The time has come to bring the houseplants in from outside. We haven't gotten a frost yet, but I know that the first frost isn't too far away. I don't move too many plants outside, but there are a few including staghorn ferns, my firesticks cactus , Nat's big fern and my standing Mickey Mouse topiary. This year, I kept the Creeping Fig Vine topiary on the front porch all Summer. That meant that it received a tiny bit of morning sun, but was in the shade for the bulk of the day. It was just six weeks ago that I last posted an update on my Mickey Mouse that showed off a good seasonal growth spurt. If you go back and look at the photo in this post from early August , you'll note that his hands were (at that time) not covered and that there were a few 'shoots' poking out. Today? See the photo below for what Mickey looks like after a full season of outdoor growth: This is 18 months of growth and it is pretty well close to being totally full with the fra
Showing posts with the label house plant
This is now - unofficially - Staghorn Fern Week - on in my garden diary. This is the third post in as many days about Staghorn Ferns starting with my first post about bringing home a small 4" Staghorn Fern that the kids and I mounted on a pine board . Then, yesterday I posted a little story about how I found four 6" - and more mature - Staghorn Ferns at Home Depot and decided I was going to make up a few mounted ferns for Valentine's Day this year. In that first post, I showed a little look into how we (the kids and I) put together the first mounted fern. Here, below, is a closer look (with more photos) of how I put together one of these larger Staghorn Ferns using the same process. I started this larger, more mature Staghorn with the same size board, but I used a larger bowl to make a slightly larger circle. Below, you can see the circle I drew in pencil along with the 1-1/4 narrow-threaded drywall screws that I put around the circumference of the circle. I used
My journey with Staghorn Ferns starts where a bunch of my gardening, craft and DIY interests came from: Martha Stewart. Back in the aughts, we used to get Martha Stewart Living magazine delivered in print. In one of those editions, she covered Staghorn Ferns. That was my first exposure. I found this old, 2008 Martha Blog post about her Staghorn Fern that might have been *around* the time of the print piece. Since then, they've been on my radar. She posted again in 2018 when she talked about mounting a few new Staghorn Ferns and how she puts them on her front porch. In March of 2021, I bought my first Staghorn Fern - a six-inch container from Home Depot for $10. In that post, I talked (again) about Martha . I kept this one in the container and moved it outside during the Summer where it spent a few months on our front porch - just like Martha. Because I left it in the container, I decided to drill a bunch of holes in the plastic nursery pot to make it more basket-lik
Sometime in 2021, we bought a couple of prayer plants. They were on a deep discount sale at Home Depot and as you all know: I love a deal. These are formally called Calatheas and are part of the family Marantaceae . And, they're always listed as one of the houseplants that tolerate 'low light' , but after having this one around for a bit, I've learned a few things. When we brought this one home - you can see how it currently looks below - it was a more-full plant in a 6" plastic container that had drainage holes in the bottom. What happened? Well, the plant struggled. Brown tips, die-back and curled existing leaves with very little growth. It was spending most of its time on the screened porch, but like everything else, I brought it in during the cold weather in January. Below is a look at one of the mature, existing leaves. These all had brown tips that I trimmed off and have been monitoring them since that haircut. I believe this was a due to a couple
It was a little bit over a year ago that I posted some photos showing the successful reinvigoration of a wire vine that I had brought in from outside but had suffered some indoor, Winter neglect. I give it a haircut to get rid of all of the dead/dry vines and it bounced back. We kept this container in the screened porch almost the entire year - until it was brought inside in early January. It went upstairs to our extra bedroom - which is where good plants go to die. This vine was in great shape when it went up and it was, as expected, promptly neglected. And dried out. The humidity we have inside the house isn't high enough to provide the ideal environment for most container house plants. So, I decided to bring it down and try to give it some life. That meant that I submerged the entire container in a large bowl of water for about 45 minutes to completely saturate the soil and roots. A day or two later, the dried, brittle fronds had bounced back a bit. It wasn't com
