What is the best way to care for your plant for a healthy life

Top 5 Reasons You Need a Soil Sleuth

The biggest threat to your plants isn’t bugs or pests. It isn’t sunlight, or heat, or cold. While all of those things are important considerations to your plant’s health, they aren’t the reason most plants fail to thrive.

Believe it or not, it’s water.

Water, while essential to keeping your plants alive, is often the reason they struggle to stay healthy. In some cases, they aren’t watered enough and they die. And in many other cases, they get watered too much, and the soil is too wet. In that condition, there aren’t enough air pockets in the soil, the plant’s roots can’t breathe, and it drowns. In both cases, the way you water your plant can limit its beauty, health, and lifespan (check out our Watering Guide for the full scoop).

The truth is, watering your plant is more than just adding water to the soil. You’re checking and adjusting the moisture in the soil, and adding water when necessary to re-adjust to the optimal balance. Ideally, your plant enjoys wet and dry cycles, which alter the amount of oxygen in the soil and ensures the necessary water and nutrients get to the roots. When that cycle is disrupted or ignored, the plant suffers.

Nobody does this intentionally, of course. You try to check the soil and water accordingly. Unfortunately, the method you use to “check the soil” is often the reason you don’t get the results you want from your plants. Many people use the easiest soil-checker available – their fingers – to do a little digging and water according to what they find. It’s only a step above occasionally looking at the soil and judging based on what you see, and neither is particularly effective.

Since the watering cycle depends on a variety of factors (type of plant, type of soil, temperature, light, humidity among others), getting the moisture level right takes more than a quick look or dirty fingers. To do it right you’ll want a soil probe, which is a physical tool that you use to check all levels of the soil, down to the roots.

To accomplish this task, we recommend the Soil Sleuth. There are many reasons why it’s an important tool to keep on hand, but here are five that really show off its value.

Solve the Mystery.

You can’t check the top layer of soil, because, guess what?  The top layer always dries out quicker than the rest of the soil.  You need to gauge the amount of moisture in the root zone. You can’t depend on your fingers touching the top of the soil for the right answers, especially when it comes to larger plants. But a Soil Sleuth provides accurate information every time, and it doesn’t require batteries or any expert know-how to do its job. You simply push the Soil Sleuth into the soil, twist, and pull it back out. That’s it. It’s accurate, it’s easy, and it could save your plants.

Stay on Schedule.

When you first get a plant, having a Soil Sleuth is a perfect way to measure just how frequently it needs water. But over time, you’ll get to know its schedule on your own. Once you get used to its needs, should you keep using the Soil Sleuth?

Absolutely. Here’s why.

When you learn your plant’s moisture needs, you’re learning about what it needs in those specific circumstances. As discussed earlier, light, humidity, and a host of other factors contribute to a plant’s watering cycle. If any of those factors change, so will the cycle. What you thought you knew won’t apply anymore, and making assumptions can hurt your plant.

Even subtle changes can have a significant effect. Does your plant get more light at different times of the year based on seasonal changes? Is increased heat or air conditioning usage in certain months affecting the humidity levels in your home? Did you happen to move your plant to a different area? Has it grown since you first brought it home?

Any and all of those factors can impact its needs, and you’re back to guessing exactly how much. But with the Soil Sleuth, you’ll know every time. If the schedule needs to be adjusted, you’ll recognize it immediately, and can adjust right along with it. No matter what happens, you and your plant are always on schedule.

Gauge Your Soil Moisture.

The Soil Sleuth allows you to check the soil’s moisture level at different depths. When you insert the Soil Sleuth and twist, the notches capture multiple soil samples. Once you remove it, you can shake the samples into your hand and inspect each one. You’ll know exactly where the soil is dry, moist or wet, and you’ll avoid watering a plant that doesn’t need it. You’ll also know, without any doubt, when the soil is dry down to the roots and needs moisture. Each use of the Soil Sleuth gives you hands-on information at each level of your plant’s soil, so moisture will never be left to chance.

Safely Aerate the Soil.

When your Soil Sleuth shows that the soil is completely wet, that’s a sign not to water further, of course. But there’s more to it than that: That existing water eliminates the air pockets that your plant needs. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until it dries out to get your plant that necessary oxygen.

In those cases, you can use your Soil Sleuth to make several unobtrusive holes to help aerate your plant’s soil profile. It doesn’t take more time, tools, or skill. You’re just helping your plant stay healthy with the same easy method you already use to check the moisture.

Less Stress.

While the watering cycle has an obvious effect on your plant, it impacts you as well. You don’t want to hurt your plant or be the reason it isn’t thriving, and getting the cycle just right can add stress for many people.

But those people don’t use a Soil Sleuth, because that stress goes away when you use one. You’ll know exactly when you need to water, when the soil needs to be aerated, and when to leave everything alone. That last action (or inaction) is just as important because you don’t want to drown your plant. You’ll know that everything is okay for now, your schedule is working, and you’re doing everything you can to keep your plant healthy. The Soil Sleuth helps you avoid mistakes and eliminates the stress of wondering what you need to do and when you need to do it.

Soil Probes
A soil probe, like the Soil Sleuth shown here, is a must for accurately judging soil moisture to determine when best to “water”.

It’s Right Here

At PLANTZ, we pride ourselves in helping you get the most out of your plant. That pride comes from doing a lot more than just selling you something. We want you to have the tools necessary to maximize your enjoyment and ensure a long, healthy life for your plant. Since the Soil Sleuth is a simple, cost-effective way to do that, it’s available right here. And if you have any questions about the Soil Sleuth or any other product we carry, we’re here for you. Just use our contact page for a prompt response.

 

Rhapis Palm Care Guide

Looking to add a touch of the tropics to your home? The remarkable Rhapis palm delivers both elegance and beauty to any interior space, instantly delivering a tropical vibe. The Rhapis palm, or Rhapis excelsa, is native to regions of Southeastern Asia and began gaining popularity dating back to the 17th Century- in fact, this palm has been grown as a houseplant in Japan for over 500 years!

Sometimes referred to as the Lady Palm, this versatile palm species is a slow grower that is sure to have you feeling like you’re on vacation for many years to come. This plant’s fan-shaped, glossy green leaves take up significant vertical space while not stretching out too wide, allowing you to home this graceful palm in even the most challenging of spaces. The Rhapis is also much more tolerant of lower light conditions than your average palm, which only adds to the allure of this must-have tropical species.

Here at PLANTZ, we offer both Florida- and Hawaii- grown Rhapis which differ somewhat in their growing capacities. The Florida plants are likely to grow more wide than tall, while the Hawaiian-grown Rhapis pack a lot of height into their growpots and are taller compared to their spread. The Hawaiian Rhapis are also grown in lava-rock based soil, called cinder, like most other plants in our Hawaiian collection. Whichever coast it may come from, the Lady Palm is sure to immediately upscale any interior setting it inhabits.

This plant is certainly picking up popularity in 2021- so pour up your favorite island cocktail and beat interior designers to the trend with everything there is to know about the Rhapis palm.

Watering your Rhapis

Both Florida- and Hawaii-grown Rhapis alike will enjoy being thoroughly watered while maintaining an evenly moist root zone between showers. Rhapis are often quite thirsty palms, especially those potted in lava rock as their soil medium should be checked weekly during the first two months after bringing one home (note – they’re delivered). Once the soil feels dry, give your Rhapis a deep watering around the entire soil surface until the water begins to seep out into the drainage saucer. You can then leave this excess water in the saucer and wait until your Rhapis has soaked it all up before watering again.

