Indoor Plants that Are Easy to Keep Alive

186753608Just because you don’t have a garden doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having your own plants. These plants liven up any room and are easy to care for. Some even help clean up your indoor air.

Aloe

This succulent has long, pointed leaves with well known medicinal properties. It can grow up to three feet high and is perfect for a small, sunny space indoors. The aloe plant prefers room temperatures of about 70 degrees and lots of sunlight. It doesn’t like frequent watering, so it’s very easy to care for.

English Ivy

Ivy has timeless elegance, and you can easily start a new plant by cutting some of the stem. English ivy trails nicely down furniture for a beautiful accent. It likes cooler room temperatures, between the mid-50s and 70, and it prefers moist soil.

Jade Plant

Jade plants have thick, lush leaves with interesting branches. These plants grow slowly and can live up to about 20 years. Jade plants prefer normal indoor temperatures and bright light, and they don’t require a lot of water.

Rubber Tree

This tree can grow to an impressive eight feet high indoors. You can also keep it smaller by pruning it to your desired height. The green leaves have a nice shine and can brighten up any room. The rubber tree prefers medium to bright light and temperatures between 60 and 80. Let the surface of the soil dry out in between watering.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are a popular choice due to their pretty appearance. They have curving white blooms and dark leaves, and they don’t take up much space. This plant likes low light and low humidity and prefers moist soil. It will grow best in a room without windows, and grows best in temperatures up to about 85 degrees.

Snake Plant

Snake plants are great accent pieces that can make any room look more sophisticated. They have a very unique look, with leaves that grow completely upright. They also produce small flowers, though these don’t bloom very regularly. The snake plant can grow in a wide range of lighting options and prefers somewhat dry air and soil.

Shamrock Plant

For an indoor plant with pretty flowers, a shamrock plant is the perfect choice. Its tall stems have white flowers, and the plant has full, bright green leaves. Place it in bright light that isn’t direct. Let the soil get somewhat dry in between watering, and water it about once a week.

With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect plant for your home.

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Plants That Love Shade

Have you always wondered what you would do with those shade spots in your back garden? Or maybe the entire garden is shaded that you don’t possibly imagine anything growing in it. Well, what you don’t know is the fact that there are plants that love shade and will make your backyard beautiful despite the sunlight strains.

Plantain Lilies

They are also known as the hostas and are perfect for a shady wet ground. They are known for their immaculate foliage and flowers plus they come in different color shades of hold, variegated, gold or green. There are perennials so don’t worry about the ground being too moist for them. Just make sure you keep them safe from slugs or snails (egg shells will help here).

Bergenia

Bergenia are another example of plants that love shade. They are nicknamed ‘Elephant Ears’ because of their large leather-like leaves. In spring, you will see their beautiful bloomy flowers which come in wide variety thanks to the extensive breeding of the Bergenia over the years. Winter will turn the foliage a beautiful purple, so that is something to look forward to as well.

Ferns

Ferns are easy to find and they will thrive in any shaded areas. They are loved for their pristine foliage and their green profile gives any garden that coveted natural look. Ferns are ideal for creating mood and they will fit in any kind of garden offering a lustrous contrast.

Bamboo

Even though it may take years before seeing the bamboo bloom, you will definitely reap huge benefits once foliage season comes. They are known to create the tropical feeling to any garden plus they vary in shapes and sizes. Additionally, bamboo provides shade from the seething sun and act as great wind breakers in your garden.

Lilly of the Valley

An excellent choice for plants that love shade thanks to their beautiful colors. They will thrive under any shade and will form a dense green carpet on your garden with tiny white flower details. They also produce amazing scents in their bloom adding to the serenity of your garden.

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How To Protect Shrubs From Winter Damage

When the cold weather arrives along with ice, wind, sleet or snow, one should ensure that the shrubs are protected from it through winter gardening precautions. Winter is definitely not for shrubs because it damages the roots and branches of the shrubs or resulting in desiccation of the foliage and sunscald if one is not careful. In addition to the havoc unleashed by the winter temperature, sun and wind, the shrubs face the dangers of being eaten by deer and small animals like rodents and rabbits that look for food during this time.

