable scraps into compost for their garden. We recommend reading one of the many online guides if you're interested in trying composting for the first time. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more gardening tips!

April 20, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're going to talk about a question we often get about drainage in pots. It's vital for your plants to have adequate drainage. Drainage holes work to allow water to escape, and allow for air to reach the roots! In nature, there is plenty of drainage, and that's what plants need! If you must, use a pot without drainage, to not spill water on your surfaces, but we suggest instead a saucer to be used after watering. If you have a pot without drainage, and the plant doesn't seem very happy, this might be your culprit! Let the water run through! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

April 19, 2019

Welcome back! Have you ever wondered how many plants there are on earth? Scientists have not came up with a definitive number, yet. But there are nearly four hundred thousand different types of plants on earth, that are known to science. But we have likely only discovered a fraction of them! Science discovers around two thousand new plants per year. Some of the most common plants on earth are the Embryophytes, which include mosses, liverworts, conifers, ferns, and flowering plants. In terms of quantity of biomass, or plant material, the most abundant plants on earth is trees; covering about thirty percent of earth's land surface. Thanks for listening, check back in tomorrow!

April 18, 2019

We love the Monstera Deliciosa here at Pretty in Green. Not only is it on our logo, but the drainage holes on our 3D printed pots are an homage to one of our favorite houseplants. But have you ever wondered why its leaves split? When the Monstera leaves are exposed to bright light, the structure and shape of their leaves change, and they begin to split. The splits, or holes you see, properly known as fenestrations, are a result of this light exposure. In the tropical forests, where it rains daily, exposure to sunlight means direct exposure to raindrops. As a survival mechanism, the Monstera creates these holes on its leaves to allow raindrops through without puncturing them. This avoids pooling of water on its massive leaves which avoids pathogens. Pretty smart, huh? We think so! Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

April 17, 2019

Have you ever wondered how long houseplants live? In general, scientists believe there are no predetermined lifespans for house plants. If given the right growing conditions and proper care, a plant could go on living technically indefinitely. Some gardeners have had certain plants for twenty years and there is even a story of a woman who left part of her inheritance to care for her forty two year old Philodendron. In theory, if a plant is given optimal conditions it could be passed on for generations! Nothing beats the oldest living house plant in the world though. An Eastern Cape Cycad has been growing in a pot at Kew Gardens in London for two hundred and forty three years! We hope you have enjoyed these fun facts and thanks for listening!

April 16, 2019

Yesterday we talked about a plant's natural cycle of shedding old leaves and replacing them with new growth. But what happens when the entire plant has yellow leaves? If the top leaves were the first to turn yellow it may mean a nitrogen deficiency. This could be caused by the soil being depleted of nutrients or potentially a buildup of calcium if you are using hard water. These conditions can inhibit your plant's ability to photosynthesize so you may want to give your plants some fertilizer to get it back on track. Try a balanced organic fertilizer! Worm castings always work well as a balanced gentle fertilizer! Thanks for listening!

April 15, 2019

Let's talk about plants and aging! Have you ever wondered why a plant's leaves change color as the plant prepares to shed its older leaves? Plants can shed leaves to prepare for a dormant period or to conserve their resources in harsh conditions. They can also shed older leaves that are worn out and replace them with new growth. To prep for this transition the plant will transfer nutrients back to the mother plant. More specifically it will transfer nitrogen which is a big component of chlorophyll, the beautiful green color we know and love. When this happens the old leaf will turn yellow and eventually fall away once the plant stops providing it with resources. In the wild, leaves fall to the ground and add nutrients back into the soil as they decompose. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more tips and tricks!

April 14, 2019

Today is dedicated to making sure you don't give up on your plants that haven't grown much recently. We're located in Southern California, and both of our Fig Trees have just recently broke their nearly six month growth break. They haven't developed any new leaves or lengthened any new branches since early fall last year. We thought there might have been something wrong with them, but it was just the trees going into a bit of a hibernation! With the last few weeks of spring weather, both of them are beginning to develop new leaves! Finally. So make sure to not toss out your slow growing plants over winter! Thanks for listening!

April 13, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some trees have small, skinny needle like leaves, whereas other plants have large leaves? Leaf sizes are thought to be determined based upon how much sunlight and heat a plant will get. For instance, pine needles, like those on on a conifer are located at the higher portions of the canopy. These smaller leaves have the ability to diffuse heat, and capture plenty of light because they are often subjected to the brightest sun. There are many pine needles that act to capture sunlight simultaneously. In contrast, plants with larger, broader leaves like the Elephant's Ear, are often located in the lower elevations of the canopy where sunlight is more scarce. With more shade, these lower plants need a larger surface area to capture light energy, and they do not have to deal with overheating of the leaf surface. Plants never cease to surprise us with their adaptability! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

April 12, 2019

Today's episode is about why plants wilt. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that the plant runs out of water. Plants use pressurized water throughout their stems and stalks to maintain their upright posture. The next most common reason for wilting is from overwatering. This type of wilting is not as drastic as underwatering. When a plant receives too much water, we would consider it to be called drooping. The leaves no longer point upwards to the sky, or parallel to the ground, and actually point down towards the ground. We've also seen wilting occur from cold weather, too much sun, or too much fertilizer. Any massive shock to the plant will make it react very quickly to the new condition. This is why it's so important to begin to learn to read your plants. Thank you for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

April 11, 2019

Our listeners know that plants can brighten up a space as well as improve air quality but did you know there's a plant that can help you breathe a little easier at night? Snake plants are members of the Sansevieria family and native to West Africa. They are hardy, absorb toxins from the surrounding environment, and convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at night so they are the perfect plant to keep in a bedroom. It can handle a range of light conditions and needs water every two to three weeks. It doesn't mind if its roots are a little cramped in its container and will even let you know when it needs to be repotted by tipping over when it gets too tall for its container. Here at Pretty in Green we love all the varieties of this hard working plant. We hope you do too! Thanks for listening!

April 10, 2019

Perhaps you went out of town or skip a watering here and there. When you checked on your greenery you noticed the soil was dry and pulling away from the sides of the container. You grab your watering can and give it a drink only to see the water rush down the empty sides and out the bottom leaving your plant high and dry. How do you fix this? One of the components of potting mix is peat which can keep soil moist however it shrinks when it dries out completely. Moisture needs to be reintroduced slowly so the peat will hold water once more. Soak the pot in tupperware so it slowly absorbs water. Visit Pretty in Green's blog to review watering techniques and thanks for listening today!

April 9, 2019

Yesterday we talked about how to remove moldy soil from your plant's container and today we'll review some ways to prevent mold from coming back. It's important to understand that normally mold in soil is harmless, although we'll admit not the prettiest thing to look at. Indoor plant containers can retain moisture so to prevent white fuzzies from cropping up again here are some tips to keep it at bay. Avoid overwatering and remove standing water that drains out of the bottom. Check the soil for moisture by gently poking a finger under the surface of the soil about an inch or so down. Make sure your plant is in a spot that gets good air circulation. A common baking ingredient can also keep mold in check. A very light application of ground cinnamon on the surface of the soil acts as a natural fungicide. We hope you found these tips helpful! Thanks for listening!

April 8, 2019

Get ready Pretty in Green listeners, today we are going to talk about moldy soil! Have you ever checked on your green babies and noticed a fuzzy white mold on your plant's soil? The culprit is most like a harmless fungus that can be present in organic soil. Is it harmful to your plants? No, but its presence could signal that your plant isn't getting the right moisture, air circulation, or sunlight. You can remove it by scraping the fuzzy soil and throwing it away. Keep in mind the fungus isn't particularly dangerous to humans. Tune in tomorrow when we discuss ways to prevent mold growth. Thanks for listening!

April 7, 2019

If you've had houseplants for some time you may have noticed a crust like residue made up of tiny white granules on the surface of the soil. Just what is that, and how did it get there? It is a build up of soluble salts from some fertilizers or the use of hard water. Left unchecked it could damage plants by preventing them from absorbing water properly. If you use clay pots the salts could build up on the outside as a white bloom. The easiest way to keep salt build up in check is to flush the soil several times with clean water until it drains from the bottom and make sure any standing water is removed. Use twice as much water as the container will hold. Wait thirty to sixty minutes and repeat. Do this every six months and avoid over fertilizing to prevent future build up. Thanks for listening and we'll see you tomorrow!

April 6, 2019

Hello everyone! Today continues our series on the resilient ZZ plant. Today we'll finish the series by talking about how to propagate the ZZ plant so you can have more of it! It takes time, but can be worth the wait! Side note, that's why this plant is so expensive, because the time it takes to propagate! To propagate it, cut a few of its leaves off, and stick them into a half and half mixture of peat and perlite. The mix should be moist. Keep the babies out of the sun, and in a shady area, and in four weeks, root nodules should appear. In a few months, new shoots will rise up and you'll have a new plant! Thanks for listening, and we hope you give the ZZ plant a shot! Have a great day!

April 5, 2019

Hello everyone! Today continues our series on the sought after ZZ plant. It is such a beloved plant because it tolerates the most negligent plant parents. It thrives in dark shadows, and rarely needs water. It's actually a fairly new plant to the cultivated houseplant world, making its splash at the millennium. Though it's only been commercially cultivated for twenty years, it has quickly become one of the hottest plants on the market, for good reason! It's currently one of our favorites, just like the snake plant! Low water, and low light! We love it. Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

April 4, 2019

Welcome back! Today kicks off the first episode of the series dedicated to one of our favorite plants, the ZZ plant. It goes by a shortened name, because its full name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a bit of a latin mouth full! The ZZ plant is native to Africa. All the way from Kenya, down to South Africa! Because where it comes from does not experience lots of rain, it is very drought tolerant. We've actually only had issues with the ZZ plant when we've overwatered it! Give it low to medium, indirect light; with waterings every four to six weeks, and it will thrive! We have a massive one in our shop that is starting to explode with growth! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

April 3, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're going to discuss a very obvious indicator of plant health. This should be very easy to notice, especially during spring. What we're talking about is turgor, or a plant's water pressure. Essentially, how strong its stems and leaves are. We've noticed that many Pothos around our shop are beginning to point straight up towards the light. They're beginning to grow, and this is a very obvious sign of a healthy plant! Just figured we would pass along the tip! Thank you for listening, it means a lot to us! We'll see you tomorrow!

April 2, 2019

The Spring season is a great time for all plants, but we love what our snake plants are currently doing. They're beginning to break the ground around them. Many of them are just beginning to grow new baby offshoots. This new growth will come up out of the dirt as new plants, and when they are large enough, we can harvest the new babies to use to become new adult plants. Keep an eye on the soil around your plants to watch new growth emerge! Once the babies are two to five inches long, un-pot your snake plants, and cut them from the parent plant and repot! We hope you try this trick out! Thanks for listening!

April 1, 2019

Yesterday we talked about transplanting seedlings and today we'll continue to discuss common issues that can come up when working with sprouts. If you are trying to separate a clump of seedlings, carefully separate the individual plants by gently untangling the roots. Try to handle the seedlings carefully, by handling the leaves and stems, as the roots can be easily damaged. If you notice a seedlings' stem collapsing near the surface of the soil, the culprit could be a fungus. Make sure to wash or disinfect containers and use fresh potting mix. Give the seedling good air ventilation so the tops of the plants stay dry. Avoid over watering and drain standing water. Baby plants need a little extra care but we think the effort is well worth it! Thanks for listening and we'll see you tomorrow!

March 31, 2019

For our listeners that have started seedlings, today's topic is for you! How do you know when sprouted seedlings are ready to transplant? If your seedlings have developed a second set of leaves, it's probably time to transplant. If seedlings have sprouted close to each other you'll want to thin them. It is best to give each plant its own pot or use cell packs so your new plants can get established before you move them outside. Fill the new containers with moist potting mix. Carefully loosen the soil around the seedlings. A chopstick or fork can be a good tool for this. Make a hole in the new container's soil and gently transfer seedlings one by one tamping down the soil lightly around the plant's stem. Water and keep the growing seedlings out of direct sunlight. Tune in tomorrow for more transplanting tips!

March 30, 2019

Here at Pretty in Green, transplanting comes up a lot, but what exactly is transplanting? Simply put, it means moving your plant into a new container when it outgrows its current one. This is done when a plant's root system outgrows the current quantity of soil. Whether you are moving a house plant into a larger container or transferring seedlings, transplanting is all about timing. If you wait too long you may stunt growth. The roots send signals to the top of the plant if they run out of room and nutrients. When you are transplanting, take care when handling the roots since they will be briefly out of their element. Tune in tomorrow when we will talk about transplanting seedlings. Thanks for listening!

March 29, 2019

Yesterday we discussed the NPK ratio of fertilizer, and today we'll talk about what those particular nutrients do. Nitrogen plays a major role in a plant's ability to photosynthesize. It is especially important for leafy plants like Dieffenbachia. Phosphorous is vital for flowers and fruiting. It aids in transferring energy to different parts of the plant and tissue production. Potassium helps control a plant's pores or stomata. This is where the the exchange of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor happens. We feel good when we can breathe easy and plants are no different. We hope you enjoyed this fun science lesson into how your plant uses nutrients! Thanks for listening!

March 28, 2019

To continue our mini-series on fertilizing, today we are going to discuss the nutrients that make up fertilizer, or its NPK, ratio. If you've picked up a bag of fertilizer you may have noticed a series of three numbers on it separated by dashes. The first number represents nitrogen, the second is phosphorous, and the third is potassium. The ratio represents the available nutrients by weight. So, if a bag of fertilizer has a ratio of five, five, and five; that means it has five percent nitrogen, five percent phosphate, and five percent potassium; by weight. This example means it's a balanced fertilizer, with all the numbers the same. Each of these nutrients support a plant's functions from healthy roots to producing new tissue. Tomorrow we'll review how each nutrient is used by our plants. Thanks for listening!

March 27, 2019

Yesterday we discussed fertilizing with worm castings and here's a quick review for our new listeners! Worm castings are an organic fertilizer produced by earthworms when they eat compost. They aerate the soil and also aid in water retention. They also slowly release nutrients which is beneficial if you don't plan on repotting your houseplants anytime soon. Worm castings can also help repel pests like spider mites and aphids because of their beneficial microbial properties. Some gardeners use a diluted solution of worm castings and water to spray on their outdoor gardens to keep pests away. They're considered black gold in the organic gardening community! Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

March 26, 2019

We hope you have been enjoying our tips to prep your plants for spring! Today we are going to continue discussing fertilizer. It is an important component of proper plant maintenance, but how much should be used and how often? Fertilize once every one to three months throughout spring and summer, taking care not to over fertilize. Too much may damage your plants. Here at Pretty in Green we like fertilizing with organic worm castings. It improves the soil quality while slowly releasing nutrients and it is super easy to use. Spread a thin layer over the soil for happy plants. We also just released a line of organic liquid fertilizer that is well balanced for all stages of growth! Try any organic fertilizers for an easy plant nutrition meal! Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more tips!

March 25, 2019

Springtime means plants are entering their growing months and it might be time to fertilize your green babies. You may have wondered why plants need fertilizer in the first place. When plants grow, they pull nutrients from the soil. In their natural environment, the soil is amended externally by animals like earthworms or decaying plant matter. Houseplants are indoors and rely on the soil in their pot to stay healthy. When that soil gets depleted, nutrients need to be replenished so the plant stays healthy. Fertilizing regularly will help keep your plant happy, especially during the months of March through September when plants are growing. Growth tends to slow during the fall and winter months, so very little fertilizer or none at all is required during the cooler seasons. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more gardening tips and tricks!

March 24, 2019

We can't stop talking about spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and we are excited about our seedlings sprouting here at the shop! If you are new to caring for plants there is a lot to take in. We wanted to take a moment to remind our listeners to match your skills to your plants. If you are choosing your first plant, consider a sturdy one to start with and then level up to a more care intensive plant. Some great first timer plants are pothos or snake plants. The peace lily is also a very forgiving plant. If you're an experienced gardener, perhaps you want to branch out and try caring for a completely different kind of plant or try your hand at growing seedlings. No matter what your experience level there is a skill set match out there for you! We hope you've enjoyed today's gardening tip and we'll see you tomorrow!

March 23, 2019

Today's episode is about properly flushing your soil with water. If you're anything like us, when your plants need water, you get them to the closest drain, and water until a little bit comes from the bottom of the pot; let it drip drain for a few minutes, then back to its spot for a couple weeks. But it's important to flush your soil with a good amount of water from time to time. To do this, find a watering location you can let a bit of water drain into. We like our in sink dish rack, or the shower for this. Water as normal, but once you see water coming from the bottom of the pot, continue watering until roughly one pot of water volume has drained from the bottom. Meaning, if your pot is half a gallon, then let half a gallon run off. This will clean your soil of nutrient build up, and make the soil more consistent! Thanks for listening today! See you tomorrow!

March 22, 2019

Hello everyone! Today is about our most popular plant, the Peace Lily! This plant flowers throughout the year when exposed to the correct conditions of bright light and warmer weather. This is actually the time of year when you should expect the flowers to begin showing! The peace lily features a striking bright white flower that contrasts against its dark green foliage. It's quite a looker. They come in four through ten inch pot sizes, and it blooms repeatedly! Some folks think the plant is dying when the flower starts to wither away, but worry not, this is simply its natural process. Look for new flowers to emerge as bulges toward the base of the plant! It also happens to be one of Nasa's Clean Air Study's best purifier, rapidly removing a variety of toxins from your air. They also make great birthday and housewarming gifts! Thanks for tuning in today! Have a great day everyone!

March 21, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Today's episode is dedicated to a smart, frugal, and environmental tip for spring seed starting. You're going to need the cardboard from paper towel rolls, cut in half, and or toilet paper rolls. You'll also need a tupperware or other structure to keep them upright. Start by placing your cardboard paper towel rolls upright in the tupperware, so they're all standing vertically like pots. Get them close together so they hold each other upright. Now, fill in each roll all the way up with seed starting mix. Gently water each one so the soil falls down a bit. Now, place one to two seeds in each tube! In a week or two you should see sprouts! Good luck trying this handy tip out! See you tomorrow!

March 20, 2019

Happy spring everyone! Today, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate Vernal Equinox. Vernalis is the latin word for spring, and Equinox stands for equal night. There are equal hours of light and dark today. Twelve and Twelve. We feel like it's been forever, but we warmly welcome the next three months of warmer weather and longer days! Days will continue to lengthen until June 21st! Make sure to take advantage of this warmer weather to do your planting, or begin preparing your plants and outdoor gardens. All of your plants will awaken shortly, and you will notice the growth if you look closely! We hope you get outside today and enjoy one of the best days of the year! See you tomorrow!

March 19, 2019

Welcome back! Today is a last nudge to prune your plants before they enter their growth season. Spring begins tomorrow, and most plants will begin reacting to the warmer weather and lengthening days. Try and shape your plants using scissors, shears, and your fingers. Pull off lower branches of growth that are small and out of the light. This will provide more resources to be focused on upper growth that receives light. If you'd like to create more of a bushy plant, cut some of the top branches, so it encourages wider growth. The next appropriate opportunity to do heavy shaping and pruning of your plants will be in the fall; in about six months. So get outside, or inside, and get your pruning done! You'll be shocked at the results! Have a great day everyone!

March 18, 2019

The best way to care for a plant is to intuitively observe it as best as possible. This is hard to teach, but can be learned. The proper light and water are the two most important factors to consider for a house plants success. When thinking of how much to water a plant, or how much light to give it, try and find the plants origin in the world. Understanding what part of the world a plant came from, will allow you to logically think about how often it rains in that region, and how much sun it might receive there. For example, Snake Plants, commonly referred to as mother in laws tongue, are originally from Tropical West Africa. You can imagine that region might receive filtered light, and a low amount of rainfall. This coincides with the Snake Plant's favorite conditions which are bright light, and waterings every three weeks or so. The Snake plant can tolerate some full sun, and is very drought tolerant. Also, feel the toughness of the leaves. This will give you some intuition on how drought tolerant it is! Thanks for listening! Tune back in tomorrow!

March 17, 2019

Today's episode is about the true difference between organic and inorganic soil. An easy way to think of it is, in organic gardening, the soil feeds your plants; and in non organic gardening, fertilizers feed your plants. When using organic soils, the microbes in the soil break down the wood chips and other materials, and make nutrients available to your plants. With chemical, inorganic soils, the soil acts simply as a holder of water, and fertilizer needs to be added back in addition to the soil; since the soil's biology is likely dormant, and not able to feed the plants. We always use and suggest organic soil, even if it's more expensive, because our plants will do better in the long run, and it's easier on the environment. Chemical fertilizer is derived from oil and gas, and is incredibly energy intensive to produce. Try using worm castings, compost, and an organic soil blend for your plants. They'll be happier and it's more affordable in the long run! See you tomorrow!

March 16, 2019

Welcome back! As the temperature continues to rise as we approach spring, it's important to keep an eye out for bugs. All of the organisms wake up with the warm weather, not only your plants and garden. Look out for spider mites. These little buggers are one of the most devastating to plants. Inspect the bottom sides of your leaves for their small white and yellowish eggs. You can see the remnants of their destruction from the top sides of your leaves, presented as small white dots in clusters. Use a neem oil spray, which is an organic product derived from Chrysanthemums to keep spider mites and most other bugs away! The key to pest prevention is consistent treatment! Thanks for listening; see you all tomorrow!

