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National Houseplant Appreciation Day: Top 5 Reasons to Appreciate Indoor Plants

Today is National Houseplant Appreciation Day. It may not be the most important date on the calendar, but there’s nothing wrong with having an excuse to remind us to appreciate our plants. A lot of people have and enjoy houseplants, but they don’t stop and really think about why. Here our top 5 reasons for keeping and loving houseplants.

  1. They enhance mood and productivity. There is all kinds of research that houseplants have psychological benefits. Staring at a desk plant for as little as three minutes can reduce anxiety. Likewise, people who transplanted a houseplant showed suppressed autonomic nervous system activity. They’re also economical in terms of office décor and residential communities. The occupational benefits of houseplants apply to corporate offices, home offices, and pretty much everything in between.
  2. They are a feat of human ingenuity and a reminder of our evolutionary history. In some ways, growing houseplants in containers is unnatural. Plants grow in the ground where there is plenty of moisture and plenty of air. Yet, with specialized soil and pots with drainage holes, we make it work. Nowadays, it takes only a few minutes to learn about houseplant care, find and buy a plant, and get started. Yet this represents centuries of indoor plant cultivation and general horticultural knowledge, and that’s pretty cool.
  3. Houseplants demonstrate the resilience and adaptability of life in general. Of course, it’s not just human ingenuity that allows plants to grow and even thrive indoors. The plants themselves also deserve a lot of credit. Houseplants provide an opportunity for life to show off how adaptable it can be. Some plants take it even further. Ignore them until their leaves droop, and some houseplants will still bounce back.
  4. They are personal reminders of places we’ve been, people we’ve met, and things we’ve done. Maybe it was a gift from a best friend before saying goodbye. Maybe it was a travel souvenir from a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or maybe you brought a wild plant back home from an annual camping trip. Maybe it’s a memorial plant from the funeral ceremony of a loved one. There are as many ways for plants to be personal mementos as there are types of houseplants themselves.
  5. They give us an opportunity to explore and express our creativity. It’s one thing to put a plant and soil in a pot by a window and see what happens, but you can also do some pretty creative things with houseplants. Put an air plant inside a shell, and it looks just like a jellyfish. Build a living wall inside a shadowbox. Trim a houseplant into any number of carefully cultivated shapes. Matching pots and plants and placing them artfully when decorating your living space requires an active of personal creativity.
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Top 5 Houseplant Ideas for Your New Year’s Resolution

Getting and caring for a houseplant is a great New Year’s resolution in general. It’s realistic, sustainable, and provides long-lasting rewards. Even still, it will only work out if the resolution speaks to you on a personal level. Whether you’re already a houseplant enthusiast or just starting out, here are our top 5 houseplant ideas for the New Year.

  1. Overcome your reputation for having a black thumb.

If you tend to forget to water your houseplant, get one that thrives on neglect. Some houseplants are also better than others at telling you they need water. These are the big reasons why succulents are such a popular category of houseplant. Maybe what you need to do different is match the houseplant with the lighting conditions. You can’t put a low-light plant in an unfiltered window with southern exposure. You can’t put a sun-loving plant in the middle of a room with windows that have northern exposure. Be sure to use a potting mix that is formulated for your houseplant and a pot with good drainage, especially holes in the bottom and a saucer or catchment pot.

  1. Learn How to Compost Your Own Potting Soil.

It’s good for the environment and good for houseplants. Composting soil is similar to using a slow cooker in the kitchen. You can do things to activate and accelerate the composting process, but it still takes several months to go from food and lawn scraps to ready-to-use compost. You’ll also need to add some soil amendments and aerators to turn the compost into a potting mix for houseplants. This is one time we recommend testing the compost and final potting mix for relative acidity and alkalinity levels. You can use peat moss as aerator to increase the acidity level of the soil. Perlite or vermiculite are better choices to make the compost more alkaline.

  1. Propagate a New Houseplant from an Existing Plant.

Stop paying for every one of your houseplants. Get the extra sense of belonging and bonding that comes from propagating your own new houseplant. Expand your basic skill set with caring for houseplants. Start creating gift plants from the new cuttings, or trade with your friends and family who share your love of houseplants but have different types in their home. One of the easiest methods of propagation, you can also learn how to grow houseplants in water.