When watering your Rhapis you should keep in mind that a plant’s root systems are often at the bottom of the grow pot- so even if the top of the soil feels dry, the root zone may still be nice and moist. To ensure your green friend always has the right amount of H2o and is ready for its next drink, we highly recommend a probe such as our very own Soil Sleuth. A soil probe is the perfect addition to your plant-care toolbox and takes all the mystery out of your plant’s watering needs.

Finding the Perfect Lighting for your Lady Palm

As we mentioned before, the Rhapis is fairly adaptable when it comes to lighting conditions. It’s actually one of the most low-light tolerant palms, making it a perfect addition to spruce up an office or hallway. While this species of palm can survive in poorly lit spaces, it takes higher light to get it to thrive.

On the other hand, your Rhapis will grow to its fullest potential and truly thrive for years if placed in moderate, filtered natural light. This sort of lighting is best absorbed from East- or West-facing windows where your plants will have periods of semi-bright and filtered light throughout the day. Aim to give this palm as much sunlight as possible without placing it directly in the sun, as direct sunlight can lead to your elegant palm’s leaves becoming burnt and turning yellow.

When placing your palm in any high-light environment, remember that it will require more frequent waterings than it would if it was in the shade. Be sure to give your Lady Palm a little more love, affection, and water when placing it in a brighter spot, and watch in awe as it flourishes from soaking in all those extra sunbeams!

Rhapis palm in stand

Pruning: Potential Projects for you and your Palm

Along with the proper watering and lighting conditions, your Rhapis palm will require a little maintenance and grooming to keep them happy and healthy.

To keep your Rhapis glowing and easy on the eyes, give it an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth and get rid of any dust on its graceful leaves. A regular cleaning regimen with a solution of water and light soap will have your Lady Palm feeling as majestic as she looks! With a palm of this magnitude, you may also be able to use a feather duster to gently dust away any impurities on your Rhapis- always make sure the feather duster is clean though, as it’s a primary way to transfer one plant’s pest infestation to another!

Brown leaf tipping is another obstacle you may encounter with your Rhapis- this is natural for old fronds to yellow and become brown.

If an entire frond becomes discolored or dies, it may be necessary to whip out the pruning shears and remove some of your Lady Palm’s dead leaves. Focus on trimming the lower leaves of your Rhapis as new growth typically comes from the center of the trunk, and prune off the leaves as close to the stem as possible. If snipping away at your beloved plants sounds intimidating, head over and check out our Plantz guide to proper houseplant pruning to soothe all of your worries!

The Lady Palm may be pretty easy-going as far as tropical plants go, but they do still require some love and attention to really thrive and be their best selves. Give your Rhapis plenty of consistent care by following these helpful tips, and enjoy the endless island atmosphere that this elegant palm will provide for your home!

Your Complete Guide to Janet Craig Plant Care

The Dracaena Janet Craig, not to be confused with the dietary Jenny Craig, has been praised as one of the most popular houseplants for decades- and for good reason! These African natives thrive with little attention, low-light settings, and infrequent waterings, making them the unfussy roommate you’ve always dreamed of. The Janet Craig, sometimes referred to as “JC” in the Plantz community, spruces up any room with its sword-shaped, dark green leaves that make even the most uninviting corner stand out. Whether your thumb is green or brown, this low-maintenance classic is a must-have addition to your plant collection.

The Janet Craig is an incredibly versatile little number, coming in three different flavors that offer the right combination of size, shape, and color to fit whatever space you plan on transforming. Here at Plantz we offer various pot sizes for your JC, along with the option of your new plant coming in “bush” or “cane” form- bush being shorter and fuller, while cane is taller and more slender. If the classic green-leaf cultivar isn’t calling your name or you’re looking for a pop of color, the JC Carmen and Limelight are relatives that have all the same low-maintenance characteristics while offering hints of bright yellow to liven up the mood.

*Fun fact: NASA lists the JC as one of the top clean air plants for its ability to remove harmful toxins from the environment that it’s in!

Even though the JC plant requires such little attention that killing it would actually be rather hard, it still needs some love if it’s going to live a long and happy life. So, let’s dive into Janet Craig plant care and cover all of the basics for even our newest plant parents.

Watering Your Janet Craig

When it comes to watering, your Janet Craig will thrive living on the dryer side. Be sure to let the soil dry out between doses of H2o, and when in doubt- do not water! While the JC can tolerate a few missed waterings, it is far less forgiving when it comes to over-watering which causes the dreadful root rot. We highly recommend investing in a soil probe like our Soil Sleuth, which is a handy tool that takes the mystery out of when you should actually be watering your plants. Instead of relying on the finger test, a soil probe quite literally gets to the root of the situation and gauges exactly what the soil moisture level is- so you don’t have to take any chances when it comes to your beloved plant friends.

As if the JC wasn’t easy enough to care for, its minimal need for watering makes it a perfect candidate for utilizing a sub-irrigation system. One such as the PlantAssure sub-irrigation system creates a reservoir that your plant can absorb water from when it’s good and thirsty, reducing the risk of your new plant becoming overwatered and putting you at ease. These systems are perfect for those plant parents who are always zipping from meeting to meeting, or busy traveling the world, and worry about leaving their plant babies home alone. Plus, the sub-irrigation system goes below the grow pot so you won’t even realize it’s there! Efficiency AND aesthetics- what more can you ask for?

*Helpful tip: water your Janet Craig with filtered water, or let the water sit out for 24 hours, to eliminate the fluoride found in tap water and avoid leaf damage!

Along with proper watering techniques, it’s important to talk about the nutrition and growth of your Janet Craig. We ship all of our plants already fertilized, so your new plant buddy doesn’t need to be fed for the first 6 months. After that, it’s a good idea to check out our indoor plant fertilizer and feed your JC once every 3 months or so.

Whatever you do, it’s crucial NOT to remove your new plant from the plastic grow pot it was raised in as it can cause damage to the plant. Simply find a slightly bigger pot that matches the style you’re going for and put the grow pot right in! It couldn’t be any easier if we tried.

Keeping Your Janet Craig in the Right Light

When we say this is probably the most low-maintenance plant we offer, we’re not kidding. The Janet Craig’s large green leaves capture even the slightest bit of light, making it our most low-light plant in the stockroom. This makes them an ideal choice for offices, bedrooms, or bathrooms that mostly offer artificial light. While the JC prefers a shaded environment, it will do better and last longer with at least some moderate sunbeams. Be sure to never expose this plant to direct sunlight as it can scorch its delicate leaves!

You should also always rotate your plants, as it is vital to ensure growth is happening on all sides. Rotating your Janet Craig so each side is getting equal light guarantees that it will be more symmetrical and mirrorlike, allowing it to grow to its fullest potential.

This plant’s long, strappy leaves tend to be a nursery for dust, but thankfully they are quite easy to clean. All you have to do is wipe the leaves with a wet cloth and they will be radiating again in no time! Your JC may develop a slight Mealybug problem, and while they can be pesky- do not fret. With the power of a light, soapy solution and a spray bottle, these white cottony bugs will be gone as quickly as they appeared.

Janet Craig Carmen

What Temperature Should Your JC Plant Be Kept At?

Similar to humans, the Janet Craig prefers temperatures between 65°F and 85°F. These plants do not do well in temperatures below 55°F, with their growth slowing down as a result. If you’re a plant parent who lives anywhere that it snows, make sure to keep this plant out of cold drafts and away from heaters in the winter as they can damage their leaves. A good rule of (green) thumb is if you feel comfortable indoors, then your Janet Craig will also be feeling good.

While the Dracaena Janet Craig is usually listed as a non-poisonous houseplant, some cats and dogs have experienced discomfort after gnawing on the leaves. Just to be safe, keep this plant away from your pets and be cautious if they do happen to sneak a leaf or two.

 

 

 

Picking the Perfect Indoor Plant

Indoor plants add a lot to a home. They improve the look, the air quality, and the overall appeal of a living area. You can reduce stress and increase calm and happiness by adding new life to your current decor.