March 15, 2019

Happy Friday everyone! Today we're going to discuss how to maintain oxygen in the root zone after transplanting. Keeping air in the soil is just as important as water. Striking an even balance between the two is the key to happy and fast growing plants. When you're transplanting, make sure to not pack down the soil too much. Only pack it down enough to secure the plant into place, and nothing more. Your houseplant potting soil should have a lightness to it, much different than outdoor potting soil. The air pockets between the dirt allows for air to circulate through the root system for healthy roots! Thanks for listening everyone!

March 14, 2019

Welcome back! As some parts of North America begin to warm up, it's appropriate to talk about seed starting techniques. Today we'll discuss our favorite seed starting technique in two inch pots. To begin, you'll need a few two inch pots, seed starting mix, water, and some seeds of your choosing. Start by filling the pots all the way up with the seed starting mix. Now, water the pots, allowing the soil to settle down so they're now about three quarters of the way full. Sprinkle one to two seeds per pot. And add back a final layer of soil to cover the seeds. Lastly, lightly water very gently, making sure to not disturb the location of the seeds. Put your seeds in warm space, in filtered light. You should see sprouts in a week or so! Make sure to keep them moist. Check out our seed starting kit, which includes all of the items discussed, including Heirloom tomato seeds! Thanks for listening!

March 13, 2019

Most folks are familiar with watering a plant by distributing water to the soil and roots; but did you know you can water plants from the bottom up? It's a good method for reviving thirsty peace lilies or other plants that need a thorough watering. The amount of water you'll need is roughly the volume of your plant's container. Place your plant in a bowl or container and add the water until it's about two to three fingers high. Depending on how dry the soil is, your plant may need up to two hours to allow the water to percolate to all the roots. Take the plant out of the water and allow to drain for half an hour before placing it back in its favorite location. We hope you have enjoyed this mini series on watering! Thanks for listening!

March 12, 2019

Welcome back! We understand taking hanging plants down and hanging them back up isn't for everyone, so we wanted to go over some tools that can make taking care of hanging plants a little easier. Self waterers are here to help! There are a variety of watering stakes available that can be filled with water and they slowly distribute water to your plant's roots. Although we haven't found a solution that we love, yet! If you are using a macrame hanger, check to make sure the filled stake isn't too heavy for the hanger, or the hook in the ceiling. Another great option to consider is a watering bulb. Once filled, you insert them at an angle into the soil to keep your plant hydrated. Not only are self waterers useful for hanging plants but they useful when you are out of town so you have happy plants when you return. We hope this helps! Tomorrow we'll discuss bottom up watering! See you then!

March 11, 2019

Here at Pretty in Green Plants, we love our plants, but even we admit watering hanging plants can be a little challenging. To avoid water dripping on rugs or furniture, we recommend taking your plant down and placing the container over a saucer or in a sink. Water the plant normally, evenly distributing the water over the roots until water comes out of the drainage hole. Allow the plant to drain for at least forty five minutes to an hour before hanging, taking care to make sure the plant is not sitting in standing water. Hanging plants can often be closer to the ceiling where the air can be warmer, so check your hanging plants regularly to see if they need a drink. Thanks for tuning in!

March 10, 2019

Yesterday we discussed watering, but have you ever wondered what kind of water you should be using? Or how much? For most gardeners, tap water is OK to use as long as it is not too hard. Avoid softened water, as it contains salts which can build up over time. Make sure the water you are using is room temperature. This is especially important during chilly months when water can come out of the tap like an arctic blast, and can shock the roots of some tropical plants. As for the amount of water needed, different plants need varying amounts. A good rule of thumbs is to water the soil evenly until water comes out of the drainage hole or you notice water collecting in the pot's saucer. Allow the water to drain for about half an hour and empty any remaining water. Tune in tomorrow for tips on how to water hanging plants! Thanks for listening!

March 9, 2019

Today we're going to talk about watering! Overwatering is an easy way to make your plants unhappy, so first check your plants to see if they need a drink. Gently poke a finger an inch below the surface of the soil, and if it's moist or damp, you will want to check again in another couple of days. If the soil is dry, it's time to break out the watering can! Try to use a watering can with a spout long enough so water reaches the soil and roots. Dense foliage can make it a challenge for the water to directly reach the soil, so use a watering can with a spout long enough get water onto the soil. Try to avoid regularly watering the leaves, or top of the plant, as some plants are prone to rot if water sits on the leaves. Thanks for listening!

March 8, 2019

Welcome back! Today is about a rare and unusual plant, the String of Pearls. Senecio rowleyanus, or string of beads, is a rare houseplant that looks like a green pearl necklace. Native to Southwest Africa, it is definitely one of the more interesting looking houseplants. It is quite easy to care for, but often is overwatered. It needs bright light, and the soil should dry out completely between watering; so much so, that the pearls begin to wrinkle up like raisins. The trailing vines of the plant avoid sunlight, growing in crevices of rocks and shady moist locations near the sun. When hanging, they can even grow 2-3 feet long and make for a very unique houseplant! Check out the string of pearls for a show-stopping houseplant! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

March 7, 2019

Today is about a condition you've likely seen on rubber trees, and the pothos houseplants. It's the cream variegation in houseplant leaves. Variegation is the absence of chlorophyll pigmentation in parts of a leaf or stem. Often presented as white stripes or patches on leaves, these plants are highly sought after in the plant community because of their rare look. However, they are very rare in nature, and mostly originate from the jungle regions of the world; where most of our house plants come from! Interestingly, variegation is actually a cell mutation. Due to the green parts of a plant being able to carry out photosynthesis, variegated leaves have less potential to convert sunlight to energy, and therefore grow slower than their non-variegated counterparts. If you have a variegated plant and want to replicate it, you can likely do so by stem cuttings. The new cutting should also possess the variegation in its leaves! Thank you for listening! See you tomorrow!

March 6, 2019

Welcome back to your houseplant tip of the day. Today's episode is on when you should transplant a small seedling or cutting. A telling sign for when it's time to move a plant to its second home is yellowing leaves. Seeds begin with a food storage vessel built into their seed; think of the egg white, relative to the egg yolk! Once the seed finishes the built in food storage, it will start to use its lower leaves to create food, and they will begin to yellow. Once this happens, get ready to transplant the baby plant into a new pot with fresh potting mix. Make sure the potting mix is organic(like this one) or the seedling could risk being burned by the synthetic fertilizer in the soil. At Pretty in Green Plants, we like to say no to Miracle Grow! Thanks for listening everyone!

March 5, 2019

Hello everyone! Today's episode is on taking care of small plants and seedlings. As with most plants, the two most important factors are water and light. For water, make sure your seedlings or cuttings are kept evenly moist. Not wet, nor should they be dry. Try not to soak them when watering, and don't let them run out of water, since their root mass isn't yet large enough to tolerate drought. For seedling light, keep them out of strong direct sunlight, and just outside of the sunlight, or at least make sure the light is filtered for them. In addition to proper water and light, give the seedlings room temperature air that is comfortable enough for you; and ideally a humid climate. The dry air will remove the moisture too quickly, though most plants can survive through dry climates! Thanks for listening today! We'll see you tomorrow!

March 4, 2019

Welcome back! Today we're going to talk about seed starting in peat moss and perlite. Seeds should be started in a mix that contains little to no nutrients. That usually means not your typical gardening soil, because that has too much food in it for baby seeds, and it will stay wet for too long. Instead, try seed starting mix, which typically contains half peat moss, and half perlite. The peat moss will help to keep the moisture for the seed to germinate, and the perlite will maintain oxygen pockets in the starting mix. We hope you get to try out the rewarding process of growing some plants from seed this spring! Have a great day everyone!

March 3, 2019

Happy March everyone! Spring is around the corner; so it's time to talk about fertilizer! Today we're going to talk about the three numbers on your potting soil or fertilizer bag. You'll see it written as numbers with dashes between them. That refers to the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium contained within. The first number, Nitrogen, is what makes up the leafy growth of a plant. Nitrogen is what gives plants their green color. The middle number is phosphorus, and is responsible for flower development. And the last number, Potassium, is responsible for root development, and a bit of a jack of all trades, and helps out with almost every process inside the plant! And that's all! Not so bad, right? Remember it simply as, N, P, and K. There's a lot of other nutrients, and we'll get into those a bit later on, but these are the primary three to know! Have a great day!

March 2, 2019

Do you live or work in a noisy space? Plants have the ability to insulate areas, and absorb and refract noise in indoor spaces. Their varied leaf shapes and angles receive sound waves and disperse them to quiet disruptive noises naturally. This can be a large benefit for offices, workout spaces, or classrooms. Any busy area with ambient noise can be improved by decreasing echo and sound bounce on walls. Plants will also be absorbing some of the carbon dioxide from the people, and providing them with oxygen so they can talk more! Wooohooo! Try out a dense bunching of Sansevieria along walls to minimize echos in your office or home! Have a great Saturday everyone!

March 1, 2019

Has all this talk about repotting your plant inspired you to look at containers? We are right there with you! Today we'll talk about some things to look for when choosing pots. Make sure there is drainage. It is easy to overwater if your container lacks drainage so make your pots have a hole to allow excess water to drain. When choosing a saucer to catch the excess water make sure it is glazed pottery or plastic. Unglazed pottery or terracotta saucers can become saturated and damage furniture or window sills. Protective plastic saucers can keep surfaces safe from moisture and damage. Lastly make sure that your container and its saucer will fit in the intended location. We carry a whole line of biodegradable pots and saucers. Check them out! Thanks for listening! 

February 28, 2019

 Are you ready to repot your plant? Today's tip is for you! First make sure you have some potting soil on hand that is made specifically for houseplants; and also your new container. If you haven't watered your plant per your regular routine, that is best to have the soil drier than normal. If you'd like, prep your new container by placing a pebbles or a layer of broken gravel in the bottom to keep the drainage hole from becoming clogged. Although this isn't necessary. Next layer soil and place the plant on top so that the top of the root ball is about an inch or two below the top lip of the container. Add potting mix around the roots and gently work the soil around the plant but don't compact it. When done, give your plant a drink of water and place in the intended location. Thanks for listening and we'll see you tomorrow!

February 27, 2019

Today we're going to discuss the best time of year to repot. It is best to re-pot just prior to the growing season. With spring about three weeks away, now is a great time to examine your plants and check them over for signs of outgrowing their pots. If you can take your plant out of its container and the roots come out molded in the shape of the pot, it is time to re-pot regardless of the season. We also wanted to remind our listeners to use soil formulated for potted plants and not garden soil. Potting mix for indoor plants has composted soil or peat mixtures to provide nutrients. Tune in tomorrow when we are ready to repot! Thanks for listening! 

February 26, 2019

Welcome back! Today's episode is about mapping your home for its orientation. You're going to need a compass, which can be found in your phone's app store, as a download. You're also going to need a roll of colored tape, or something to mark the four directions temporarily on your wall. Now, stand in the middle of each room, open your compass and mark the direction for directly north on the wall; followed by south, east, and west. Your south facing wall and window is your brightest location. Save this for your light hungry plants. Next up is your west facing window. West windows work for plants that can tolerate some direct sun. Your east facing window will also get some direct morning sun, so put plants here that can tolerate direct sun. Finally the north window will get the least amount of light, so keep your less needy plants on that side of the house! Thanks for listening, and see you all tomorrow!

February 25, 2019

Welcome back to houseplant tips and tricks from Pretty in Green Plants! Today's episode is about finding the different spots in your house for your plants. Look at the corners, hallways, walls, and ceilings. All of these different locations, you'll want to use throughout the year as the seasons change. We tend to rotate our plants as they seem to need more and less light through the year. There are some prime locations we tend to use as a bit of a rehab location for plants that need a boost and some good growth. Then there's locations that are more plenty, that have lots less of light. Try out different locations for your plants. It's kind of like moving furniture around, and can give your home a new feeling! Thanks for listening today!

February 24, 2019

Today is about understanding the quantity to water, when you're watering. Understanding when to water is probably the most important, but the volume of water you're watering with is a close second. The rule of thumb you're going to want to use is just under half of the volume of the container size. We try and use a visual measurement. Sometimes we'll place a glass of water next to the pot, with enough water so that the cup would fill the pot halfway up. This doesn't have to be exact by any measure. It is just a good rule of thumb when in doubt. Also, keep in mind this method is best for plants that aren't very water hungry, and that have not been heavily dried out. This works great for Sansevierias, Pothos, Philodendrons, and most common houseplants that need to be watered every week or two. For Peace Lilies, Spider plants, and more water-hungry plants, you can water one to two times the volume of the container size. That is because these plants are more challenging to overwater. We hope this clarifies the second more important part about watering; how much water to give your plants! Thanks for tuning in today! Have a wonderful day!

February 23, 2019

Today's episode is to encourage you to sprout some seeds to prepare for the spring. Growing vegetables in your garden is an incredibly rewarding and healthy process. All you need to get started is some seeds, a paper towel, and some water. To begin propagating your seeds, take a paper towel and fold it in half. Then, wet the paper towel, and let the extra water drip off. Now, simply place your seeds between the paper towel. You'll now place the paper towel with the seeds inside of it in a dark place. We usually put them in a cabinet. Keep the paper towel moist, and check the moisture daily. In a few days, the seeds should germinate. Good luck with this process, and thank you for listening today!

February 22, 2019

This might seem silly and obvious, but did you know all four seasons are almost exactly three months each? We bring this point up with a cold winter in the back of our minds, and a reminder to our listeners to be prepared to take full advantage of spring and summer growing conditions. Spring will only last 90 days, and that's the best time to grow your plants up, sprout seeds, take cuttings, and have your plants pruned prior to, so that they can focus their growth! Spring begins March twentieth in the Northern hemisphere, so make sure to get excited! Because we are! Thanks for listening everyone! See you tomorrow!

February 21, 2019

With spring twenty seven days away, and many of us wishing for it to be tomorrow, it's now time to start taking notice of your houseplants growth, and maybe some of your exterior plants. We've recently noticed our olive tree has began putting out new growth, and that reminded me I haven't pruned it yet! But worry not, there is still time. It's actually a great time to start pruning now, since plant metabolism is beginning to kick into gear, and that can help the plant heal the wounds from pruning. Its juices are beginning to flow, at least in California, and that means it's preparing to take advantage of the longer days! Make sure to focus your plants growth in the shoots you want, and don't be shy to remove small, lower branches, in order to concentrate energy into the upper growth! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

February 20, 2019

Today continues our repotting series. Make sure when you're choosing a pot to transplant to, you don't go too large. It's important to step plants into larger spaces progressively. If a plant has too much soil, but few roots, that soil will remain soaking wet for too long, and become anaerobic and rot. Try and give your new plant two to three inches of space all the way around its root system in the new pot. This will allow the root system to expand into the new soil progressively, and you'll be able to transplant again next season. You're going to want to use good soil too, so check back in tomorrow as we discuss the interior of your plants new home! Have a great day everyone!

February 19, 2019

Today we'll talk more about repotting. If your plant has outgrown its container or you have roots growing out of the drainage hole it is time to transplant your plant to a larger container. There are lots of options available and you will want to consider your plant care routines before picking one. Plastic pots are easier to move around since they don't weigh as much as clay pots. We carry a large line of biodegradable pots to check out also. Terracotta or clay pots are available in glazed or unglazed varieties. Unglazed terracotta pots can absorb water so if you tend to have a light hand when it comes to watering you may want to consider a glazed or plastic pot. The new container should be slightly larger and have drainage holes. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more repotting tips!

February 18, 2019

Today we'll begin a mini series on repotting your houseplants. Spring is the ideal time for transplanting so now's a great time to check in with your greenery and prep should you need to switch out pots. Not sure if your plant needs to be transplanted to a larger pot? If you notice roots growing out of the drainage hole or there are roots emerging on the surface of the soil it's time to transplant. If you haven't transplanted your plants in several years you may want to check to the roots. Carefully slide the plant out of the container and examine what's going on below the surface. If the roots are tightly compacted, and slide out in the shape of your current pot, it's time for a larger container. Tightly wound roots prevent the plant from properly taking in water. It will be much happier with more space! Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more tips!

February 17, 2019

Today we're going to talk about how plants can help improve your self care routines. Skeptical? Don't be so quick to dismiss the presence of plants and their ability to improve your quality of life, in small but impactful ways. Pretty in Green listeners know that plants can help purify the air and provide oxygen; but did you know the act of bringing new life into a space can help you look at it differently. Whether you want a tranquil space or prefer a jungle vibe, plants can help create the atmosphere you are looking for. Facing a stressful situation? The peaceful routine of tending to plants and watching them thrive can help boost your mood. Taking care of something beyond yourself can usually help people take better care of themselves, too! Some plant owners unwind by dedicating daily time tending to their plants. We hope you enjoyed today's tip of the day! Thanks for listening!

February 16, 2019

If you are a seasoned listener you know that many of our favorite houseplants come from tropical climates. These plants prefer a climate with a higher humidity level than many of our indoor environments can provide. We are going to discuss another way to give your tropical house plants another little boost of moisture. Plants release small amounts of moisture through their leaves through transpiration. Grouping several plants together allows them to create a micro climate in what may be a dry environment. It makes your plants a little bit happier and you get the benefit of a visually pleasing green arrangement. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

February 15, 2019

Today we're going to talk about moving with plants. Moving companies rarely know how to move plants properly and some refuse to transport them altogether due to interstate regulations. There are some options you may want to consider if you would like your green babies to make the move with your household. First thing you will want to do is check to make sure you are able to transport your plants if you are moving across state lines. You will want to prep your plants beforehand and water them according to their needs. Keep an eye on the temperature if you are moving to someplace cold or dry. If logistics prevent you from taking your plants with you consider taking a cutting or gifting them to plant loving friends. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more tips and tricks!

February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day to our listeners! Roses are a traditional gift but we wanted to share some houseplant picks that will remind your sweetheart that you care throughout the year. The heart leaf philodendron literally has heart in its name! It grows quickly and looks great in a hanging container or trailing from a shelf. If you'd like to gift something red or pink the flamingo lily has a bold bloom that will outlast any cut flower bouquet. It is an easy keeper and does well in a spot with bright indirect light. If your favorite house plant enthusiast has plenty of greenery a great gift idea would be gardening gloves or a small watering can. We appreciate and love all our listeners and hope you have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for listening and we'll see you tomorrow!

February 13, 2019

After waking up with a dry mouth all winter, it's time to talk about low humidity and dry conditions, and its effect on houseplants. Houseplants are from regions exactly opposite of cold and dry. Most of our house plants come from the tropical regions of Central America and Africa. It's often humid and warm in the tropics -- think vacation weather! So to combat the cold and dry air, make sure your plants aren't directly in the draft of a window or door; or even outside. You can put a tray of pebbles, rocks, or marbles in a saucer near your plant and fill in with water. The pebbles will provide varied surface area to allow some moisture to be released. You can even add a fan pointed at the water to encourage evaporation. If you have access to it, a humidifier is a great option too! Your plants are going to dry out much faster in this weather, so keep an eye on the soil! Thanks for tuning in! See you all tomorrow!

February 12, 2019

Welcome back to houseplant tips and tricks! Today's episode is on hydroculture. That is, the science of growing plants in a water and air solution. Many houseplants are able to be grown in hydroculture systems, and often will grow quite rapidly in this environment. This is due to the extra oxygen available in the rootzone, and how quickly the roots receive nutrients. In hydroculture, plants are grown in a material such as coconut husks, which contains no nutrients at all. Nutrients are then supplied to the roots via an aqueous solution which contains all of the necessary macro and micro nutrients. Water hungry plants like the peace lily and spider plants do exceedingly well in these types of systems. Try out hydroculture for a more involved and advanced approach to growing houseplants. Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

February 11, 2019

We have talked about plants that do well in low or indirect light but today we'll focus on the ZZ plant. If you need something super hardy this is the plant for you! Frequent travelers won't have to worry about having a house sitter that waters this plant. It can handle some neglect and still look amazing. Looking for a plant but you've been known to skip a watering here and there? Not to worry. The ZZ plant can take months of tough love. It's a graceful plant that often gets mistaken for an fake plant because of its glossy healthy look. If you've had a houseplant failure this is the perfect plant to help you ease back into caring for houseplants! We hope you have enjoyed learning about plants that thrive in low indirect light. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow!

February 10, 2019

Yesterday we talked about things to consider when picking plants for a new space. Today we'll tackle the challenge of picking out greenery for a room with indirect light. Not sure if you're room has indirect lighting? If the location for your future plant is several feet from a sunny window or only gets partial light during the day it's indirect lighting! Some great options to consider are the snake plant or Pothos plant. Need something super hardy? The ZZ plant and Chinese evergreen are sturdy and do well in spaces with medium indirect to low light conditions. We hope that this helps you with choosing foliage for a space with indirect light. Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for more tips and tricks!

February 9, 2019

Are there any first time plant owners out there? Are you looking to add a plant to another space in your home? Today we're going to talk about the first thing to consider before you begin picking out plants. To make sure your plant is happy you'll want to take a look at the light conditions and environment in your space. A sun loving plant would be unhappy in a room that only receives indirect light, but it would great for a Bella Palm. Don't forget to consider environment, is it cool or tropical? Do you give your plants lots of attention or have you been known to skip a watering now and then? There is a plant out there that works for any scenario!