  1. Use a Houseplant for a Practical Household Chore.

Depending on the type, houseplants can be used for fragrance, medicine, or in the kitchen. There’s a good chance you already have at least one houseplant that fits into one of these categories. Aloe vera is a common ingredient in skin lotions. Jasmine, gardenias, and heliotropes are all popular choices for fragrance. Basil, rosemary, sage, and even dwarf citrus trees can all be cultivated as potted plants. Just be sure you know what you’re doing. Creating aloe vera gel on your own isn’t that difficult, but the outside part of the plant is actually a skin irritant that can make the problem worse.

  1. Get a Houseplant to Flower for the First Time.

There are lots of houseplants that are resilient enough to survive in challenging conditions but need extra help to blossom and show their flowers. Many low-light houseplants will have fine-looking foliage but won’t flower until they’re given a brighter spot. Other plants, like the Christmas cactus, require long periods without light to reset their growth cycle and produce flowers. The first idea some people have is to use fertilizer. This can help when done right, but if you use the wrong kind, the wrong amount, or at the wrong time, you could end up doing more harm than good. It may also simply be time to repot or add some fresh potting mix. Good houseplant care is essential, and this includes the watering schedule, but more often the culprit is sunlight—either too much or too little. As with so many things, you need to know what that particular type of houseplant wants.

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How Indoor Plants Increase Health and Happiness

You’ve probably heard the idea that houseplants can improve your health and productivity, but how much of this hype is real? Overall, a robust set of reputable studies suggest that indoor plants can increase mental health and cognitive performance in various ways. These positive effects are closely correlated with those observed by immersing people in natural settings. The great outdoors is good for you—as is the effort to bring a bit of this nature indoors with you.

Education is one of the best ways to get yourself to buy into indoor plants for health and productivity. Houseplants aren’t a cure for everything. Learn what is mostly hype and what it is about houseplants that seems to offer these benefits in study after study. Then, you can choose indoor plants that make the most sense for your home or office, while gaining new insights about how to optimize these spaces for health and productivity.

Productivity and Performance

Being outside—or even just the feeling of being outside—can cultivate that elusive quality of relaxed concentration, of effortless effort, of sustained productivity. Nowadays, office plants are almost universal fixtures or at least highly encouraged among the company’s workforce. This literature review from Psychology Today shows that there are widespread psychological benefits to natural settings and indoor plants. This includes better memory retention, concentration, and creativity, while reducing levels of stress, depression, and cognitive impairment.

The Truth about Plants and Indoor Air Quality

You don’t need to literally recreate a natural setting to get the health benefits of indoor plants—unless you’re trying to improve the indoor air quality. This is one area where the hype doesn’t live up to the science—in part because of a misunderstood NASA study that looked at the effect of plants on air quality in a closed environment like the international space station. Even in modern buildings, there is so much ventilation that you need to fill almost every square foot of space with plants to make a noticeable difference in indoor air quality.

Don’t Overlook Ornamental Value

People like things that look pretty. As part of their literature review on the benefits of houseplants, the Texas A&M Agriculture Extension found multiple studies that looked specifically at the benefits of having flowers in the home and office. Flowers were found to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression by helping people feel more secure and relaxed. You can achieve these benefits by replenishing cut flowers, but there’s a particular joy reserved for cultivating your own flowering houseplants, such as begonias. The blooms may not last forever, but some houseplants, like the prayer plant, have foliage with great ornamental value.

Staying Connected and Grounded

Decorating your home and workspace already provides many of these benefits, but the opportunity to care for houseplants offers its own rewards. It may not be quite the same as tending to an outdoor garden, but there is still something to be said for testing houseplant soil for moisture and pH levels. And don’t be afraid to take a moment and come up with some creative names for your plants. A connection to your indoor plants still won’t fix what’s wrong with your day, but it can soften the emotional consequences. And during times of self-isolation, caring for indoor plants can be a true life-saver.

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Alternate Names for the Wandering Jew Houseplant

Have you heard the news? The houseplant tradescantia zebrina is no longer called the Wandering Jew. A lot of people are still using this popular nickname, but there is also a groundswell of houseplant enthusiasts advocating for a different name. Not sure what the controversy is about? Not sure where you stand on the issue. Here is what you need to know about calling this popular houseplant a Wandering Jew and what alternate names you can use instead.