If you want to protect your shrubs then the very first thing that you need to do is to use a hardware cloth featuring the ¼ inch mesh. Simply use this to create a cylinder around plants that are more vulnerable to attacks. The cylinder plays the role of a protective barrier against animals. Some examples of plants that need such protection would be blueberry, shrub roses, barberry, etc.

It is also necessary to protect the shrubs against sunscald caused by the harsh winter sun. To do this, one should wrap its trunk with a protective material such as corrugated paper (in light color so that it doesn’t absorb heat), burlap and so on. By wrapping the bark or the trunk, the shrub would be guarded from extreme temperature variations. This works best for shrubs with thin barks.

If you want to protect your precious shrubs against cold temperatures, which is inevitable in winters, then you should ensure that it is provided with adequate water to hydrate itself. During winters, if the ground is frozen then the roots of the shrubs wouldn’t be able to pull up water and its leaves would turn brown and wither away. Thus, adequate watering is necessary.

When it comes to winter gardening, it is also necessary to protect one’s shrubs from winter burn. To prevent winter damage one can use anti-desiccants, which are highly recommended by horticulturists. Landscape fabric such as canvas, burlap, etc can also be used as a wind barrier. Simply place these on the wind-facing sides of the plant and secure by driving wooden stakes into the ground. Never use plastic as it can trap heat and kill the shrubs.
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Quick Tips For Buying Seeds

There are many ways of starting a garden. You could buy seedlings or grown plants and transfer them on the site. You could also purchase gardening seeds and begin from scratch. The latter strategy is cheaper and ultimately more rewarding. Here are some quick tips for buying seeds:

1. Pick seeds according to your family’s needs.

Resources are limited so they have to be used carefully. Prioritize the seeds of vegetables and fruits that your family likes. Grow plants that will be useful you’re your daily lives since you already consume them regularly. Perhaps you like Italian dishes and are fond of adding fresh tomatoes to your dishes. Or maybe you like herbs, chili, okra and other types of plants. You may also be the type to get excited about flowering plants as they add beauty to the garden. Go with what feels right.

2. Consider the climate in your region.

Of course, there will be practical considerations. The climate where you live is an important factor when choosing seeds. The majority of plants prefer a certain type of weather so you have to time your purchases according to the changing seasons. Spring is a great time to be planting, but some seeds require preparation during the winter in order to be ready after the season has changed. Be sure to read the label on the seed packet and follow the instructions carefully.

3. Avoid space hogs if you have a small yard.

Most home gardeners have to work with a small yard so they can’t afford to grow plants that will hog all the space. Pumpkins, squash and sweet corn are examples of these space hogs. Unless you have a really large lot, then it is best to avoid these. Go with space savers instead like beans, peppers, tomatoes, and salad greens.

4. Get disease-resistant varieties.

It would be crushing to work so hard only to see your plants wilt and succumb to diseases. Get seeds of disease-resistant varieties of vegetables so that you won’t have to go through that headache.

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Some Simple And Quick Gardening Tips

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Gardening is a lot of fun but it can be challenging, too. Thankfully, there are some simple, yet effective ways to overcome common gardening problems and issues. Following are some gardening tips and tricks that can simplify your gardening and make it easier and more effective than ever before.

Maintaining Plant Pots

Clean your plant pots with a mix of equal parts of white vinegar, alcohol and water to remove any salt deposits.

Feeding the Plants

Instead of using expensive commercial fertilizer on your plants, save the water from boiled or steamed vegetables and use it instead (after allowing the water to completely cool down).

If your plants need acidic soil to grow well, sprinkle some used coffee grounds and/or pour some leftover tea on the dirt on a monthly basis.

Keep Fingernails Clean While Gardening

While it is possible to scrub dirt out from under your fingernails after gardening, it isn’t always easy. You can avoid the hassle by running your fingernails over a bar of soap before you go into the garden. The soap under your fingernails will prevent dirt from getting under them and make it easier for you to clean your hands afterwards.