February 8, 2019

Have you ever wanted to give up on caring for plants after experiencing failure? Every plant owner has been there. It can be frustrating but casualties happen to even the most experienced gardener. Finding what works can be a bit of an experiment, so if you happen to experience failure, take a moment to look at what may have gone wrong and turn it into an opportunity to learn from it. Perhaps the culprit was overwatering or a pesky winter draft went unnoticed until it was too late. While it can be disappointing, failure can be valuable for learning so you don't repeat the same mistake. Don't be afraid to try again! It happens to all of us! Check back tomorrow for more houseplant tips and tricks! Thanks for listening!

February 7, 2019

We here at Pretty in Green are huge champions of houseplants being beneficial for the air and their owners' happiness, but have you given any thought to visual styling with plants? It could be anything from a single plant to an indoor jungle, whatever looks good to you and what will work within the space. Choosing plants with different leaf textures and plant shapes, bushy or trailing vines for example, can add visual interest and make a room come alive. Maybe different colors would look great grouped together. No matter which plants you choose, make sure that you are picking plants that will do well with the space's light conditions. No matter your preferences, have fun taking care of your green babies! Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

February 6, 2019

Does taking care of your houseplants make you happy? There are lots of plant owners who would say yes! In previous briefings, we have mentioned studies that show indoor foliage can benefit you emotionally and physically. Plants can make a space more inviting but foliage can lift your mood too! Taking care of a plant and watching it thrive can be rewarding. Giving them water and tending to their needs is both gratifying and can be calming activity. Taking a moment to interact with your own little piece of nature, is a great way to give yourself a break. Do you feel gratification when you tend to your houseplants? We sure do! Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

February 5, 2019

The ability to read and analyze a plant can be what gives some people a green thumb. Now, some of this will be learned with time, but there are many tricks to intuitively read a plant. Think of gardening like cooking. The best chefs don't follow the recipe exactly; they gather the ingredients, and vary levels to taste. Taking care of plants works similarly. A plant's instructions might say, semi-sun and water once per week, and fertilize regularly, but it is up to the plant parents to decide exactly how much sun, water, and fertilizer is correct. Always start by looking at the arrangement of the plant's leaves. This is best done from across the room, to get a sense of how the plant is feeling, and how to tell a plant needs water or not. If a plant's leaves are pointed upwards and out to the sides, that is a healthy and happy plant, generally speaking. When the leaves begin to point towards the floor, this usually indicates too little or too much water. Feel the leaves and the leaf stalks. Are they weak and flimsy, or rigid? Next, look at a plants direction relative to the light source. Is it bending or leaning towards the closest window? Is it stretching out the space between its leaves and branches? If so, it's probably not getting enough light. Are the top leaves changing colors and becoming yellow? It might be getting too much light then. Try and observe your plant more frequently. They're often telling us exactly what they need. See you tomorrow!

February 4, 2019

As we continue taking care of houseplants, the ease of care in watering and light conditions continues to grow in importance in our minds. With that said, we figured we would share our three favorite low maintenance plants with you. All three of these can tolerate low water and low light! Number one, the Snake Plant. Surviving in very low light, the Snake is our local favorite for its easy to care nature; and that it is nearly impossible to kill. Next is the Pothos. Coming in a variety of colors, pothos stands up to low light well, as well as some swings of temperatures, as long as they are brief. Third is the ZZ Plant. The ZZ is so resilient, I've heard tales of people keeping them in closets and not watering them for months, and they've survived it. The Snake, the Pothos, and the ZZ. All super easy to care for, and thrive in lower light and lower water! Just make sure to not overwater!

February 3, 2019

Today is about the importance of watering slowly. Think about how plants receive water in the wild. It's typically through rain, or being near a body of water and continuously receiving moisture through the soil. In most normal cases, it's a very slow process of wetting the soil in a slow manner. This is how we should be watering our plants. Slowly, by letting each bit we pour on the soil absorb before pouring more. Now I know it is a bit more time consuming, but it will ensure the root zone stays undisturbed, and the soil structures remains intact. It's also important to not disturb the microbes in your soil. After all, the fungi and bacteria in the soil are the real heros of plants, by breaking down organic matter and making it available as a nutrient to plants! Thanks for listening, and be sure to check back in tomorrow!

February 2, 2019

Today's episode is about the common occurrence of leaf tip browning. This is usually caused by one of two things. The most common issue is underwatering. The end of the leaf will brown if there is not adequate moisture in the rootzone, and because of this, the plant does not have enough moisture to support the outermost extremities of its body, so it begins losing its leaves from the tip back. The other way this can happen is from an over build up of fertilizer or salts in your soil. With inorganic or synthetic fertilizer, too much can burn the tips of your leaves too. Next time your plant needs water, try to flush out your soil with lots of water to solve both of these issues. Then try and remain on a more regular watering schedule! See you tomorrow!

February 1, 2019

Today's episode is about properly flushing your soil with water. If you're anything like us, when your plants need water, you get them to the closest drain, and water until a little bit comes from the bottom of the pot; let it drip drain for a few minutes, then back to its spot for a couple weeks. But it's important to flush your soil with a good amount of water from time to time. To do this, find a watering location you can let a bit of water drain into. We like our in sink dish rack, or the shower for this. Water as normal, but once you see water coming from the bottom of the pot, continue watering until roughly one pot of water volume has drained from the bottom. Meaning, if your pot is half a gallon, then let half a gallon run off. This will clean your soil of nutrient build up, and make the soil more consistent! Thanks for listening today! See you tomorrow!

January 31, 2019

Today's episode is about an issue we've been dealing with at our greenhouse. We're getting yellowing in our Pilea's lower leaves, but the veins are remaining green. A condition called Chlorosis. We initially thought this was from under or over watering; the usual culprit. But come to find out, it was from our water having too high of a pH. The Pilea actually prefers soil that is slightly acidic. To solve this, we watered with a diluted organic houseplant fertilizer, knowing that fertilizer will lower pH. We hope this small tip can help anyone that is having a similar yellowing with their Pilea! See you all tomorrow!

January 30, 2019

Today's episode is to help us all remember the warmer days of spring and summer, during this winter cold front! During the winter, it can seem like there's not much you can do with your houseplants! But you can always try the most rewarding part of gardening, in our opinion, which is propagating plants. If you haven't tried it yet, take a cutting of your Pothos plant, and place it in a cup of water. Keep the water fresh, changing it every couple days. In two to three weeks you should have roots coming from the bottom of the stem, or at the node! Once the roots are a couple inches, you can transplant the clone into soil. Try this activity out to prepare baby plants for spring! Stay warm everyone! See you tomorrow!

January 29, 2019

As spring begins to approach, and days continue to lengthen, now is a good time to start preparing for the growing season. Some useful things to have ready are soils, pots, fertilizers, pest sprays, propagation equipment, and pruning scissors. Pruning not only allows your plants to grow healthier and stronger, but it allows growth to be focused in specific regions of the plant. It also allows you to reshape the plant into the desired shape. Top pruning will create a bushy plant, and limit vertical growth. Whereas side pruning will encourage vertical growth. This is particularly helpful for plants like the fiddle leaf fig tree or the rubber tree, that you'd like to shape into a more bushy plant! Thanks for listening, and tune back in tomorrow for more spring planting tips!

January 28, 2019

Today's episode is about the seasonal change of plant dormancy. We've had a few questions from customers to make sure their plants are still healthy, even though their growth has slowed due to winter. Because of the shorter days, and the decreased temperature, most plants go into a dormant stage for a few months, with limited growth. This is not an issue though, as long as their leaves are healthy in coloring. Days are beginning to lengthen now, as we progress into spring. Make sure to get your pruning done soon, so your plant will be ready for the rapid growth of spring! Thanks for listening today! If you're enjoying the flash briefing, please leave us a review on Amazon! We're a small team of two out in Los Angeles, and the support of our listeners really helps! Thank you for listening, and happy planting!

January 27, 2019

Today we're going to take a look at your plant's soil! Does the top of the soil look like a hard crust and its pulling away from the sides of the container? If so, it may be time to time water! It's also worth thinking about transplanting your plant to a higher quality potting mix in a larger pot. The soil contracting away from the sides is the lack of water in the soil! Heavily peat moss based soils can display this reaction. Try and add some perlite into your mix to add air in. Happy Sunday everyone! Thanks for listening!

January 26, 2019

Does your houseplant have brown tips? Sadly, there's no way to revive the dried up tips, but it is a reason for checking in with your care routine. Firstly, just because the tips are crispy it may not mean that your plant needs more water. Roots absorb water and the stems deliver it to the leaves but if something is keeping the roots from doing their job properly it can prevent enough water from reaching all parts of the leaves. Let's start by checking the soil! If your soil is dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot or if you check an inch below the surface and it's soggy, your watering routine may need an adjustment. Tomorrow we'll continue to go over ways of checking your soil for over or under watering! Thanks for listening!

January 25, 2019

We've gone over a couple of potential reasons for yellowing leaves and today we'll go over one more thing to check if you notice your entire plant turning yellow. Is your houseplant getting enough light? It may seem obvious but is your plant in a room with the curtains drawn? Plants that need more light may begin to shed the lower leaves. Depending on the species, you may want to consider moving it to another location where it gets more light. Make sure you check if your plant prefers bright, medium, or low indirect light. Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

January 24, 2019

Today we'll explore another possible reason for a plant's leaves turning yellow. One leaf yellowing is a plant naturally shedding old growth, but if the whole plant is yellow, a common reason is too much or too little water. The top of the soil can sometimes be an unreliable indicator so make sure to check an inch below the surface. If it's dry, your plant may be in need of a drink and a more regular watering routine. If the soil is soggy, your plant is over watered and you may need more time between waterings. Over or under watering can stress your green babies, so if your plant is yellowing, it's a good idea to check the soil. Thanks for listening!

January 23, 2019

Have a houseplant with leaves that are turning yellow? One or two yellow leaves could be the plant naturally aging. But if the entire plant has yellow leaves there could be another reason why they are no longer happy and green. Some varieties of houseplants come from tropical climates. If your plant is in a drafty spot during chilly months, or right under a cold air conditioning vent in warmer weather, it may be the reason for yellowing leaves. Cold environments also mean that the water in the soil doesn't evaporate as quickly, so the dirt could also get soggy. Bella palms and peace lilies are two examples of tropical plants that prefer a cozier environment. Tune back in tomorrow for your Pretty in Green tip of the day!

January 22, 2019

Did you know Ferns are some of the oldest on land plants? They are estimated to have lived on earth for over three hundred million years. Because of their age, they interestingly enough don't have seeds, but instead they have spores. A Boston fern will drop millions of spores in hopes of creating new baby ferns, albeit with a low success rate. The spores can often be seen on the underside of mature leaves as black specks. The Boston fern is also a great humidifier, and air purifier. It has the ability to absorb formaldehyde which is found in cigarettes and fabrics, as well as other Volatile Organic Compounds. Thanks for tuning in, see you tomorrow!

January 21, 2019

Today's episode is on a recent favorite plant of ours, the Haworthia. Native to South Africa, this spikey succulent is really easy to care for since it tolerates low to medium light, and prefers drought like conditions. This makes it a favorite for beginners! There's roughly one hundred and fifty accepted species of Haworthia, and they can be identified by their rosette like clustering of leaves. Make sure to give your Haworthia well draining soil, and only water it once its soil has completely dried out! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

January 20, 2019

Ever wonder about leaves that have other colors besides green? Leaves owe their green color to chlorophyll which allows the plants to photosynthesize carbon dioxide and water into food. But what about plants that have leaves with other colors? For example, some varieties of Chinese Evergreen have pink and green leaves. The pink areas don't photosynthesize while the green areas do. Plants may have been bred for these variations or they developed ways of looking less appetizing to animals to avoid being eaten. Do you have any houseplants that have different colored leaves? Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

January 19, 2019

Today we'll be exploring plants and whether they can hear. Many gardeners talk to their plants and some even play music for them. Plants respond to wind, light, and scent, so what about sound? Scientists have found that plants respond to sound vibrations. An experiment simulated the vibrations made by hungry insects and found some plants responded by producing chemicals that made them less appealing to snacking bugs. Another experiment with wheat plants found exposing them to high frequency vibrations produced a bigger harvest. Is there a particular sound your plants seem to enjoy? Thanks for tuning in today, and see you tomorrow!

January 18, 2019

We're going to talk about nitrogen today. It is a big component of chlorophyll which enables a plant to photosynthesize and helps a plant grow. How much nitrogen a plant can get depends on the condition of the soil, its composition, and how much moisture is available. Too much or too little can harm a plant, but when your plants need a nitrogen boost, an easy way to help them is to sprinkle a thin layer of worm castings on top of the soil. Farmers rotate crops of certain plants between fields depending on how much nitrogen they consume. Some crops such as beans, have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

January 17, 2019

Today continues our series on how flowers attract pollinators. We're going to discuss scent and taste today. Although many flowers look similar in shape and color, no two species contain exactly the same scent. That's because each flower aims to attract only specific pollinators that are compatible with pollinating their flowers, and naturally, insects only want to find flowers they can get their reward from. It's been proven animals and insects have the ability to discern certain flowers apart, solely based on their scents. Once the insect finds its compatible flower, it is given the reward of pollen or a sweet, sugary sap that it can eat. For instance, the Hibiscus flower is often pollinated by ants looking for its sap. While the ants search, they will typically walk across the pistil and pollinate the flower accidentally. It's another mutually beneficial relationship in nature! Thanks for listening to this series on how flowers attract pollinators! See you tomorrow!

January 16, 2019

Today continues our series on how flowers attract pollinators. We're going to discuss color and shape today. A flower's bright and vibrant color is primarily used to attract animals toward it. Think of each flower like a street sign. They need to be brightly colored and stand out from the rest of nature, in order to attract exactly the right type of pollinator. A hummingbird often will be attracted to long, tube shaped flowers due to its long beak that has the ability to go to the bottom of the flower and retrieve the sweet nectar. A flower's color and shape are two of the communication methods it uses to attract pollinators. Tune in tomorrow for flower scent and taste!

January 15, 2019

Today's episode begins a series on flowers and how they attract pollinators. Flowers attract pollinators with their scent, color, shape, and taste, among many others. They do this for the sole purpose of being pollinated. A plant's sole goal in life is to produce offspring, so it entices insects and animals with a variety of tactics that ideally allow cross pollination between different flowers. Once being lured in by a flower, the animal will collect that flower's pollen, and perhaps even leave the pollen of a nearby flower. Once pollinated, the flower will close, turn to a fruit or seed, and be dropped for the next generation to grow. Thanks for listening, and check in tomorrow for part two!

January 14, 2019

With January nearly half way through, we want to encourage our listeners, and ourselves, to develop healthy plant care rituals. House plant care is all about consistency. And that consistency is best if it comes once a week. Try implementing a regular care routine for your plants on a day of the week you'll be home most often. We like Sundays for this since we're usually at home then. Go around to each of your plants and check in on them! Check soil to see what needs watering, wipe leaves if they are dusty, and inspect for bugs. Make sure to look at the tops and bottom sides of leaves. On your calendar, mark a checkmark on each week you consistently do this. It will encourage repetition, and you will be able to track when you watered and completed your houseplant care! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

January 13, 2019

We are going to continue with the theme of using plants to battle stuffy air. Running the heat means windows are closed during the winter and air may start to feel a little stale. We already talked about how houseplants can freshen up your space but you can also use plants to make your home smell good too! Getting a bundle of fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, or mint and displaying them in a vase with water is an easy way to make a room smell fresh. If you would like to take that one step further you may want to consider growing your own herbs inside. Some great options include mint, basil, and rosemary. They smell fantastic but are handy for cooking as well. Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

January 12, 2019

Chilly winter weather means turning on the heat and that means less fresh air circulating. Looking for an easy way to freshen up your environment that is also visually pleasing? Having house plants can help freshen up your environment in several ways! They remove carbon dioxide from the air replacing it with oxygen. They can remove toxins and help with increasing humidity. It is recommended that every 100 square feet have at least one plant to maximize benefits. There is research on plants that reports that they even help decrease the symptoms of colds and headaches. Thanks for listening, stay cozy, and we'll see you tomorrow!

January 11, 2019

Today's episode is on winter plant growth. Winter means less sunlight and that can make us a bit more sluggish during chillier months. Plants depend on light to grow, so winter is their off season where they rest, too. There are a couple of things you can do to help them though this cold weather. You may need to move houseplants that need bright light to another part of the house. South or west facing windows are good spots for sun loving plants. Keep plants out of drafty spots and away from heating vents that may be too harsh for them. Temperature changes mean monitoring the soil's moisture level. An easy way to do this is poking a finger about an inch or two into the soil. If it's dry your plant may need a drink. We hope this helps your plants survive winter well! Thanks for listening and see you tomorrow!

January 10, 2019

Today we're going to talk about earth worm castings. Worm castings are an organic fertilizer produced by earthworms when they eat compost. Not only do castings help keep the soil aerated but they can aid in water retention too! They also slowly release nutrients which is beneficial if you don't plan on repotting your houseplants anytime soon. Worm castings can also help repel pests like spider mites and aphids because of their beneficial microbial properties. Some gardeners use a diluted solution of worm castings and water to spray on their outdoor gardens to keep pests away. Who knew worm poo could be so amazing? Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

January 9, 2019

Today's episode is about lucky plants! Who doesn't want to start out the new year with a little extra luck? Some plants are not only beneficial, but believed to be lucky as well! Lucky bamboo can be decorated with red ribbon and trained into different shapes. The number of stalks can have different meanings such as wishes for prosperity or good health. Flamingo lilies have heart shaped flowers so you can celebrate Valentine's Day all year long. The bloom's red color symbolizes good fortune and the plant itself helps to remove certain toxins from the air. Money plants have long been thought to bring good luck and is a popular plant for practicers of Feng Shui. Do you have any plants that you consider to be lucky? Thanks for tuning in, see you all tomorrow!

January 8, 2019

Today's episode is about keeping your soil aerated. Oxygen in the rootzone allows for strong root growth and ample nutrient uptake. Over time though, oxygen can be depleted and soil is compacted, and is often over compacted during transplanting. To combat this compacting, you can use this handy trick to increase the amount of air in your soil. You're going to need a chopstick or something thin and sharp to poke your soil. Get your single chopstick, and push it down a couple inches into your soil. Try and stay towards the edge of your pot, and if you feel any resistance, try not to be forceful. The goal is to open up the soil, but not to hurt the roots. Good luck with this trick and try and do it every few months! Thanks for listening!

January 7, 2019

Today's episode is on Perlite. That's the small white rocks that are mixed into most houseplant soil mixes that help to improve drainage. Expanded perlite is derived organically from obsidian rocks, and is heated to become porous with a large surface area. This large surface area with its nooks and crannies allows for water and air to be captured within it, ensuring your soil stays full of oxygen! Perlite is our favorite soil amendment for improving the drainage of a soil. It's handy to have around if you ever need to prepare soil for a drought preferring plant like a succulent or a snake plant. Try mixing it in with some garden soil to increase the oxygen content of your rootzone! Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

January 6, 2019

Today's episode is a refresher on photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants combine water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight to produce oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is considered a waste product by plants and discarded, but if it weren't for this waste product, humans would have nothing to breathe. The other product of the reaction is a simple sugar. Plants use this glucose to feed themselves and build more light capturing leaves. And the cycle continues. Interestingly enough, plants on earth capture roughly three times the current power consumption of humans. That means, if leaves were solar panels, they would produce three times too much electricity. And for the last fun fact, plants create one hundred billion tons of biomass from the air, per year. That's the weight of nearly two million Titanics. That's a lot of plant mass added to earth from just air! Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

January 5, 2019

Today is about an understandable misconception about how plants get their nitrogen. Nitrogen is the most abundant element in earth's atmosphere, making up nearly eighty percent of the air, so it makes sense some would assume a plant absorbs nitrogen gas from the atmosphere. But plants receive nitrogen through their roots from organisms decomposing. Although there are some nitrogen-fixing bacteria that can harvest nitrogen from the air, and replenish soil using this method. Air plants also gather nutrients from the air and water that lands on them. But with most plants, it is absorbed through the rootzone. The nitrogen is then used to produce chlorophyll, the green part of a plant, which the plant will use to photosynthesize and create more leaves! Thanks for tuning in today, see you tomorrow!

