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Grow Your Own Pumpkins !

A mix of vibrant pumpkin varieties is a valuable staple in your kitchen garden & during Halloween.

Pumpkin is one of the easy and inexpensive garden vegetables to grow. If you have space in your garden, they are a relatively easy crop to grow. Pumpkin vines grow best in location with lots of sunlight and good air circulation.

Did you know Pumpkins are also famous during Halloween? 

Modern Halloween comes from the Irish festival Samhain. Tradition dictated huge bonfires built in fields, and it was believed that fairy spirits lurked in the shadows. To distract these spirits from settling into houses and farms, people would carve rudimentary faces into large turnips, and set candles inside. 

As pumpkin carving grew into a multi-million dollar industry, American farmers began to examine the specific types of pumpkins they grew, and breed new lines of squash specifically for carving. Massachusetts farmer John Howden developed the Howden pumpkin in the 1960s, and it is still the most popular carving pumpkin in America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Pumpkin? 

In Hindi Pumpkin is called as Kadoo. Pumpkins come in unique shapes, sizes and hues and have diverse flavors. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, potassium and fiber. 

Where to grow Pumpkin?

Ideally grown on the edge of a garden bed where it receives adequate sunlight. As with most plants, they thrive in loose, well-drained soil and under direct sunlight which allows the fruit to ripen evenly. 

Add neem cake or neem solution to the soil a week before planting. Mix organic matter, wood ash and well-rotted manure into the soil.

The mound should be about 8-12 inches high and around 2 feet circumference at the base. This can also be done on a long raised ridge with the same proportions. Though they are considered monsoon crops, pumpkins can be grown throughout the year — successive planting will provide a steady supply of fruits.

How to sow Pumpkin?

Soak the seeds in warm water for a day to promote germination. The seeds can be started in a nursery and shifted later, but for best results sow directly in prepared beds. If they are to be planted on flat ground, keep a distance of 3 feet for the vines to spread out. For raised soil, flatten the top of the heap and press the seeds an inch deep — 3 seeds per mound or 3 feet apart if it is on a ridge. For terrace gardens, use large deep troughs with at least 1.5 feet depth and sow 2 seeds in each.

How to care Pumpkin?

Once the seeds have sprouted, restrict weed growth around the seedlings with an organic mulch of leaves or grass cuttings. Remove weak seedlings at this stage. As the long vines supply nutrition to the plants, they should be well-maintained by trimming dead leaves and weak side vines. 

Watering is best done in the evening, preferably by drip tubes which supply water directly to the roots; excess water on the leaves can cause powdery mildew. 

Protect against aphids, ants and other pests by spraying with a neem solution; peppermint solution is another insect repellent which can be sprayed once a week. Look for squash bugs under the leaves and remove them by hand. 

Once the flowers appear, sprinkle wood ash around the plant on alternate weeks to supply potash. Pumpkins produce male and female flowers on the same plant and are naturally pollinated by insects. To ensure this, pollination can be done manually.

Identify the flowers — the female flower has a small fruit at the base and the male is distinguishable by its absence. Rub the male flower over the female flower to transfer pollen. This will increase chances of healthy well-proportioned vegetables.

Female flower

How to harvest Pumpkin?

Most pumpkin varieties can be harvested after three months, when the fruit has ripened on the vine. Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the stem has started to dry and the skin of the pumpkin begins to harden. Remove from the vine leaving about an inch stem.If the stem breaks, the pumpkin won’t cure or store well.

That’s all you need to know about growing pumpkins in your kitchen garden. Pumpkin has so many uses in the kitchen so learning how to grow pumpkins successfully will be truly rewarding experience.

Happy Halloween!

Happy-gardening

How To Care For A Rubber Plant

If you are looking for an indoor plant that makes a bold statement, then look no further than a Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica). Besides being an attractive low maintenance plant, it also purifies the indoor air. 

