Plant of the Week: Mothers Day!

Seeing as Mothers Day is quickly approaching (this Sunday for those of you who didn’t know), I’ve decided to do plant of the week a little differently this week. Instead of one plant with a long article, this week there will be multiple plants with short descriptions and basic care to give you all some ideas for plants that moms will love.

First up on the list is an anthurium! Native to South America, this unique bloomer is sure to make the mother in your life happy! These beautiful plants grow well in bright indirect light and should only be watered when the soil is dry to the touch, as they are prone to root rot.

Up next is a plant of the week returnee, the phalaenopsis orchid. Native to South East Asia, this plant is a staple of beauty and makes the perfect gift. High humidity and bright, indirect light are key for this wonderful plant’s survival. Once the potting medium begins to dry, water your orchid but make sure it doesn’t sit in the water.

The next plant is the wonderful begonia. Native to South and Central America, Africa and South East Asia, these plants can be planted indoor or outdoors! These plants enjoy bright, indirect light and high humidity levels. Allow the soil to dry before watering and water into the soil, not the leaves as to keep fungi from endangering the plant.

The final plant on today’s list is another plant of the week returnee, the African Violet. Native to Eastern tropical Africa, this easy to care for plant is another great gift for those who’s green thumb isn’t as amazing as others.  Don’t allow the violet to dry out or become soggy, moderate watering is all they need. Medium to bright, indirect light is perfect for these little plants!

If you saw any plants that you think the mother in your life would enjoy, come on down to Incahoots and pick up one for a wonderful gift. We can also foil wrap and repot plants for that extra touch!

Plant of the Week: Hydrangea

Prom season has us over here at Incahoots going wild with flowers practically growing out of our ears, so why not pick the beautiful Hydrangea as this week’s plant of the week! Native to Southeastern Asia and both North and South America, the hydrangea is known for it’s round, almost pom pom like flowers that come in a variety of colors.

When planting hydrangeas outdoors, planting in the early spring or fall is ideal so that they can establish a good root system before summer. Most varieties will do well in part shade to full sun. Water the plant deeply about once a week, unless it is particularly hot and dry, which would require more watering than usual. Indoors, hydrangeas need a lot of light, but need to avoid direct sun. Make sure that your hydrangea does not dry out, but it also doesn’t sit in water, which could cause root rot.

If you would like to try growing your own hydrangea, you can pick one up from Incahoots for $14.99 for a one gallon container!

Plant of the Week: China Doll

Another Thursday means it’s time for another plant of the week, and this week’s plant is the China Doll! Originating from southern China and Taiwan, the China Doll has rapidly become a popular house plant and is very easily obtained. This plant sports shiny, dark green leaves and grows similarly to a tree, but indoors it will remain relatively compact and similar to a shrub. While this plant can be a tad finicky, it’s care is rather simple and makes a great houseplant.

China dolls need lots of bright, indirect light. Around 4-5 hours of this lighting is about how much it should get, and if your windows can’t provide this, you might consider getting grow lights to aid. This plant should be watered only when the top of the soil is dry because they are prone to root rot and can’t sit in water. If the soil prevents proper drainage, placing pebbles at the bottom of the pot might help. They prefer to have temperatures around 65-75 degrees and will not tolerate drafts. Similar to the crotons we talked about a couple weeks ago, China Dolls do not like change. Take caution when moving or repotting the plant (it prefers to stay pot-bound) as it could drop it’s leaves.

If you want to bring the lovely China Doll into your household, you can come on by Incahoots and pick one up for $4.99 for a 4in pot!

Plant of the Week: Polka Dot Plant

The Polka Dot plant is a wonderful pop of color into any household and is this week’s Plant of the Week. Originating from Madagascar, this extremely hybridized plant is sure to be an attention grabber anywhere it’s placed! For years this plant was miscategorized until it was finally placed in the Hypthoestes group with over 100 different plants. In their native habitat, they can grow up to three feet tall, but the pot grown variations will usually be much smaller. The polka dot plants that we carry here at Incahoots are part of the splash series which comes in red, rose, pink and white.