January 4, 2019

Today's episode is about why plants wilt. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that the plant runs out of water. Plants use pressurized water throughout their stems and stalks to maintain their upright posture. The next most common reason for wilting is from overwatering. This type of wilting is not as drastic as underwatering. When a plant receives too much water, we would consider it to be called drooping. The leaves no longer point upwards to the sky, or parallel to the ground, and actually point down towards the ground. We've also seen wilting occur from cold weather, too much sun, or too much fertilizer. Any massive shock to the plant will make it react very quickly to the new condition. This is why it's so important to begin to learn to read your plants. Thank you for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

January 3, 2019

Have you ever wondered why the Monstera Deliciosa has holes in its leaves? This endlessly popular plant produces slits and holes in its leaves when it matures, but why does it do that? The best we can do is guess. The current most accepted theory is that the holes and splits in the leaves, which are called fenestrations, are to allow light, wind, and water through. Allowing light to pass through decreases the amount its leaves shade one another. Allowing wind through allows the plant to handle tropical storms, decreasing the chance of its leaves ripping. Allowing water through makes sure pools of water don't develop on its leaves and cause rot and disease, and allow water through to reach its own root zone. These reasons to allow light, wind, and water through make sense, but how will we ever know why nature created this beautiful pattern in Monstera Leaves? In the meantime, we'll be enjoying the Swiss Cheese Plants leaves. Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

January 2, 2019

Today's episode is about the Prayer plant, also known as the Maranta. Native to the central and south american tropics, the Prayer plant got its common name due to it closing up at night, seeming as if the leaves are praying. The Maranta closes up when there is no light, and then the leaves fold down when the sun rises. The leaves move throughout the day, using their internal water pressure to aim its leaves to be perpendicular towards the light. You can watch this motion by capturing photos of your plant in a timelapse, over the course of twenty four hours. Or, you can simply go on YouTube and search Maranta Timelapse. Thank you for tuning in today, we'll see you tomorrow!

January 1, 2019

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to twenty nineteen! Today is about the importance of maintaining moisture in your plants' soil and leaves. Low humidity in winter and fall can dry out house plants too quickly. Add in the effect of household heaters, and you can expect your humidity levels to drop down well below forty percent. Even though it's not as hot as summer, this cool and dry air can strip your soil of its moisture, just like it does to our skin. Make sure to check your soil every couple days to make sure it hasn't gone dry on you. And try to mist the undersides of your plants' leaves as a supplement. It will not add back much moisture, but it will get their humidity levels back closer to the sixty to eighty percent that they are used to! Thanks for tuning in today, see you all tomorrow!

December 31, 2018

Happy New Year's Eve Pretty in Green family! The last day of two thousand eighteen! Today's episode is about a common misconception in the plant community about yellowing leaves. When most plant parents find yellowing or dying off leaves on our plants, they remove them, right? They can be an eyesore, but it is quite natural for a plant to discard unneeded leaves. If you can resist the temptation, keep the dying leaf on the plant. Plants transfer the nutrients from the old leaf and move that food to its other leaves. That is the green color you see in the leaf! If the yellowing leaves are primarily lower leaves, it might mean the plant needs a bit more fertilizer or light. Since a leaf's job is to absorb light, and a plant is getting less than ideal light, it will shed the lower, unneeded leaves to provide for new growth. Thanks for tuning in! Have a safe night tonight everyone!

December 30, 2018

Today is about the purpose of leaves. It seems quite simple: leaves capture sunlight and allow the plant to photosynthesize. Their green color is made up of chlorophyll, a chemical compound that reacts with light to make food. But leaves do more than just absorb sunlight. They release oxygen from their leaves, and absorb carbon dioxide. They also capture water! Have you ever noticed that some leaves, especially on single stem trees, are somewhat concave and cupped like little canoes? If you imagine water falling down on the plants, this is like a built-in rainwater collection system. The leaves expand much larger in surface area in order to capture as much sunlight, rainwater, and mist as possible; funneling it all down to their rootzones. Quite smart! Thank you for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

December 29, 2018

Today is about the spectrum of light that is usable to plants. It can be broken down into two primary spectrums of light: the red and blue spectrum. The red spectrum simulates fall and late summer, and signals some plants to flower. The blue spectrum of light comes from winter and spring types of light, and signals to plants that they should develop leaves and foliage. Green spectrums of light are actually reflected by plants, and oddly enough, that is why they appear green to us. Let me say that once more, slower. Plants appear green to us because green is the color of light that they reflect. That reflected light hits our eye, making them appear to be green to us. This fact has our head spinning a little bit. But to summarize, plants absorb the blue and red spectrum of light, and reflect the green spectrum of light. Thank you for listening today! See you tomorrow!

December 28, 2018

Today we're talking about leaves and their different colorings. The color change that we're all familiar with is that which occurs in fall and winter. Oranges, Reds, and Browns are often seen as the leaves lose their green coloring. The orange is from Carotene, like that which is contained in carrots. Xanthophyll is the brownish pigment seen in leaves. These autumnal colors start showing themselves when plants slow down photosynthesizing in the fall. The green color, or chlorophyll is lost, and what is left behind are these yellow, orange, red, and brown colors; which make for a beautiful sight in the fall! All of the different colors represent different chemical compounds in the plants, and they are always in the plants, but sometimes only the green color, chlorophyll, is visible! Thank you for tuning in today, and we'll see you tomorrow!

December 27, 2018

Today we're going to explore the waxiness of leaves. The top side of a leaf contains a shiny, waxy material that holds in the leaf's water. This hydroxy fatty acid is water resistant, and makes up what is called the cuticle of the leaf. It acts to protect the leaves, and maintain their water content. The thicker the cuticle, the more drought tolerant a plant likely is. Think of a Hoya, the wax plant, or another succulent. It has a very thick skin that doesn't allow much water out, or the exchange of gasses in or out. This is like a rain jacket for a plant. It traps the humidity inside, and makes it so the plant needs water less frequently. Thanks for tuning in today! See you tomorrow!

December 26, 2018

Today's episode is about the practice of cleansing and restarting soil from the beginning. There are many upsides to practicing organic gardening, but the primary downside is that there is sometimes pathogenic life in your soil. These microbes can decompose parts of your plant, or rot your roots. If you notice parts of your stem starting to become mushy, or your plant decaying, it may be time to restart your soil from the beginning. We do this by using hydrogen peroxide. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, and drench your soil. This will sterilize the soil and wipe out the bad and good life in your soil; similar to how antibiotics work on humans. This can be a helpful tactic in the house when all other options had been tried. Your beneficial microbe colonies will take time to rebuild, but they will come back! Try this out to help out sick plants! Good luck and we'll see you tomorrow!

December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas everyone! Today is about the origin of the Christmas tree. I mean, when you think about it, it's odd we bring 6 foot evergreen trees into our homes for the month of December, and decorate them; but they do look pretty! From what we could dig up, it looks like the Christmas tree originated in the sixteenth century in Germany. Back in those times, people used to put actual candles on their trees to light them. The Christmas tree tradition came to America in the 1830s by German settlers in Pennsylvania. A few other countries use an evergreen tree and its branches to celebrate winter holidays. It's thought that these traditions came about due to the sacredness of plants that remain green throughout winter. So people began to bring them in to spruce up their homes! We hope everyone enjoys the day. Thank you for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

December 24, 2018

Since today is Christmas Eve, we thought it would be fitting to do an episode on the Poinsettia plant. The Poinsettia was introduced to the United States in 1828 by the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Doctor Joel Roberts Poinsett. Doctor Poinsett brought the plant to the United States and shared it with many of his friends and other botanists. The plant was then later commercialized and sold as cut flowers and as a live plant during the winter. If you keep a Poinsettia alive through spring and summer, it will turn back to green in color. The red parts of the plant that most people assume are flowers are actually colored bracts, also known as modified leaves. To make them turn back to red, give the plant at least fourteen hours of pure darkness every night! Thanks for tuning in today. We'll see you tomorrow!

December 23, 2018

Today is about determining when to water succulents. Getting the cadence of when to water drought-loving plants can be quite a challenge. They don't want to be overwatered, but let them go dry for an extra week, and you might find your snake plant wrinkling up! And to clarify, when we say succulents, we don't only mean cacti; we're referring to any plant with a thick shell over its leaves and a fleshy inside that holds in its water. The best way to tell when to water, is to determine your soil is completely dry. Stick your finger in the pot, or use an object to make sure the soil isn't dark; meaning it still contains water. As soon as it completely drys out, water it. And water slowly. Let each bit absorb. Water should come out of the bottom of the pot. This can be done easily using a watering can with a quarter inch outlet to make sure the water can only come out so fast. It's also important to make sure your succulent soil imitates the desert landscape. It shouldn't have a great deal of organic, water-holding matter. It should be objects that don't hold much water; like perlite, sand, and rocks. This will ensure your plant doesn't suffer from root rot! We hope this houseplant tip helps you have more success with succulents! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow morning!

December 22, 2018

Did you know that the spider plant is a flowering plant? It belongs to the Clade of Angiosperms! It is one of our favorites at Pretty in Green, due to its easy care, rapid growth, unique look, and that you can harvest its offsets; also known as plantlets. If you want to harvest its plantlets, start with a seedling mix of perlite and peat moss. Moisten the mixture, and put it in two or three inch pots. Then, bury one of the offshoots from the mother plant at the node point. It should be where the plant naturally bends. In a few weeks, you'll see new growth from the baby spider plant. When there is obvious growth, cut the baby from the mother plant and expose it to medium light and don't let the soil dry out. After a few more weeks, you can transplant it to a bigger pot! This plant will be genetically identical to the mother plant! Good luck with the challenging, but fun process of offset propagation! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

December 21, 2018

Happy Winter Solstice to those of you in the northern hemisphere! Today marks the day when the earth is most pointed away from the sun on its axis. That creates the shortest period of daylight all year, and the longest period of dark. It also happens to be a full moon and the Ursids meteor shower. It's quite a big astrological day! But how will this impact your plants? Well, there's going to be less light for your plants to photosynthesize into sugar. So naturally, growth will slow, as it does during winter. Also, with the northern half of the earth tilted away from the sun, it will simply be cooler. Water will evaporate slower, plants will drink less. Most organisms just naturally slow a bit as it is darker and cooler! It's quite natural! Thanks for listening! See you all tomorrow!

December 20, 2018

Today we're back to think of how much it's raining where your houseplants come from! Overwatering our plants is the most common mistake of new plant parents. And it's for an understandable reason; we want to care for our plants! But this often leads to sickness and the plant drowning. Since we know where most of our houseplants come from: the understory of a forest. Think about how often it's raining in the forest. In the tropics and in the rainy season, maybe every couple days. Lilies and Spider plants would be thrive in these conditions. But even in the rainiest seasons, it's likely raining once a week; the perfect amount for a fern! But for almost all houseplants, they're gonna receive a good rain every one to three weeks or so. Some plants such as Snake Plants, come from the dry desert where it infrequently rains, so they have adapted to need less water. Try and figure out where your houseplant originates in the world so you can intuitively figure out how much to water them! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

December 19, 2018

Today begins a new series on intuitive care for your houseplants. This episode is about understanding the correct amount of light to give your plants. We've done other episodes on light, but we've been discussing this topic often with new plant parents, and found a new way to describe the correct type of conditions houseplants desire, so we figured we would share it! It begins with imagining where most of our houseplants come from; the understory of a forest. That's the space under the canopy of trees. Imagine you're in a forest. It's morning time. You're looking up at the big tall trees stretching hundreds of feet up towards the sky. There's green everywhere. Through some breaks in their leaves, you see some glimpses of sky sneaking through, and few sun rays beam onto the forest floor. But for the most part, the forest floor is shaded. There's mosses and ferns down low, and the ground is damp with dew. It's humid and warm, but comfortable. You see bright colored flowers growing a few feet off the ground, and some vine plants crawling up the trunk of a large Redwood tree. The green colors of the leaves contrast against the brown bark of the trees around. This bright, well-lit forest floor is the ideal light, temperature, humidity, and soil moisture for houseplants. It's their home; it's where they come from. This is the ideal amount of light. The sun is not directly hitting their leaves very much, and if it is, it's not for very long. It's bright, and easy to see everything on the forest floor, but when you look up, you aren't blinded by the sun, since the trees are shading you. This is exactly the conditions we're going for in our houses. Thanks for tuning into this experiential episode with us today! Tune back in tomorrow for more!

December 18, 2018

Today is about a rare and unusual plant, the String of Pearls. Senecio rowleyanus, or string of beads, is a rare houseplant that looks like a green pearl necklace. Native to Southwest Africa, it is definitely one of the more interesting looking houseplants. It is quite easy to care for, but often is overwatered. It needs bright light, and the soil should dry out completely between watering -- so much so, that the pearls begin to wrinkle up like raisins. The trailing vines of the plant avoid sunlight, growing in crevices of rocks and shady moist locations near the sun. When hanging, they can even grow 2-3 feet long and make for a very unique houseplant! Check out the string of pearls for a show-stopping houseplant! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

December 17, 2018

Today continues our episode on trees that have adapted to survive freezing winter weather. We've talked about how maple syrup helps keep the Maple Tree alive through the cold, but how do Evergreen Trees keep their leaves all year long? Pine Trees have adapted a similar approach as the Maple Tree, by keeping a sugary antifreeze not only in their trunks and branches, but inside of each leaf needle. Think of a Christmas tree leaf needle. On the outside, it has a very strong and thick green skin protecting the needle. And on the inside, a sticky and fragrant sap which contains all of its nutrition and hydration. It's also what gives it the pine smell! Evergreen trees pump this sugary antifreeze through their veins year round which allows them to keep their leaves through every season! Thanks for tuning into our winter tree series! We hope you stay warm this winter! Happy Holidays to all!

December 16, 2018

Today continues our episode on trees that have adapted to survive freezing winter weather. The two types of trees we're focusing on are deciduous trees and conifers; and specifically, we're looking at the example of the Maple tree to represent those trees that lose their leaves, and the pine tree, to represent the cone-bearing trees. The reason why Maple Trees survive winter is because they drop their leaves as the temperatures begin to fall; and that protects their leaves from cold. But what protects their trunks and branches? Maple Syrup! Yup! Good old, Canadian Maple syrup runs through their veins during winter. It works like a plant antifreeze! Their sap contains hydration and nutrition to stay healthy through the winter season, and it won't freeze in low temperatures! It simply becomes thicker and moves slower as the temperature falls lower and lower! That's quite ingenious! Tune back in tomorrow to hear how pine trees make it through winter, while keeping their leaves year round!

December 15, 2018

For the northern hemisphere, winter begins next Friday, December 21st. In many climates, the winter will bring freezing temperatures. Almost all houseplants cannot survive freezing temperatures because their internal leaf cells would freeze, creating crystalline ice structures which would puncture their cells; much like how a soda or beer bursts when you put it in the freezer for too long! Their internal plumbing that runs through their stalks and stems would also freeze, stopping the method they use to transport water and nutrients! But some plants and trees have created adaptations to deal with the cold. Thinking about trees, there are two dominant types of trees that survive icy winters well. Maple trees and pine trees. We'll discuss why they don't freeze tomorrow! But a hint to think about why Maple Trees make it through winter, has to do with Maple Syrup! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

December 14, 2018

Winter starts a week from today, and we are ready to celebrate this magical time of the year! One of the many things that makes it so magical is that as plants go dormant during darker months, so do most of the mites and pests that attack them. Yay! But the warm and cozy environment of a home and the confidence of a plant parent that knows they transitioned their plants to indoor living properly, can also create an ideal environment for certain bugs to take over. So remaining vigilant and keeping up with a few care routines will ensure our plants enjoy the season as much as we do! Check your plants from time to time for unusually dry leaves, red spots, pimples around the stems or trunks, or tiny webs. Keep an eye out for spider mites in particular, as these little buggers love the warmth and dryness that fireplaces and cozy heaters provide. But making some small adjustments and keeping up care routines like maintaining the humidity around the plants, dusting off the leaves regularly, and giving them the occasional plant shower will help them be merry and jolly all winter long! Thanks for tuning in. Check back in tomorrow for more Pretty in Green houseplant tips and tricks!

December 13, 2018

As the weather gets cooler and we start spending more time indoors, keeping an eye on the indoor air quality of our homes and offices becomes more important. So today we are going to talk about the best air purifying plants for each room in the house. Keeping plants in bedrooms is often considered to be a bad idea, because at night they consume oxygen like we do, and we don’t want to compete with them for fresh air. However, Snake Plants are one of the few that produce oxygen at night instead of during the day, so they freshen up the air while we sleep and help us get better rest. Peace Lilies are perfect for bathrooms. Not only do they love the humidity and tolerate low light, but they also absorb mold spores, keeping our bathrooms and shower curtains clean of mildew. For the living room, or the space where we spend the most time, a Golden Pothos is ideal. They are easy to care for and clean the air of all the toxins most commonly found in American homes, so adding one to your home will help you stay healthy this winter, and also make a great holiday gift! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

December 12, 2018

Have you ever wondered why some trees have small, skinny needle like leaves, whereas other plants have large leaves? Leaf sizes are thought to be determined based upon how much sunlight and heat a plant will get. For instance, pine needles, like those on on a conifer are located at the higher portions of the canopy. These smaller leaves have the ability to diffuse heat, and capture plenty of light because they are often subjected to the brightest sun. There are many pine needles that act to capture sunlight simultaneously. In contrast, plants with larger, broader leaves light the Elephant's Ear, are often located in the lower elevations of the canopy where sunlight is more scarce. With more shade, these lower plants need a larger surface area to capture light energy, and they do not have to deal with overheating of the leaf surface. Therefore, they tend to have fewer in quantity of leaves due to their larger size. Plants never cease to surprise us with their adaptability! Thanks for listening! See you tomorrow!

December 11, 2018

Today's episode is about basic houseplant upkeep. Since your plants' leaves primary goal is to absorb light, you want to make sure they can do this as efficiently as possible. When you have solar panels, you have to wipe them off for dust to make sure they continue absorbing light at an efficiency as high as possible. So you're going to get into the habit of cleaning your plants too. Keeping your houseplants' leaves clean not only make them shine and look great, but it can keep pests at bay, too! For this, you're going to need a spray bottle, a clean cloth, white vinegar and water. Fill the spray bottle with one part white vinegar, nine parts water; so a ten percent solution of vinegar to water. Out of direct sunlight, mist the leaves. Then, one by one, wipe them down gently. Making sure to remove any dust, dirt, or bugs. You'll notice this method removes any water spotting from the leaves, and the leaves will be much shinier. Try to do this every two weeks. Not only will it make your plants look great, but it will get you in the habit of inspecting for pests! Tune in tomorrow morning for another episode, and if you're enjoying the episodes, please leave us a five star review on Amazon Alexa!

December 10, 2018

Today's episode discusses the portion of the rainforest that gives us most of our house plants. The area between the forest canopy and the forest floor is called the understory. The canopy of a forest tends to be many meters thick, and because of its thickness, it absorbs almost all of the sunlight. The plants that can survive in shady areas are called understory plants, and many have become houseplants for this unique characteristic. They have the ability to photosynthesize using this indirect and scattered light energy. Next time you're looking for the ideal location in your house for your plants, think about the filtered light that makes it through to a forest's floor; that's the perfect amount of light for almost all houseplants! Thanks for tuning in! Come back tomorrow for more tips and tricks from Pretty in Green Plants!

December 9, 2018

With winter upon us, today we'll focus on understanding when your plants are getting too little light. A very easy way to tell a plant isn't getting enough light is when the nodes are spread apart. That is the space between the leaf stems. These spaces on a rubber tree or fiddle leaf fig tree will begin to stretch out and it will lean towards the sunlight. The plant will become long and thin and usually bend. Very weak, and small growth that is light in green color is another sign of too little light. Since plants are efficient organisms, and leaves act as surfaces to catch light energy on, leaves that aren't receiving light will be shed. Often these will be lower leaves, or leaves on the backside of a plant. Make sure to turn your plant a quarter turn each week to evenly distribute sunlight amongst all the sides. Thanks for tuning in! Have a great day!

December 8, 2018

Today continues our series on propagation. We'll be talking about the correct air to give your cuttings. And specifically the amount of water in the air, and the temperature. Since cuttings do not have roots, it's important to hydrate their leaf cells somehow. This can be done through the pores in the leaves. The leaf pores, also known as stoma, live primarily on the bottom sides of the leaves. Make sure to mist the undersides and the tops of your cuttings' leaves once per day. A plastic bag or humidity dome solves this by trapping the moisture in. For the temperature of the air, keep it between seventy to eighty degrees fahrenheit. You don't want your plants to get too cold and not metabolize, nor do you want them to dry out too quickly with warm air. Thanks for tuning into our series on propagation! To recap, make sure to keep your cutting's soil moist, the air humid, and the general area between seventy and eighty degrees. Give your plants between two and five weeks, and you should be seeing roots! Be patient. Cloning is a challenging, but rewarding process! See you tomorrow!

December 7, 2018

Today continues our series on propagation. We'll be talking about the right amount of water for your cuttings. Since a cutting's primary goal is to grow roots, it's important to keep the rooting medium moist, but not wet or dry. Too much water in the medium, and the cutting will rot from too little oxygen. Too little water, and the end of the stem will die off. A good mixture to root cuttings in contains half peat moss, half perlite. It's also important that the water and soil contain no nutrients or fertilizer just yet. Since the young plants don't have root systems yet, the fertilizer will limit root development. Aim to keep the rooting medium around seventy to eighty degrees fahrenheit, too. This will encourage a fast metabolism. Mist your baby plants once per day, and remember to keep the soil moist! This concludes the water episode of propagation! See you tomorrow for our air episode!