  • Common names           Rubber fig, Rubber plant.
  • Indian names:               Rubber plant ( Hindi and Kannada)
  • Botanical Name:          Ficus elastica 
  • Family :                             Moracae

      

Plant Features:

  • Plant type :                   Tree, Indoor plant.
  • Foliage type :               Evergreen, shiny oval leaves.
  • Life-Cycle:                    Perennial
  • Height :                          Up to 50 feet, Up to 3 m indoor variety.
  • Width/Spread:           25 feet / 6 feet trunk diameter
  • Flowering season:    All season
  • Flower:                         Yellowish green
  • Toxic:                             Rubber plant sap is toxic and causes mild irritation burning sensation in eyes if it comes in contact.
  • Propagation:              Rubber tree is commonly propagated from cuttings or air layering.

Popular varieties 

  • Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’– With variegated green and white leaves having overtones of burgundy and red veins.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’– Also called as “Indian Rubber tree”. It has dark green foliage with patches. Plants of this variety needs more natural light than most of the other variety.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Back prince’- This variety has thick dark green leathery foliage with bronze undertones and large rounded leaves.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Decora’- This variety has thick dark green leaves.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’-This variety produces larger green leaves that grow around 18 inches long.
  • Ficus elastica ‘tricolor’ – This variety has green leaves with patches of pink and cream. 

          

Rubber plant is an evergreen tropical plant that can grow up to 50 feet. It can be grown indoors (up to 3 m) as an ornamental plant. Para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is grown for for the production of commercial rubber.

Rubber plant care and  growing requirements :

Sunlight : Place the plant on a bright and well-lit spot that receives indirect or morning sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon sun. Otherwise, the leaves will eventually fall off.

Soil : Use well-drained quality potting mix and a container with proper drainage.

Water : Apply moderately, whenever the top one-inch of soil feels dry. Provide sufficient drainage to plant and avoid excess watering as it may cause root rot.

Humidity : Rubber plant prefers moderately cool, moist and humid air. For humidity, you can use a humidifier or set it on a tray with pebbles and water.

Pests : The rubber plant is resistant to pests and diseases. However, if grown in poor conditions and low light,  pests like spider mites and mealybugs cause a problem.

To treat the pest problems, as soon as you notice the insects on your Rubber Plant, spray the entire plant with insecticidal soap or Neem oil, making sure to get both sides of the leaves. 

Care

  • Wipe and clean the leaves with a damp sponge once in a week.
  • Avoid over-watering or misting of leaves with very cold water as rubber plant loses its leaves due to over watering or when sprayed with cold water. 

This is it, all about Rubber plant,  Easy to take care of and makes your home feel special!

“The large, dark, vibrant foliage of rubber plant looks really beautiful and the plant with minimal care does a brilliant job of  freshening-up indoor air! That’s all you need to know about the Rubber plant to get started! Plant one at your home and take care of this delightful plant”

 

” I hope this article inspires you to add a rubber plant to your home. If you have any other tips for growing a rubber plant, please do share. We would love to know how you keep your plant healthy!”

Happy-gardening

 

Care and Growing tips for ever-blooming beauty : Bougainvillea

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all– Mulan”, I can say this sentence is perfect for  Bougainvillea, which is always blooming and bursting with color around the year.

The inconspicuous flowers are surrounded by brightly colored papery bracts, which are purple or magenta to lighter tints in certain varieties. Bougainvillea is native to Brazil and is also known as a ‘Paper flower’.

  

Bougainvillea are tropical thorny rapid growing ornamental vines and prolific bloomers. Bougainvillea prefers a warm climate, full sun and good drainage.

Depending on the variety, bougainvillea can be grown on a trellis or over an arbor, against a building or fence, in containers, as a hedge, in tree form and as a bonsai.

Bougainvillea can grow anywhere from 1′ to 8′ to 30′, depending on the species or variety. There are actually quite a few dwarf bougainvilleas species also. Some varieties are thorn-less also and some are with variegated foliage and with bi-color flowers.

Caring for a Bougainvillea:

Common Name: Bougainvillea, Paper flower, Kagaz ke phool.

Botanical name: Bougainvillea glabra.

Planting ideas: Bougainvillea can climb up walls and trellises, can be potted in big garden pots and you can hang rows of wire or string against the surface that you want covered.

Category: Shrubs, Tropicals and Tender Perennials, Vines and Climbers.

Water Requirements: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not over water.