Why Do We Need a Different Name for the Wandering Jew Plant?

Some people don’t like using groups of people as mascots. They consider the very idea offensive, another way of objectifying people. The most common counterargument is that these mascots celebrate and/or remind us of peoples’ heritage and our shared humanity. So long as these mascots don’t denigrate the communities they claim to honor, what’s the harm? In our opinion, these factors must be considered on a case-by-case basis. More to this point, it’s a great opportunity to understand the history and myth of the Wandering Jew.

The Wandering Jew is NOT Moses: If you haven’t studied Jewish history, you might assume that the Wandering Jew is Moses and the other Jewish people who wandered in the desert for all those years. Don’t make this mistake. Not anymore. If nothing else, save yourself the embarrassment of being corrected by someone who knows the actual myth and history.

The Wandering Jew has Become a Deicidal Myth: All too commonly, the Wandering Jew is depicted as someone who taunted Jesus during the crucifixion and was then cursed to wander the earth until the Second Coming. The myth of the Wandering Jew was first popularized in 13th Century Europe. Since that time, the story has been used as justification for violence and as part of a larger antisemitic trope in which people of Jewish faith and heritage are blamed for Jesus’ death. In fact, there is no historical evidence to support this myth. In 2011, the pope concurred that Jews were not responsible for the crucifixion.

Isaac was the Original Wandering Jew: Jewish scholars point to a different within their faith that could serve as the original Wandering Jew. Specifically, Isaac, the son of Abraham, became wealthy by raising crops in the land of the Philistines, who then cast Isaac out of their lands for his riches. In this version, Isaac started digging wells on his travels and increased his wealth even more. The Philistine lords then apologized and welcomed Isaac back in the hopes of currying favor.

Thus, if you’re going to continue to call your houseplant a Wandering Jew, then we recommend you help reclaim the nickname by framing the choice within the Jewish tradition.

Other Names for the Wandering Jew

  • Inch Plant: This is our favorite alternative. It keeps the relevance of a nickname that describes the plant’s rapid, sprawling growth. Typically, the leaf nodes and purple flowers are spaced an inch apart. It’s also sometimes said that during the growing season tradescantia zebrina can grow an inch and new leaf node every single week. Which is an exaggeration but not by much.
  • Wandering Dude: A simple variant of Wandering Jew, this nickname makes us wonder whether dude doesn’t indicate a type of person and makes for a poor mascot. Plus, we’re just not crazy about how it sounds. Still, it’s a common alternative.
  • Spiderwort: Tradescantia zebrina is, in fact, a spiderwort plant. The only problem is that there are several kinds of tradescantia, or spiderwort, plants. But if you’re looking for a polite way to describe this houseplant, you can say, “It’s a special kind of spiderwort plant.” Other popular types include the Amethyst Kiss, Concord Grape, Red Grape, and Sweet Kate.
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Is Your Succulent Getting Enough Light? Look for ‘Leggy’ Growth

I planted these succulents at the same time from the same local plant shop. I believe they are Eve’s Pin Cactus or sometimes called Eve’s Needle Cactus. I planted one of them in a miniature pot and placed it directly in the middle or a narrow windowsill. The other succulent I placed in the middle of the room in a desert-themed terrarium on my dining room table. The cactus on the windowsill has grown full, dense foliage but only a little vertically. The cactus in the terrarium has shot up but with only small and sparsely spaced leaves. That’s because this succulent isn’t getting enough light. Or at least less light exposure than is ideal. This plant can likely survive in this way for a long time, but it must compensate to do so leaving it vulnerable to other stressors in its environment. I’ll have to keep an eye on this houseplant.

What to Do about Leggy Growth

The most obvious solution is to move the plant to a sunny spot in your home and/or replace the plant with one that does better in low-light conditions. You may notice that the leggy growth is concentrated on the side of the plant facing away from the sun. In this case, the answer may be as simple as rotating the plant every month or at least a few times a year. Another thing that can help to some degree is pinching the plant and removing the growth that’s most affected by the leggy growth. That said, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that says you have to do anything about leggy growth. Give the plant a second look, and you may decide you like the stretched look.