But you can’t just add any plants and hope for the best. You have to choose the right ones that suit your tastes and lifestyle to ensure you get the most out of the experience. And while picking the perfect plant takes a little planning, you can make the decision easier by following these simple tips.

Know Your Home

In a way, you’re not picking a plant for your home as much as the plant is picking the best conditions to grow, and your home might or might not qualify. The more you consider the environment the plant will inhabit, the better your decision will be. If you’re looking for something that will stay on the floor, choose something taller. For a table plant, shorter is better. And consider that the plant will get bigger over time, so the way it looks when you first set it down might be quite different after it’s had a chance to grow. Choosing a houseplant somewhat smaller than your ideal size will allow it to grow into the area and avoid having something that will eventually be too big for your tastes.

Other home considerations include lighting, temperature, and space, both in the home overall and in the specific space you plan to keep them. Palms love bright spaces with lots of wiggle room, for example. Take a good inventory of the areas you’re considering for your plants and match the right types with your living situation. And if you have pets, some indoor plants are more pet-friendly than others. Take in as many factors as possible to make the right plant choices for your home.

Kate's Areca Palm
An Areca Palm in the Big Apple

Know Yourself

Part of the living environment for your new plant includes the people who will be enjoying them and caring for them. An honest analysis of your needs and habits will also lead you toward making good plant decisions.

Are you the kind of person who can spend a good amount of time monitoring and caring for an indoor plant, adjusting temperatures and lighting, and making sure the soil has the correct moisture levels? If so, a Fiddle Leaf Fig might be an excellent choice for your home.

Or are you the kind of person who wants to buy an indoor plant, find a good spot for it, and give little thought to its care? A snake plant might be a better choice in that case. They adapt to a variety of light and temperature conditions and don’t require much watering.

In a way, the plant chooses the person, based on personality and living conditions. The right plant is out there waiting for you. You just have to figure out which plant that is.

Mind the Little Things

Even low-maintenance plants can’t be completely ignored. Even a minimum of care can go a long way to ensuring a long, healthy life for your plant.

While some are heartier than others, plants don’t benefit from being moved around constantly. It’s not just a room accent, like a vase or mirror. It’s a living thing, so try not to change its immediate environment on a regular basis.

But keep in mind that some movement — rotating your plant — is actually a good thing. Plants near a window will grow faster and actually gravitate toward the light. That phenomenon could create uneven growth and a look you won’t find ideal. To combat that possibility, rotate your plant at 90-degree angles once a week so all sides will get the proper light exposure. You don’t want to move your plant all-around your house but moving it within its space can promote healthy growth.

Also, keep in mind that the space itself can change. A window that offers great light in one season might become a lower-light space in another. If your window faces south, for example, you can expect more light in the winter (when the sun is lower). You might not notice it too much, but your plants will. And you’ll notice their changes, which means it’s worth your while to make sure your houseplants get the light they need (and avoid what they don’t need) year-round.

Another change can occur when your house gets too cold. One long vacation when you let the inside temperature dip below 50 degrees (since you’re not home) will wreak havoc on your favorite tropical houseplants. Make sure the inside temperature isn’t damaging to your living decorations, especially when you won’t be there to make adjustments.

Pruning can also encourage new growth, improve a plant’s look and extend its life. And just keeping an area dust-free will keep leaves clean and open to receive sunlight and create oxygen. A quick once-over can let you know how your plant is doing, and minor adjustments can go a long way toward keeping it happy and healthy.

Finally, a regular check of the soil will gauge whether the watering schedule is working or not. Over-watering can be more damaging than the opposite, so check to make sure the amount of watering you’re doing is right for your plant. If it doesn’t need the water, skip that one and determine a better schedule.

You could use the old finger-in-soil method to provide a guesstimate of how the watering system is working. But if you want to be precise (and keep your plants looking their best) consider using a Soil Sleuth. A good soil probe turns guesswork into confident watering, letting you know exactly how much water your plant needs.

One way to ensure you’re getting the watering right is our exclusive PlantAssure Sub Irrigation system. The sub-irrigation process creates a reservoir of water by raising the grow pot above the liner with a special PVC ring. The houseplant absorbs water from the reservoir naturally, letting weeks or even a month go by between waterings.

A pruned, dust-free, properly-watered plant will improve its living space with a vibrant, healthy presence. And all it takes is a little mindful care. And for more detailed watering tips, check out our watering guide.

Snake Plants
Snake Plants in Phoenix Planters

Need More Help?

If you need more assistance, we’re right here. For decades, PLANTZ has helped people with indoor plant selection and maintenance, with everything from planters to nutrition to the above-mentioned irrigation. We can help you find the perfect plant and have it delivered right to your door. Simply contact us with any questions.

The Complete Kentia Palm Care Guide

Ahh, the Kentia Palm. Elegant and dignified, the Howea forsteriana was one of the first palms ever cultured for use as an indoor plant. This majestic plant is one of the most resilient members of the palm family and immediately transforms any space into a tropical paradise. Originally propagated in Hawaii with a soil media of crushed lava rock, the Kentia offers long-lasting beauty with little fuss and a very low-maintenance care routine. It’s the perfect palm for adding an exotic touch to any home or building that will create a scene straight out of a tropical vacation!

The Kentia Palm is a real head turner with its tall, feathery fronds that can grow up to a foot in length. This palm is an ideal choice to show off indoors because of how tolerant and care-free it is- they’re easy to take care of, easy to adapt to new environments, and have we mentioned they’re easy on the eyes? In their native habitat off the coast of Australia, these majestic palms can easily reach heights of 30 feet tall. Here at Plantz, however, they come in a variety of different sizes ranging from 2-6 feet tall. Whichever size you go for, we can guarantee you will not be disappointed adding the Kentia Palm to your interior design.

While these palms are more forgiving than their family members (really, they’re practically people-proof), they still deserve the love and care needed to grow into the icon of tropical style that they are.

Kentia Palm Watering 

When it comes to keeping your Kentia happy, think tropical conditions. This plant prefers to be well-hydrated but never soggy, as overwatering can lead to root rot. Since the Kentia Palm is adapted to the porous lava rock soil of Hawaii, it’s actually rather hard to overwater compared to most other houseplants. Regardless, it’s always best to use some sort of soil probe, such as our Soil Sleuth to ensure you’re only watering when your Kentia really needs a drink. Remember- it’s always better to miss a watering than to overdo it and cause your plants to drown in soggy soil conditions.

When your Kentia is good and ready for some H2o, make sure to water it thoroughly around the entire soil surface. Always allow the soil to dry out completely before the next watering to avoid possibly drowning your plant. Your Kentia may become thirstier in the warmer months, requiring weekly waterings to stay happy and healthy. In the winter, the palm will usually only need a good dose of H2o every couple of weeks or so.

Lighting for Your Kentia Palm

The Kentia Palm is just as easygoing when it comes to lighting as it is to watering. This plant has a much stronger tolerance for lower light conditions than other palms, making it the go-to choice for adding those summertime vibes indoors. While the Kentia can tolerate some pretty shady spots throughout the house, they really grow best and thrive in medium to bright light. Whether placing your new palm in a low-light corner or near a sunny south-facing window, make sure the light is always filtered and the palm is never in direct sunbeams as the intense light will burn those beautiful green fronds.

Temperature Requirements

Remember- think tropical conditions when caring for your indoor palm. Like most native tropical plants, this palm prefers warmer temperatures and high humidity. Similar to their lighting conditions, the Kentia Palm is quite tolerant of their temperatures as well- they can put up with temperatures as low as 25° and as high as 100°! While their temp range is quite impressive, they will always perform better and be healthiest in temperatures ranging between 65° and 85°.