Spacing: 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Precaution: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color: Magenta (Pink-Purple), Red, Scarlet (Dark Red),White, Orange

Bloom Time: Bloom around the year but profuse blooming during the summer.

Foliage: Evergreen, Smooth-Textured, Variegated.

Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic soil)

Propagation Methods: From herbaceous stem cuttings, From woody stem cuttings, From softwood cuttings, From semi-hardwood cuttings.

Seed collecting: Plants does not set seed, flowers are sterile or plants will not come true from seed.

Special precaution: Bougainvillea plants are prolific growers and need good pruning to force blooming and retain a pretty shape. Wear gloves when pruning bougainvillea. Some people can get a skin rash from pruning bougainvillea, similar to that from poison ivy. Keep a close eye on growth and adjust when necessary until the bougainvillea starts covering the wall or other surface.

Go ahead, plant and enjoy one of the hardiest, low maintenance and ever blooming plant that is the Bougainvillea!

Share any additional/ tips about the Bougainvillea in the comments below.We would love to know more about these beautiful flowers!

 

Happy-gardening

How to Grow and Care – Carnation

Carnations are known to have been used for the first time by Greeks and Romans in garlands. Its scientific name Dianthus roughly translates to “flower of love” or “flower of the gods”.

Carnations signify fascination, distinction, and love. Like many other flowers, different messages can also be expressed with the flower’s different color varieties. Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude.

Common names: Carnation, Divine flower, Clove pink

Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus

Varieties: 

Carnation varieties can be demarcated into three main groups depending upon flower size and their use.

  • Standard carnation – These have single large flower on an individual stem used as cut flower.
  • Spray carnation – Spray carnation is generally a bunch of flowers on short branches of a single stalk. The flowers are small and compact on each branch.
  • Micro carnation – These have shorter stems and higher production than spray varieties. These are used as ornamental pot plants besides its utility in flower arrangement.

Design Ideas: They can be planted in flower beds or containers.

Dianthus carpophyllus is a species of the genus Dianthus. It is a native from the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown. It is an herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 31 inches. The flowers are produced singly or together in a group and are sweetly scented. 

Carnations are grown in dozens of colors and are particularly well-known for their ability to last with less water for long periods of time without wilting or drying out. Some of the varieties can last in water up to three weeks.

Plant Features: 

Life-Cycle: Perennial

Height: 18 to 31 inches

Width/Spread: 3 feet

Flowering season: October to March

Flower: The original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple and have 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme

Foliage: Long narrow, needle-like, grey-green, evergreen in many areas

Planting/Growing Details: 

  • Sunlight: Full sun- around 6-8 hours of direct exposure to sunlight. It can be grown indoors and requires bright light, well-drained potting soil and good air circulation for germination and growth.
  • Water: Occasionally- whenever the soil dries out completely as the plant is drought-tolerant. They do not require much water, except in the summer months. Instead of splashing water, spraying is better way to moisten the plants. 
  • Sowing season: Summer
  • Sowing method: The seeds are sown and propagated by seed, cuttings or division. The seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. The seeds can be sown indoors and outdoors.

Care: The seeds are sown in fertile well-drained soil and prefers a lot of indirect lighting indoors. The seeds can be sown directly and proper care should be ensured to grow into beautiful plants. 

Pests: Insects and disease problems are infrequent. If in any case, insects or pests occur, treat them early with insecticides, repellents or pesticides.

Harvest: Standard carnations are harvested at tight-bud or half open stage. Immediately after harvesting, the flowers should be kept in clean water for preservation.

Propagation: 

  • By seeds: The seeds should be sown in a well-drained soil up to 1/8 inch deep with a space of 12”. The compost should be moist but not wet. The soil should be firmed over seed and mist sprayed occasionally to moisten it. The seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. 
  • By cuttings: Cuttings taken from the terminal growth can also be used to propagate Carnations. The cuttings, varying from four to six inches long are taken and the basal leaves of at least two to three nodes are removed. Cuttings become ready for transplantation in 25 to 30 days. This method is preferably used in case of perennial Carnations. 

  • By division: Carnations can be grown by division through which we can rejuvenate older plants. Dig up an entire clump, and either pull it apart using your hands to separate the plant segments, or use two gardening forks inserted in the centre of the clump, to gently pry the plant apart. Replant each new division to plant a new perennial or annual, and water it in very well. 