Other Houseplants that Reach for Light or Show Leggy Growth

Lots of houseplants will exhibit leggy growth when they aren’t getting enough light. Some houseplants have naturally bigger leaves than others, but in most every case leggy growth can be characterized by elongated stems and stunted leaves compared to the plant’s normal growth pattern. Knowing the type of houseplant you’re dealing with makes it a lot easier to recognize the difference between healthy growth and leggy growth patterns. Here is a photo series that shows a leggy begonia plant being nursed back to full health.

Other Signs a Succulent isn’t Getting Enough Light

Before leggy growth occurs, there is often an initial compensation the plant will make by tilting their leaves to maximize its exposure to light. Consider this an early warning sign. Many succulents are slow-growing, but if the leaves themselves show lackluster growth, this could be another sign. Some plants, like the Spanish bluebell hyacinth, also have yellowish leaves when lacking sunlight. If it’s getting just a little less than the ideal amount of sunlight, some houseplants will compensate by conserving energy. It may have full foliage and stay healthy for many years but will not flower unless it’s moved to a sunnier spot.

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Online Houseplant Shops and Home Delivery Reviews

More and more people are finding houseplants online. While there is excitement and immediate gratification with shopping at local plant shops, you can take your time and find the perfect houseplant even if it’s not especially common. The plants don’t buy and ship themselves, however. You need to do the research, read the details about each houseplant delivery, and consult customer reviews so you can feel confident and get a great result. Here are the most popular options for online houseplant shops and home delivery.

Etsy Houseplant Vendors

This online marketplace is a collection of independent vendors, many of which sell and ship houseplants. Perhaps the best thing about shopping for houseplants on Etsy is that you get the indie vibe, while still having a virtually endless number of choices. You can find unique houseplants, pots, and arrangements compared to big-box stores.

Each vendor has its own plant prices, arrangements, shipping, and business policies. So if you want to know if an Etsy vendor offers great houseplants, it’s important to do some research about that individual vendor. For the past decade, Etsy has been one of the leading sources of houseplant delivery. It’s hard to completely eliminate a disappointing result, but reading through the vendor’s profile and customer reviews can go a long way toward avoiding the worst options.

Amazon and Big Box Store Houseplant Delivery

For the best combination of convenience and selection, you can look at these big-name brands. These companies generally have user-friendly websites, large catalogs of houseplants, and reliable payment methods. They can also make the necessary investments to create an efficient sales, packaging, and delivery model. Thus, they can maintain affordable prices while keeping most varieties of houseplants in stock.

There have also been plenty of false starts for online houseplant companies over the years, as customers have shown an enduring preference for in-store shopping experiences. Nevertheless, there are early signs, super-charged by the pandemic, that online shopping and home delivery of popular houseplants is going to stick this time. Amazon and Home Depot offers houseplant shipping directly to your home. Lowe’s and Ace Hardware has online ordering for their indoor plants, but customers must pick the plants up at their local store.

Online Houseplant Shops with Home Delivery

There are also dozens of online businesses that directly sell and ship houseplants to your home. Some of these companies focus on specific types of houseplants; others offer most every popular type of houseplant as well as a selection of more exotic plants. Some of these companies do nothing but plants; some offer other products and housewares. Each vendor has slightly different shipping policies and delivery coverage areas. Some make more of an effort to produce affordable houseplants, while others boast truly remarkable arrangements with ornate pots and containers.

As such, these companies may offer the best option for houseplants and indoor gardening projects, especially if you know what you’re looking for and are willing to take the time to do the research. Fortunately, we’ve made the process considerably easier for you by collecting the most popular online houseplant shops that offer home delivery.

  • The Sill
  • Bloomscape
  • Leon & George
  • Leaf and Clay
  • American Plant Exchange
  • Dandy Farmer
  • Terrain
  • Urban Stems
  • Horti
  • Modern Sprout
  • Greenery Unlimited
  • Nature Hills Nursery
  • Garden Goods Direct
  • Lula’s Garden
  • ProFlowers
  • Hot Cactus
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Top 3 Houseplant Pest Control Solutions for Advanced Infestations

If you’re diligent about monitoring your houseplants, you may catch pests early enough to wash off the bugs and apply an insecticidal soap every week for a month and successfully beat back a mild infestation. For more advanced infestations, this type of treatment may not be enough. If you need to take more aggressive steps, here are our top three houseplant pest control solutions.