December 6, 2018

Today kicks off a three part mini series on propagation. Rooting cuttings is probably one of our most requested topics for discussion. This series will cover the three primary elements you need to focus on for the highest rate of success: light, water, and air! Today we will talk about the right amount of light to give your cuttings. It's important to remember that plants use light energy to photosynthesize: they combine carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water to produce sugars and oxygen. If a plant doesn't have any roots, then it cannot absorb much water to conduct photosynthesis. Therefore, a plant without roots, such as a stem recently cut from a pothos plant, doesn't need much light. It only needs enough light to stimulate its metabolism to grow roots. Actually, with too much light, the young cutting will be burned and dry up. When rooting your cuttings, give them a medium to low amount of indirect light; and definitely no sunshine! And make sure to avoid the roots getting direct sunlight, as they are light sensitive! Thanks for tuning into the Light episode for propagation! See you tomorrow for part two!

December 5, 2018

Today's episode will explore the most popular, and easiest way to propagate houseplants; the water method. Simply put, you place the stem of a recently cut plant in a glass of water and wait a couple of weeks to root. This method works remarkably well for many common houseplants such as Philodendrons, Pothos, and Monsteras. It can be more challenging for plants such as the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and other woody stemmed plants. To do this easy method of propagation, fill a glass up with cold water from the tap. Now, go over to your favorite Pothos plant, and cut a six to eight inch stem of the plant, just beneath the node where a leaf stem is attached. Made sure to get the main portion of the growth stem, and not just the leaf. Because we need stem cells! Keep a few leaves on the top of the plant, and remove lower leaves; especially those that will go under the water line. Now, place your stem cuttings in the glass of the water so a few inches of the stem are submerged in water. Make sure to change the water every few days to ensure adequate oxygen levels! Good luck with this easy and rewarding way to multiply your plants!

December 4, 2018

Today is about understanding the quantity to water, when you're watering. Understanding when to water is probably the most important, but the volume of water you're watering with is a close second. The rule of thumb you're going to want to use is just under half of the volume of the container size. We try and use a visual measurement. Sometimes we'll place a glass of water next to the pot, with enough water so that the cup would fill the pot halfway up. This doesn't have to be exact by any measure. It is just a good rule of thumb when in doubt. Also, keep in mind this method is best for plants that aren't very water hungry, and that have not been heavily dried out. This works great for Sansevierias, Pothos, Philodendrons, and most common houseplants that need to be watered every week or two. For Peace Lilies, Spider plants, and more water-hungry plants, you can water one to two times the volume of the container size. That is because these plants are more challenging to overwater. We hope this clarifies the second more important part about watering; how much water to give your plants! Thanks for tuning in today! Have a wonderful day!

December 3, 2018

Today is about the positive psychological effects of plants on humans. Did you know keeping houseplants in your home or office increases memory and concentration? Having a green environment simulates the outside world and naturally calms us. It reminds us of the environment we came from. Just a few plants around us can calm us and reduce the stresses of the day. It also helps that they absorb what we breathe out, and they create oxygen! Taking care of something other than ourselves, can give a sense of purpose and help improve feelings of compassion. Take a few minutes today to walk outside and take a look at some plants, and you'll come back to work refreshed and recharged. It's like a mini meditation! Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

December 2, 2018

Today is about the elusive Sansevieria masoniana, commonly referred to as the Whale Fin or Shark Fin Snake Plant. As you might have guessed, it's shaped like a whale's fin when it reaches about one foot tall. They can get as tall as four feet. After that point, the plant becomes unstable, but can be assisted with staking and tying up. It sports a beautiful sage green color, with leopard like spots on it. It is quite a rare and beautiful plant, and happens to be really easy to care for too! Give your whale fin snake bright but indirect light, and water it when the soil is thoroughly dry, as the plant originates in the Congo of Africa, so it likes a warm and arid climate! Thanks for tuning in! Have a great day!

December 1, 2018

Today is about our most popular plant, the Peace Lily Sweet Dario. This plant flowers throughout the year when exposed to the correct conditions, and features a striking bright white flower that contrasts against its dark green foliage. It's quite a looker. They come in four through ten inch pot sizes, and its blooms will repeatedly come back while in warm climates. Some folks think the plant is dying when the flower starts to wither away, but worry not, this is simply its natural process. You can cut back the center of the bloom that holds the pollen if you are sensitive to allergies, or if the flower becomes unsightly. Look for new flowers to emerge as bulges inside leaf sleeves toward the base of the plant! It also happens to be one of Nasa's Clean Air Study's best purifier, rapidly removing a variety of toxins from your air. They also make great birthday and housewarming gifts! Thanks for tuning in today! Have a great day everyone!

November 30, 2018

Today's episode is about pots and planters! When choosing the correct pot for your plants, make sure to look for those that contain drainage holes. Allowing water to escape the pot will allow the rootzone to contain more oxygen, which is vital for the health of the roots. Pots without drainage are more susceptible to the roots drowning from overwatering. Make sure there are no dead zones where water can pool too. That can make for unnecessary moist areas that can lead to root rot. The pot size is also important to not go too small or too large. Too small and you'll be watering too frequently, and the plant will become rootbound. Too large and the soil will remain wet for extended periods, leading to an overwatered and unhappy plant. This concludes your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

November 29, 2018

Welcome back to another episode of pretty in green plants, tip of the day! Today’s episode is about some air purifying plants that go perfectly for the holidays and beyond! First up is the Flamingo Lily. Known for its bright red flowers and deep green leaves, the Red Flamingo Lily makes for a great holiday flower and gift. One or two in the center of a dining room table make for a nice touch in the holiday season. Next up is the tropical Christmas tree, also known as the Neanthe Bella Palm. This purifier will clean your air and increase your home’s humidity, all while looking like a tropical Christmas tree. We've even seen some people successfully decorate it! And finally we have the infamous Christmas Cactus, which is a succulent that blooms in November and December. They’re super easy to care for and have bright colored flowers! Try out one of these three as a holiday air purifier! Have a great day everyone!

November 28, 2018

Continuing our holiday spirit, today is about the origin of the Christmas tree. I mean, when you think about it, it's odd we bring 6 foot evergreen trees into our homes for the month of December, and decorate them; but they do look pretty! From what we could dig up, it looks like the Christmas tree originated in the sixteenth century in Germany. Back in those times, people used to put actual candles on their trees to light them. The Christmas tree tradition came to America in the 1830s by German settlers in Pennsylvania. A few other countries use an evergreen tree and its branches to celebrate winter holidays. It's thought that these traditions came about due to the sacredness of plants that remain green throughout winter. So people began to bring them in to spruce up their homes! Thank you for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

November 27, 2018

As the holiday season is upon us, we thought it would be fitting to do an episode on the Poinsettia plant. The Poinsettia was introduced to the United States in 1828 by the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Doctor Joel Roberts Poinsett. Doctor Poinsett brought the plant to the United States and shared it with many of his friends and other botanists. The plant was then later commercialized and sold as cut flowers and as a live plant during the winter. If you keep a Poinsettia alive through spring and summer, it will turn back to green in color. The red parts of the plant that most people assume are flowers are actually colored bracts, also known as modified leaves. To make them turn back to red, give the plant at least fourteen hours of pure darkness every night! Thanks for tuning in today, and we'd like to give a special shout out to a couple listeners: Marian in Washington and Donna in Iowa! Thank you for the support everyone! We'll see you tomorrow!

November 26, 2018

Today continues our series about humans' deep connection to plants. Humans also find a connection to plants and flowers for the most obvious reason, beauty. They usually contain some of the most vibrant versions of colors we've ever seen. Think of a bright red tulip, in a field of green grasses. This brilliantly colored red flower will contrast starkly against the greens, and we're likely attracted to it for nothing more than its simple beauty. That's one of the best joys in life, isn't it; to simply enjoy your surroundings for no reason other than their sheer beauty. These colors signify parts of the year, and the passage of time, too. This concludes our series on the Human Connection to Plants! See you tomorrow!

November 25, 2018

Today continues our series about humans' deep connection to plants. Another explanation for humans connection to plants is because of the set of equations flowers, leaves, and stems abide by. This pattern of numbers is referred to as the Fibonacci sequence. It is the law that guides how leaves are placed on the stem so they do not overlap and block sunlight. It is what dictates the number of petals on a flower. It is the pattern that places flowers in the spiral pattern of a sunflower. The fibonacci sequence doesn't only exist in plants, but in humans faces. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting has elements of the fibonacci sequence in it, which is referred to as the Divine Proportion. Top fashion models are known to have many occurences of the Divine Proportion in their faces. Dentists and plastic surgeons even use it in their professions! Some product designers even use it to develop the most appeasing ratios to humans! The Fibonacci sequence is one of the possible reasons for our attraction to plants and flowers! Tune back in tomorrow for another episode!

November 24, 2018

Today continues our series about humans' deep connection to plants. This episode is about survival. Forests and jungles may be where our ancestors lived, but plants represent food. Root vegetables, fruits, flowers, and leafy greens all provide a type of nutrition for us. Since humans rely on our planning and mapping ability to survive, when we see a current or future source of food we map it geographically. Because of this planning, it is thought that flowers stand out to us because fruits or seeds have the potential to develop at those sites in the future. This potential future source of nutrition is one of the theories why humans are so attracted to flowers and plants. Tune back in tomorrow for part three! Thanks for listening!

November 23, 2018

Today kicks off the first part in our series about humans' innate connection to plants. It has been scientifically proven that nature calms us down, decreases anxiety, and improves feelings of contentment. This has also been proven with houseplants. But why does this exist? Let's think of it at the most logical level. Plants have covered the earth long before humans ever did. So throughout our evolution, and in the days before societies and buildings, we all lived outdoors. Because of this, plants represent home to us. You know that feeling when you walk into a sun-lit meadow in the afternoon during a hike? Or that familiar forest smell of pine trees when you go camping? There's an ancient part of our brains picking up on old patterns. With this in mind, try and get outside! And if you can't, bring some nature indoors! Thanks for listening everyone!

November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the United States! Today's episode is about the all too common fungus gnat. That would be the black flying winged insect that comes out of your soil when you water. These buggers as adults aren't too harmful to plants, but as larvae, they eat the roots for nutrition. To keep these flies at bay, make sure to remove standing water from your surroundings, and make sure not to overwater. Fungus gnats, or commonly referred to as fruit flies, are attracted to moisture and humidity. To get rid of them, use a combination of organic gnat controls, sticky traps, and fans to prevent them from landing in your soil! For a do it yourself method, try out one part hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent strength, mixed with 3 parts water. Allow your soil to dry out, then water with this mixture as you regularly would. This mixture can also help with root rot issues! Have a great day everyone!

November 21, 2018

Today's episode is about soil aeration. Oxygen in the rootzone allows for strong root growth and ample nutrient uptake. One of the most common mistakes when transplanting is to over-compact the soil around the stem. By squeezing down the soil too much, the air pockets in the root zone are eliminated, and anaerobic zones develop. These zones encourage decomposing microbes, which can slow growth and create root rot. Think of how soil is built in nature. It's comprised of fallen leaves, bark from trees, rocks, minerals and other organic components. These ingredients fall together with gravity, and some compaction by animals, but the best soil is always loose and full of air. Only compact your soil as much as needed to stabilize your plant! This will make for much healthier and happier plants! Thanks for listening!

November 20, 2018

The amount of light you give your plants is crucial to their success. Too much and the leaves will bleach or burn. Too little, and growth will be slowed. Keep in mind, many house plants come from the jungles of central and south america, as well as Africa. So they are acclimated to bright, but indirect light. Full sun will harm most common house plants. A handy way to measure light levels is to measure the strength of the shadow casted by the plant. With most common house plants, excluding succulents, if the shadow cast by the plant has hard edges, the plant is receiving too much light. Aim to have a soft edged shadow. If you would like to get a bit more scientific with it, try downloading a light meter app for your smartphone from your favorite app store.

November 19, 2018

Today's episode is about a trending plant, the Alocasia Polly. The Genus of Alocasia are often generally referred to as elephant's ear, and are native to tropical Asia and Australia. They get the name Elephant's Ear for their large leaves on very long leaf stems. The Alocasia Polly is commonly known as African Mask because of its uniquely shaped leaves, and the contrasting venation that makes for brilliant coloring. Its unique look is definitely contributing to its popularity. Our favorite name for the Alocasia Polly around the shop is the Dinosaur plant, since it looks prehistoric. The Alocasia is also an air purifier and natural humidifier. Give it bright light, just out of sunlight. And water it when the soil starts to dry up -- it tends to enjoy moist soil. Thanks for listening! See you all tomorrow!

November 18, 2018

The best way to care for a plant is to intuitively observe it as best as possible. This is hard to teach, but can be learned. The proper light and water are the two most important factors to consider for a house plants success. When thinking of how much to water a plant, or how much light to give it, try and find the plants origin in the world. Understanding what part of the world a plant came from, will allow you to logically think about how often it rains in that region, and how much sun it might receive there. For example, Snake Plants, commonly referred to as mother in laws tongue, are originally from Tropical West Africa. You can imagine that region might receive filtered light, and a low amount of rainfall. This coincides with the Snake Plant's favorite conditions which are bright light, and waterings every three weeks or so. The Snake plant can tolerate some full sun, and is very drought tolerant. Also, feel the toughness of the leaves. This will give you some intuition on how drought tolerant it is! Thanks for listening!

November 17, 2018

Today is about a recent encounter we had at our greenhouse with root rot. In the fall, root rot and decomposing pathogens are very common. In many cases, decomposers are useful to break down existing organic matter and return it back to the soil for future plant nutrition. The key is to not allow it to attack healthy parts of plants, and to avoid conditions that allow decomposing bacteria and fungi to thrive. We want to create conditions that deter decomposers. Generally, decomposers thrive in oxygen deprived areas, also known as anaerobic zones. Therefore, we want to create oxygen-filled zones in our root areas, also known as aerobic zones. The primary way to invite decomposers to the root zone is to overwater. Too much water will decrease the amount of miniscule oxygen molecules in the root area. Without oxygen, the decomposers, that are very busy decomposing the fall leaves to turn into spring fertilizer, will start attacking your roots and stems. This is exactly what happened to one of our ZZ plants. By overwatering, we deprived the roots of oxygen, and the stem turned to mush. When we unpotted the plant to investigate, the root nodule smelled of alcohol. This makes sense because when decomposers eat sugars, it turns to alcohol; think of sourdough bread. That sour flavor is alcohols. So, to recap, be careful overwatering in the fall and winter months. Decomposers are ready to pounce, and we don't want to give them ideal conditions to thrive in! Thanks for listening, see you tomorrow!

November 16, 2018

We're going to be talking about plant pairing and plant design today. The typical way most people choose their plants is by finding the ones that look best to them; and there is nothing wrong with that! But if you want to take your plant design to the next level, think about contrasting them. You can contrast color, overall plant shape, leaf shape, flowering versus non-flowering, and plant sizes; just about everything. An easy one to try is contrasting color. Try out a Moonshine Snake plant, which has a sage green-like color to it, and very smooth leaves, contrasted against a Peace Lily, that has very dark green leaves with pronounced venation, and bright white flowers. Another favorite of ours is contrasting the Golden Pothos with the Marble Queen or Neon Pothos. It makes for a very symmetrical combination since they are both the same size and shape, but the colors starkly contrast. If you have any questions about contrasting, or would like some tips, reach out using the chat feature! Thanks for listening, see you all tomorrow!

November 15, 2018

Today we're talking about the difference between watering styles. We're going to make a broad generalization to simplify this topic and place houseplants in two categories. Think of them as two groups of watering needs. The first is the more drought tolerant category. This group thrives in moist soil, should dry out before being watered again, and reacts very poorly to overwatering. Think of Snake Plants, Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, Dracaenas, and Pothos. When you water these types of plants, make the soil thoroughly moist, but no need to soak the plant for extended durations and make the soil too muddy. This can get you into some trouble with these drier houseplants. The second group also thrives in moist soil, but if the soil dries out, the plant will show signs of distress, and tends to react more strongly to underwatering. This second group is quite water loving. Think of Lilies, Spiders, and other plants with soft tissue type leaves. This group can be soaked in water, and the soil can become quite wet and muddy usually without issue. We recognize this is a simplified way to classify houseplants, and there is a middle group, but it helps to understand how much to water. To recap, plants with tough leathery leaves you want to keep the soil between moist and dry between waterings. Then there is a group with more delicate leaves, you want to keep between moist and wet between waterings, making sure to not let the soil dry out. We hope this helps out the most challenging topic for plant parents! Have a great day!

November 14, 2018

Today is about the commonly confused Pothos and Philodendrons. We're definitely guilty of confusing these easy to care for plant families. Both plants can be climbing vines, make for great hanging plants, and have spade shaped leaves! They look very similar, but have some nuanced differences. First off, the Pothos has more of a cupped leaf, with a slightly bumpy texture, and a waxy feel. Its leaf colors tend to be very bright. The philodendron typically has a flatter leaf, with a smooth texture, and a matte feel; and its leaves tend to be more muted in their color. The leaf stems on the Pothos are quite thick, whereas the philodendron leaf stems are more delicate! Try out either of these popular plants for an easy to care for classic! Thanks for listening!

November 13, 2018

With winter approaching fast, and the first frosts settling in, it's an appropriate time to talk about plants freezing. Some plants are able to withstand freezing temperatures, but houseplants certainly are not able to. We've all left a can of soda in the freezer too long and it explodes, right? This is because the water inside configures its H2O compounds to be hexagon shape, therefore consuming more space. Think of a snowflake, and the geometry found in those unique shapes! This same concept happens inside the cell walls of plants. Their water storage vessels, outgrow the space provided when freezing, and their cells burst too. Some frost can be recovered from, but a full freeze on a houseplant will kill it quite quickly! Keep your plants warm this year by keeping them indoors! Thanks for listening! We'll see you tomorrow!

November 12, 2018

Hello everyone! In light of the California fires, today we're going to talk about low humidity and dry conditions, and its effect on houseplants. Houseplants are from regions exactly opposite of cold and dry. Most of our houseplants come from the tropical regions of Central America and Africa. It's often humid and warm in the tropics -- think vacation weather! So to combat the cold and dry air, make sure your plants aren't directly in the draft of a window or door; or even outside. You can put a tray of pebbles, rocks, or marbles in a saucer near your plant and fill in with water. The pebbles will provide varied surface area to allow some moisture to be released. You can even add a fan pointed at the water to encourage evaporation. If you have access to it, a humidifier is a great option too! Your plants are going to dry out much faster in this weather, so keep an eye on the soil! Thanks for tuning in! See you all tomorrow!

November 11, 2018

The amount of light you give your plants is crucial to their success. Logically, it is the primary driver of growth. Too much and the leaves will bleach or burn. Too little, and growth will be slowed. Keep in mind, many house plants come from the jungles of central and south america, as well as Africa. So they are acclimated to bright, but indirect light. Full sun will harm most common house plants. A handy way to measure light levels is to measure the strength of the shadow casted by the plant. With most common house plants, excluding succulents, if the shadow cast by the plant has hard edges, the plant is receiving too much light. Aim to have a soft edged shadow. If you would like to get a bit more scientific, try downloading a light meter app for your smartphone from your favorite app store. Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

November 10, 2018

Today is an episode devoted to the plants in our lives. At Pretty in Green, we truly think the Plant Kingdom is one of the most underrated of them all. Plants have created the majority of the oxygen we breathe. They also consume heat trapping gases, like carbon dioxide, that are toxic to us in high concentrations. Look around the room you're in. I bet you can identify numerous furniture items that are made from the wood of plants. Maybe it's the morning and you're going to enjoy a big cup of coffee -- a seed from a fruiting plant in central america. Look at your bed, or the shirt you're wearing. Probably made from cotton plants. The majority of a healthy diet is plant based, too. Olive oil, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. We owe a lot to plants. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for them! Thanks for tuning in everyone! By the way, I think it's time I introduce myself. Although we have Alexa verbalize our flash briefings, my name is Chris. I'm a co-owner of Pretty in Green Plants, an online plant store. Thank you for listening everyday. We truly appreciate the engagement and interaction with listeners. Please reach out on Instagram or Facebook and say hi @PrettyinGreenPlants Have a great weekend everyone!

November 9, 2018

Did you know some genera of plants have separate male and female plants? The male plants contain the stamen, which produces the pollen. And the female plants contain the ovaries, and pistils, which collects the pollen. However, most plants contain both reproductive organs on one plant. And are born as both sexes. This means that they can self-pollinate, although for the strength of the offspring, it's best to be pollinated by another plant all together. Crossing two different plants in the same species allows for breeding out weak genes, and strengthening superior ones; therefore leading to a healthier line of plants in the long run! Thanks for tuning in to the Pretty in Green tip of the day! See you tomorrow!

November 8, 2018

Today is about developing a healthy habit of checking in on your plants. Creating a schedule for watering will simplify your life, and yield more success with your plants. The primary benefit will be helping to avoid over and underwatering. On our plant labels, we often give watering suggestions denominated in weeks. Water every one, two, or three weeks. This is given as a rule of thumb, but there are too many variables that will change how much water a plant consumes. We suggest developing a habit of checking in on your plants once a week. Every Sunday, at 3PM -- hint, set a reminder on your phone so you don't forget -- go around to all of your plants, and dig a finger into the soil one to two inches, and feel if it's moist. If it is, your plant is probably fine without water. Repeat this process on all of your plants; it shouldn't take very long. Use your intuition to tell if a plant needs water, and remember how much it rains in the region your plant is from. And most intuitively, feel the plants leaves and determine how much water they can hold in! We hope this tip helps you water more effectively! Have a great day everyone!