These plants will give you the best color in a bright, indirect lighting situation, as darker areas may result in the leaves turning solid green (which kind of defeats the purpose to me at least). The soil of the plant should be kept moist but not soggy in the summer growing season and when winter rolls around you can lessen the water levels. If the plant goes dormant, water can be reduced significantly, resuming regular watering only when new growth emerges. During the growing season, this plant can be given fertilizer monthly.

If you would like to give growing a Polka Dot plant a try, you can head on over to Incahoots and pick one up for $4.99 for a 4in pot!

Plant of the Week: Birds Nest Fern

The sudden return of cold and rainy weather seems to have also brought along the illnesses commonly associated with it, which is why plant of the week is coming to you guys two days late. Seeing as the near constant gloomy weather in Oregon tends to make the house darker, this week’s plant of the week is the low light loving Birds Nest Fern! When you think of a fern, you probably envision the feathery, airy fronds, but this fern defies all preconceived notions of what ferns look like. Birds nest ferns get their name because the center of the plant resembles a (you guessed it) birds nest. This is accompanied by it’s beautiful wavy leaves and a striking resemblance to seaweed.

Birds nests do well in medium-low, indirect light. The amount of light the plant receives will actually effect how crinkly the leaves turn out. A birds nest that receives more light will have crinklier leaves than one that receives less light, but be aware that too much light will cause the leaves to yellow and die. Like other ferns, ideal conditions would mean that the fern will have moist, but not wet soil but birds nests can actually tolerate soil that dries out from time to time. It also doesn’t need high humidity levels, unlike other ferns, which makes it a pretty forgiving houseplant. Another fun trait for this plant is that in the wild, it is considered an epiphyte, which means that it usually grows off of the sides of things and clings to the host, similar to stag horn ferns and orchids. When you purchase a birds nest fern, it will typically come potted in a plant medium, but it can be affixed to plants and hung on walls!

Now that you know how to care for a Birds Nest Fern, consider picking one up for your own house. You can swing on by Incahoots and pick one up at $9.99 for a 4in or $19.99 for a 6in!

 

Plant of the Week: Coffee Plant

Did you know that the same plants that grow coffee beans also make great houseplants? That’s right, which means that the coffee plant is this week’s plant of the week! This lovely tree is native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. While many wonder if they’ll be able to harvest coffee beans from their plant, it’s unlikely. The plants take 3-5 years to mature and will only bloom in the best of conditions, after they bloom, you would have hand pollinate the flowers for the berries containing the coffee beans to form. After all this you would likely only have a couple of beans, and probably not enough to brew a whole pot, so it’s better just to enjoy these plants for their beautiful green leaves and hardiness!

Compared to some of the plants we have featured, the coffee plant is very simple and easy for the average household to care for! Coffee plant prefer bright, indirect light so placing them near, but not in a window is ideal. They cannot stand temperatures below freezing and it’s not good for them to stay in areas that are consistently below 65 degrees. Try to avoid placing the plant in a drafty area. When it comes to watering, the coffee plant prefers to have moist, but not soggy soil with moderate-high humidity. This can be achieved by placing the plant on top of a tray filled with pebbles and a little bit of water. Keep in mind that coffee plants can grow up to 6ft in height, so it’s important to provide appropriate space as the plant grows. If you want your plant to stay small, pruning is an option, but it is best to do this in early spring.

If you would like to add a coffee plant to your household, you on come one down to Incahoots and pick up your very own in a 4in pot for $4.99!

Plant of the Week: Croton

Since the blooming plants have been receiving so much attention, I decided it was time to give our pretty foliage plants a turn in the spotlight, so this week’s plant of the week is the beautiful croton. Now, crotons do bloom, but only under perfect conditions and they don’t produce what one would usually call a “flower”, it’s actually a lot closer to a puff ball. Crotons are native to Madagascar, where there are over 150 different varieties of croton.