Adding a Whole House Humidifier or Dehumidifier

Individual houseplants may suffer from plant pests because they were already weakened in some way. Whether it’s aphids, mites, mealybugs, or fungus gnats, it doesn’t take long for the plant to be decimated. Neglected for too long, the entire plant may be infested and spread the problem to nearby plants. These pests can also be travel on the bottom of shoes, clothes, and pets.

Nevertheless, when all the houseplants in a home or living space are infested, the problem is often system. As such, there also needs to be a holistic solution. In most cases, this means looking at your home humidity level and the type of houseplant pest you’re dealing with. If you live in a dry climate and you’re fighting aphids, mites, mealybugs, thrips, or whiteflies, you may need to add a whole house humidifier to prevent these pests. If you want to salvage the houseplants you still have, you can also invest in a crop of predatory bugs that can be mailed to you. These predatory bugs often need moderate-to-high humidity levels to thrive, creating a powerful two-step pest control treatment. The opposite is also true. Peroxide may help keep fungus gnats at bay, but a permanent solution may also require a dehumidify to reduce fungal spores.

Propagate a New Houseplant

If you love a houseplant that has sustained moderate-to-heavy damage, the best chance you have to save the plant may be to create a cutting or divide the plant for propagation. This solution has the highest risk of failure or reinfestation. The more aggressive you are in discarding the affected plant growth, the greater your chances for long-term success. Rather than dividing a houseplant and hoping the soil under the healthy part of the plant is pest-free, you may want to take a few leaf cuttings and try to propagate the plant by stimulating new root growth in water or fresh potting soil mix.

Many houseplant pests have larvae that can survive common pesticide treatments. If even a single larva is in the soil, roots, stems, or leaves, then the pests may be part of the new plant as well. These larvae are the biggest reason why houseplant pests are hard to get rid of entirely without throwing out the plant and starting over. It’s not impossible and there are plenty of success stories out there, but there are few guarantees.

How to Sanitize Pots from Pests

A lot of people are leery about reusing a houseplant pot that has experienced an infestation. So long as you take a few precautionary steps, there’s no reason to worry about taking the pests with you. Most gardeners will tell you it’s a good idea to wash and disinfect your pots before you plant, anyway. First, you should clean the pots with soap and water. Make sure you remove any significant patches of dirt or grime. Dirt particles render bleach and other sanitizing agents ineffective. Thus, the better job you do cleaning the pots, the easier and more effective the sanitation process.

You shouldn’t have to add anywhere near 2 cups of bleach per gallon of water to disinfect pots. If you do a good job cleaning, 2 tablespoons should be enough. Some people don’t like to use bleach at all but prefer an environmentally friendly option. You can also use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, but you need to let these disinfectants sit for about 10 minutes. To sanitize your pots, you can use the concentrations found in common household products and brands. This is 5% vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Types of Houseplant Pests

The best pest control and treatment plans come from knowing the enemy. Learn about different types of common houseplant pests and what you can do about them.

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Growing Houseplants in Pots without Drainage Holes

In general, we recommend against placing houseplants in pots without drainage whenever possible. You can still use a beautiful decorative pot even if it doesn’t have drainage holes. You can simply use a second interior pot that does have drainage holes. Some type of catchment will make sure you can water your plants generously without making a mess.

That said, there are plenty of examples and effective strategies for growing houseplants in pots without drainage holes. Maybe you already have the perfect size pot and the perfect size plant. Maybe you’re starting with miniature plants and pots that are impractical to layer with two different pots. Maybe you’ve heard that the need for pots with good drainage is overblown. Whatever the reason, here are our tips and advice for growing houseplants in pots without drainage.