Since the Kentia Palm is tropical in nature, it really thrives in environments with higher humidity. To keep your palm feeling nice and cozy in their new home, we recommend misting the leaves with a spray bottle a couple of times each week. If you’re more of a forgetful plant parent, you can also place your Kentia in a bathroom that has enough natural sunlight and is big enough for a gorgeous palm of this size. Whenever you shower or take a bath, the water will create a humid environment for the palm leaving you with one less worry and one happier plant!

The Kentia Palm thrives near a window

Nutrition

 Here at Plantz we make sure your new green friends are well-fed and nourished before they arrive to you, so you will not need to feed your Kentia Palm for at least six months after you get it. After that, it’s important to feed your new palm monthly during the growing seasons of spring and summer with liquid fertilizer or a specially formulated palm fertilizer. Your palm won’t need any fertilizer through the winter months, so fertilizing is usually just seasonal.

Common Problems of the Kentia Palm

 The biggest issue when it comes to little critters on your Kentia Palm is scale. These insects will show up as little brown bumps on the stems or leaves of the plant, and one of the most visible indicators of scale is a blackish mold. Luckily, these insects can be wiped off with a little bit of pressure.

Like many indoor plants, you should also be on the lookout for mealybugs and spider mites on your Kentia. Both of these pests suck the juices from your precious palms, and if left untamed can end up killing your plant as well as spreading to other houseplants in your collection. Instead of treating these pests with alcohol-containing products, opt for an insecticidal soap instead so you don’t dry out the delicate leaves. Saturate all of the fronds with the soap mixture once a week until your pesky bugs are gone for good.

With the right amount of attention and love, the Kentia Palm will create a permanent tropical oasis for you to enjoy for many years to come. Contact us today and we’ll get you matched with the perfect palm for your space!

How to Care for a Snake Plant

The Snake plant has always been a go-to houseplant for both novice and seasoned plant owners alike. Why? Well aside from its enticing leaves, this plant needs very, very little care- in fact, the only thing ranked lower than the Sansevieria on a scale of difficulty is a pet rock!

Sometimes referred to as Mother-In-Law Tongue or “Sans” for short, this African plant immediately stands out from the rest with its stiff, vertical, spear-like leaves making it a popular choice for modern interior designs. Their sharp look is what gave them the nickname “mother-in-law tongue” in the first place! The Sans remains a popular choice because of how incredibly easy-going and adaptable it is, requiring the absolute bare minimum when it comes to a care routine. Seriously, the only way you’ll kill this plant is by over-loving it.

The Sansevieria comes in a couple of different varieties- Zeylanica and Laurentii. The Zeylanica is known for the classic variegation patterns of dark and light greens throughout its vertical leaves. The Laurentii, on the other hand, has bright yellow and light green leaf margins with a lot more character than its cousin, Zeylanica, and adds a pop of color to any space. Both snake plant varieties are offered here at Plantz in either the 10” or the 14” grow pots and ranging from 2 to 4 feet in height.

While the Sans is practically indestructible, there are a few key things you should know when caring for your new plant.

The Ultimate Snake Plant Care Guide

Water

 The only thing that can really ever bring a Sansevieria down is overwatering. Native to arid regions of Africa and southeastern Asia, the snake plant thrives in dry soil and only needs the occasional dose of H2o- you can forget to soak this plant for up to a month and it will still forgive you. Let the soil mostly dry out in between waterings and you’ll have yourself a happy plant! To know when it’s time to water, it’s better to use a soil probe, such as our Soil Sleuth, than relying on the old finger test to ensure that your plant is actually thirsty.

Light

 One of the many draws to snake plants is how versatile they are- low-light, full-sun, indoor, outdoor- this plant can adapt to nearly any condition and still flourish. While the Sans will be happiest in bright, indirect sunlight, it can also survive fairly dim lighting situations. If your snake plant isn’t getting enough sunbeams, it will let you know with sad, droopy leaves. Be careful not to suddenly move your Sans from one lighting condition to another, and instead gradually move it towards its new home.

Temperature

For the most part, try to keep your snake plant in as stable an environment as possible. This means making its home away from heaters, AC vents, or drafty windows. The Sansevieria prefers warmer conditions between 70 and 90 degrees and will begin to suffer in anything below 50 degrees, so keep an eye on the weather if placing your snake plant outdoors. Overall, if the temperature in your home is comfortable for you then it’ll be so for your plant too.

Nutrition

 Like all of our plants here at Plantz, the Sans will be loaded with nutrients from its nursery production for the first six months or so after you receive it. After that, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer formulated for indoor plants- but since this plant is such a slow grower, it can go quite some time without fertilizer.

Snake Plants
Snake Plants in Phoenix Planters

Benefits of Having a Snake Plant

So the snake plant is both good-looking AND incredibly hard to kill- what more could it possibly offer? Well, strap in folks, because Sansevieria has some pretty impressive health benefits to boot.

Remove toxic air pollutants

The Sans was one of the few plants featured in NASA’s Clean Air Study in the 1980s. In this study, NASA found that certain houseplants could absorb harmful toxins from the air and improve air quality in the space they were in. Snake plants absorb and remove harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde, and can fight off airborne allergies!

Release oxygen- even at night

Snake plants have a unique ability to perform photosynthesis at night, which allows them to release oxygen not during the day but instead while you sleep! This makes it the perfect bedroom companion to improve air quality and flow and help you get a better night’s rest, feeling rejuvenated and refreshed each morning.

Increase well-being

 The Sansevieria purifies air better than most indoor plants since it absorbs excessive amounts of CO, making it an ideal choice for both home and office spaces alike. In the home, this plant can improve airflow and help you get a healthier night of sleep. When placed in an office or work environment, the snake plant can increase productivity and creativity, decrease stress, and boost overall office morale. Wherever you choose to keep your snake plant, you can sleep better (literally) knowing that it’s working hard to keep you as healthy and happy as you’re keeping it.

And there you have it! As if caring for a Sansevieria wasn’t easy enough, we’ve made it completely fool-proof. Contact one of our care specialists today to find the best snake plant for you and obtain a new plant buddy for life!

 

How Lighting Affects Your Plants

Whether you have a green thumb or a brown thumb, everyone knows that plants need light to grow. That is why it is one of the biggest factors to consider when raising your plant babies. Without light, plants cannot go through photosynthesis and produce the energy that is needed to grow happy and healthy.

 

When plants do not have enough light, they stop producing the green pigment called chlorophyll and can turn pale or yellowish. They may also drop their leaves or fail to produce flower buds when they are lacking the proper sunbeams. On the other hand, plants that catch too many rays risk scorched or bleached leaves and drying out. Let’s take a closer look at what kind of lighting your home gives off, and which plants work best with each type!

 

What Sort of Natural Lighting Does Your Home Have?

 

If you are looking to add a new plant to your home, it is important to first know how much natural light you are working with. When it comes to light, the direction your windows face will determine the quality and quantity of natural light your plants will get. Unsure of which way your windows face? Your phone has a nifty compass app that can tell you right away.

 

South Facing: A south-facing window offers bright indirect light to full sun in the afternoon, and is best for plants that require a full range of light throughout the day. This window will be your go-to for bright-light plants who love to soak in the sun.

 

North Facing: The north-facing window is the least ideal for your plant friends as it receives extremely small amounts of natural light. Low-light plants can thrive near these windows, but be aware that direct sunlight does not come through at any point.

 

East Facing: If your window is facing east, do not expect to see much intense sunlight shining through it. It does catch some semi-bright indirect light, so these windows are a great spot for low- to medium-light houseplants.