         Hope this blog will inspire you to bring this beautiful carnation in your garden.

Happy-gardening

Zodiac Gardening

Flowers can brighten your mood even on the darkest of days.Be it an elegant bouquet for your mother on mother’s day, a red rose for your beloved or a pretty bunch for a sick friend, flowers have a way of conveying feelings when words fail.

They are sometimes the central theme for a poet’s verse and sometimes a muse for the artist. The sheer beauty of a flower makes it a natural go-to choice for decoration and gifting.

Have you ever wondered if there is a certain flower for every person of a zodiac sign? Well there is and the concept is called Zodiac gardening. Zodiac gardening as the name suggests, is planting and growing flowers according to your zodiac signs. For many out there, Zodiac flowers are a way of self-discovery. These flowers are a reflection of one’s personality.You don’t need to be a believer in zodiac astrology to try this out. All you need is a curious mind, the desire to experiment and of course an unrequited love for gardening which all of you visitors at GreenMyLife surely have.

Go on and find out the flower of your zodiac sign!

ARIES- THE FIERY HONEYSUCKLE

Honeysuckle

A fire sign Aries represents confidence, dynamic energy, and true adventure. They are true leaders and trendsetters. The fiery nature of Aries syncs perfectly with its birth flowers thistle and honeysuckle. There are some other flowers too that suit the characteristics of Aries such as bryony, peppermint, tiger lily, geranium, hops, impatiens, onions, hollyhock, thorn-bearing trees, and shrubs.

TAURUS- THE SENSUOUS FOXGLOVE

Foxglove

Taurus is an earth sign and its attributes are stubbornness, sensuality, and sensitivity. Along with those characteristics, they show humility, strength, warmth and are well grounded. Apart from Foxglove, other flowers that signify the characteristics of Taurus are poppy, daisy, violet, columbine, mallow, berries, sundew, ash, cypress, vine, apple, crab apple, pear, fig, citrus, and palms.

GEMINI-THE PLAYFUL LILIES OF THE VALLEY

Lily Of The valley

Known for their multifaceted, playful personalities Gemini also embodies deep passion and an introspective attitude. Their creative and illuminating imagination blends in with their birth flower: Lillis of the valley. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Gemini are lavender, maidenhair fern, myrtle, fern, orchid, chrysanthemum, lilac, azalea, nut-bearing trees and hazel.

CANCER-THE SERENE WHITE ROSE

White roses depict the emotional, strong-headed and sensitive nature of the Cancerians. Other flowers that bear these characteristics are bear’s breeches, morning glory, geranium, lily, water lily, cabbage, lotus, verbena, Southern magnolia, cow parsley, and white flowers

LEO-THE CYNOSURE MARIGOLD

Marigold

Bold, energetic and extrovert, Leos surely love attention and their birth flower Marigold mirrors these traits. Other flowers that depict their personality traits are sunflower, passion flower, vines, rosemary, aster, larkspur, dahlia, heliotrope, palm, bay, laurel, walnut, olive, and citrus trees.

VIRGO-THE METICULOUS BUTTERCUP

Perfection is the middle name for those born under the zodiac sign Virgo. Along with those traits, an analytical, methodical and reflective approach makes buttercup the birth flower for the people with this zodiac sign. Other flowers in the gamut are narcissus, chrysanthemum, aster, all brightly colored small flowers (particularly blue or yellow), cherry and nut bearing trees.

LIBRA- THE BALANCED BLUEBELLS

Bluebells

Librans are known for their ethos of justice, belief in truth and their penchant for striking a balance in their life. Since the birth flower is bluebell for Librans, these flowers should be grown in a well-organized and balanced proportion(owing to their characteristic of balancing things in life). Other flowers that depict the characteristics of Libra are large roses, aster, hydrangea, mint, daisy, berries, plum, ash, and poplar.

SCORPIO- THE PASSIONATE GERANIUMS

Germaniums

For the passionate, intense, insightful, creative and tenacious Scorpios, Geraniums are the flowers that embody all of these traits. Other flowers that symbolize these attributes are rhododendron, holly, black-eyed Susan, scarlet monkey flower, anemone, heather, gardenia, honey suckle, cactus, Arian flowers, yew, blackthorn, and bushy trees.