Best Watering Practices

First, you need to know exactly what type of houseplant you have and how much soil moisture the plant likes. You need to provide enough moisture to unlock nutrients in the soil without creating standing water that leads to root rot or excess moisture that leads to mold. Even though overwatering is a constant danger, you still need to get the soil wet in every area of the pot. In fact, it’s even more important to water all sides of the pot to saturate the soil with the least amount of water. Using glass jars or other glass containers will allow you to see exactly how much water the soil is taking on and whether the soil is drying out. Using a soil moisture meter is another essential tool to get the water just right.

Pot Size and Gravel

It’s also easier to go without drainage holes for miniature pots and houseplants. Large pots with considerable potting mix take a lot longer to dry out, especially without drainage. With miniature pots, the soil is so close to the surface and the plant needs so little water to begin with, you have a better chance of success. The idea that adding gravel to the bottom of the pot is all you need for drainage is a major houseplant myth and one of the most common mistakes people make with houseplants. It also goes hand-in-hand with overwatering. One thing we do recommend is lining the bottom of the pot with activated charcoal that will help keep the water clean and free of rot.

Growing Houseplants in Water

For many types of plants, this is the easiest way to grow houseplants without drainage holes. For philodendrons, lucky bamboo, and pothos plants especially, this is a great solution. Simply put a cutting of the plant, just below a leaf node, in a glass jar with clean water and plant fertilizer. Make sure the leaves are out of the water and the node is in the water. New roots should form. So long as you keep replacing the water and adding fertilizer, these houseplants should grow and do quite well. When growing houseplants in water, it doesn’t have to be a glass jar. In fact, especially when placed in sunny spots, glass containers can encourage algae growth that threatens the plant. Learn more about propagating and growing houseplants in water.

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Why isn’t My Houseplant Flowering?

Some houseplants produce flowers more easily than others, and some do not produce flowers at all. Houseplants may not flower for a few different reasons. They may be getting too much water—or not enough. They may be getting too much light—or not enough. Thus, if you want to know why isn’t your houseplant flowering, you need to look at the type of houseplant, its recent growth, and your plant care practices.

Many types of houseplants only produce flowers when they are strong and healthy from the right growing conditions. Other houseplants also need light and temperature cues to trigger their natural growth and flowering cycle. Some plants need reduced light exposure (photoperiodism) and/or slightly colder temperatures (vernalization) that mimic winter and prepare the plant to flower during the ensuing spring and summer. Some houseplants, like the Christmas cactus, use a combination of photoperiodism and vernalization to trigger a new bloom cycle.

Some houseplants are also more likely to produce flowers when stressed in some way. It’s believed the plant starts working overtime to produce flowers that can create the next generation of plants. Before trying this approach, we generally recommend making sure a houseplant has ideal growing conditions and plenty of healthy foliage but still won’t flower. We also recommend learning more about why specific types of houseplants may not be flowering.

Why Different Types of Houseplants Do and Do Not Flower

Peace Lily

The most common complaint against peace lilies is that they have beautiful, white flowers in the store that are never seen again when you take the plant home. The peace lily can be forced to show its spathe and spadix blossom, but only under ideal growing conditions. This includes plenty of indirect light in a north- or east-facing window or with filtered light. The peace lily likes plenty of water compared to most houseplants, though it is quick to bounce back. Plus, its large, droopy leaves make it easy to tell when it needs water. So long as it’s not too drafty, being a few degrees colder in the winter can help mimic its natural growing conditions and help produce flowers. Finally, it’s best to fertilize or amend the soil in the early spring to promote new growth and flowers in the late spring and summer. Some of the success also depends on the individual grower and source. Some peace lily cultivars flower more easily than others.

Anthuriums and angel wing begonias are other good examples of popular houseplants that need ideal growing conditions in order to produce flowers.

Cactus

In contrast to peace lilies which are forced to bloom by the growers and then may struggle to do so at home, cacti are often sold without flowers in bloom. That’s because many types of cactus do not flower until they are fully mature plants. For some species, this can mean a few years. For others, it can mean a few decades. The solution to getting a cactus to flower may simply be time and patience. That said, the cactus is also a houseplant that is much more likely to flower when given optimal growing conditions. With two main types of cactus, it’s important to know what your plant likes best. A desert cactus is more likely to thrive and bloom with plenty of sun and less frequent watering. A forest cactus is more likely to benefit from moderate watering and not too much direct sun.