 

West Facing: Your west-facing window receives good light from the afternoon sun, seeing some direct sun getting through at the end of the day as well. This window misses the hottest rays of the day and has minimal direct sunlight making it ideal for most houseplants.

 

You also need to factor in seasonality when assessing light through your windows.  In the northern hemisphere, the light will remain fairly consistent through east- and west-facing windows; but through south- and north-facing windows, the light can vary greatly.  During the summer, you might expect to get the most light through your south-facing window, but that is not always true.  The sun can get very high in the sky and eves and roof soffits can block light.  In the winter, however, the sun slips lower in the sky and light can penetrate at an angle that provides greater brightness and resulting in photosynthetic activity.

 

On the north side of the house, it works in reverse where the mid-summer sun can actually be brighter.  The impact of seasonal light changes varies, too, depending on how far north or south you live.  Lastly, on seasonality, trees planted in your outside landscape can and will impact light penetration as the sun moves north and south in the sky.

 

It is also a good idea to know about the different types of lights that our plants grow best in. Bright direct light usually means a plant thrives on a windowsill or any spot near it where the sunrays are constant. Bright indirect light will be close to a window, but not technically on the windowsill or in the direct sunbeams. Medium-light means the plant can be in a semi-shaded corner or spot away from the window, but it still gets that filtered light at certain parts of the day. Low-light plants are your most easy-going plant and can be placed basically anywhere!  As long as they get some (even artificial) light, and you do not totally forget about them, they will be fine.

 

Best Houseplants for Low Light

 

Just because you have minimal light in your home does not mean that you can not be a proud plant parent! While it might limit your options some, there’s still a wide range of plants that will love your low to medium light space.

 

ZZ Plant: These plants can survive basically anywhere that there is a crumb of sunlight. ZZ plants, or as we have nicknamed it the EZ-ZZ, can be sustained in artificial light, are extremely low-maintenance, and require very little water- seriously, it can go up to 2 whole months without getting thirsty!

 

Janet Craig: No, not Jenny Craig- Janet Craig. This plant’s large, sword-shaped leaves capture even the slightest bit of light, making it an ideal choice for a shadier room or office. It’s even won the honor of being our most low-light plant offering!

 

Snake Plant: While this plant thrives in bright light conditions, it will continue to grow in low light environments for a very long time. We’ve coined it the easiest houseplant for a forgetful plant parent, making it a great choice for beginners or to be put in a windowless office.

 

Lisa Cane: This plant has one of the lowest light requirements, making it a top performer in low-light, tight spaces. The Lisa Cane looks elegant near a window or in a corner with only filtered light.

 

Giganta Plant: Close relative to the Corn Plant, the Giganta is multi-trunked but ALL foliage. This beauty does well in low to medium-light situations and maintains its characteristic large leaves with yellow variegation year-round.

The Snake plant is a low light winner.
The Snake Plant, a low-light winner.

Best Houseplants for Bright Light

 

If you are working with south- or west-facing windows that offer tons of natural light, we have just the list for you! Consider these light-loving plants when choosing a new addition for those bright, sunny spots.

 

Fiddle Leaf Fig: The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a real showstopper in any room, as long as it is a well-lit one. This plant requires the brightest of lights to maintain its big, violin-shaped leaves that have made it one of our trendiest plants offered.

 

Ficus Microcarpa: This Ficus plant is not only related to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, but also requires just as much light as its brother. The Ficus Microcarpa does great on a patio or lanai in the warmer months, and it is a good idea to twist your Ficus once a week to ensure that light is reaching all of its gorgeous sides.

 

Majesty Palm: This native of Madagascar grows best in filtered indirect light, adding a touch of the tropics to any spot it inhabits. If put outside on a screened patio, the majestic Majesty Palm will grow for a very long time AND impress your neighbors.

 

White Bird of Paradise: This interior-design classic needs a lot of sunshine to keep growing, preferably near an east- or south-facing window. Shine some light on its long, dramatic, arching leaves and let its silhouette show off too.

 

Areca Palm: The Areca Palm, or Butterfly Palm, adds a tropical splash to building entrances or home patios and require a lot of light. So much light, in fact, that it makes them a little tricky to be indoor plants. If you have a very bright spot and haven’t yet found a plant that can handle it- look no further! The Areca Palm is your guy.

The "Bird" has very large leaves and they are hearty plants.
White Bird of Paradise

 

Other Factors that Affect Indoor Lighting

 

Now that you know what type of sunlight you have and which plants work best for each type, there are a few other factors you should consider when mapping the natural light in your home.

 

While you may have a south-facing window, if there are any obstructions such as buildings or trees it will limit the amount of sunlight that comes through. The same goes for indoor obstructions, such as furniture or larger plants blocking the window and diffusing those precious rays.

 

The size of your windows also plays a huge part in where you can place your new plant pals! With larger windows that allow more light to shine through, you can position your plants farther from the window while still getting them the amount of light they need. Of course, placing your new babies directly on the windowsill is the best option for those bright light-loving plants.

 

Artificial lighting is a great alternative if your home is lacking the natural exposure you’d like. While plants prefer the real deal, investing in some kind of artificial grow lights will allow you to bring home just about any plant your heart desires!

Top Nine Plant Care Tips

Some people have a green thumb, while others have some plant-killing tendencies – wherever you are in your plant journey, we’re here to help. Follow these nine simple plant care tips to ensure your plants live their best lives and are never on their last leaf.

Choose Plants Based on Your Needs, Not Your Wants

We’ve all fallen in love with a plant, only to get it home and have it kick the potter after a few weeks. To ensure the plants you want are the plants you can have, assess the lighting situation in your space before heading out on the plant prowl. The easiest way to determine the type of light in your home or office is to check what directions your windows are facing: south-facing windows give the most direct and brightest light, east- and west-facing windows give off indirect but moderate light, and north-facing windows get the lowest amount of sunshine.  Be aware, too, that light changes seasonally and that south-facing windows may deliver the most light in the winter when the sun moves lower in the sky.

Match Your Plant to Your Personality

Be sure to consider your lifestyle and personality when deciding on a plant. If you’re constantly on the go or are just forgetful, go with a plant that thrives on neglect and isn’t fussy about a missed watering or two. There are tons of plants that are genuinely difficult to kill, so don’t think you have to settle for artificial plants to have a social life! If you have more free time on your hands or are a homebody, go for the needier plants that love having your undivided attention.

Less is More

When it comes to watering your plants, it’s always better to underwater than to overwater as too much water can lead to dreadful root rot. Most plants prefer being slightly dry rather than soaking wet, so they’d thank you for a missed watering over an unnecessary bath. You should ditch the weekly water schedule and only water your plants when they are actually thirsty. Always check the soil first to judge how your plants doing- and we recommend using a soil probe to be absolutely sure.  Many times, the soil can appear dry and even be dry in the top two inches, but if you probe down deeper in the soil, you sometimes find plenty of water for the plant to use.  We have a great soil testing tool that can be found here. For more in-depth (get it?) watering instructions, check out our watering guide:  Watering for Success.

Stability

Houseplants love stability and thrive once they are used to their surroundings. Just like people, plants are most comfortable between 65 and 75 degrees, and any extreme change in their environment can stress them out. You should always do your best to avoid placing your plants near vents, heaters, and doors that may create hot or cold drafts and shock your green friends.

Find A Dealer You Trust

Try to always purchase your plants through a trustworthy and reliable source, like PLANTZ! Specialty plant stores are the way to go, and they often have people with expertise to answer any questions you may have. As a rule of (green) thumb: only buy plants in places whose main specialty is plants and plant care– avoid supermarkets, home improvement stores, and department stores that offer plants of suspect quality that you have to lug home. Always check your new plant out for any signs of distress such as yellow leaves, mildew, brown tips, and weak stems.