SAGITTARIUS-THE INTENSE CARNATION

Carnation

Sagittarians represents intellect and strength. They also have an eye for adventure. So, the Carnation is the flower that perfectly symbolizes all of these qualities. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Sagittarius are – Pinks and carnations, dandelion, clematis, peony, blackberry, thistle, moss, sage, rush, lime, birch, mulberry, oak, ash, and chestnut.

CAPRICORN- THE ROOTED PANSY

Pansy

Practical and willful Capricorns are synonymous with deep-rooted flowers like Pansy. Other flowers that mirror their persona are Ivy, heartsease, love-lies-bleeding, pansy, knapweed, hemp, Scotch broom, trillium, baby’s breath, camellia, magnolia, pine, elm, yew, willow, aspen, poplar, and hemlock.

AQUARIUS-THE INSIGHTFUL ORCHID

Orchid

Insightful, independent, romantic and faithful Aquarians have Orchids as their birth flower. Orchids is a perfect symbolization for their ever-romantic personalities. Other flowers that symbolize the characteristics of Aquarius are Solomon’s seal, orchid, golden rain, goldenrod, jack-in-the-pulpit, bird of paradise, gladiolus, trillium, kiwi, fruit trees, elderberry, olive, and alder.

PISCES- THE COMPASSIONATE WATER LILY

Gentle attitude, imaginative thinking, and reactive nature makes water lily a beautiful birth flower for this water sign. However, there are other flowers too symbolizing its nature. They include poppy, rhubarb, yarrow, clematis, wisteria, lilac, orchid, willow, fig, and other trees growing near water.

Now that you know your birth flowers, select flowers that would complement your personality and garden on!

Top-10 ornamental plants for vertical garden

Top 10 ornamental plants for vertical garden

In a vertical garden, we can grow a wide range of plants; some are edible, some strictly for beautifying purposes, while some are for both. Vertical gardens are a green solution to urban gardening problems within a limited space. Ornamental plants not only add to the aesthetic sense of the place but also help in making the space eco-friendly.

In this write up we will discuss the various ornamental plants including both foliage and flowering plants.

NOTE: Check out our portable vertical gardens – these are easy to install and maintain – and you can buy them online and get them home delivered anywhere in India !

Foliage:

  • Sword Fern: They are most common vertical garden plants used, nowadays. Often grown in hanging baskets on green walls.
  • Botanical name: Nephrolepis exaltata
  • Light and temperature: light to heavy shade; most ferns like an average temperature of 65-75 degrees F
  • Soil: pH should be around 7-8
  • Water: regular watering and never let the soil get completely dry.
  • Height: up to 4-5 feet

 

  • Golden Pothos or Money plant: It is a vining plant that is super easy to care for. They easily grow and spread over a wide length of the wall. Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Light and temperature: money plant prefers indirect light and will tolerate low light; thrives better in humid areas such as bathroom walls
  • Soil: grows best in fertile loamy soil of pH range 6.0-7.5;
  • Water: needs watering every 7 to 10 days when the top 2 inches of soil is dry
  • Height: grows up to a length of 20 feet
money plant

money plant

 

  • English ivy: Ivy is a hardy, evergreen vine. It attaches itself by aerial rootlets to the walls and other surfaces. Grown primarily for its lush foliage, which forms a cool green cover on walls or whichever vertical surface they’re grown on.
  • Botanical name: Hedera helix
  • Light and temperature: full to partial sun; 50-70 degrees F
  • Soil: well-drained loamy soil, either acidic, neutral or alkaline in nature
  • Water: average watering is required
  • Height: 20-90 feet
english ivy growing vertically

english ivy growing vertically

 

  • Giant lilyturf: They have dense spreading strap-like leaves that are glossy and dark green. Though it is grown for its dense green foliage, it does bloom in summer and its flowers are quite showy.
  • Botanical name: Liriope gigantea
  • Light and temperature: full-sun to full-shade; 60-70 degrees F
  • Soil: well-drained loamy or clayey soil with pH ranging from neutral to acidic
  • Water: needs regular watering throughout the growing season.
  • Height: up to 4 feet tall.