November 7, 2018

Today is the final episode on supplemental plant lighting. So, after learning a bit about plant grow lights, let's say you decide to jump in and purchase a grow light. It's highly likely you'll choose a blue and red spectrum LED light that will be sold as a full spectrum light. It will provide both the blue and red spectrum of light visible to plants. Once you get the light, make sure to place it close to the top of your plant. Light intensity decreases heavily with distance. Place your light between eight and eighteen inches from the top of your plants. If you purchased an LED light above twenty watts, increase spacing closer to two feet away, as to not burn your plants! Put your light on a timer, or turn on as needed. But remember, your plants will photosynthesize more now, and consume more water, so make sure to water and fertilize regularly! Let us know if you have any questions about the topics discussed!

November 6, 2018

Today continues our series on supplemental plant lighting. The spectrum of light you give a plant is important to the type of growth it will stimulate. Think of lighting in two categories of color temperature, blue and red spectrums. Generally speaking, the blue spectrum simulates winter and spring months, while the red light simulates summer and fall. The blue spectrum will promote bushy growth, leaf development, and root development. Your red spectrum of grow lights will create flowering conditions for a plant, and this warm spectrum of light is required for the fruiting of a plant. The warm spectrum also has a tendency to grow plants up much taller, with more space between their nodes. The cool spectrum will promote the opposite; developing thicker stems, with tighter spacing between nodes, allowing for heavier fruits to be held by the plant. First, a plant needs the cool spectrum of light to develop its infrastructure, then it can focus on flowering and fruiting! Grow lighting will be rated in Kelvin Color Temperature. The higher the number, the cooler the color temperature will be. Tune back in tomorrow for the final episode on plant lighting! Thanks for listening!

November 5, 2018

With days continuing to shorten, and daylight savings beginning in some areas, we figured a series on supplemental lighting would be appropriate. In an attempt to keep our plants happy, many indoor plant enthusiasts use supplemental lighting. Now this doesn't have to be highly sophisticated and expensive lighting, it just has to be the right type of bulb. You cannot use incandescent bulbs for growing plants. Those are the old ones that got really hot, and consumed between sixty and a hundred watts. What works is LED lights, Fluorescent Tubes, and Compact Fluorescent Lights -- also known as a CFL bulbs. You likely have some of these, or a mixture of these in your home already! Adding supplemental lighting can be as simple as keeping a nearby lamp on for your plants! Or you can take it to the next level and buy plant specific grow light bulb. We suggest the LED based bulbs, as they are the most energy efficient, emit the least amount of heat, and typically have a good spectrum of colors! They can be found for as little as ten dollars! Check back in tomorrow for an episode on the spectrum of light that plants prefer! Thanks for listening!

November 4, 2018

Do you live or work in a noisy space? Plants have the ability to insulate areas and absorb and refract noise in rooms and offices. Because of their varied leaf shapes and angles, when plants receive sound waves, they disperse them and quiet them naturally. This can be a large benefit for a home office, open office floor plan, or classroom. Any busy space with talking and noise can be improved by decreasing echo and sound bounce on dense and hard walls. And plants will also be absorbing some of the carbon dioxide from the people, and providing them with oxygen so they can talk more! Wooohooo! Try out a dense bunching of Sansevieria along walls to minimize echos in your office or home! Have a great Sunday everyone!

November 3, 2018

Did you know that the spider plant is a flowering plant? It belongs to the Clade of Angiosperms! It is one of our favorites at Pretty in Green, due to its easy care, rapid growth, unique look, and that you can harvest its offsets; also known as plantlets. If you want to harvest its plantlets, start with a seedling mix of perlite and peat moss. Moisten the mixture, and put it in two or three inch pots. Then, bury one of the offshoots from the mother plant at the node point. It should be where the plant naturally bends. In a few weeks, you'll see new growth from the baby spider plant. When there is obvious growth, cut the baby from the mother plant and expose it to medium light and don't let the soil dry out. After a few more weeks, you can transplant it to a bigger pot! This plant will be genetically identical to the mother plant! Good luck with the challenging, but fun process of offset propagation! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

November 2, 2018

Today is an emergency episode about the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. We recently hosted an open house at our greenhouse, and noticed a misconception about this popular tree! The most popular myth about the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is that it's hard to take care of. We were shocked to hear this, because it is one of the more low maintenance plants. We think it's seen as hard to care for because of two reasons. First off, it doesn't need that much water. Feel the Fiddle's leaves. They're pretty tough and leathery; that means they can hold in a good amount of water. With that said, let your Fig's soil dry out between waterings, almost completely. The second key tip to make a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree low maintenance is to give it a bunch of light! We have one outdoors that gets filtered sunlight a couple hours a day, and is absolutely thriving! Get it right up next to that window, but monitor it isn't getting sunburnt! With these tips, you should have no problem with the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. Just water it every two weeks, and put it in the brightest spot in your house, just out of the sunshine! Have a great rest of your day!

November 1, 2018

 

Yesterday was about plants growing toward light; a phenomenon called phototropism. Today is about a similar condition called Gravitropism. As the name suggests, gravitropism is when plants grow with or against gravity. Most plant stems grow against gravity; away from the earth, so this is negative gravitropism. When roots grow with gravity, it's called positive gravitropism. Charles Darwin was one of the first to scientifically document roots growing with gravity, and plants growing against it. It seems logical, but is quite interesting when you see it in action. Think of a tree growing out from the side of a mountain. It initially grows outward, as a sapling, but begins to bend upward, so it is directly perpendicular to the direction of the ground. Quite amazing that plants react to the experience of gravity, similar to how humans do! Check out a video of this in the how to section of our site! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow!

October 31, 2018

Today is about a condition you have likely witnessed in one of your house plants. It's called phototropism, and is when a plant bends toward the direction of light. If you have a plant near a window, you've probably witnessed this. It's an interesting phenomenon since it proves a plant's ability to determine the location of light. The condition of positive phototropism doesn't only occur in plants, but also in fungi. Plants and fungi arrange themselves and their chloroplasts in a way that harnesses as much light energy as possible. Bending in towards the light makes them effectively perpendicular to the light, and exposes as much leaf surface area to light. The condition of negative phototropism can also occur, and that is when plants avoid light. This condition often occurs in roots, since roots can be harmed in direct light.
October 30, 2018

Today is the last episode of the flower series. This is a bonus episode on seed germination. So far in our story, our plant has been pollinated, the seed has fully developed, and it has made its way down from the plant to a rooting medium. Now, in many scenarios, flower pollination occurred in late spring or summer, seed development was achieved through the summer, and the seed is released in the fall. In northern latitudes, this seed will hunker down for a cold and wet winter. Most seeds will go dormant, and not sprout due to the cold temperature. When the temperature gets closer to sixty degrees fahrenheit, and there is adequate moisture in the soil, our seed will begin its germination; usually over the course of one to three days. It will grow a root system and sprout its cotyledon, also known as its first leaves. Many seedling will not make it through this phase, but those that do will be the strongest of them all! Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!
October 29, 2018
Today we continue on our flower series. So far, we've talked about how flowers are pollinated, and the seed is developed by the host plant. Today is about seed dispersal, and how seeds make their way from the mother plant, into a rooting medium to develop a new plant. Probably the most interesting example of seed dispersal is that of conifers that require fire to break open their seed pods, and drop the seeds. In some pine-like trees in northern latitudes, the heat from a forest fire is required to break open the seed pod, and release the seed. A large amount of seeds are dispersed by animals; either by being eaten and digested, or by being attached to the animals. The latter are aptly named hitchhiker seeds. Their ingenious, but sharp, thorned sides attach to animals or humans and literally travel around the world! Some seeds are so ingenious that they only need the help of the wind to carry their seed. Some seeds have glider-like wings that allow them to fly in a brisk wind, and some even look like little satellites. The milkweed seed harnesses the power of the wind to carry its seed over four hundred miles! Quite incredible! Tune back in tomorrow for a bonus episode on seed germination.
October 28, 2018
Today we continue our flower series. Yesterday we talked about how the pollen reaches the plant's female parts. Today we'll talk about developing the seed. Once successful pollination has occured, the flower will close. The petals will begin to droop, and over time, will be dropped, to leave only the pregnant ovaries left on the stem. This area will begin to swell, not unlike what occurs in animals. For the next one to ten or more weeks, seeds will be developed. The plant will now only focus on developing as many fertile seeds as possible. This is the plant's primary and sole goal. Sometimes these seeds are by themselves without anything surrounding them, and sometimes they have fruit to entice animals and insects to eat the seeds and spread them far and wide. Once the seeds are fully developed, the plant will begin to release the seeds from itself to continue the long process of reproduction. Check back in tomorrow for how seeds make it from the host plant and back into the ground to grow!
October 27, 2018
Today we're kicking off a series about flowers. Flowers serve many purposes for humans, but for plants, they are only there to serve one goal; and that is to spread their seed and reproduce. Flowers come in many shapes and sizes, and the reason for this has to do with the type of pollinator. There are nearly limitless variations in pollination. But the primary methods are wind, insect, and animal pollination. Did you know some flower pollen is carried for miles to find a partner to pollinate? Insect pollination may be obvious, since we've all seen bees pollinate flowers, but our favorite is when ants walk into a flower to receive their reward of sugar water, or sap, and in doing so, they pick up pollen from the flower, and carry it to the plant's ovaries. The classic example of animal pollination is a bird drinking the sap of a flower. The hummingbird is an incredible pollinator and has many trumpet-like flowers that are uniquely suited to its long beak. It's thought that the beak of a hummingbird has adapted over time to become a long tube to reach the depths of these long flowers. Crossing the male and female parts of flowers is only the first step of pollination. Next up is developing the seed and carrying it away from the host plant! Check in tomorrow for part two!
October 26, 2018

Determining when to water succulents, and drought-loving plants can be quite a challenge. They don't want to be overwatered, but let them go dry for an extra week, and you might find your snake plant wrinkling up! And to clarify, when we say succulents, we don't only mean cacti; we're referring to any plant with a thick shell over its leaves and a fleshy inside that holds in its water. The best way to tell when to water, is to determine your soil is completely dry. Stick your finger in the pot, or use an object to make sure the soil isn't dark -- meaning it still contains water. As soon as it completely drys out, water it. And water slowly. Let each bit absorb. Water should come out of the bottom of the pot. This can be done easily using a watering can with a quarter inch outlet to make sure the water can only come out so fast. We have a few like this in our store.  It's also important to make sure your succulent soil imitates the desert landscape. It shouldn't have a great deal of organic, water-holding matter. It should be objects that don't hold much water; like perlite, sand, and rocks. This will ensure your plant doesn't suffer from root rot! We hope this houseplant tip helps you have more success with succulents! Thanks for listening, and we'll see you tomorrow morning!

October 25, 2018

Today we are continuing with our Monstera Deliciosa fun fact series. Yesterday we talked about how Monsteras grow towards darkness. This is because in their natural habitat, darkness means a taller tree is blocking off the sun with its bigger leaves. So if they can reach the darkest point and push through that foliage, they will find an ocean of sunlight. But what happens when they find that direct light? So happy you asked! When the Monstera leaves are exposed to bright light, the structure and shape of their leaves change, and they begin to split. The splits, or holes you see on Instagram's most famous Monsteras, properly known as fenestrations, are a result of this light exposure. It goes something like this: in the tropical forests, where it rains daily, exposure to sunlight means direct exposure to raindrops, so as a survival mechanism the Monstera creates these holes, or fenestrations, on its leaves to allow raindrops through without puncturing them, tearing through, or pooling on its often-massive leaves inviting molds and other pathogens. Pretty smart, huh? We think so! Hope you enjoyed today's episode on the popular Monstera Deliciosa, please come back tomorrow for more houseplant tips and tricks!

October 24, 2018

Today we are talking about some fun facts on one of our favorite plants, the mighty Monstera Deliciosa. The Monstera is native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, Central America and Colombia, where they reach up to 65 feet in height! They are naturally climbing plants, so if you have one at home, be sure to give yours a pole to attach itself to. Once their air roots attach to the pole and they begin climbing, you'll notice some interesting changes in behavior. Like the the leaves and branches reorienting themselves towards the darkest areas. This is because they think that the shade is provided by the host tree's large leaves, and if they climb towards the darkness, they will eventually make their way through the foliage and find the sun! Quite a smart plant!  We hope you enjoyed learning more about this popular plant, we'll be back tomorrow with a few more interesting bits on the Monstera Family!

October 23, 2018

Today's episode is about the true difference between organic and inorganic soil. An easy way to think of it is, in organic gardening, the soil feeds your plants; and in non organic gardening, fertilizers feed your plants. When using organic soils, the microbes in the soil break down the wood chips and other materials, and make nutrients available to your plants. With chemical, inorganic soils, the soil acts simply as a holder of water, and fertilizer needs to be added back in addition to the soil; since the soil's biology is likely dormant, and not able to feed the plants. At Pretty in Green, we always use a custom blend of organic soil, even if it's more expensive, because our plants will do better in the long run, and it's easier on the environment. Chemical fertilizer is derived from oil and gas, and is incredibly energy intensive to produce. Try using worm castings, compost, and an organic soil blend for your plants. They'll be happier and it's more affordable in the long run! See you tomorrow morning!

October 22, 2018

Today is about variegation is houseplant leaves. Variegation is the absence of chlorophyll pigmentation in parts of a leaf or stem. Often presented as white stripes or patches on leaves, these plants are highly sought after in the plant community because of their rare look. However, they are very rare in nature, and mostly originate from the jungle regions of the world; where most of our house plants come from! Interestingly, variegation is actually a cell mutation. Due to the green parts of a plant being able to carry out photosynthesis, variegated leaves have less potential to convert sunlight to energy, and therefore grow slower than their non-variegated counterparts. If you have a variegated plant and want to replicate it, you can likely do so by stem cuttings. The new cutting should also possess the variegation in its leaves! Thank you for listening! See you tomorrow!

October 21, 2018

Today is about the self pruning of plants. That is, when plants release leaves that are unneeded. We're going to focus on when this happens in two types of plants. The first are those with bushy growth and many growth shoots, such as Pothos or philodendrons. And the other is those with one to a few primary growth shoots, such as a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree or a Dracaena. Assuming your plant is in the correct conditions, it is completely normal for leaves to deteriorate and fall off. In a bushy plant such as the Pothos, which has many growth shoots, you'll find that lower leaves receiving less light are browning off. This is completely normal. In plants with one, or a few primary growth stems, such as a fig tree, you'll find the tree can only support the top ten leaves or so; and as it grows from the primary stem, which is located at the top of the plant, it will self-prune the lower leaves to free up resources for the new growth. A great visual example of this is the massive palm trees found in California and Las Vegas. There is one primary stem, the trunk of the tree, then a few palm leaves at the very top, which are green. And all the way up the sides of the tree, you can see where the old leaves existed, then were self-pruned by the plant, and eventually removed by a tree trimmer. That's what gives palm trees the texture of their trunk. Those are the stems of many leaves trimmed off over the years! Thank you for tuning in, see you all tomorrow!

October 20, 2018

You can learn a lot from a plant by looking closely at its leaves. Notice the pattern of the veins. What direction is the venation? Is there a primary vein, then smaller veins branching out? Or are the veins parallel to one another? You can learn what clade, or branch of plant family, a plant belongs to by observing the veins of the leaves. There are two segments of plant families, monocots, and dicots; meaning one or two cotyledons. That's the first leaf that comes out from a seed. If the leaf has parallel veins, it will have one leaf when it comes out from seed or bulb. Think of a tulip, or an iris. The veins all go in the same direction, and there is one leaf when the plant is young. Now think of a tomato seedling. When it comes up from the soil, there are two baby leaves, since it is a dicot. And the leaf venation is webbed and complex. These two plant families contain all of our houseplants. Can you guess what class the Snake plant is in? Does it have parallel veins, or webbed veins? Does that make it a monocot or dicot? Direct message us on instagram @prettyingreenplants, to tell us your guess! The first three people to message us correctly will get a complimentary baby snake plant! Good luck!

Dicot(above)
Monocot(above)
October 19, 2018

Today is about keeping your soil the correct moisture. Since plants stand upright using internal water pressure, you want to keep your roots moist, and not let them dry out. But too wet, and the roots will begin to decompose and develop root rot; since they won't have oxygen. It's a careful balance that you'll learn to strike just right. Each plant will be different. You want to test the moisture of your soil where the roots are. For developed plants, this is throughout the whole plant. For younger plants, or those that have been recently transplanted, test the soil moisture between the bottom and the middle of the pot. It is usually a safe bet to assume the middle and bottom of the pot are more damp than the top soil, since the top is always being exposed to open air. You can dig a finger into the soil to check a few inches down, or use a soil moisture tester, which measures the conductivity of the soil, since moisture conducts electricity. That concludes our briefing for today! Thanks for tuning in!

October 18, 2018

As the weather gets cooler and we start spending more time indoors, keeping an eye on the indoor air quality of our homes and offices becomes more important. So today we are going to talk about the best air purifying plants for each room in the house. Keeping plants in bedrooms is often considered to be a bad idea, because at night they consume oxygen like we do, and we don’t want to compete with them for fresh air. However, Snake Plants are one of the few that produce oxygen at night instead of during the day, so they freshen up the air while we sleep and help us get better rest. Peace Lilies are perfect for bathrooms. Not only do they love the humidity and tolerate low light, but they also absorb mold spores, keeping our bathrooms and shower curtains clean of mildew. For the living room, or the space where we spend the most time, a Golden Pothos is ideal. They are easy to care for and clean the air of all the toxins most commonly found in American homes, so adding one to your home will help you stay healthy this winter! Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you tomorrow!

October 17, 2018

Today is about the rare Pilea Peperomioides. Known commonly as the Chinese Money Plant, and our favorite nickname, the UFO plant. Its leaves look like little flying saucers! Growing natively only in China, the Pilea is found growing in the damp, shady areas of mountainous areas. It is actually thought to potentially endangered in its native region of China. Though, the Chinese and the rest of the world cultivate it as a houseplant. The Pilea is very easy to grow, needing medium, indirect light and a watering every one to two weeks. It is a slow grower, so it can be challenging to find for sale. We just released a line of Baby Pileas. It is a very unique plant, and will catch the attention of your houseguests! If you can find it, give the Pilea Peperomioides a chance to update the interior of your home or office! See you all tomorrow!

October 16, 2018

Now that fall is well underway, and the winds are beginning to pick up, it's important to maintain moisture in your plants' soil and leaves. Low humidity in winter and fall can dry out house plants too quickly. Add in the effect of household heaters, and you can expect your humidity levels to drop down well below forty percent. Even though it's not as hot as summer, this cool and dry air can strip your soil of its moisture, just like it does to our skin. Make sure to check your soil every couple days to make sure it hasn't gone dry on you. And try to mist the undersides of your plants' leaves as a supplement. It will not add back much moisture, but it will get their humidity levels back closer to the sixty to eighty percent that they are used to! We just got some great looking stainless steel watering cans in stock that are cheaper in price than Amazon! Go check them out! Thanks for tuning in today, see you all tomorrow!

 

October 15, 2018

Today is about the vascular systems of plants. There are two primary transportation structures in plants. Xylem and Phloem. Xylem is responsible for moving water and nutrients throughout the plant. Phloem is responsible for transporting sugars. From the roots, all the way to the top of the plant. It is actually one of the factors that limit height in trees. Interestingly enough, plants don't use any pumping system -- such as a heart -- to propel liquids vertically, against gravity. Yet, trees get water and nutrients to leaves hundreds of feet from their roots. Plants use negative pressure in their inner vessels to vertically move water and nutrients. Think of a wick being dunked in water. The water will climb the dry wick, until it is saturated. This is how plants transport liquids, too. Next time you look at a tree stump to count the rings to determine its age, look at those little chambers throughout the stump. Those tubes carry water, nutrients, and sugars throughout the plant! Thank you for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

 

October 14, 2018

Today is about Aerial Roots. Often known as Adventitious Roots. These types of roots, which seem to grow out of the side of the stems of plants, can be found on various plants such as Orchids, Monstera Deliciosas, and Philodendrons. They look woody, and more like stems, but are a bit more flexible. The Philodendrons put out a nodal type that have terrestrial looking roots. These roots are looking for soil or other structure to anchor into. Some Aerial Roots act as structure to hold the plant up, while others absorb water and nutrients as terrestrial roots do. But some aerial roots are actually to provide the plant with more air if the terrestrial roots become waterlogged, or simply live in water. This occurs with the mangrove tree in Asia. Fishermen actually use part of this air root as a float in fishing nets because of its buoyancy. 