 

Monsteras Behind the Scenes
Monsteras in PLANTZ Green House

Humidity Control

Most plants grow best in conditions that are similar to their natural environments. For tropical plants that prefer higher humidity, or if your house is just more on the dry side, lightly mist your plants with a spray bottle in between waterings to keep them happy and healthy. You can also group these plants together to help create a more humid environment in the colder months. A humidifier is a great option for both you and your plants, but be careful of condensation staying on your plants leaves too long as it can be harmful.

Dust Bunnies Are Not Your Friends

A buildup of dust can hinder you and your plant babies from living your healthiest lives. When plants collect too much dust on their leaves, they can’t get the same amount of sunlight that they need to survive. When their leaves don’t get the light needed for photosynthesis, they also don’t give off as much oxygen as they normally would. Gently wiping your plants with a wet cloth or giving them a room temperature shower should do the trick.

Pruning Your Plants

Pruning allows you to get rid of old-growth and encourages new growth- similar to getting your hair trimmed! How often you need to prune a plant depends on the type of plant and its growth rate, but at some point, you’ll have to grab those pruners or scissors for some cleanup. Without pruning, your plant could run wild and the roots could outgrow their grow pot. Be sure to trim away any dead or old leaves, and always prune at a 45-degree angle above the leaf node.

Skip the Fertilizer If You’re Unsure

At PLANTZ, we ship all of our plants with the right amount of nutrients already in the soil to keep them happy and healthy for the first 6 months. After that, it’s recommended that you find a fertilizer formulated for interior plants to share with your new friends during the growing season. We offer one of the best plant food products on the market that can be found here. Plants get minerals and nutrients from their potting mix, sunlight, air, and water- so your plants will still be healthy without the additional additives but after 6 months it is good to add some food.

 

Plants in Apartments
Plant Parent like a Pro with Our Top Nine Plant Care Tips

 

Caring for Your Mini Monstera

We are so excited to introduce the newest addition to our plant family: the Mini Monstera! This vining plant is often called many different names- “Monstera Minima”, “Mini Split-Leaf”, “Ginny Philodendron”- but it’s really Raphidophora Tetrasperma, and it’s actually not a Monstera at all! While the two are in the same family, Araceae, and bear a striking resemblance to each other, the R. Tetrasperma is in a totally separate genus originating from Malaysia and Thailand!

 

This tropical plant’s interesting split leaves, ease of care, and unusual climbing habits contribute to its increasing popularity lately in the Plantz community. Want to add that exotic, jungle-like vibe to your home but don’t have the space for a Monstera deliciosa? The RT stays smaller and grows quicker, making it the must-have tropical houseplant for small spaces. These plants thrive when they have something to climb on, such as the totem that comes with our version, allowing it to grow upwards and really show off its potential.

 

So without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about caring for your new climbing plant buddy.

 

Watering Your Mini Monstera


The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a moderate drinker and likes to stay pretty moist, but not soggy. The amount of water your RT needs depends entirely on the amount of light it gets, the time of year, and whether it’s in its growing season or not. When the top inch or so of soil feels dry it’s time to give your new buddy a drink. Your Mini Monstera should be happy with getting watered about 4 times a month in the warmer season, and then once every 2 weeks once winter hits.

 

These plants tend to be very avid drinkers, but they can also be extremely sensitive to overwatering. A good rule of thumb with the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma: if it’s wet, do nothing- if it’s dry, add water. The Mini Monstera Plant isn’t one to pout if it misses a watering every now and then, but its leaves will quickly turn brown or yellow when it’s had too much H2o.

 

*Helpful hint: use room temperature or lukewarm water when giving your plant friends a drink so you don’t shock their roots with a cold bath!

 

When you first get your Mini Monstera, it will still be feeding on all of those yummy nutrients that it got while in our care and will likely not need to be fertilized for the first 6 months. After that, we recommend a complete fertilizer formulated for indoor plants, such as our Dyna-Gro plant fertilizer, that’ll keep your R. tetrasperma happy and growing. These babies thrive with regular fertilizing during their growing season, so try feeding them once a month and watch your Mini Monstera grow like crazy!

 

What Lighting is Best for Your Mini Monstera?

 

Mini Monsteras are big fans of bright filtered light, so they should be placed near a window that offers plenty of rays. The right amount of sunshine allows its leaves to develop their notable heart shape and deep splits. While this plant can survive in low-light conditions, it won’t do its famous leaf-split or climbing tricks without enough light and will grow slowly with smaller foliage. Too much sun, on the other hand, can cause your leaves to dry out and turn yellow. Our best piece of advice- allow your new friend to get some morning sunlight and then bright shade for the rest of the day!

 

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, like most other aroids and people, doesn’t prefer temperatures that are too hot or too cold. These plants are their best selves in temperatures between 55°F and 85°F. In the summer or winter, avoid air conditioning vents or heaters to reduce any stress on your glossy climber.

 

In the warmer months, you can transfer your RT outdoors to give your patio or balcony those tropical feels. They can be pretty easy-going when the temperature drops at night, but anything below 55°F and you should bring them indoors. Since this plant is considered a fast grower, always make sure it’s getting the proper light wherever you decided to show it off!

The Mini Monstera totem is leafy and fun.
The Mini Monstera

Letting Your Mini Monstera Climb

 

Have we mentioned the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma likes to climb? Of course, we have- it’s one of the many attributes that makes them so popular among houseplant connoisseurs.  Our Mini Monstera comes already “trained” on its totem and will continue to climb as it grows using its aerial roots. When new growth pops out from the base of the plant, you should find literally anything you can to attach it to the totem- nursery tape, zip ties, handcuffs- okay, not handcuffs, but you get the point. Just make sure to make it as least noticeable as possible so you don’t take away from the aesthetic. Always remember- the more sunlight your RT gets, the more it will produce new and climbing growth!

 

While some may love the look of RT’s overflowing from hanging baskets, leaving them to hang can actually result in patchy growth and smaller leaves without any of the characteristic splits. Keeping them as a floor plant and allowing them to climb up whatever structure you choose will ensure they live a happy and healthy life- and they’ll thank you by adding an exotic ambiance to any space you choose.

 

We always recommend leaving your new plant additions in the grow pot they arrived in, simply finding a slightly bigger pot that fits your style, and placing the grow pot directing inside. The Mini Monstera is a vigorous grower though, and the day may come where it outgrows its original grow pot and can no longer expand its roots. If up-potting seems to be needed, begin by finding a bigger grow pot and some indoor planting soil. Cover the bottom few inches of the new grow pot with soil and carefully remove your Mini Monstera from its current grow pot. Then, place the root ball on top of the new soil and lightly add more soil until the root ball is totally covered. Give it a misty shower and voila! Your mini climber is ready to take on new adventures.

 

These plants are mildly toxic to animals, so be sure wherever you decide to let them climb is out of reach for your fur friend’s paws. Mini Monstera plants are really quite easy to grow- all they ask for is the right amount of light, a thoughtful feeding and watering routine, and lots of love to grow tall and gorgeous!

The Ultimate White Bird of Paradise Care Guide

White Bird of Paradise plant in a living room

How to Care for a White Bird of Paradise

The White Bird of Paradise is an absolute fan favorite, and we can see why it has made a tropical splash in the plant community. The Strelitzia nicolai’s long arching leaves makes its mark in any room, a real showstopper. This very stand-out plant is a must-have and adds an ambiance of elegance to your home that no other plant seems to compare to. The White Bird of Paradise got its name due to the leaves that form shapes that resemble that of a bird’s head, but as an indoor plant, you will not see this plant bloom unless under unique circumstances. Nonetheless, its beauty is unparalleled to any other plant. So, are you ready to learn what it takes to give this unique and beautiful plant a long healthy life? Let’s get into our White Bird of Paradise care guide then! 