 

 

  • Philodendron: It is easy to take care of, because if you watch the signals, the plant will tell you exactly what it needs. They are comfortable both as indoor and outdoor plants.
  • Botanical name: Philodendron scandens
  • Light and temperature: bright indirect sunlight; 75-85 degrees F
  • Soil: a soil of pH 6.0-6.5 is ideal for philodendron
  • Water: while watering philodendron plants, allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between watering.
  • Height: grows up to a length of 10-20 feet
philodendron and peace lily distinctly visible on a wall

philodendron and peace lily distinctly visible on a wall

Flowers:

  • Geranium varieties: They bloom in burst of deep reds, scarlet, pinks, white, purple etc. with flowers lasting the entire gardening season.
  • Botanical name: Geranium dissectum
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium light is needed along with 60-70 degrees F.
  • Soil: well-drained potting soil of pH range 6.0-7.5
  • Water: known to be drought tolerant, occasional watering can be carried out
  • Height: grows up to 12 inches tall
  • Flower colours: pink, blue, orange, white, red.
geraniums

geraniums

 

  • Wedding vines: Wedding vine derives its name from the decoration purpose it serves at weddings. It’s grown vertically widely for its pure white, waxy, intensely fragrant flowers.
  • Botanical name: Stephanotis floribunda
  • Light and temperature: 70-90 degrees F
  • Soil: high content of loam and peat moss.
  • Water: water until the soil mixture is drenched; the mixture should drain freely
  • Height: grows up to 6 feet or more
  • Flower colours: pure white

 

8) Peace lily: Peace lily is used in a vertical garden owing to its quickly growing ability. Easy to grow as they are tolerant to lower light and low humidity.

  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium light; 65-80 degrees F temperature
  • Water: water at least once a week and spritz the leaves with distilled water throughout the summer growing season.
  • Height:up to 2 feet (60 cm)
  • Flowers: white
peace lily on a green wall

peace lily on a green wall

9) Star jasmine: Evergreen plant and can be easily trained on trellis.

  • Botanical name: Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Light and temperature: full to partial sun
  • Water: average watering is needed.
  • Height:3-9 metres
  • Flowers: white
star jasmine vine

star jasmine vine

10) English lavender: Evergreen garden herb thrives in summer heat and dry weather. They are also grown for its medicinal and culinary uses.

  • Botanical name:Lavandula
  • Light and temperature: full sun; 70-75 degrees F
  • Soil: neutral to alkaline soil
  • Water: regular watering is not required
  • Height:1-2 metres
  • Flowers: lavender in colour

 

english lavender

english lavender

NOTE: GreenMyLife offers landscaping services in Bangalore – we can build beautiful vertical gardens for residential and commercial spaces ! Get in touch.

Top 10 indoor low maintenance plants

INDOOR LOW MAINTENANCE PLANTS

Indoor plants or houseplants are used to make our house look lively and fresh. But maintaining it becomes a task sometimes. Taking out time to take care of these plants is not always a feasible option and we end up neglecting it and they eventually die. Well, this trouble can be avoided by choosing low-maintenance houseplants that are very easy to take care of.

The top-10 low maintenance houseplants are:

  • Snake plant:
  • Botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
  • Other names: Mother in law’s tongue
  • Light and temperature: low to bright light; 60-85 degrees F
  • Water: occasionally, as it is drought tolerant
  • Height: up to 4 feet tall
snake plant

snake plant

Snake plant is a carefree succulent plant, it is quite indestructible and has lovely, long architectural, snake-like leaves. The only problem with this plant is that it’s very likely to develop root rot if we overwater it.

  • ZZ plant:
  • Botanical name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Other names: Zanzibar gem, Zeezee plant
  • Light and temperature: low to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Water: allow the soil to dry between waterings
  • Height: 2-3 feet tall
ZZ PLANT

ZZ PLANT

This plant is sometimes called the eternity plant because it lasts so long. It’s thick, fleshy leafstalks are very durable and thus, very resistant to harsh conditions. This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed by children or pets.

