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Plant of the Week: Buddhist Pine

I feel like I don’t give our shrubs enough love, so this week’s plant of the week is the Buddhist Pine! Originating from China and Japan, this evergreen shrub has long, dark, leathery leaves. It will generally grow straight up with little side branching unless it is actively pruned. Seeing as this plant is relatively easy to care for, it can also be easily trained to become a bonsai! Just a general warning, these plants are considered poisonous to cats, dogs and babies so be wary when bringing these plants into your household.

The Buddhist pine requires bright, indirect light. If the plant isn’t getting enough light, the lower leaves will become large and elongated. These guys prefer moist, but not soggy soil, so allow the top two inches of the soil to dry before watering again. These plants thrive in typically colder settings so keeping them in between 50-75 degrees is ideal. Like a lot of the plants we have covered, Buddhist pines like some humidity so if your house is typically dry, place them on a tray with water and pebbles in it. Make sure the plant is on top of the pebbles and not in the water. This plant will need to be groomed to maintain any kind of shape. pruning back new growth on the vertical stem will promote new growth and a fuller, bushier plant.

If you would like to add the Buddhist Pine to your collection of plants, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick one up for $4.99 for a 4in pot!

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Plant of the Week: Anthurium

On the Mothers Day edition of plant of the week, you may remember the beautiful anthurium. This plant is so wonderful, I decided that it deserves its very own plant of the week! Native to South America, the anthurium is a genus of over 1000 flowering plants, the largest genus of the Arum family. The heart shaped flower is actually a spathe (a waxy,  modified leaf) flaring out from a fleshy spike where the real, tiny flowers grow.

While anthuriums can tolerate all levels of indirect light, they will do better in levels of high, indirect light. Placing them in direct light can lead to the leaves and flowers burning. Anthuriums do not like continually moist soil, so it is essential that they be placed in a well draining potting medium. Only water when the soil is dry to the touch, as they are susceptible to root rot.

If you would like to pick up an anthurium for your own home, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick one up for $25 in a 6in pot!

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Plant of the Week: Peperomia

As we work our way through the seemingly endless amounts of plants, I thought that the Ripple Peperomia would make the perfect plant of the week! While there are many different varieties of peperomia, we will be focusing on the wonderful ripple peperomia. This low growing plant is native to Brazilian rain forests grows to be around 6-8in tall with similar spread. It has rippled leaves that are so dark, they’re almost a purple color.

Peperomias prefer to be kept around 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and will respond well to being kept under florescent lighting, which makes them perfect for an office desk. Peperomias are particularly susceptible to root rot, so a well drained soil is very important. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy or waterlogged. Watering below the leaves is ideal. Peperomias can be propagated one of two ways, root division or leaf cuttings. If by leaf cutting, trim off a leaf with a small amount of stem, dip in rooting powder and place in moist potting soil in bright indirect light. Cover with a plastic bag and remove occasionally to allow for more air!

If you want to add a Ripple Peperomia to your collection, come on down to Incahoots and you can pick up a 4in pot for $4.99!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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Plant of the Week: Prayer Plant

Its a spring break miracle, plant of the week is a day early! I (as in the one that writes tea/plant of the week) wont be in the shop tomorrow so instead of making you all wait until Friday, I decided to move this week’s Plant of the Week article to today! This week’s plant is the Prayer Plant, or the Maranta! This plant gets it’s common name for a funky thing that it does called nyctinastic movement. Nyctinastic movements, sleep movements, are plant movements that occur in response to darkness. In the case of the prayer plant, as night starts to fall, the plant will turn it’s leaves upwards to the sky as if it were hands coming together to pray. After reading this I would encourage you to look up “prayer plant time lapse” and watch a video or two of this fascinating plant closing up for the night!

One might think that a plant this cool would require more care and attention, but these guys are actually a relatively easy plant to keep around! While a prayer plant will be semi-tolerant of low lighting, they prefer bright, indirect light to really flourish. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy and they prefer a higher humidity. If dry air is a problem in your household, there are a few ways you can fix this. Placing the plant on top (not in) a tray of pebbles with water can raise the humidity, or placing it around other houseplants and misting them daily can help with keeping the air moist. Ideal temperatures for this plant are around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is usually around where humans like to live anyways so this usually isn’t a problem.

If you decide that you want to keep one of these beauties around your house, you can come on down to Incahoots and pick up a 4″ prayer plant for $4.99!