 

October 13, 2018

The ability to read and analyze a plant can be what gives some people a green thumb. Now, some of this will be learned with time, but there are many tricks to intuitively read a plant. Think of gardening like cooking. The best chefs don't follow the recipe exactly; they gather the ingredients, and vary levels to taste. Taking care of plants works similarly. A plant's instructions might say, semi-sun and water once per week, and fertilize regularly, but it is up to the plant parents to decide exactly how much sun, water, and fertilizer is correct. Always start by looking at the arrangement of the plant's leaves. This is best done from across the room, to get a sense of how the plant is feeling, and how to tell a plant needs water or not. If a plant's leaves are pointed upwards and out to the sides, that is a healthy and happy plant, generally speaking. When the leaves begin to point towards the floor, this usually indicates too little or too much water. Feel the leaves and the leaf stalks. Are they weak and flimsy, or rigid? Next, look at a plants direction relative to the light source. Is it bending or leaning towards the closest window? Is it stretching out the space between its leaves and branches? If so, it's probably not getting enough light. Are the top leaves changing colors and becoming yellow? It might be getting too much light then. Try and observe your plant more frequently. They're often telling us exactly what they need. See you tomorrow!

October 12, 2018

When you add a new member to your plant family, reading and analyzing for world origin will help you take the best care of your plant, and understand it more. Start with the leaves. Touch them. What do they feel like? Are they soft and flexible, or are they rigid and tough? Do they have a thick, leathery skin, known as the cuticle, on them? Would they lose water quickly like a grass or spider plant, or do they have a thick shell that would hold in the water like a Dracaena? Think about where in the world this plant would come from. Look at its color. Is it more muted and dull colored like a Sage from the California desert, or does it have a vibrant color like the Neon pothos that comes from the jungles of Vietnam? You can always cheat a bit, and take a look at the respective plants wikipedia page. The next best thing to do with a new plant is to micro experiment. Place the plant in a bit extra sun. If it doesn't like it, it will react quite quickly, usually within fifteen to thirty minutes. Think you might be watering it too much? Let the soil dry out until the colors change a bit, and it starts to wilt. You'll then know the plant's boundaries. You might lose a plant or two this way -- side note, we all have! But you will learn much faster through experimentation, and your intuition will grow. Just like cooking, you have to burn a few dishes before you get it just right. Tune in tomorrow to narrow in a bit further, and analyze a plant for individual health.

October 11, 2018

To wrap up our fall series, we're going to talk about executing the transplant. You want to get those houseplants into their new homes, before the days start to get longer. Get a trowel shovel, potting mix, your new pot, and find a space you can make messy. Knock the sides of the old pot to loosen the root ball; or squeeze the sides of the pot if it's malleable. For ceramics, try and dig the trowel into the edges of the pot to break the roots from the sides of the pot. Depending on the size of the plant, flip it upside down and let gravity do the work for you. The root ball should release. Open up the root ball with your fingers to spread it out wider; you want to unwind the roots, so they can go into new and different directions. Feel free to shake off loose dirt. Now, fill the bottom of your pot with some soil, so the height of your plant is correct, and place your plant in the new pot. Fill in the sides of pot, and a little on top, making sure to not bury too much of the stem or any leaves or branches. Gently push down the soil to make the plant stable. Water your new plant slowly, with at least as much water as the size of the container. Good work, you're done! See you all tomorrow morning!

October 10, 2018

Yesterday was about pots and containers. Today we'll continue our fall series and talk about the type of potting mix to use. Since fall and winter weather get cooler, and plants don't eat as much, you won't need as much organic matter in the soil for the next few months. No need to purchase what we would call a hot mix, that contains lots of fertilizer; save that for spring. But instead, something that provides lots of air to the roots will be best. Make sure it has perlite in it, and you can even add more perlite to the potting mix, up to forty percent perlite. Feel free to forego the vermiculite right now too, as it holds more moisture. Peat, coconut coir, and perlite makes for a great mix. If you want to get fancy add a small amount of phosphorus for strong root development. Look out for our Pretty in Green fall and winter booster to keep your plants healthy and strong through the cooler months! See you tomorrow!

October 9, 2018

Fall is the time your plants will be growing a stronger and larger root mass, instead of producing more foliage. This is the time to do your transplanting. With that in mind, today kicks off a three part fall series. Today we'll talk about planting containers. Choosing the correct container is imperative to the health of your plant. Your pots should have drainage holes to allow water to escape and encourage oxygen absorption in the rootzone. If your planters don't have drainage, use a drill to add one to three holes. However, avoid drilling ceramic and glass, as they are prone to breakage. When choosing a shape, try and look for pots with smooth transitions so water doesn't pool up in corners, and create anaerobic zones; areas that are oxygen depleted. Also, no need to oversize your containers in fall, since it will be cooler, and the plant will be using less water. Water a bit less than normal, and make sure to keep a close eye on moisture content; being mindful plants aren't on floors that are too cold! See you tomorrow for part two!

October 8, 2018

As fall settles in, and winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, it's time to start thinking about pruning your plants. The fall and winter months are ideal for trimming back your plants because of the shorter durations of sunlight. During these months, plants are busy developing their root systems and finishing up reproduction of seeds for the spring. If you have tomatoes planted, they should be finished or be finishing up by now, depending what latitude you're at. By spring months, when days have more sunlight, you want your plants to be healed from the pruning, and ready to grow. When you prune, make sure to be cutting stems, with a clean pair of scissors, making sure not to infect your plant with pathogens that may exist on the shears. Use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean your scissors. Cutting leaves won't direct your plant's growth. Think of pruning as directing your plants branching traffic. If you cut the lower branches, you're telling them to stop growing, and grow somewhere else. So they will grow up, away from where you pruned. Similarly, if you cut the top of a plant, the lower limbs will be stimulated to grow. Good luck pruning, and check into our upcoming youtube series at Pretty in Green. Have a great day!

October 7, 2018

Today is about the purpose of leaves. It seems quite simple: leaves capture sunlight and allow the plant to photosynthesize. But they do more than that. They release oxygen from their leaves, and absorb carbon dioxide. They also capture water! Have you ever noticed that some leaves, especially on single stem trees, are somewhat concave and cupped like little canoes? If you imagine water falling down on the plants, this is like a built-in rainwater collection system. The leaves expand much larger in surface area in order to capture sunlight, rainwater, and mist; funneling it down to their rootzones. So, in human terms, we're saying some leaves are essentially solar panels that collect rainwater! I wonder why we don't have solar panels that collect rain water simultaneously, yet? Hmmmmmm. Hello, Elon? Mr. Musk? I think we have a new project for you.

October 6, 2018

Today is about the importance of watering slowly. Think about how plants receive water in the wild. It's typically through rain, or being near a body of water and continuously receiving moisture through the soil. In most normal cases, it's a very slow process of wetting the soil in a delayed manner. This is how we should be watering our plants. Slowly, by letting each bit we pour on the soil absorb before pouring more. Now I know it is a bit more time consuming, but it will ensure the root zone stays undisturbed, and the soil structures remains intact. It's also important to not disturb the microbes in your soil. After all, the fungi and bacteria in the soil are the real heros of plants, by breaking down organic matter and making it available as a nutrient! Thanks for listening, and be sure to check back in tomorrow!

October 5, 2018

Today's episode is about the genus of Mother in Law's Tongue, also known as the genus of Sansevieria. The Snake Plant, a succulent desert plant, is a actually a flowering plant that comes to us from Africa. There are about seventy varieties of the Snake Plant, that come in various colors and shapes, but all have in common the thick skin of their leaves that help to protect their inner sap. This thick shell allows them to survive drought and the harsh climate of Africa, and what makes them such an ideal houseplant! Oddly enough, Sansevieria is actually apart of the larger plant family of Asparagaceae. Yup, that is the same family that contains the vegetable Asparagus in it. Side note, prosciutto wrapped, oven roasted asparagus is not to be missed. I digress. If you think about both plants, you can see the relation between the Snake Plant and the common vegetable asparagus. Both have a thicker shell, and grow in a cylinder like manner. Nature is pretty cool. Check out the Snake Plant for a super easy to care for and stunning houseplant! See you all tomorrow!

 

October 4, 2018

Today's episode is about a recurring pattern in nature called the Fibonacci sequence, or the golden rule or ratio. This pattern is found in plants and animals repeatedly, and can easily be seen in fractals of succulents. This is that spiral pattern you've probably seen in the Nautilus shell. The first few numbers of the sequence are one, two, three, five, eight, and thirteen. Notice that most flowers have two, three, or five petals. Have you seen how a sunflower places its seeds in a spiral pattern? This is the fibonacci sequence. A brilliant example of this is how some plants arrange their leaves. They place them using the fibonacci sequence so that they never overlap. Look at a plant or tree from the top down. Notice how each of the leaves are arranged, so that the leaf above doesn't shade the leave below? That's the sequence at work again. This pattern is so common in nature, that some designers use it in their work. It is said that the first ipod was designed using this rule of thumb. Its width to height ratio was one to one point six, making it fit comfortably in your hand, a bit taller than it is wide. They say the greatest form of flattery is imitation, right? Thanks nature. And thank you for listening today, see you tomorrow morning!

 

October 3, 2018

Today is about air plants. The genus of Tillandsia that hails from many parts of the Americas, from Mexico to Argentina. These unique plants are typically found growing off trees in the wild, where they have secured themselves into their host trees using anchor roots. Air plants don't need soil to absorb water and nutrients. Instead, their leaves handle the task of absorbing water and nutrients from the air! And since they are mostly found in harsh environments, they are also part of the CAM family of plants, which keep their pores closed during the day, and exchange air and water at night, instead. Note, we did an episode on CAM plants on September 25th if you missed it, check it out below! Air plants need to be watered every 7 to 10 days by misting them or soaking them in a glass of water for a couple minutes, then turning them upside down to drain. Naturally, they don't need much water, so be careful not to overwater! String your air plants up with fishing line or put them in some sort of hanger on your wall. Have a great day! See you all tomorrow morning!

October 2, 2018

Today is about propagation. And specifically, taking cuttings or clones of your houseplants. This can be done fairly simply and easily, and will give you a genetically identical baby of the host plant in two to three weeks! Vegetative propagation is done in two primary ways: the water method, or the peat and perlite method. Both can be successful, but the water method is a fun way to experiment quickly, while the peat and perlite method might give you more steady results. For the water method, take your favorite houseplant, for instance the Pothos, and cut off the top of the growing stem, or a side shoot that contains stem and a leaf. Put the cutting in a glass of water, and out of bright light. Change the water every two days, and in a couple weeks you should see roots appearing. Once developed, plant your new cutting into an organic potting mix, and slowly expose to brighter light! That's it! For upcoming propagation videos and instructions, make sure to subscribe to us on youtube at Pretty in Green. See you tomorrow!

October 1, 2018

Today's episode is about the hearty, and pervasive English Ivy. Earning its name from being brought to the Americas in the eighteenth century, it originates in Asia and Africa also. The Ivy has commanded quite a presence across the world as a houseplant, as well as a landscaping plant. Preferring moist soil, with waterings every week indoors, and tolerant of shade to partial sun, Ivy is known to be a hardy plant. English Ivy indoors makes a beautiful hanging plant and comes in different leaf forms and colors. Ivy is a climber, attaching itself to surfaces such as walls and trees. Be careful when planting it outdoors, as it is known to cover sides of buildings and completely take over trees. In some parts of the States, it is even recognized as an invasive species, because of its hearty nature and the ability to overtake its host plant. These traits make for a popular and resilient houseplant that can bounce back from all types of care. Try out the English Ivy indoors for an easy to care for classic! See you tomorrow!

September 30, 2018

Have you ever wondered why some of your leaves yellow and fall off your plant? This is usually caused by a lack of light or lack of nutrients. And when we say lack of nutrients, we mean in the plant, not necessarily the soil. If you don't water your plant, the roots don't have the ability to extract nitrogen from the soil to provide for new growth. So instead, they remove nitrogen from the lowest leaves to provide for the newest growth, at the top of the plant! Nutrients that can move throughout a plant are called mobile nutrients, and nitrogen is a mobile nutrient. It is the powerhouse of the primary nutrients and is what can give, or take away, your plant's vibrant green color. If your lower leaves are yellowing, check three things. One, verify your plant is getting enough light. Two, verify your plant's soil is moist enough to unlock the nutrients within the soil. And finally, if there's enough light and moisture in the soil, add a general purpose organic fertilizer such as worm castings! 

Here's a few diagrams of nutrient deficiency:

 

(The most common nutrient deficiency, nitrogen, as seen on the right plant)

 

September 29, 2018

Today is part two of two on learning to read how much light your plant is getting. Today we'll focus on too little light. A very easy way to tell a plant isn't getting enough light is when the nodes are spread apart. Node spacing is the space between the leaf stems. These spaces on a rubber tree or fiddle leaf fig tree will begin to stretch out and it will lean towards the sunlight. The plant will become long and thin and usually bend. Very weak, and small growth that is light in green color is another sign of too little light. Since plants are efficient organisms, and leaves act as surfaces to catch light energy on, leaves that aren't receiving light will be shed and drop off. Often these will be lower leaves, or leaves on the backside of a plant. Make sure to turn your plant a quarter turn each week to evenly distribute sunlight amongst all the sides. See you all tomorrow!

September 28, 2018

Today is part one of two on learning to read how much light your plant is getting. Today we'll focus on too much light, and tomorrow, we'll focus on too little light. Before we get started, remember most houseplants originate from the forest or jungle floor, where they are receiving filtered indirect sunlight. These are the conditions they thrive in, out of direct sunlight. The first way to tell if a plant is getting too much light is by coloring. Whenever a leaf bleaches out, or pales in color, it is probably receiving too much light. This can happen in a matter of hours of direct sun. A plant that has received too much sun can also yellow and begin to wilt. If you see direct sunlight hit the leaves, then notice any of these symptoms, remove your plant to a location out of the sun. Your plants will react quickly to too much light, so just pay attention to how they are reacting. Tomorrow we'll talk about the more common condition of too little light.

September 27, 2018

Today is part two of two on learning to read how much water your plant is getting. This part will focus on overwatering. Keep in mind, many houseplants' soil need to dry out slightly to allow oxygen into the rootzone. Roots not only need water, but they need air. Striking the correct balance is the goal. Also, it's worth noting the most common issue with houseplants we see is overwatering. To determine if you are overwatering, keep an eye out for slowed growth; it's the first tell tale sign. Then see if your plant is becoming blackened on the part of the stalk which is touching the soil; this is the start of root or stem rot. Another sign of overwatering and root rot is a limp plant. If your soil is moist, but your plant feels weak and limp, you might be overwatering. The last sign of overwatering is blackening leaf tips moving in towards the plant. Look for your plant to become substantially lighter in weight before watering again. Tune in tomorrow to learn to read your plant for the correct light levels.

September 26, 2018

Today is part one of two on learning to read how much water your plant is getting. This part will focus on underwatering, and tomorrow will focus on overwatering. The first and easiest way to tell is by tension in the leaves; effectively the water pressure of the plant. This water pressure is called turgor in botany. Whenever a plant has enough water, it will be very strong, with enough pressure throughout to stand straight up. If there is not enough water, the plant will wilt, and need water immediately. Be careful, because overwatering and underwatering present themselves the same way. To determine which it is, lift the pot to feel if it is light or heavy. You can also dig your finger into the soil an inch or so, and if you feel moisture, or if the pot is heavy with moisture, it doesn't need any water. Underwatering also presents by the leaves losing color, and the vibrancy of the color going away. The color will become muted, and sometimes grayish. We've seen this happen with Spider plants! The final way to find underwatered plants is when lower leaves yellow off, and begin to be released from the plant. This can also be from lack of light or lack of fertilizer! There are always many factors affecting a plant at any point in time! But with experience, it will become easier to diagnose! See you tomorrow for part two! 

September 25, 2018

Today is about a small and special group of plants that have developed a unique ability to produce oxygen at night. This is the opposite of the majority of plants. This activity of absorbing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen when it is dark, only occurs in seven percent of plants. Plants that have this ability are called CAM plants. They are most often plants that come from arid regions, and they've developed this ability to limit the amount of water they lose through their pores, by keeping them nearly closed during the daylight. This quality makes them wonderful candidates for bedroom houseplants to produce oxygen while you sleep. Some of the notable CAM plants are the Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, Zebra Haworthia, Agave, some succulents, and oddly enough the pineapple plant. Check these plants out to improve the oxygen levels in your bedrooms at night!

September 24, 2018

Did you know that theoretically, plants can live indefinitely? Unlike humans, plants cells continuously divide, and given the right growing conditions, plants can live continually. This is something called indeterminate growth in botany. Unlike mammals, plants don't have a preset size that they will become and eventually stop growing. They grow to their size, and continuously produce new flowers, shoots, and branches, season after season. In fact, there is a bristlecone pine tree in California that is over five thousand years old. And every year, it produces new leaves and new growth. That is absolutely crazy to me. Some very impressive houseplant caregivers have even had houseplants that survive over twenty years! Do you have any old plants? Tweet to us, at Pretty in Green on Twitter!

September 23, 2018

With winter coming, I think it's most appropriate to talk about plants that do well in low light and cooler air. Here are three plants that thrive in lower light conditions. Number one, the Snake Plant. Surviving in very low light, the Snake is our local favorite for its easy to care nature; and that it is nearly impossible to kill. Next is the Pothos. Coming in a variety of colors, pothos stands up to low light well, as well as some swings of temperatures, as long as they are brief. Third is the ZZ Plant. The ZZ is so resilient, I've heard tales of people keeping them in closets and not watering them for months, and they've survived it. I don't know if it's true, but I do know that they are very easy to care for as long as you don't over water them! The Snake, the Pothos, and the ZZ. All super easy to care for, and thrive in lower light and lower water! See you tomorrow!

September 22, 2018

Happy Vernal Equinox Pretty in Green Family! Today marks when days are exactly twelve hours of light and twelve hours of dark. The equator is pointed directly at the sun right now, and we are preparing to tilt the northern part of the earth away from the sun, creating winter. This will push the southern half of earth toward the sun, and it will become their summer in a couple of months. Have a great summer Australia! Anyway, remember, as days begin to shorten, your plants won't be photosynthesizing and growing as much as before. With less light, they'll use less fertilizer, and less water. So no need to feed much and make sure to not overwater in these colder months! What plants do you want to have episodes on? Direct message us on Instagram or facebook to tell us; at Pretty in Green Plants! Have a great Saturday!

September 21, 2018

Welcome to another houseplant tip of the day! Today we're talking about preparation for fall and winter seasons. Winter naturally brings cooler temperatures, but there's also less humidity from the air; since water is not being evaporated as much due to the lack of heat. Since most houseplants come from tropical humid regions, you're going to want to keep the humidity up as close to sixty percent as possible. This can naturally be achieved by a humidifier or by keeping a bit of water out in the area.  Also, be mindful of how cold floors can get, since the coldest air sinks to the floor. So try and keep temperatures above sixty degrees fahrenheit through winter. Tune in tomorrow for our Vernal Equinox episode!

September 20, 2018

Today brings another top three plants! These are pet safe houseplant options that are easy to care for too! And they are all non-toxic to dogs and cats! Number one for being pet safe and easy to care for is the Spider Plant! Medium light, and a waterings every week or so, the Spider Plant works well as a desk plant or a hanging plant option. Number two is the Neanthe Bella Palm. Doing best in medium to bright, indirect light, the Bella Palm is easy to grow and only needs to be watered once a week. The third pet safe option is the Calathea Rattlesnake. Non-toxic to dogs and cats, the calathea enjoys bright, but indirect light with waterings once per week. Find pet safe plants on the ASPCA's website, and we'll see you tomorrow!

September 19, 2018

Today we're talking about our top three easy to care for plants! All of these plants are durable, resilient, and can bounce back from improper waterings and light conditions. Number one is the Snake Plant. Low water, and just about any light conditions, the Snake plant thrives as long as you don't overwater it! It literally could survive in a dark closet! Second place is owed to the ZZ plant. The Zamioculcas zamiifolia can be treated just like the Snake Plant. Low water, and low light, also! Needing to only be watered every three to four weeks! Coming in third, is the Pothos. Coming in many different colors, the Pothos needs low to medium light with watering every one to two weeks. And if you ever deprive these easy to care for plants of water, they'll bounce right back!  See you tomorrow morning!

September 18, 2018

Today is about one of the largest plant families that gives us some of our favorite houseplants! The massive Arum family, scientifically referred to as the Araceae family.  Coming from the tropics, the aroids can be identified by their spade like looking flower. Think of the Peace Lily, Flamingo Lily or Anthuriums, as well as the Philodendrons. All of these come from the Arum family! There's nearly four thousand species in this massive family. Many of them are air purifiers, too! Many species in this family are heat-producers, meaning their flowers can reach one hundred ten degrees farenheit, in order to attract pollinators. And also to warm themselves in colder climates! Pretty cool, huh? If you happen to live in, or be visiting Missouri, the largest collection of the Araceae family can be found at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis! This concludes your houseplant tip of the day! See you tomorrow!

September 17, 2018

Most of us have used aloe vera for a bad sunburn or burn, right? It's also used in thousands of cosmetic and medical products as the base of the product, due to its healing properties! Aloe Vera is an easy to grow plant that thrives on very little water, and bright light. Hailing from South Africa, Aloe Vera begins as a sage like green color, and as it matures turns more of a gray color, and will even bloom at maturity! If you injure yourself, you can use a lower leaf from your plant to treat your wound, or propagate it easily by sticking one of the leaflets into soil! Consider putting an Aloe Vera plant in your bedroom as it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night, making it a suitable candidate for when you're asleep! Thanks for tuning in! See you tomorrow!