 

  • Cast iron plant:
  • Botanical name: Aspiditra elatior
  • Other names: Bar-room plant
  • Light and temperature: low light; 45-85 degrees F
  • Water: should be kept evenly moist during active growth period
  • Height: up to 2 feet tall
Cast-Iron-Plant

Cast-Iron-Plant

This plant literally lives up to its name, it is nearly indestructible. One of the toughest houseplants one can grow. It withstands all adverse conditions.

  • Money plant:
  • Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Other names: Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium; 45-85 degrees F
  • Water: moderately; let the soil dry between watering
  • Height: climbs up to 7 feet (around 2 m) in containers
money plant

money plant

Money plant is the most common and most planted houseplants in India. It is seen in almost every other house in India. It can be grown in a pot as well as a hanging plant.

  • Peace lily:
  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Other names: Cobra plant
  • Light and temperature: bright to medium; 65-80 degrees F
  • Height:up to 2 feet (60 cm)
  • Water: the plant should be kept moist most of the time
  • Flowering season: blooms repeatedly all-year long
  • Flower colours: white
peace lily

peace lily

Because of its low maintenance and pure white blossoms, Peace lily, is one of the most popular varieties of houseplants. The soil of the plant should be moist at all times but there shouldn’t be any standing water.

  • Arrowhead vine:
  • Botanical name: Syngonium podophyllum
  • Other names: Goosefeet, African evergreen, Arrowhead philodendron, Arrowhead plant
  • Light and temperature: low to medium
  • Height:up to 3 feet
  • Water: drench; let dry
arrowhead vine

arrowhead vine

Arrowhead vine is one of the most common houseplants. This plant may cause irritation of lips, tongue and throat if any of its parts are eaten or chewed.

  • Asparagus fern:
  • Botanical name: Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’
  • Other names: Foxtail, Plume asparagus
  • Light and temperature: medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 4 feet tall
  • Water: should be kept evenly moist

 

Many varieties of Asparagus ferns are used as houseplants because they are the fastest growing, least demanding and easiest to take care of. Best grown in bright light without direct sun, shade tends to cause them to yellow or drop.

  • Hens and chicks plant:
  • Botanical name: Sympervivum tectorum
  • Other names: Houseleek, Jupiter’s eye plant, Thor’s beard plant
  • Light and temperature: medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height and spread:up to 2-7 inches tall, 2-36 inches wide spread
  • Water: Leaves are succulent; watering is only necessary in drought conditions
hens and chicks plant

hens and chicks plant

Since houseleeks are succulents, maintaining it is not a task at all. Keeping them in sunlight brings out the bright colours in this plant. If kept in shade, many varieties fade to a plain green colour.

  • Peperomia:
  • Botanical name: Peperomia spp
  • Other names: Radiator plant
  • Light and temperature: low to medium light; 60-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 1 foot tall
  • Water: moderately, let the soil dry between watering
peperomia

peperomia

Peperomia is a diverse group of small houseplants with waxy colourful foliage which adds liveliness to any room where it is kept without taking up a lot of space.

  • Coleus:
  • Botanical name: Plectranthus scutellariodes
  • Other names: Painted nettle
  • Light and temperature: low to medium light; 65-75 degrees F
  • Height:up to 2 feet tall
  • Water: moderately, let the soil dry between watering
Coleus

Coleus

Coleus plant’s tallness can be maintained at a desired height. Pinch the stem tips to control the height and increase the bushiness which is favourable for indoor planting.

Top-10 indoor woody plants

Indoor woody plants are a great source for oxygen yield that helps in reducing the sickness syndrome that develops due to air pollution in indoor closed environments which are not suitable for prolonged healthy life. Staying in closed environments can protect you from being vulnerable to diseases but can cause other ailments due to the lack of exposure to fresh air, which are remedial for problems related to physical and mental well-being. Read more

TOP-10 kitchen garden plants for a vertical garden

kitchen garden plants for a vertical garden

In the last write up we discussed about the various types of vertical gardens and why should we practice vertical gardening in the first place. We see how these vertical gardens are slotted in different types according to the purposes they serve. Some are meant for aesthetic purposes while some are carried out for providing fresh produce (vegetables, fruits and herbs).