Kalanchoe

Most every kind of plant uses exposure to natural light to determine the season, calibrate its growth, and decide how to expend its energy. For some plants, like the kalanchoe, this photoperiodism is expressed in their ability or inability to flower. The kalanchoe plant typically has plenty of flowers with blooms that may last for months. If the plant isn’t producing new flowers, it could be poor growing conditions, but it’s just as likely that you’re not giving the plant long enough periods of darkness. These plants usually need around 12-14 hours of darkness to trigger a new bloom cycle. This includes most types of artificial light. Keep the plant in a room where you don’t spend late evenings or early morning with the light on, and you should be good to go.

African violets and poinsettas are also very popular houseplants that may require up to 8 and 14 hours, respectively, to stimulate new flowers.

The Best Houseplants for Flowering

Are you looking for a houseplant with plenty of colorful flowers? Along with the plants already mentioned, we recommend checking out different varieties of orchids, cyclamen, amaryllis, geraniums, flowering jasmine, flowering maple, and primroses.

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Traveling with Houseplants: How to Turn a Plant into the Perfect Souvenir

Many people who love to cultivate houseplants eventually run into the problem of too many plants and too little space. Different times of year bring new successes and challenges in managing house and plant décor. During springtime, there are beautiful, healthy plants of endless variety in local shops. As summer rolls along, new growth can swell the total size of a houseplant, threatening to crowd out nearby plants. During the fall and winter, you’re more likely to be gifted new plants that you need to find space for.

One of the best times to propagate a houseplant is when an out-of-town friend or family member is visiting. You have plenty of chances to give houseplants to your local network of friends, family, and neighbors. If you’re the one traveling with houseplants, you can also do a houseplant trade with this type of family member or long-distance friendship. Especially if you’re trying to make room for new plants, then you can pack and bring some of your full-size houseplants as gifts. In return, you might bring home a cutting to start a new, smaller plant from your friend’s collection.

Best Travel Experiences and Souvenirs for 2020

Houseplants make for great gifts in general, but this year, it can make more sense than ever to turn your houseplants into free gifts and a free source of entertainment. With new distancing rules, there are fewer social events to attend. Houseplant propagation makes for a great at-home crafts project, whether it’s just for your inner circle or whether you want to set up a larger area to maintain distancing. Of course, you can also go to a local gardening shop and buy houseplants. Too many people shy away from these ideas because they think houseplants are too much trouble to travel with. In truth, it’s usually not that hard. By knowing a few tips and tricks, you can create a new houseplant and bring it home.

Tips and Tricks for Packing and Traveling with Houseplants

  • Some houseplant enthusiasts will tell you that the best way to travel with a houseplant is the bare-root approach in which you first knock and wash off the soil. With this approach, you want the roots to be dry. Once you get the houseplant to its destination and repot the plant, it’s time for a generous amount of water to promote new root growth.
  • Other people tell you this approach is unnecessary if you’re not already repotting the plant. You can simply cover the soil and wrap the pot easily enough to prevent the soil from making a mess of things. With this approach, you do want to water the houseplant before packing, but not all at once or to excess. Give the plant a little time to drain before packing. You don’t want to trap water-logged soil near the roots or make the packing material water-logged from runoff.
  • Looking for a souvenir on a road trip and found a plant that the landscape won’t miss? So long as you can get the plant out of the ground, you don’t need a lot of fancy packing materials or even a lot of pre-planning. Stop at a grocery store for a 2-liter of soda or a gallon of milk, and you have a ready-made container for transporting the plant back home.
  • Some plants and cut flowers should be planted in soil or growing medium as soon as possible, but for many houseplants like the jade, you should wait a couple days for the cutting to dry out and better prepare to grow new roots. Even if you run out of time for a crafts project, you can quickly create and pack a plant cutting which you can pot when you get back home. This is also a popular approach when flying with a houseplant.
  • You should try to keep up with best houseplant care practices in the week or so before travel. This includes trimming back and removing any dead growth from the pot. Here is a nifty guide we found for traveling with houseplants on short-distance vs. long-distance trips.

Pay Attention but Be Patient with New Houseplants

Know that houseplants frequently show signs of distress when being repotted or even just when being moved to a new location. Most times, the plant will quickly rebound after adjusting to its new environment.