 This plant comes in two different sizes. A three-foot and four and a half foot, with a ten-inch, grow pot, and a fourteen-inch with a grow pot. Making this one of the largest plants we offer, its size makes it ideal for people looking to fill a corner or a lot of space as a real statement piece for any home. This plant adds a tropical vibe to any room and creates an immediate change to the look of whatever area it is in. 

Watering Your Plant

One of the most crucial aspects of White Bird of paradise care is watering your plant correctly. It can seem tricky, but once you get the hang of it and a routine down, it should be smooth sailing. The White Bird of Paradise is a heavy drinker and requires a lot of waterings to thrive and grow at a steady rate. Make sure to wet the soil well with each watering and only let it dry to a moist level before you water it the next time. We highly suggest investing in a soil probe to help you in this process. We love our Soil Sleuth probe to help with this process making it easier for you to check soil moisture. The finger method is unreliable and does not let you measure the middle of the soil, which is imperative in telling if the plant needs watering. It can reduce the frequency of the need to water your new plant friend in the long run, saving time, energy, and protecting your plant from drowning.

Some ways to tell your plant is being underwatered can include dry leaves or leaves with crispy tips and edges. Extreme leaf splitting, breakage, and withered leaves, as well, it is easy to fix an underwatering problem, so do not fret too much if this comes up. For any further reading on watering tips, check out our Watering Guide!

 In addition to water, you need to ensure that you are feeding your White Bird of Paradise the right nutrients. We ship all of our plants pre fertilized, and you do not need to give them any extra nutrients until at least six months after you receive your new plant buddy. After that six months is up, you will want to fertilizer your white bird of paradise quarterly to keep it healthy and happy. 

 This plant also does well in humid climates, so although you can certainly have a White Bird of Paradise in Arizona or any other dryer state, we might recommend something different for our desert living plant owners! Floridians, THIS IS the plant for you!

Selecting the Right Lighting for your White Bird of Paradise

This plant requires a large amount of light to thrive. Sunlight is necessary for its care, so if you do not have a relatively sunny spot with high-light in your home, we do not suggest investing in this particular plant. Find an east, west, or south-facing location to get your plant the maximum amount of sunshine, and adjust the placement seasonally. 

White Bird of Paradise close up on beautiful green leavesAnother important factor to take into consideration is proper cleaning. 

Keep your plant free of dust will increase its ability to soak in that sunshine. Cleaning is a pretty painless process. Soak a cloth in water and add a little bit of light soap as a cleanser. Then you can take each leaf and wipe them down, and DO NOT forget the underside. This will help make sure there is no light-blocking dust and aids in pest control. 

Rotating your plant is vital to do as well, to ensure growth happens on all sides. The regular rotation of your Bird of Paradise will ensure that it will be more symmetrical.

Does your White Bird have drooping leaves or new leaves that will not open up? This can be a sign of your home light levels being too low for your plant. Also, leaf browning can be another sign of a lack of light. Move your white bird of paradise to a brighter place and closely monitor your plant to see if the problems disappear.

 If you see water not absorbed into the soil, a common misconception is that it means you are overwatering, but that is not always the case. It can mean your White Bird is not receiving enough light. This is why observation is such an essential part of the White Bird plant care regimen. 

Pest Control  

On the note of cleaning and pest control, let’s talk bugs. If not cared for properly, this plant tends to develop a mealybug and mite problem. Mealybugs have a cotton white look to them, and they sit at the base of the White Bird leaves or underneath them. It is so vital to irradicate them quickly because they can cause a lot of damage to the leaves and the plant’s overall health. How can you get rid of them, you ask? Just like you would do a regular cleaning, a light soapy solution on the leaves and wiping it down daily- maybe even twice – until they are gone should do the trick. 

Pruning 

Pruning is not something that needs to be done regularly, but it is an integral part of plant white bird of paradise care in general. Trim away dead or old leaves that are drooping or have brown spots, not only for aesthetics but for the overall plant health. The leaves on the White Bird of Paradise have a natural split in their leaves, do not worry, it is supposed to be there. It allows light to access deeper into the plant and hit lower, more hidden areas with sunlight. It can also help let wind pass through them more smoothly, keeping the leaves from being torn up or damaged if it’s outside or in a drafty home. If you do see some extreme leaf splitting, you might want to consider that the leaves are letting you know they are not getting enough light, so this is something to consider and look out for as well. 

Fun Fact: did you know that the White Bird of Paradise is commonly mistaken for a banana plant? 

white bird of paradiseWe have discussed watering, lighting, and cleaning your white bird of paradise. Now it is time to talk accessorizing! Let’s talk planters. We recommend one of our clay pots or even one of our phoenix planters. Although our Bird of Paradise is one of our taller plants, some people want EVEN MORE hight to it to make it the center of attention, so pop it on a plant stand as well as in a planter, and you are set to go. Whatever you do when you get your plant, please DO NOT remove it from its grow pot. It can cause harm and damage to the plant.

The White Bird of Paradise might seem a little daunting, but we have full confidence you will find a routine that works for you and your new plant BFF—interested in learning more about the White Bird? Follow the PLANTZ Instagram for more plant care tips.

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your ZZ Plant

zee zee plant care guide

Caring for a ZZ Plant

One of our more popular plant selections here at PLANTZ is the ZZ Plant! Often misspelled as ZeeZee, its technical name is the Zamiculcas zamiifolia. This one is a fan favorite because of its easy-care regimen and its ability to withstand harsher climates and variables within your home. Even though the ZZ Plant is an easy to maintain plant it still needs some attention and love, and we are here to tell you how to do that. So, let’s talk ZZ Plant Care.

If you are new to caring for plants or are a regular green thumb looking for a simple project, the good news is that the ZZ plant can tolerate little attention, low light conditions, and irregular waterings. This plant does not commonly grow very fast in height, but it will grow in width, so you will not have to quickly repot or move around this plant; it remains the same for the long haul. This plant is also known to be a great air purifier and is commonly mentioned by researchers at NASA to be one of the plant most efficient at removing toxins in the air.

We have nicknamed this plant ourselves the EZ-ZZ because it is literally soooo easy to take care of. This plant is one we often recommend for apartments, college dorms, hey… you could even keep it in a jail cell and have it will survive – not that we have seen any indoor plants in the prison system! Its need for water is minimal, and light is not a huge factor as well. Basically, you can give this plant zero attention, and killing it would still be difficult. A plant truly made for the brown thumb friends in the group. So, we often advertise buying this plant to our new plant family members with less indoor plant experience.

So, it is time to dive into ZeeZee Plant care and how we can help our new plant friends navigate being a plant parent.

This plant sometimes gets mistaken for being fake, purely because of its plastic-like texture and ability to live unnoticed or messed with. Let’s talk, watering. This plant does not need much water. Once a month, waterings will do just fine. Invest in a reliable sub-irrigation system as well, and your plant can go up to 45 days without being watered. We highly recommend utilizing a soil probe like our very own Soil Sleuth. This will definitely narrow down the amount of watering you do for this particular plant. Want to know when it is time to water? When you see the soil get really dry… wait TWO WHOLE MORE WEEKS and then you can go ahead and give it a good dose of H2O. It could not be any easier.

Although we recommend placing this plant in medium light, it can do well sustain in low light options as well. Try to find a nice spot with filtered light, and you will see this plant do just fine when it comes to lighting situations for growth and sustainability.

Something to be mindful of with any of your plants is pest control. Yes, we are talking bugs. ZZ Plants are not known to have a bug issue, in fact, we have never even personally heard of one, but IF on the off chance they do show up, it is an EZ-PeaZZZy fix! Just take a damp rag with a mild soap solution and wipe it down! That’s it.