Protecting the Plants

To protect your small plants from an overnight freeze, invest in some inexpensive plant pots and turn these over on top of the plants you wish to protect.

To protect your plants from aphids, cut a strip of tape and gently press it on the underside of affected leaves. This method of aphid elimination is particularly effective when used on small, delicate plants that cannot handle a strong blast of water from the hose.

Fungus problems can be quickly and easily eliminated using chamomile tea. The tea, after it has been cooled, can either be poured on the soil around the plant or put in a spray bottle and sprayed on the plant’s leaves and stem.

Natural Plant Labels

If you want to make natural, durable labels for different areas of your garden, get some flat, smooth rocks and write the names of different plants on the rocks with a permanent marker.

These tips can be applied to just about any type of garden. Try out the above-mentioned pointers and see which ones work best for you.

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Use These Tips To Become A Better Gardener

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People grow their own vegetables, fruits, and flowers in backyards, pots on windowsills and rooftops, or even community gardens. For anyone who wants to become a better gardener, there is no better time to start than now. Interestingly, over the last few growing seasons, a huge number of people have taken up gardening for the first time. However, gardening can be intimidating.

When most aspiring gardeners look at pictures of organized, beautiful, well–appointed gardens in magazines and books, they tend to get a false perspective of what is expected of them and what is achievable as beginners. The tips outlined in this article can place aspiring gardeners in a much better position for growing a stunning garden. However, these are just a few ideas. The Pushing Daisies: Gardening Blog has more gardening tips that can help people transform their gardens into visual showpieces.

Some of the qualities of a good gardener include:
• Experience
• Persistence and consistency
• Observation and adaptation
• Ability to handle and learn from failures

Nature never throws anything away. Similarly, a wannabe gardener should learn how to use everything in his/her disposal to enhance his garden. This is where learning how to make compost comes in handy for those with some garden space. One can start out with garden, yard, and kitchen waste and come up with two benefits:
• Green points for avoiding the landfill
• A great soil amendment

It is important to spread compost around plants to prevent disease. One should put a small amount in the potting mix to add micro-nutrients to the mix. One can also top–dress beds with it to enhance the structure of the soil, no matter the type of soil one has. Compost restores life to soil that is exhausted from many years of chemical abuse.

Keeping plants grouped in beds that are not trod upon conserves water, cuts down on weeding, and allows the compost to be concentrated where it is most needed. Neatness aside, the virtue of planting crops in wide beds is easier path maintenance.

A good gardener must also understand the benefits of mulching and feeding the soil, as opposed to feeding the plants. There is an old Chinese proverb that states that, the best fertilizer, or manure, is the gardener’s shadow. Thus, to become a better gardener, one must observe, scrutinize, monitor, and take signals from his/her plants if things are not as they should be.

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Protecting Your Garden Plants From Bugs

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Are you getting into gardening for the first time in your life? You probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that beginning to grow your own garden for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help make growing your own garden a bit easier.

The fall season has arrived and the task of emptying our container gardens is at task. However, instead of storing your clay pots in a garden shed for the winter season, why not replace the summer annuals with edible fall vegetables. Having mums in your favorite clay pot signifies fall, however, consider adding alternative edible plants like leafy lettuces such as arugula, endive, bok choy and radicchio. When it is time for a quick salad, simply snip a few leaves, and you will instantly have delicious ready to eat salad.

If you want to grow fruit trees but have limited space on your property, consider dwarf fruit trees. Many fruit trees are available in dwarf varieties, including apple, peach and pear. These trees typically reach approximately three to eight feet. Not only do they take up less room and produce lots of delicious fruit, but their low height makes it easier to harvest the fruit.

During the hot season, water your lawn a couple of hours before the sun rises. If you water during the day, much of the water will evaporate before it gets a chance to be absorbed into the ground. When you water before the sunrise, the water will have a chance to go deep into the soil, allowing the roots to absorb the water.

As you have seen, gardening is not as scary as it may appear. Just think of all of the benefits it has to provide you with in regards to health and food. The above list of tips should have given you a good starting place, so that you can start growing smarter.