Sunday, March 21, 2010

Going on hiatus...

Need some time to re-group so I am taking a break from blogging. But my blogs and the Enlightenment website have lots of good information so be sure to check out the archives.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oxalis - if you got one for St. Patrick's Day...

Houseplant gift
Shamrock plants are popular party favors on the holiday, but
what do you do with them once you get them home? Proper
care for a houseplant starts with knowing what you have—its
Latin name. Then you'll know where it's ancestors came from
and what conditions the plant prefers to live in.

Oxalis regnellii is often sold as the Shamrock Plant. It comes from South America.
  • LIGHT-TEMP: Bright light = better leaf color. Average to cool temperature.
  • SOIL-WATER: Any potting soil. Keep moist not waterlogged—bulb may rot.
  • FERTILIZER: Any houseplant fertilizer every 2 weeks when actively growing.
  • CARE: Re-pot every 2 years in bigger pot or divide plant—give half as a gift!
Houseplant leaf
There are many varieties of Oxalis: O. deppeii has four leaves
like the lucky 4-leaf clover; O. regnellii has white flowers and
green leaves but O. regnellii 'Atropurpurea' has purple leaves.
Oxalis versicolor has flowers like candy canes, white with red
stripes. O. cernua is the Bermuda Buttercup—yellow flowers.

Oxalis Plays Peek-A-Boo
Oxalis plants are affected by light in an unusual way. At night, when it's dark,
and on cloudy days the leaves and flowers close up. Because oxalis plants prefer
cooler temperatures, it will also fold up its leaves if sitting in direct sun too long.

Photos: (Top) O. ACETOSELLA graymalkin; (Bottom) O. TETRAPHYLLA Kolossos.

Suggested books:
Bulbs in Containers(Timber Press, 2005)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Office plants - for your home away from home

Houseplants for office
You don't have to turn your office into a jungle, but why not add
one carefully selected low-maintenance houseplant and make a
real difference. Right away you will notice a change in your own
attitude when you have an easy-going friend sharing your space,
then co-workers will stop by, admire & bring in their own plants.

Houseplants in the office are a very inexpensive way to improve:
Houseplant light
To get the biggest bang for the buck, first decide where you want
your plant to live. Then take note of how much light it will get &
how much room it will have. Then hop on the internet and start
looking. Unless you have a windowsill, look for a low-light plant:
Rubber Plant, Dracaena, English Ivy, Peace Lily or Boston Fern.

Keep It Simple ... but Make It Yours
Do a bit of looking before you actually buy your office plant—don't buy one on
a whim. If you're not sure, just wait and look again later. This houseplant will
be your companion and it should both speak to you & say something about you.

Photos: (Top) link to GARDEN FACTORY; (Bottom) link to PLANT INTERSCAPES.

Suggested books:
Tabletop Gardens: 40 Stylish Plantscapes for Counters and Shelves, Desktops and Windowsills(Storey Publishing, 2006)

How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office
(Penguin Books, 1997)