My reasons for keeping my own [garden diary] are the usual ones: get smarter (make better choices) and to document changes over time (appreciate wins/losses). I've taken that same approach to some of our indoor house plants . I'm interested in understanding what they look like during different seasons - seeing if they're growing, if they're in trouble, etc. That's covered my Staghorn Fern , my Standing Mickey Topiary and even one of our umbrella plants . Just this past week, I documented my re-soil'ing of my Maidenhair Fern . But, I haven't tracked - via my [ container diary ] the largest houseplant we have: Nat's Fiddlehead Fig Tree. I don't exactly know how long we've had it, but I know it was introduced in our new house - at some point. It sits in a room that has southern exposure and has just grown and grown. This isn't a plant that I tend to - at all. This one is all Nat. She waters it. Feeds it. Cleans it. Turns it. Al
On Friday, I posted a photo of my blue (foliage) grow light that I've set up for some of our houseplants this Winter. These are all containers that I've kept outside during the Summer (mostly in spots with indirect light) or on our screened porch (that is enclosed) during the edges of the growing season. One of the containers that I've had for 10 months now is my one-and-only (and first ever) Staghorn Fern. I bought it - on a whim - from Home Depot for $10 last March . It came in a nursery pot and despite researching how they're supposed to be *mounted*, I've left it alone. The last time I showed a photo of the fern was in August of last Summer when it had spent a few months outside on the front porch - in shade. At that time, I also made a move that I (sort of) consider a compromise between mounting Staghorn Ferns and keeping them in a container. There's plenty of folks who keep them in what I'll call a 'basket'. My solve to get my contain
We keep the majority of our potted plants/containers/house plants in two places for *most* of the year. The first is outside. And that usually is between about June and September. The second is our screened porch. And that's from September to January. And again from about March to June. On the porch, we have a corner table that holds a few containers and the top of one of our firewood racks is the other spot for the pots. The porch is useable for about 300ish days a year for us and about the same for our plants. The porch gets a TON of natural light and the plants don't seem to dry out as much out there as they do once we bring them in the house. In year's past, we've brought them in the house in January and they've struggled. These came in about three weeks ago and (knock, wood), they're doing ok (so far). We've tried a few places - upstairs in a south-facing window. Downstairs in same facing. Indirect light, direct light. It seems that the best o
Along with the fern and wire vine, we had a dwarf umbrella plant (schefflera) that had been languishing upstairs in our guest bedroom for the better part of the past six months. It was stuck and growing at an odd angle, was very top-heavy and had a very tall, thin and bare trunk. We have another one of these plants that I've been tending to over the past year or so with top-cuts to encourage it to grow out more bush-y. It has responded to each of those pruning exercises. So, I thought that if I repotted the troubled plant to straighten it out and give it a little top-prune, we might have something. And, so far - about a week in - it seems to be ok. Here's how it looks now - on our mantle: It is now standing up straight (instead of off at an odd angle) and I cut the leader/apical meristem off about half-an-inch from where the die-back settles. I'm hoping that we'll see even more growth coming out of this thing starting with the current crown and down the trunk.
I walked outside my hotel in San Francisco recently and spotted this potted plant in the vestibule. And a lightbulb went on inside my head: we have this same plant up in our bathroom. And unlike many of its brethren, it is not just surviving the winter being inside, but it is thriving. Here's our version: Those tallest shoots? They're brand new growth. And there's more emerging from the soil. I asked Nat if she knew what it was and she did. It is a ZZ plant. And turns out, it is quite a houseplant. From Gardening Know How, they lead with this : If ever there was the perfect plant for the ultimate brown thumb, the easy ZZ plant is it. This virtually indestructible houseplant can take months and months of neglect and low light and still look amazing. Sounds perfect for us. It is not in a window, nor does it get any southern exposure/light. At work, we give potted bamboo to new employees, but now I'm wondering if we should be swapping out to t
Ever since we first saw the little pineapple plants growing in the gardens at Epcot's Flower and Garden show back in Spring of 2016 , I've had the notion in my mind that it would be fun/interesting to try to give a pineapple plant a try. But, where would we ever come across one? The answer, surprisingly, was Menards. Yeah...my favorite store. Menards. For some reason, they carried a handful of pineapple plants - Ananas Comosus - earlier this Spring. I was wandering out to the garden center and passed by the tropical section and they had four or five of these things on the end cap. $11.99? Can't pass it up, right? I planted it in a clay pot that seemed size appropriately. Here's a close-up of the fruit that is on the plant currently: Once the weather moderated and we seem to be having no more cold spells, I transitioned it outside to the back patio where it is living amongst our upside tomato plant (well...not quite 'ours', but we'