 

Tips for ZZ Plant Propagation

ZZ Plant Propagation is a hot topic that we would love to have a conversation about with our plant people. Let’s start with what propagation is. Propagation is when cutting your plant or a part that you are intentionally removing, and then using this piece to grow a new plant from it. Many people use the excess plant cuttings that are created from pruning for propagation. Cut off two healthy leaves that contain a little bit of stem at the bottom, and then propagate from there!  Pruning is primarily done on a ZZ Plant to keep your plant from growing too fast or too large. Essentially ZZ Plants grow from a that stores water – hence why the ZZ Plant performs so well without water for a long time – so what you do is separate the rhizomes to propagate it. This is just one of the ways we can propagate and make more baby ZZ Plants!

Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats?

The one downfall to the ZZ Plant is they are, in fact, poisonous. We commonly get asked about having both a ZZ plant and a cat in your home. Everyone wants to know are ZZ Plants toxic to cats? In short, the answer is yes. The ZZ Plant is poisonous, but only when eaten. So obviously, this plant is of no harm to you, but the trick comes in when we need to keep our pets from nibbling on them. The only thing we can suggest to make sure you do not have any sick pets on your hands is to place the plant up high and unreachable; try using a plant stand to do so to alleviate the stress of your animals getting to it. If you have a particularly curious cat that you just cannot hide your new ZZ friend from and are worried that they might be enticed to nibble on it, this might not be the best plant for you. The good news though, there are plenty of other pet-friendly plant options from us here at PLANTZ.

Nutrition and Cleaning your Plant

We make sure all of our plants that are shipped come to you already fertilized, aka fed nutrients. After six months, it is a good idea to find a fertilizer formulated for interior plants to share with your plants. Besides that, the last thing to discuss is the cleaning of your ZZ Plant. Wiping the leaves with a damp cloth is the best way to remove pesky dust and unclean particles. If that is not enough, you can always use a soapy solution such as Dawn and then rinse your ZZ Plant off with water.

We are so excited you have decided to explore the world of the EZ-ZZ Plant with us! We know no matter what plant you buy, you will have a plant buddy for life! Want to learn even more about the ZZ Plant? Get in contact with one of our care specialists today to get any of your questions answered! Decided the ZZ is not for you? Check out our other plant care blogs to find your perfect plant fit!

House Plants That Are Pet Friendly

nontoxic plants for pets

Your Guide to Pet-Friendly House Plants

The only thing we all love more than our plants is our PETS! That is why pet-friendly house plants are a MUST when it comes to your online plant shopping checklist. Lucky for you, here at PLANTZ, we pride ourselves in having a large selection of pet-friendly house plants for sale, so you do not have to sacrifice your love for indoor plants for your precious pets, and your PLANTZ shopping cart can remain full of all your favorites. That being said, we would love to share some of our favorite PLANTZ picks for you and your furry buddies to enjoy! 

 

Low Light Pet-Friendly House Plants

 Pet owners are busy people… We do not want your plants to become another pet you care for, or that can feel like more of a job or a nuisance. Even though they are living breathing things, they should be an addition to your life, not a drag. So, we want to provide you some options for low-light pet-friendly house plants that will still steal the show in your home. 

The Parlor Palm is a classic low light plant! Did you know the Parlor Palm, also known as Neanthebella, was also the original plant grown specifically to be used as décor in interior design? This trendsetting original is perfect for your pets and your home. A tiny indoor tree that is low maintenance and requires little light to thrive. Place this plant in a place where there is indirect light. You can move it freely between bright and low light as well, and it should not do much harm. What really makes a difference, though, is this plant is known for its air-purifying capacity, so you are not only providing a new plant for your home that is nontoxic to your cats and dogs, but you are also improving their breathing air. 

 

Another plant to consider that can tolerate lower lights is a Rhapis Palm. The Rhapis is an excellent option for pets and usually grows to be on the taller side, so it truly is a showstopper. Not only is it safe if your pet does get to it, but it is also more out of reach than some other indoor plants be that remain lower to the ground. 

palm tree
Pup and Palm

Easy Pet-Friendly House Plants

 Now let’s talk about other house plants that are still pet friendly but are not considered “low light” plants. First up, we have the Ponytail Palm. This indoor plant resembles a larger version of a spider plant and is so unique. The Ponytail is actually a succulent; WHO KNEW!? It is just a palm in disguise. This plant is low maintenance and does not need many waterings due to its thick trunk, which can store water for an extensive amount of time. This makes the Ponytail Palm an easy pet friendly house plant that leaves you with more time to focus on your furry friends while not having to sacrifice your love for plants. Be cautious, though; this plant does require bright light to truly thrive and grow bigger. 

 

Want something larger than life, will stand out in a crowd but still won’t rub your pets the wrong way? Try the Areca Palm! The Areca is one of our larger plants, but it never disappoints. Along with being absolutely breathtaking, the Areca also improves indoor air quality (a plus for your plants and children) and circulates the air. This plant does need bright or indirect light, though, and usually needs to have more than one watering a week… this one’s a thirsty guy! Otherwise, we think this is an easy choice as far as pet friendly sizeable indoor house plants go.

 

The Chamaedorea elegans or, as we call it… the Bamboo Palm, is one of our favorites! This one actually ranks on the list of best plants to have in your home by NASA due to its ability to really clean out the toxins in your air. Just like its palms counterparts, it is essential that this plant receives a lot of bright light or even more indirect light to thrive. Besides that, this plant is relatively easy to care for as a whole. Not only do they liven up the room, but Bamboo Palm always adds in a unique vibe since it is not one of the more common house plant choices such as a Fiddle Leaf Fig or Monstera. You will surely stand out in your plant friend community with this plant in your home. 

 

The last one we want to talk about is the Kentia Palm! Palms on palms over here, we just can’t help ourselves; we love them. The Kentia Palm also like the Bamboo, and Areca might need a little more attention than a Parlor Palm, but we promise it is well worth the extra effort. Your furry animals will love seeing this plant in your home, and we genuinely believe they will be fast friends!

cats and plants

Some Plants to Avoid 

 Although, as we said before, none of our plants are toxic for your animals, here are some we commonly advise pet owners to steer clear of if they have had a problem in the past with their pet eating or disturbing their new plant friend. 

 

Maybe a Monstera is NOT your best fit. This plant is not lethal, but if your pet eats a considerable amount of the Monstera plant, it can potentially cause some digestive troubles for your pet. 

 

Another one with similar downfalls is the ZZ Plant or the Zamioculcas zamiifolia. When pets get a hold of this shiny new green thing in your home, any leaves that eat almost always come back up. Avoid a yucky mess at the worst time or worst place by avoiding these plants since they might cause some stomach agitation for your pets if eaten. 

 

Tarzan Plant

 

Tips and Tricks 

 Just want to keep your pets away from the new plants altogether? Try a cleaning mixture consisting of dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable oil with water to clean the plants. This not only keeps the insects away, but it also deters pets from fiddling with your plant since they do not like the taste. A wet rag with some dish soap (drop or two) lathered up a bit to wipe down the foliage, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (red pepper flakes) works too. We can only smell the pepper for a few minutes, but animals can smell it for much longer, deterring them from coming close to your new plant friend. 

 

Some other things to consider to keep your animals from messing with your new investment, pick one of our taller plants; the higher the leaves, the more of a challenge for your animal, and most will not bother. 

 

Want the shorter plant but do not want them close enough to the ground for your pet to reach? Try one of our plant stands! You can still have the plant of your dreams; let’s just elevate it! 

 

If you are unsure of if a plant is safe for your pets, do not ever hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] for more insight on the best plant fit for you or find us on our social media @4plantz 

 

 

Tarzan with Pup