September 16, 2018

One of the best plants for beginners and experts is the legendary Spider Plant. Becoming very popular in the seventies and eighties, the Spider plant has understandably maintained its status for decades. Originating in South Africa, the Spider Plant needs semi-shade to semi-sun for light, and a watering every week or so to maintain evenly moist soil, making sure to not overwater. It is also a NASA certified clean air study plant, and will be purifying your home or office while growing! It even puts out baby plantlets that you can remove and replant to make new baby Spider Plants. Give the Spider plant a try for an easy to care for, but visually unique plant. That concludes your Houseplant tip of the day! Please give us your feedback, and let us know if there are other topics you'd like covered!

September 15, 2018

When it comes to organic versus conventional soil and fertilizer, try and use organics when possible. In gardening, they will often be comparable prices, and the benefits from organic soil is substantial. Organic soil relies on the microbes inside it to continuously break down the bark and minerals in the soil to make it available for the plant. It's best to think of conventional soil and fertilizer like a quick fix, or a magic diet pill that you'll always have to use, once you start using it. When you apply conventional or synthetic fertilizer to your soil, it kills off much of the biology in your soil. We've all seen what happens to a slug when covered in salt, right? This is exactly what happens to the life in your soil with synthetic fertilizer. It dehydrates the life in your soil! And worst of all, because the life in your soil is decimated, you'll have to always use synthetic fertilizer to feed your plants! Look into organic potting mixes with the appropriate OMRI organic markings, and use earthworm castings as a healthy general purpose fertilizer!

September 14, 2018

Today is about our most popular plant of all time. The blooming Peace Lily. Hailing from South America, the Peace Lily makes for a stunning house plant due to its waxy, dark green leaves contrasting against the bright white flowers. It is one of the few houseplants that will repeatedly, and reliably bloom indoors. And once the flower begins browning, you can cut out the flower for perfect look. It makes for a great gift, signifying peace, in times of struggle or celebration. All the better, it happens to be one of the best air purifiers; removing alcohols, acetone, benzene and formaldehyde from your air. Give your Peace Lily semi sun to semi shade, and water once or twice every week, aiming for moist soil. See you tomorrow morning!

September 13, 2018

Keeping your houseplants' leaves clean not only make them shine and look great, but it can keep pests at bay, too! For this, you're going to need a spray bottle, a clean cloth, white vinegar, and water. Fill the spray bottle with one part white vinegar, nine parts water; so a ten percent solution of vinegar to water. Out of direct sunlight, mist the leaves. Then, one by one, wipe them down gently. Making sure to remove any dust, dirt, or bugs. You'll notice this method removes any water spotting from the leaves, and the leaves will be much shinier. Try to do this every two weeks. Not only will it make your plants look great, but it will get you in the habit of inspecting for pests! Tune in tomorrow morning for another episode!

September 12, 2018

Watering in the morning, before the sun, is always the best choice. This is for a variety of reasons, but the main reasons have to do with light and temperature. Once you water, you want the plant to be able to immediately absorb that water and photosynthesize to create new growth. For the majority of plants, this happens when there is visible light available to the plants, during the day. Another important reason is to prevent root rot and moisture loving pathogens to spread and develop. If you water in the morning, the warmth from the sun or your house, will keep moisture at a more appropriate temperature for the roots, and excess moisture will be evaporated. If you can't make it out to water in the morning, just make sure to do so before the sun gets too bright. Of course, if your plants are in dire need of water, do water them as soon as they need it, independent of the time of day! Just try and avoid watering at dark, when the plant isn't getting any light! See you tomorrow morning!

September 11, 2018

The choice of where to put your houseplants is a critical one. At first, preference is given to the most aesthetically pleasing location, but eventually the most important factor is how much light a plant gets in that specific location. When choosing a window to put your plant, keep in mind south facing windows are a great option for summer, while the sun is overhead. As winter comes, the sun will become lower in the sky, allowing those long shadows to form through your south facing windows. Try and avoid the direct sunlight that comes through the south facing windows in winter. It might be a good idea to try out a north window for lower light plants. Every situation is different, but get creative with where your plants are in your home throughout the year, and switch it up! To figure out which direction is south, use the built in app on your smartphone, or download a compass from your app store. Below is a diagram of the sun's changing position through the year. See you tomorrow!

South Facing Windows

 

September 10, 2018

Did you know that Orchids are one of the oldest and largest families of flowering plants? So old that they are believed to have been around since before the continents split up, since they appear on every continent. It is estimated there are over twenty five thousand wild species of orchids. The vanilla plant is even an orchid; where we derive our vanilla flavoring and scent from! Orchids are very hard to grow from seed and can take years to become a flowering plant. They must create a symbiotic relationship with a fungus in order to germinate their seeds and feed themselves. Give your orchid indirect, but bright light, and water it every week or so. Their flowers and leaves will tell you when they are drying out by wilting a bit, and beginning to wrinkle. See you tomorrow to learn about where to put your plants as the season changes!

September 9, 2018

Today is about cacti. The sharp, and odd looking succulents. Did you know that the spines on a cactus are just highly modified leaves, and the primary stalk is just a stem? Cacti can hold up to ninety percent of their weight in the stem, in the form of water. Because cacti are native to such harsh, desert like environments, they have adapted to photosynthesize at night. So instead of absorbing carbon dioxide during the day, they conserve their water content, and do so at night when the temperatures are lower. Cacti thrive in bright, direct sunlight, with waterings every month or two. They can also tolerate extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures, similar to those experienced in the desert. Make sure to get a sand dominant cactus potting mix for any succulents you transplant! See you tomorrow morning!

September 8, 2018

Today we're going to talk about why you should water from the bottom up. What would happen if you dipped the bottom of a paper towel in a cup of water? As you might have guessed, the water climbs vertically, passed the top of the water level, seemingly defying gravity. This is exactly what happens when you water from the bottom of your pot. To do this, place your pot in a bowl or bucket of water, and let the soil and roots bring the water upward, in an action called capillary rise. You might remember that from science class! Give the plant thirty minutes to an hour here, and replenish the water as needed. By doing this, you're also making the roots go searching for the water at the bottom of the pot, which helps develop more robust root structures. This will also keep the top layer of soil dry, which will discourage insects from hanging out there! See you tomorrow morning!

capillary rise

Capillary Rise in Action!

(This is what your soil does when you water from the bottom up!)

 

September 7, 2018

Today's episode is about the Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the swiss cheese plant, or split leaf Philodendron. The Monstera is naturally found from the Jungles of Mexico to as far south as Panama. The second part of its name, Deliciosa, refers to the edible fruit it produces. Indeed, it is a flowering and fruiting plant! Although it takes a very long time for the fruit to become edible, and not toxic. All other parts of the plant are mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested. The Monstera does well in medium to low light parts of the home, and even shady areas outdoors. A watering every one to two weeks will keep it nice and healthy, too! See you tomorrow morning! 

September 6, 2018

Today we're going to talk about the Pothos houseplant! Originating on an island in French Polynesia, Pothos come in a variety of colors and will be a great fall and winter houseplant, since it tolerates low light, and lower water. They are very easy to keep alive, and we have managed to bring many struggling pothos back to life. You can even take cuttings quite easily! When it comes to care, make sure to give the Pothos a well draining soil, that contains some perlite or vermiculite. Keep it out of direct sunlight, and let the soil get close to drying out between watering. See you tomorrow morning to discuss the Monstera Deliciosa!

September 5, 2018

Welcome to September everyone! For the areas starting to cool down, now is the time to start planning to bring your houseplants back into the home. Keep in mind, most houseplants don't do well in temperatures under fifty or sixty degrees, fahrenheit. So before it gets too cold, do the last of your transplants, and prepare your plants for the move inside. But before you bring them in, give them a rinse to make sure the leaves aren't carrying any bugs. If you have it available, use a bit of neem oil spray to make sure any insects are treated. Once inside, place them near a window that receives bright, but indirect light, always out of direct sunlight. See you tomorrow morning to talk about the easy to care for, Pothos plant.

September 4, 2018

Today we're going to talk about the three numbers on your potting soil or fertilizer bag. You'll see it written as numbers with dashes between them. That refers to the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium contained within. Now don't run off yet, we'll keep the science to a minimum. The first number, Nitrogen, is what makes up the leafy growth of a plant. Nitrogen is what gives plants their green color. The middle number is phosphorus, and is responsible for root and flower development. And the last number, Potassium, is a bit of a jack of all trades, and helps out with almost every process inside the plant! And that's all! Not so bad, right? Remember it simply as, N, P, and K. There's a lot of other nutrients, and we'll get into those a bit later on, but these are the primary three to know! Have a great day!

September 3, 2018

Happy Labor Day to those of you in the United States! Today, we're going to touch on physical soil composition. Have you ever thought about what's actually in soil? Most potting soils made for houseplants begin with a mulch; ground up woody parts of other plants. This will provide food for the plants that they can breakdown over time. Potting soil also usually contains peat moss, which is just dried sphagnum moss; another ground up plant. Peat moss helps to retain moisture in the soil.  I guess it makes sense that the best way to grow plants is with other plants! There is also usually fertilizer from rocks, minerals, or animals that will be released to the plant over time. Finally, there is an amendment like perlite, vermiculite, or sand, that retains nearly no moisture, and its sole purpose is to keep oxygen in the soil for the roots to thrive! Tomorrow we'll talk about how to read a bag of potting soil or fertilizer.

September 2, 2018

Today we're going to be talking about root rot. A common issue for new plant owners. Root rot is caused by a lack of oxygen in the rootzone, or in other words, too much water.  This can be from over watering, a pot without drainage, or a soil with poor drainage. This can be identified by a black, mushy part of the stem or brownish, slimy roots. It is essentially decomposition beginning early. It is an anaerobic process, meaning without oxygen. To combat root rot, allow your soil to dry out. Your soil may be holding too much water, so you can add some perlite, vermiculite, rocks, or sand to improve drainage and increase the oxygen content of the rootzone. You'll want to look for the development of bright white, crunchy roots, and you'll know you have enough oxygen in the rootzone! Thanks for tuning in!

September 1, 2018

Did you know NASA screens for off gassing of new materials it plans to use in sealed aircrafts? This is because various household products release chemicals into the air throughout their life. This also happens in our homes and offices, but luckily we have air purifying plants to solve this! NASA conducted a study of a couple dozen air purifying plants that remove different toxins from the air. The study includes the peace lily, english ivy, areca palm, spider plant, pothos, fern, flamingo lily, philodendron, snake plant and a few more! These incredible plants have the ability to remove up to ninety percent of ammonia, xylene, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Make sure you put a couple of these plants in each of your rooms to clean your air! See you tomorrow morning!

August 31, 2018

This episode is about the continuously popular Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. Native to the tropical rainforests of West Africa, the Fig loves bright, but indirect light. It also needs a good watering every couple of weeks if planted indoors. Make sure not to overwater it, or deprive it of light. Give the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree adequate root space, too. A good rule of thumb is half a gallon of pot size, per foot of vertical height. So, a four foot fig tree will thrive with a two gallon pot! It will also be hard at work purifying your air and providing oxygen for your space. Inside the house or office, it can reach up to 10-15 feet given the proper conditions and space, and makes quite the statement piece. If planted outdoors, it can reach thirty to forty feet in height! This concludes your tip of the day!

August 30, 2018

Today we're going to talk about the benefits of misting your plants. Since most plants come from equatorial, tropical regions, it's important to keep your plants in humid air. When plants breathe in carbon dioxide, they naturally lose some of their water vapor during transpiration. This can be combated by keeping the leaves humid.  If the air is a bit drier, and particularly during winter months, try and use a spray bottle to mist the bottom sides of the leaves. This will replace some of the water that is lost, and should improve the overall health of the plant if done properly. Make sure not to mist in direct sunlight, as the leaves may become damaged from this. And remember that misting does not replace watering! This concludes today's tip of the day!

August 29, 2018

Did you know Ferns are some of the oldest on land plants? They are estimated to have lived on earth for over three hundred million years. Because of their age, they interestingly enough don't have seeds, but instead they have spores. A Boston fern will drop millions of spores in hopes of creating new baby ferns, albeit with a low success rate. The spores can often be seen on the underside of mature leaves as black specks. The Boston fern is also a great humidifier, and air purifier. It has the ability to absorb formaldehyde which is found in cigarettes and fabrics, as well as other Volatile Organic Compounds. This concludes today's tip of the day! If there is a topic you'd like to learn about, reach out on Instagram or Facebook. At Pretty in Green Plants. Have a great day everyone!

August 28, 2018

This is part two of two on transplanting. We're talking about planting into the next sized pot. Before planting, we need to loosen up the root ball. To do so, wiggle your finger up the center of the root ball to loosen it and spread the roots out for a larger footprint. Don't be shy here, roots are fairly resilient. When choosing the next pot, select one that gives the root zone at least a couple inches of new soil in each direction. Don't go too big. It's better to step up in pot sizes gradually. Now, fill in the bottom of the pot with your favorite potting mix until you can stand the plant up on the soil, and the top of the plant's soil almost reaches the top of the pot. Fill in all of the voids, and straighten your plant upright. Next, push down the soil around the plant lightly. Make sure to not over compact the soil. Finally, water slowly. The soil may sink, so add back media as necessary. Thank you for listening to Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

August 27, 2018

This is part one of two on transplanting. Today we'll focus on plant removal. When transplanting any of your plants, try and do so when the soil is mostly dried out. This will allow the root ball to maintain its structure and is less likely to damage the roots. Transplanting from flexible plastic nursery pots will allow you to squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the roots, then you should be able to pull straight out, assuming the plant is mature. When transplanting from ceramic, or ridgid pots, you'll have to get more creative. Tap the sides of the pot to loosen the roots from the edges. If you still have no success, try using a garden spade to dig out the edges and loosen the plant. Tune in tomorrow for part two, transplanting into the new pot!

August 26, 2018

Welcome back to Pretty in Green Plants! This episode is about our favorite plant, the majestic Snake Plant. Also known as Mother in Law's tongue. The snake plant remains our favorite because of its simple beauty, variety of colors, fairly rapid growth, and that it is nearly impossible to kill! Give your Snake Plant bright light, just out of the sun, as to not bleach out the leaves. And water it sparingly, about every three weeks. Another plus of the Snake Plant is that it produces babies that you can harvest from the root zone! Side note, today the moon is full, so if you are so lucky to see it, take a look up tonight! See you tomorrow!

August 25, 2018

Today we're talking about succulents! Succulents have remained popular for their easy of care and hardiness. Most succulents originate from arid parts of the globe where water is hard to come by. Their thick skin helps maintain their sap like insides which helps keep their moisture in hot times. Succulents are fans of bright and often direct sunlight with infrequent watering, often on the order of months. The medium you plant succulents in should be that of their natural desert like origin. Something sandy with lots of drainage! Good luck with your succulents! Keep them in bright light and make sure not to over water! This concludes your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

August 24, 2018

Today we're talking about pruning and shaping plants. Most of us have seen or have a lanky plant that we can't get growing in the right direction. To solve this, use your nails or a clean pair of scissors to pinch off the very tip of the stem. Make sure to get the stem. If you want to encourage vertical growth, pinch the ends of lower stems or remove the branches completely. If you want to encourage bushy, wide growth, pinch the very top of the tallest branches to slow the top growth and develop lower branches. That concludes our trick for pruning. Side note, If you're in the Los Angeles area tomorrow, join us at our open house! See you tomorrow!

August 23, 2018

Today we'll learn about how to check for pests. The most common houseplant pests attack the leaves of a plant, and tend to hide on the bottom side of the leaves. Look for signs on the topside of the leaves, and verify your suspicion by finding eggs or tracks on the bottom side of the leaves. You are looking for very small white or black specks. Use a light to see the traces, or if you are fancy, a pocket microscope works great. If you find something, do not worry, it is very common. Try an organic neem oil spray, which treats just about every pest under the sun, and can also be used as a root drench for root dwellers. If neem isn't available, try a household remedy with cayenne pepper and citrus. Check back in tomorrow for more houseplant tips and tricks!

August 22, 2018

Today we're talking about when to water. Watering too often is the biggest mistake we see with houseplants. Most houseplants can go at least a week without water, assuming that the planter is adequately sized. Our favorite method here at Pretty in Green Plants is to judge by the weight of the pot. After a deep watering, lift the pot and plant together to feel how heavy it is. This is your baseline for a fully watered plant. Now, let your soil dry out until not only the top layer of soil is dry, but the pot is substantially lighter. If you are unsure, dig your finger into the soil an inch or two, and if it is still moist, let it dry out more. Pay attention to what your plant tells you in its color, or by wilting. See a video of us rehydrating a Peace Lily after wilting in the how to section of our site! We'll see you all tomorrow!

August 21, 2018

Today's tip is about watering. This is the biggest challenge for new plant parents. And specifically, we're going to talk about how to water. For most common houseplants, it is best to water like it rains. Let the soil dry out, then fully, and deeply water, as it would during rain and drought. Our favorite method here at Pretty in Green Plants, is to fill a tupperware or dish with water, and put the pot directly in the water to soak from the bottom up. Now this won't work for your bigger plants and pots. For those, you want to slowly water over the soil, and make sure not to flood the soil. Pour a little, let it absorb, pour a bit more, and repeat. A good rule of thumb for the quantity of water is to water one time the container volume. For a gallon pot that is very dry, water one gallon. Water should definitely be coming out of the drainage holes in the pot. Tomorrow we'll talk about when to water. 

August 20, 2018

We've all seen yellowing or dying off leaves on our plants, right? Keep in mind this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is quite natural for a plant to discard unneeded leaves. Also, if you can resist the temptation, keep the dying leaf on the plant. Plants transfer the nutrients from the old leaf and move that food to its other leaves. That is the green color you see in the leaf! If the yellowing leaves are primarily lower leaves, it might mean the plant needs a bit more fertilizer or light. Since a leaf's job is to absorb light, and a plant is getting less than ideal light, it will shed the lower, unneeded leaves to provide for new growth. 

August 19, 2018

Did you know keeping houseplants in your home or office increases memory and concentration? Having a green environment simulates the outside world and naturally calms us. Just a few plants around us can calm us and reduce the stresses of the day. It also helps that they absorb what we breathe out, and they create oxygen! Taking care of something other than ourselves, can give a sense of purpose and help improve feelings of compassion. Take a few minutes today to walk outside and take a look at some plants, and you'll come back to work refreshed and recharged. Tune back in tomorrow for your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

August 18, 2018

The soil your plant sits in is its home and food source. When choosing the potting mixture for your house plant, look for a houseplant specific mix that contains peat moss, organic fertilizer, soil, vermiculite or perlite, and ideally some sand. The most important component in your potting mix are those that allow the water to drain through. Since the most common issue with houseplants is overwatering, make sure not to pot directly in an outdoor potting soil, since it will hold too much water, and likely have too much fertilizer in it. When we make our custom organic potting mix, we focus on organic components that will provide aeration and feed the plant for 6 months to a year. When looking for a potting mix, find an organic blend, or try making your own at home! See you tomorrow!

August 17, 2018

 The proper light and water are the two most important factors to consider for a house plants success. When thinking of how much to water a plant, or how much light to give it, try and find the plants origin in the world. Understanding what part of the world a plant came from, will allow you to logically think about how often it rains in that region, and how much sun it might receive there. For example, Snake Plants, commonly referred to as mother in laws tongue, are originally from Tropical West Africa. You can imagine that region might receive filtered light, and a low amount of rainfall. This coincides with the Snake Plant's favorite conditions which are bright light, and waterings every three weeks or so. The Snake plant can tolerate some full sun, and is very drought tolerant. Tune back in tomorrow for your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

August 16, 2018

When choosing the correct pot for your plants, make sure to look for those that contain drainage holes. Allowing water to escape the pot will allow the rootzone to contain more oxygen, which is vital for the health of the roots. Pots without drainage are more susceptible to the roots drowning from overwatering.  The pot size is also important to not go too small or too large. Too small and you'll be watering too frequently, and the plant will become rootbound. Too large and the soil will remain wet for extended periods, leading to an overwatered and unhappy plant. This concludes your Pretty in Green Plants, tip of the day!

August 15, 2018

The amount of light you give your plants is crucial to their success. Too much and the leaves will bleach or burn. Too little, and growth will be slowed. Keep in mind, many house plants come from the jungles of central and south america, as well as Africa. So they are acclimated to bright, but indirect light. Full sun will harm most common house plants. A handy way to measure light levels is to measure the strength of the shadow casted by the plant. With most common house plants, excluding succulents, if the shadow cast by the plant has hard edges, the plant is receiving too much light. Aim to have a soft edged shadow. If you would like to get a bit more scientific with it, try downloading a light meter app for your smartphone from your favorite app store.

August 14, 2018

Summer months make the ideal climate for fungus gnats. Make sure to remove standing water from your surroundings, and make sure not to overwater. Fungus gnats, or commonly referred to as fruit flies, are attracted to moisture and humidity.  To get rid of them, use a combination of organic gnat controls, sticky traps, and fans to prevent them from landing in your soil! For a do it yourself method, try out one part hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent strength, which is the commonly sold strength, mixed with 3 parts water. Allow your soil to dry out, then water with this mixture as you regularly would.

 

 

YOU'VE REACHED THE BEGINNING! BRAVO 👏

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