If you’ve read through our plant of the week articles before, you’ll know that we always give you guys the basic care of the plant, but this time I want to start with a disclaimer. Crotons can be temperamental plants, as they really do not like to move. Moving the plant should be avoided unless needed (like a car ride from the store to your house). If after bringing your new addition home it drops some leaves, do not be alarmed, this is totally normal croton behavior just continue with normal care and the plant will spring back. This plant should receive moderate-bright indirect light, so an east or west facing window usually provides enough light for these guys. Croton’s soil should be kept moist due to it’s tropical nature, so when the top of the soil feels dry, it’s time to water again.

If you want to add a croton to your collection, you can come on buy Incahoots and pick up a 4in one for $4.99 or an extra large one for $59.99

Plant of the Week: African Violet

The weather seems to be getting consistently nicer and nicer and there’s no better way to bring the light inside than having a beautiful blooming plant, which is why the African Violet is this week’s plant of the week! African violets, or Saintpaulias, are native to Tanzania, southeastern Kenya and tropical Africa. This plant is a great beginner bloomer and is simple to own and grow in your very own home!

African violets prefer to be in a place in the house where they can get bright, indirect light. A western or southern facing window would do the best, a great way to tell if they’re getting enough light is to hold your hand over it and if you can just barely see the shadow of your hand, you’re in the clear! African violets need just enough water to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Over watering can lead t root and crown rot, among other issues. African violets are perfect because they like the same temperatures we do (so long as you like to keep your house around 70 degrees).

If you think that an African Violet would be the perfect plant for your home or office, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick up your of 4″ violet for $5.99!

Saintpaulia (African Violet)

Scientific name: Saintpaulia
Common name(s): African violet, usambara                                                                Origin: Eastern Africa
Family: Gesneriaceae
Light: medium, or bright filtered light
Watering: let soil surface dry between waterings
Fertilizing: African violet formula every other month
The African violet is the number one house plant in popularity and has been for many years. Since there are so many individual hobbyists and collectors, there are also many ideas and myths about how to care for them. Their care is often controversial since many of the ideas are conflicting. Using a blend of horticulture, common sense and experience, here is some real care information: Light is important to African violets and encourages blooms, but avoid scorching sun or prolonged exposure to direct light. If your African violet is not blooming increase the light. Water should be given carefully, unlike the popular myth says, you do not need to only water your violet from the bottom. This actually can be harmful if done exclusively for too long. Salts and minerals can build up in the soils if they are not flushed out periodically. Do avoid getting water on the leaves, especially if the water is cold, or the leaves are in light. Also avoid getting water into the crown of the plant.

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Plant of the Week: Kalanchoe

It’s Thursday which means its time to pick another plant, and this week’s is the Kalanchoe! This succulent is known for it’s funky foliage and beautiful blooms. Native to Madagascar and tropical Africa, this plant is the perfect, low-maintenance plant for any home or office. While it wouldn’t fair well here in the Pacific Northwest, Kalanchoes can be planted outdoors in zones 10 and 11.

Because kalanchoes are considered succulents, it is important to not over water this plant. Make sure to let the soil dry a bit in between watering sessions and that it’s potted in something with proper drainage. While blooming, kalanchoes do well in brightly lit areas. After the blooms drop, if you want flowers again, you have to trick the plant into thinking that a winter has passed. Similar to poinsettias, kalanchoes require short day lengths to bloom again. During natural winter periods, keep the plant in a room where the lights are turned off when it begins to become dark. If it’s out of that time period, keeping it in a closet or dark room for 14 hours at night and then move it to a brightly lit room for the remaining 10 hours in the day. After about 6 weeks, the plant will have buds large enough to be seen above the foliage and can be moved back to it’s usual stop int he house for a new blooming season!

If you would like to pick up a kalanchoe of your very own, you can head on over to Incahoots and purchase a 4″ pot for $5.99!