Below we discuss the top-10 kitchen garden plants befitting a vertical garden, in no particular order:

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Organic Gardening 101

For those of you who still haven’t come in terms with Organic Gardening and what it means, here’s a quick idea about it. Organic Gardening, as the name suggests, means Gardening using only products derived from nature. It means not using synthetic products including chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic gardening is all about creating an ecosystem where all the elements help sustain each other.  Like for example, the plants help the insects and the beneficial insects help the plant and so on.

Here are some of the important components of an organic garden:

Organic fertilizers, along with organic pesticides make the most integral part of organic gardening. In simple language, organic fertilizers are those that are derived from animal and vegetable matter, which are formed as a result of microbial degradation.

Why are Organic fertilisers better than chemical fertilizers?
Inorganic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers are subject to leaching and results in high toxic salt concentration in soil, while organic fertilizers work as soil conditioners. Inorganic fertilizers are derived from synthetic elements while organic fertilizers contain only plant and animal-based materials which turns out to more beneficial, of course.

Types of organic fertilizers:
Compost, manure and mulch make up the most popular types of organic fertilizer. Commercially packaged organic fertilizers are also found at garden supply stores.

  • Manure is derived from livestock and poultry waste. It has been used as a fertilizer since ancient times. It is buried in the soil near plants so that plants can directly absorb the nutrients.
  • Mulch is the most common type of natural fertilizer. Mulching materials includes, bark, leaves or even grass clippings from mowing the lawn.
  • Compost made out of garden and kitchen waste proves as the best type of organic fertilizers. Through composting a lot of kitchen waste is recycled which otherwise would have been disposed off in the garbage bin.

Half of all the chemical pesticides used have carcinogenic effects. They prove to be effective for the purpose of removing pests but the long term effects of using synthetic chemicals cannot be ignored. They prove detrimental for human health as well as plants health. That is why one should immediately switch to organic pesticides. Organic pesticides have no adverse effects on humans or plants.

 Types and examples of organic pesticides:

We can get rid of pest in a lot of natural ways. We can either get rid of them manually (by removing the effected parts of plants, spraying jets of water to dislodge pests etc) or we can take help of other mediums such as pest-eating predators (by attracting lady bug, spiders, praying mantis etc into the garden), neem extracts etc. By employing these well-known methods of pest-control we can minimize the population of pests and keep it within the threshold limit.

  • Water conservation:

When we take up the responsibility of carrying out gardening in an organic way, we must also make sure we are not wasting water while watering the plants. Water is vital for both humans and plants.

The following guidelines of watering plants must be followed for conserving this precious resource, water.

  • We should choose plants that are native to the area and require little or no water beyond what the nature provides
  • Planting groundcovers will help in keeping the garden coo. Also, regular mulching locks the moisture in the soil.
  • By using watering method such as Drip irrigation or soaker hoses which reduces evaporation of water. In drip irrigation technique we can deliver water directly to plant roots, where it seeps water in the soil slowly, one drop at a time. Thus minimizing loss of water due to surface runoff or evaporation. It saves time as well as effort.
  • Rainwater harvesting is another method of water conservation for the purpose of gardening. Rainwater can be collected in rain barrels and stored for watering the plants in the garden. The water thus harvested is pure, soft and has neutral pH which makes it a perfect fit for gardening purposes.
  • Growing native/local plants:

Growing plants that are native or local to a particular region has its own benefits. They tend to be resistant to all the conditions which are adverse in that particular region.

Like for example, Jasmine is native to India, which means growing and taking care of jasmine plant won’t be an exhaustive task. It can bloom on its own as long as it is grown in India or any other tropical country for that matter. Just the same way, if we bring in exotic plants which are native to other countries to India then we’ll need to put in extra effort for taking care of it, otherwise it’ll perish.
Hence, we see that local plants require less or no fertilisers, little water as they are mostly accustomed to the weather conditions of its native place. Local plants/crops require low maintenance as compared to other exotic, non-local plants.

 

Thus, organic gardening is considered to be a smart choice as it doesn’t harm the environment or the diversity. It in turn benefits us in so many amazing ways.

NOTE: You can buy organic fertilizers and organic pesticides from our online garden store – we deliver anywhere in India !

Happy Gardening.